Coronavirus Updates

Update 3/29/2020:  Confirmed cases 785,409 with 37,807 fatalities. The US has 164,121 cases with 3,163 fatalities. Washington state has 5,250 cases with 210 fatalities. Yakima Health District has 161 cases with 3 fatalities. Benton Franklin Health District has 97 confirmed cases, 42 probable cases, and 5 fatalities. New York state passes 1,300 deaths. The USNS Comfort hospital ship has docked in New York. Washington, DC issues stay at home order. Italy has 101,739 cases with 11,592 fatalities. Spain has 87,956 cases with 7,716 fatalities. Germany has 66,885 cases. South Korea begins seeing sustained increases in cases again. In some areas of the US and the world, officials are cracking down on what kinds of products may be sold by the stores that remain open, demanding that only “necessities” be allowed for purchase, i.e. no entertainment, educational, or luxury items. EasyJet airline stops all commercial flights. India’s lockdown causes a mass exodus of city day-workers trying to get to their home villages.

Update 3/29/2020:  Confirmed cases 721,562 with 33,965 fatalities. The US has 142,004 cases with 2,484 fatalities. President Trump extends federal mitigation efforts/social distancing recommendations until the end of April. US healthcare workers are beginning to speak out about the shortages of protective equipment, ventilators, and conditions in hospitals. Washington state has 4,392 cases with 195 fatalities. Yakima Health District has 140 cases with 2 fatalities. Benton Franklin Health District has 72 cases and 5 fatalities.  Florida has opened checkpoints on the border to prevent infected individuals from hot spots from entering the state. Texas has opened checkpoints to ensure Louisianans entering the state register and quarantine for 14 days. See one such interview below. Italy has 97,689 cases with 10,779 fatalities. Spain has 80,031 cases with 6,802 fatalities. Germany has 62,095 cases. France has passed 40,000. The UK is now approaching 20,000 cases with 1,228 fatalities.

Update 3/28/2020:  Confirmed cases 662,852 with 30,847 fatalities. The US has 123,428 cases with 2,211 fatalities. The first US infant death has been confirmed in Chicago. A 25-year old man with no underlying health conditions has passed away in California from Covid-19. Washington state has 4,310 cases with 189 fatalities. A doctor in Bellingham has been fired for criticizing the hospital’s virus response. The Yakima Health District has 82 cases with 2 fatalities. The Benton Franklin Health District has 54 confirmed cases and 5 fatalities and and another 21 probable cases. Italy has 92,472 cases with 10,023 fatalities. Spain has 73,235 cases with 5,982 fatalities. Germany has 57,695 cases. The city of Wuhan, China partially re-opens after two months of lockdown. Russia is fully closing its borders beginning Monday. The first NHS surgeon in UK dies from coronavirus after volunteering to work frontline. In India, the lockdown only gave four hours notice; millions have been left jobless, foodless and without money by the shutdown, sparking an exodus from major cities.

Update 3/27/2020:  Confirmed cases 594,280 with 27,246 fatalities. The US has 102,338 cases with 1,603 fatalities. Washington state has 3,700 cases with 175 fatalities. The Yakima Health District has 72 cases with 2 fatalities. The Benton Franklin Health District has 54 confirmed cases and 5 fatalities. The US Army Corps of Engineer will convert CenturyLnik Field into a temporary field hospital for non-coronavirus patients. Rhode Island announces that National Guard will go door to door in coastal communities checking for travelers from New York. The mayor of New Orleans blames President Trump for her not cancelling Mardi Gras (which became an incubator of the virus). Italy has 86,498 cases (becoming the second country to exceed China’s total) and 9,134 fatalities. Spain has 65,719 cases. Germany has 50,871 cases. The UK prime minister and UK health secretary have tested positive. Residents of Hubei province have rioted against police forces of neighboring Jiangxi province, who had set up roadblocks to prevent the people of Hubei from returning to work in Jiangxi. Ireland warns that its ICUs will be at capacity in a number of days. Bolivia implements extreme quarantine measures. A new study indicated that the coronavirus may halve the testosterone levels of males – long term studies needed.

Update 3/26/2020:  Confirmed cases 529,071 with 23,967 fatalities. The US has 83,144 cases, surpassing China’s total for most cases in the world, with 1,201 fatalities. Washington state has 3,012 cases with 148 fatalities. Washington state’s infection rate may be slowing, but the stay at home order may be extended. The Yakima Health District has 53 cases with 2 fatalities. The Virgina Mason Memorial hospital in Yakima is near capacity. The Benton Franklin Health District has 26 confirmed cases and another 11 probable cases along with 4 fatalities. New York state currently has 5,327 hospitalized cases with 1,290 being in ICU, overwhelming some hospitals. Refrigerated trailers are being deployed for use as temporary morgues. US unemployment claims hit a weekly record of 3.3 million. Louisiana appears to be adding cases faster than anywhere else in the world. The US Navy reports an outbreak on the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt. Spain jumps to 56,188 cases. Italy has 80,589 cases with 8,215 fatalities.

Update 3/25/2020:  Confirmed cases 471,035 with 21,283 fatalities. The US has 68,203 cases with 1,027 fatalities. Washington State has 2,588 cases with 132 fatalities. Benton Franklin Health District has 21 cases with 4 fatalities. Yakima Health District has 53 cases. Washington state closes all public lands for two weeks because of crowded trails and large gatherings. The US Army’s 627th Hospital Center will deploy to Washington State to back up local doctors and nurses. Most Pacific Northwest national parks close. Alaska records first Covid-19 death. Maryland closes schools until at least April 24. Spain has over 49,000 cases and 3,647 fatalities, surpassing China’s total deaths. Italy over 74,000 should surpass China’s total cases in a day or two; Italy has over 7,500 fatalities. Iran passes 27,000 cases and 2,000 fatalities. Thailand declares a state of emergency. The US Congress agreed on a $2 trillion bailout package. Nearly one third of the global population is currently locked down.

Update 3/24/2020:  Confirmed cases 422,613 with 18,891 fatalities. The US has 54,808 cases with 775 fatalities, having added over 100 deaths yesterday for the first time and 222 today. Washington state has 2,469 cases with 123 fatalities. In Washington state’s Yakima county, enforcement of the stay at home order going into effect tomorrow will begin with education but will move to tickets or citations as necessary. Yakima Health District has 47 cases with one fatality. The Benton-Franklin Health District has 19 cases with 3 fatalities. Yakima Valley health care systems are seeking donations of supplies. 16 states have issued stay at home orders. Anyone leaving the NYC metro area has been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. The first child under the age of 18 to die from the novel coronavirus in the US has passed away in Los Angeles. Spain has well over 39,000 cases, after a big jump today. Italy has over 69,000 cases with 6,820 fatalities. The 2020 Tokyo Olympic games have been postponed for one year. India orders a 21 day lockdown for all 1.3 billion citizens. Continue reading “Coronavirus Updates”

Plough: Uncanny Homes – Housebound, We Are Still Wayfarers

Terence Sweeney at Plough writes a bit about spirituality during this pandemic in Uncanny Homes

Last Monday, I watched the crossing guard at the intersection of 47th and Springfield. As with every school day, she stood by the crosswalk ready to keep children safe from speeding cars. There she was with her bright vest, whistle, and stop sign. And there were no children. No one to guard as she kept her lonely vigil. Later in the day, a bus normally filled with employees of the University of Pennsylvania went by that same intersection. The bus was empty, transporting workers who had not left their homes. The bustling bars and cafes on Baltimore Avenue are shuttered just when they should be putting out their sidewalk seating. Rush hour now consists of empty trolley cars; I find myself missing the angry honking of Philadelphians. My parish, St. Francis de Sales, is empty. On Sunday the twenty-five-person choir is at home, the French organ is silent, the ushers have no one to usher, and the pews are bereft. On the sidewalks, people warily pass each other; friends greet each other from a six-foot distance with an awkward wave. And we are all haunted by the knowledge that in hospitals and homes, people are suffering and dying.

Living during a pestilence is living through the experience of the uncanny. The word for uncanny in German is unheimlichkeit. It means not-being-at-home. It doesn’t refer to the experience of being away from home, though. What makes this emotion so disorienting, though, is that one feels not-at-home precisely when one is at home. The ordinary is still there but is just a little off. One feels alienated by the regular. Watching a crossing guard with no one to guard is an experience of the uncanny, of suddenly being estranged by the place that used to make you familiar.

The uncanniness creeps into your house. My home feels less homey; it is the same place but somehow not. In the daytime, it has become an office building: a program coordinator plans programs that won’t happen, an attorney meets with clients on a screen, a housing advocate campaigns for access to homes he cannot visit. I remain at my desk writing or, more often, failing to write. Later I teach a class via video; an experience of an ersatz version of education and connection. My building is an office space, my apartment a classroom. I am homebound in two senses: bound to my home but also not at home and so constantly homeward bound. We are stuck in houses feeling not-at-home.

Perhaps in this Lent – which not only features no alleluias but also no Stations of the Cross at my parish – will be a lesson in being not-at-home. This beautiful world is our pilgrimage because we live here as homo viator, man on the way. We don’t neglect the world; rather, we are to tend to it as our shared path. In the wilderness, people speak of being “keepers of the trail.” We tend to the trail not because it is our home but because we all travel that path. This is wisdom for our whole life. We need to tend to our paths through this world. As Walker Percy puts it, our vocation is to hand each other along.

Perhaps the coronavirus is a reminder that we are on our way together, that undergoing the uncanny speaks to a truth about our life. We are both at home in this world and not at home. Augustine preached often about being on pilgrimage. In a homily for Easter, he told his congregants that when we sing our alleluias here, we sing as wayfarers while our brothers and sisters in heaven sing as those at home. “God praised there; and God praised here. Here by the anxious, there by the carefree . . . here on the way, there at home.” During this Lent and Easter, our sense of not-being-at-home will deepen. It will deepen precisely because we are affixed to our houses that have become our offices. What we are learning is that we must keep traveling in this life to our true home. The psalmist proclaims: “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’” It is his house that is our true home.

Watching the YouTube clips of Italians singing out of their windows, I think again of Augustine, who tells us to sing “in the way wayfarers are in the habit of singing, sing but keep walking.” Hard labor is lightened by singing, even if that hard labor is being under lockdown. For Augustine, we sing for our true home when we “progress in goodness, in the right faith, in good habits.” We sing when we travel down this weary way towards goodness and when we help each along this way.

We may be trapped in our homes this Lent and Easter and beyond – during this beautiful and haunting springtide. We have to live through the uncanniness of this season of pestilence. We sing despite this anxious feeling of not being at home, because for now our home is the road, until someday our home will be in God’s home. Our task is to keep on the path and to help others on the path. Our task during the uncanny is to sing and to keep walking homeward.

 

YWtGS: Quarantine Week 1 Menu and Food Storage Recipe

A Year Without the Grocery Store has a post up about their first week of quarantine and how to plan meals from storage food – Quarantine Week 1 Menu & Food Storage Recipe . Also check out Rural Revolution’s recipe for Beef and Mushroom Pie, resulting from a cleaning out the fridge moment.

So many of our lives have been turned upside down.  Whether you are now homeschooling your kids – since many schools have been closed.  Are you eating at home on a regular basis now when normally you would have gone out to eat one or two times during the week?  Are you used to precooked or prepackaged meals?  Each of these things can be so hard to navigate in their own, so what is one thing that we can do to make one of these things easier?  Make a Menu!

So it’s hard to think about what to feed families during a crisis.  And even for those of us who have a food storage menu set up, some of those meals might not sound appetizing at the moment.  How do you go about making up a menu for while you’re in quarantine?

Principles for Making a Quarantine Menu

Quarantine Menu - Week 11) Start with what you already have

Are you like me?  Do you buy food for a specific meal and at least once a week you don’t eat it?  More than that, oftentimes, you don’t reschedule those meals for the next week?  Yeah, me too!  So when looking through my freezer, I found a lot of food that is easily incorporated into this week’s menu.

I have a fairly deep pantry that I’ve been developing over the course of several years.  I built it using a food storage menu.   When I started making this week’s menu though, I didn’t major on my food storage menu.  I started with what I already have in my freezer.

(2) Eat “normal” foods as much as possible.

This is a really scary time for us as adults.  California has already been given a “shelter in place” order.  It’s been rumored that Illinois will be under the same order starting tomorrow.  This can raise our anxiety level – and we’re adults!  Imagine what it is like for your kids!

If you feed your kids normal foods, this will actually help them emotionally deal with this situation.  The greater a level of “normal” you can give to your children, the better off they will be during this crisis.

Don’t think that introducing crazy, strange foods at a time like this will do anything good for their (or your) digestive system.  Don’t think that your kids will all of a sudden eat canned asparagus if you never fed it to them before.  The same goes for

(3)  If you’re struggling, make a schedule.

I’m not talking about a menu.  I’m talking about a dinner schedule from which to make your menu.  A schedule might look like this.

  • Monday – Mexican Dish
  • Tuesday – Italian meal
  • Wednesday – Oriental Dish
  • Thursday –  American/Casserole
  • Friday – Soup
  • Saturday – Pizza (either frozen or homemade)
  • Sunday – Left Overs

OR maybe you’re “schedule” will look like this

  • Monday – Beef
  • Tuesday – Chicken
  • Wednesday – Pork
  • Thursday – Vegetarian
  • Friday – Beef
  • Saturday – Chicken
  • Sunday – Pork

Then when you go to make a menu, you don’t have to stress too much because the hardest part is already set up for you!

My breakfast and lunch meals are almost always identical from week to week.  This is how our breakfasts and lunches go in general.  I plan on keeping it the same as MUCH as possible even in quarantine.  I do know how to make bread, bagels, granola, biscuits, pizza, and cinnamon rolls, so I can keep that up even if I have to make it from scratch.

  • Monday Breakfast – Oatmeal / Lunch – Grilled cheese
  • Tuesday Breakfast – Bagels / Lunch – Beefaroni or soup
  • Wednesday Breakfast –  Homemade granola / Lunch – Sandwiches
  • Thursday Breakfast – Eggs and bacon / Lunch – Mac and Cheese
  • Friday Breakfast – Homemade Granola / Lunch – Pizza
  • Saturday Breakfast – Biscuits and Gravy / Lunch – Get Your Own
  • Sunday  Breakfast – Cinnamon Rolls / Lunch – Meatballs

4.) Don’t hesitate to learn new things!

Making bread really isn’t hard!

And if you can make bread, you can make cinnamon rolls, pizza crust, and bagels.  Making noodles is actually really easy too.  These things are just time-consuming, but when you’re forced to be at home, it’s a great way to spend your time.

Making homemade granola is even easier to make, and then you have several days worth of breakfasts ready at once.  One batch of our granola lasts us 2 weeks eating it twice each week.

My Menu for Quarantine Week 1

So here is an actual picture of my menu for this next week.  It goes on my fridge today and will stay up.  One of the reasons why I post it is so that I don’t get “What’s for breakfast, Mom?”  ALL-THE-STINKING-TIME!  I have one child who will finish dinner and go, “Hey, Mom! What’s for breakfast?”

The second reason that I post a menu is that my oldest daughter is responsible for breakfast every day.  My middle daughter is responsible for lunches every day, and I’m responsible for dinner every day.  This way, they don’t have to ask me what they should be making.  They know because it’s listed.

So here’s my menu.  Some of this will be from scratch.  This week, I’ll make the cinnamon rolls from scratch, but we still have “canned” biscuits” to make things easier on my daughter.  We still also have frozen pizzas, so we’ll do those instead of making those from scratch.  In future weeks, these will eventually be made from scratch.

 

Food Storage Recipe – Homemade Granola

We double this recipe and it makes at least 4 breakfasts for a family of 7.

Ingredients

  • 6 C Oats
  • 1 C Nuts (we prefer pecans)
  • 1 C Chocolate Chips
  • 1 C Coconut (can be omitted)
  • 1/2 C Cocoa powder
  • 1 C Coconut oil
  • 1 C Honey
  • 1 T Vanilla

Directions:

Grease a 9×13 two-inch deep casserole dish.  Mix the oats, nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, and cocoa powder together.  In a saucepan melt the coconut oil and honey together.  Once they are melted together, remove from heat and add vanilla.  Pour the mixture over the oat mixture in the 9×13 dish, and stir thoroughly.  Bake for 1 hour at 250.

Do you need help setting up a food storage menu?  I have written a FREE 7-page  Fast and Easy Food Storage Solution Guide to help you through the process.

What About You?

How are you setting up your menu for this time during quarantine?  Do you feel like you’ve got a good handle on it?  If you’re doing well, do you have any tips and tricks to share with the rest of our readers?  I’d love to hear.  Leave a comment below in the comments section so that we can all be better prepared.

Together lets Love, Learn, Practice, and Overcome!

There are links in this post.  Some of the links may be affiliate links.  Some of the links may not be.  My promise to you is that I will only recommend the most economical version of the best quality of items to serve you. These are the items that I have bought for my own family.  You can feel free to use my affiliate links, of which I will get a small amount in compensation, or you can choose to search out your products on your own.

Please note that any affiliate links above are for A Year Without the Grocery Store and not for the Lower Valley Assembly.

AYWtGS: Covid-19 Quarantine Day 1

A Year Without the Grocery Store related their first day of quarantine – Covid-19 Quarantine Day 1 – in which a perhaps surprising number of issues pop up.

I had planned on making one more trip to Costco before going into quarantine.  Did we NEED anything?  Probably not, but there were a few items that I really wanted to get a few more of – mostly dairy type items. I do have other alternatives, but they take preparing, and I’m by nature lazy.  I wanted another package or two of shredded cheese, some more heavy whipping cream and maybe some more eggs.

I messaged my mom to ask her if she wanted me to pick up anything for her.  She asked me not to leave the house.  I was willing to head out, but I understood her hesitancy.  So because I wanted to honor my mother, I stayed home.  It was the right decision.

Bad News from Texas<img class=”alignright size-medium wp-image-17746″ src=”https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/benjamin-bousquet-PDVvoXRAmCY-unsplash.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1″ alt=”” width=”300″ height=”200″ srcset=”https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/benjamin-bousquet-PDVvoXRAmCY-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/benjamin-bousquet-PDVvoXRAmCY-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C683&ssl=1 1024w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/benjamin-bousquet-PDVvoXRAmCY-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/benjamin-bousquet-PDVvoXRAmCY-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&ssl=1 1536w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/benjamin-bousquet-PDVvoXRAmCY-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&ssl=1 2048w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/benjamin-bousquet-PDVvoXRAmCY-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=650%2C433&ssl=1 650w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/benjamin-bousquet-PDVvoXRAmCY-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C400&ssl=1 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

I got a phone call from my father-in-law.  We had asked him to join us up here in Illinois because he really wasn’t ready for this.  But in his phone call, he let me know that one of his friends was presumptive positive for Covid-19.  While he hasn’t been in contact with this friend, he had other friends who have spent time with his presumptive positive friend with whom he has spent time.  So he won’t be coming up, but he needs items to get him through this next bit – where hopefully he doesn’t come down with the virus.

In case he does get sick, we’re sending him “just add water” dry soup mixes to help feed him past these next two weeks (which he only has 1 can of soup per day).  We’re also sending him Xlear to help keep his nasal passages clear and zinc lozenges.  I found a great article on the benefits and problems with zinc, so make sure you read it before you run out and start taking zinc.

The plan is for him to shelter in place for 2 weeks.  If he doesn’t come down with it during the next 2 weeks, then he’ll drive up here.  We’re also sending him PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) so that if he does come up here he will be protected during his trip.

If he does come up here, he will be quarantined for an additional two weeks, so make sure that he doesn’t get sick from his trip up and it gives us an additional two weeks to make sure that he doesn’t have a latent infection from his being exposed in Texas.

<img class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-17747″ src=”https://i2.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/hermes-rivera-qbf59TU077Q-unsplash.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1″ alt=”” width=”300″ height=”200″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/hermes-rivera-qbf59TU077Q-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/hermes-rivera-qbf59TU077Q-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C683&ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/hermes-rivera-qbf59TU077Q-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/hermes-rivera-qbf59TU077Q-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/hermes-rivera-qbf59TU077Q-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/hermes-rivera-qbf59TU077Q-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=650%2C433&ssl=1 650w, https://i0.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/hermes-rivera-qbf59TU077Q-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C400&ssl=1 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>Conflict

I am not putting this out there to throw my husband “under the bus.”  I’m putting this out there so that all of you can understand that the conflicts that you’re experiencing right now are (very unfortunately) a part of this situation… (continues)

Arthur Guiterman: Strictly Germ-Proof

On a lighter note, sanitization poetry by Arthur Guiterman.

Strictly Germ-Proof

The Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup
Were playing in the garden when the Bunny gamboled up;
They looked upon the Creature with a loathing undisguised;–
It wasn’t Disinfected and it wasn’t Sterilized.

They said it was a Microbe and a Hotbed of Disease;
They steamed it in a vapor of a thousand-odd degrees;
They froze it in a freezer that was cold as Banished Hope
And washed it in permanganate with carbolated soap……

In sulphurated hydrogen they steeped its wiggly ears;
They trimmed its frisky whiskers with a pair of hard-boiled shears;
They donned their rubber mittens and they took it by the hand
And ’lected it a member of the Fumigated Band.

There’s not a Micrococcus in the garden where they play;
They bathe in pure iodoform a dozen times a day;
And each imbibes his rations from a Hygienic Cup–
The Bunny and the Baby and the Prophylactic Pup.

Italians in quarantine have been keeping each other company by singing, dancing, and playing music from balconies. Taking time for moral support is always important.

AYWtGS: Handling Quarantine with Kids

Karen at A Year Without the Grocery Store has an article up – Got Kids? How Do You Handle a Coronavirus Quarantine With Them? – with some suggestions on handling quarantine without going crazy.

We all love our children.  But despite that love, want to see parents cringe quickly?  Tell them that they are going to be stuck inside with their children for three months or more.  More than that, they cannot leave their home.

That thought in itself is incredibly overwhelming!  Add to it, getting ready to cut yourselves off from the world, it’s enough to devastate any parent.  How do you handle being cooped up with your kids for months on end?  Don’t stress, there are answers that don’t include 24/7 TV.

Let me start by saying, I’m a mom to five kids ages 8-17.  I don’t take the notion of being stuck inside my home for months with my kids lightly.  While younger kids will have an easier time staying home, older kids are going to feel the isolation much more.

So how do we handle a quarantine with kids?

When I was pregnant with my second set of twins, I was in the hospital every week for a non-stress test.  I had a friend who was pregnant at the same time.  She was hospitalized with placenta previa.  She wasn’t just hospitalized for a week or two.  No, she was hospitalized for more than TWELVE weeks.  And during that time, she was mostly confined to half of a small room.

How in the world did she keep herself sane being remanded to that small room for so long?  Some of her tips and tricks will work for us as we talk about how we’re going to help our kids (and ourselves) through what could be a long quarantine.

(1) Start Your Day Off Healthy

Make sure that you are starting your day off with a multi-vitamin, vitamin C, and a probiotic.  I would also suggest that you spend time in God’s word and prayer at the beginning of your day.  We love to sing together as a family, and this would be a good time to do that as well.

(2) Make sure your kids are learning.

Whether you homeschool or not, make sure that your kids are still learning.   Even if you send your kids to school, make sure that they are bringing their school books home with them as you get closer to keeping them home from school in a quarantine.   Or you could put together a school kit so that you will always have items to help your children learn if they can’t go to school.

For me, it’s really simple.  I have three children still in school.  And since we homeschool, they will all continue doing their school just like normal.  That will go a HUGE way toward helping things still feel normal.

What about older kids who have graduated and are working while still living at home?  Make sure that you have conversations with them now about when you are going to tell them that they can’t continue working for a while.  Have them talk to their employers NOW to manage expectations.

These older children should still be learning!  As I was going through totes today taking stock of everything for our quarantine, I found suture needles and other implements for doing stitches and practice skin.  Find a YouTube video on practice suturing and have them learn how to do sutures.  Or have you or your kids ever made bread or noodles from scratch?  Why not use some of that time to learn how to do a new skill?

(3) Make sure that you and your kids are moving daily.

If you have little kids, it’s obvious why they should do physical activity every day.  But what about older kids who aren’t bouncing off the walls?  Why should they (and you) exercise daily?

Studies have shown that mice were divided into three groups and all infected with the flu.  One group was sedentary.  One group jogged on a wheel for 20-30 minutes (modest activity for mice), and another group of mice was kept on a wheel for 2 1/2 – 3 hours.  Fifty percent of the sedentary group died.  SEVENTY percent of the mice who ran for 2 1/2-3 hours died!  Only 12 percent of the mice who were kept on the wheel for 20-30 minutes died.

Even if you aren’t going to expose yourself to the virus, keeping your body moving a modest amount can help your body better handle whatever is thrown at it.

Now, not everyone has a treadmill or a stationary bike, I get that.  But do you have Amazon Prime?  You can learn (or practice) yoga with your kids using this free video.  Don’t like yoga?  Here’s an exercise video called “Marching Low Impact.”  Or buy a digital copy of “Sweating to the Oldies” and sweat (and laugh and laugh) with your kids.

(4)  Play at least one game a day with your kids. 

This is a great time to spend time playing some of those games that you don’t play regularly either because you haven’t taken the time to learn them or because they take a little more time to play.

Do you have two decks of cards?  All you need is a Hoyle Card book, and you’ll have hours of fun at your hands.

Another thing that might fall into this category is putting together puzzles.

(5) Take a skill that you have to the next level.

Do you have a skill that you enjoy – like knitting?  Take it to the next level.  Maybe you could learn how to do cables or knit in multiple colors.  I’ve learned a bit about spinning, but don’t take a lot of time to actually practice it.  This would be the perfect time to take that skill to the next level.

How Do You Handle a Quarantine with Kids?(6) Schedule time for kids to talk with their friends using Facetime or Skype.

Only one of our kids has a cell phone.  And her cell phone is one for which we purchase minutes.  That means that calls aren’t a regular part of our kids lives.  Even if your kids have cell phones, talking with friends makes so much more of an impact when they can see them.

What if your kids could ‘virtually’ get together with their friends regularly during a quarantine?  They would be able share stories of what’s going on, what they are learning, and the time would pass so much faster.

(7) Enjoy movies and TV shows in moderation.

There are few things that make me feel more claustrophobic than sitting in front of a screen watching mindless TV too long.  I will often feel the need to get up and do something when I’ve got an Amazon or Netflix show going too much.  But that being said, sometimes, we just need to let our minds go to a more fun place and a movie or a TV show can do that for us.

(8) Most Importantly set a routine for your days.  How Do You Handle a Quarantine with Kids?

I say this last because I wanted to give you a lot of options for filling a routine.  Why do you need a routine?

When I was pregnant with my second set of twins, I was in the hospital on a weekly basis for non-stress tests.  I had a friend who was pregnant at the same time, but she was admitted to the hospital because of placenta previa and was at high risk for hemorrhaging.

The thing is that she wasn’t just in the hospital for one or two weeks, she was in the hospital for TWELVE weeks!  She wasn’t just confined to the limits of the hospital.  She was almost exclusively confined to her small hospital room, which she had to share with another person from time to time.

How did she keep from going crazy while she was confined to such a small space?!?

The most important thing that she did (by her own admission) was to set a routine for her day.  She would start it with time in God’s word and prayer.  Then she would spend around two hours scrapbooking.  After that, she would watch TV for about two hours.  Then she would work on a crocheting something for an hour or two.  Her kids and her husband would come and visit her for a couple of hours later in the day.  She would spend some time reading after that.  Then she would spend some time coloring in a coloring book.

Her routine kept her from going completely stir crazy.  So I want you to take 10-15 minutes and using activities from above or others that you come up with on your own to set a schedule for yourself and your children so that you have a routine for when you all are quarantined.

Will the routine change once you get into your quarantine?  Absolutely!  Some things will work.  Some things won’t work as you envisioned them, but you’ll be giving yourself a framework for your family.  Change it around, turn it on its head if need be.  But make sure that you actually have a routine so that everyone doesn’t go completely crazy!

What About You?

What other ideas do you have on how to keep your kids from going crazy during a quarantine?  How long do you anticipate that your family will need to be in quarantine?  Are you concerned about missing any really big events because of the quarantine?  I’d love to hear!  Share with us in the comments so that we can all be better prepared.

Together lets Love, Learn, Practice, and Overcome!

There are links in this post.  Some of the links may be affiliate links.  Some of the links may not be.

Backdoor Survival: Getting the Most Out of Your Food Supply

Samantha Biggers of Backdoor Survival has an article up addressing how to stretch your food supplies, whether it be during a quarantine or a long emergency.

Something that a lot of us don’t always pay the most attention to is getting the most out of meals and supplies. Sometimes it doesn’t seem worth our time and from a financial perspective, there are times when this actually has a ring of truth to it.

With the current state of affairs, a lot of us may need to start thinking of ways to be more frugal and less wasteful with the supplies we have on hand, especially when it comes down to food.

Although we have tried to develop good habits over the years, Matt and I have found ourselves being even more careful about using up leftovers and being creative with cooking.

We have chickens, cats, and dogs so even if something drops to the floor or there is a small amount of waste, we usually can use it to supplement the diet of our animals. In the case of chickens, they can recycle that potentially wasted food and parts that you don’t typically eat such as carrot tops and fruit cores, into delicious eggs, and hopefully in the spring, baby chicks.

Cook something delicious and basic and use the leftovers for other meals.

Some people really don’t like leftovers. Part of the reason for this is that some foods truly are better if they are eaten right after cooking. The key is to plan out meals so that you don’t have to experience this as much.

One example I can think of is soups and stews that have noodles in them. How many of us have cooked a big pot of minestrone soup or similar and went back and reheated it the next day to find that the noodles had disintegrated or at least became very mushy?

Twice Baked Potatoes

(Note: At the end of the recipe I have a casserole version of this recipe that uses boxed mashed potato flakes in case that is what you have on hand or you run out of potatoes from your pantry.)

This is a recipe that is inexpensive and delicious at the same time. My husband learned this recipe from his Mom and he cooked it for me and still does so regularly. It is also a great way to make use of leftover baked potatoes. Sometimes we will just cook a whole baking tray full of potatoes to use for many different dishes throughout the week. It saves on cooking fuel and makes it easy to cook a lot of wonderful meals.

To make twice baked potatoes you need the following:

Medium To Large Potatoes

The ingredients below can be added in any combination, depending on what you have on hand. If you have some leftover meat from another meal, then this is an excellent dish to make use of that!

Meat (Optional but adding it makes this dish a meal in itself)

Cheese

Onions (This can be dried onions like chives or dehydrated onions or you can fry them up with meat)

Mushrooms

A little milk, yogurt, or broth to cream some potato filling

To bake the potatoes, first, wash them well and place them on a baking sheet. Spritz or rub with oil. I like to use grapeseed oil for this. Salt the outside. Poke a few holes in the top of each with a knife or fork. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 F for 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the potato. Stick a toothpick, fork or similar into them to make sure they are soft in the middle.

Allow to cool enough to handle. Scoop out the inside as much as possible and put it in a stockpot or other small cooking pot. You want enough room to mix in any of the additional ingredients listed in the recipe above. You can also use a mixer if desired. That may be the way to go if you are doing these for a crowd.

Mash the scooped out potatoes or use a mixer to whip them with enough milk, yogurt, or broth to get them a consistency that you can scoop into potato skins. Add in any meat, cheese, veggies, etc. We usually shred cheese. You can also use powdered cheeses if that is what you have on hand.

Spoon your filling into the potato skins. Top with cheese if desired. Parmesan works well but you can also use any other type you would like.

Bake in a 350 F oven until the cheese starts to brown. Serve with sour cream, green onions, bacon, salsa or any other additional toppings you desire.

This is a very versatile recipe as you can see. There are countless combinations you can use for fillings and toppings. Think about what leftover veggies or meats you have and use them first.

Baked Potato Casserole Alternative If You Don’t Have Baking Potatoes

Make mashed potatoes from the dry boxed variety. Mix in any of the ingredients just as you would for the baked potato method above. Butter or oil a pan and spread mixture into it. Top with shredded cheese or dry Parmesan. You can sprinkle bacon crumbles on top too if you have them. Bake until cheese is as golden as you like it.

Put out smaller portions on plates. People can always go back for more. If you serve dinner in a serve-yourself manner, then have a discussion with everyone about this and encourage good habits.

Putting too much food on each person’s plate can result in waste. After all, no one is going to want to put what is left off of everyone’s plate back into the pot. If someone has a lot of leftovers on their plate then perhaps using a Tupperware and labeling it with their name so they can eat it for lunch the next day is a good idea? Just a few thoughts to prevent the age-old problem of too much on the plate sometimes… (continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Backdoor Survival.

Doom and Bloom: Home Care for COVID-19 Patients – WHO Guidance

The Altons at Doom and Bloom Medical have a video up on the WHO recommendations for home care of a coronavirus infected patient who has been asked to stay at home after medical evaluation.

Coronavirus

In situations when hospitals may be overwhelmed or understaffed the WHO has released guidance for Home Care of patients with mild symptoms. All concerned patients should be first be evaluated in a medical facility before home care is initiated. These measures are meant to decrease public contacts and the spread of disease, and decrease the patient load on hospitals during epidemics and pandemics .

Learn which patients may be asked to stay home during illness and when they should be hospitalized. A link to a medical facility should be established for the entire duration of any home home care until all symptoms have cleared and the facility releases the patient and resolved. This connection will allow family members and the patient to be reassured there is contact with a medical professional for questions and concerns.

Home care takes planning and education about personal hygiene, basic infection prevention and control protocols, and how to safely care for the sick person without spreading it to other household members. Recommendations (from the World Health Organization) are detailed in this video. Also see our How To Build A Sickroom video.

Wishing you the best of health in good times and bad,

Related:

Organic Prepper: How to Prepare for Quarantine

Organic Prepper: Thinking about US Quarantine Effects

In this article at The Organic Prepper, Daisy Luther and Selco Begovic think about what kind of effects a strict quarantine in the US might have if it is as severe as the quarantines currently in effect in China. The WHO has suggested that up to half the world population could be infected if the virus isn’t contained. Early studies suggest that the coronavirus has a fatality rate of around 2.3%. If half the world catches it, that’s approximately 100 million fatalities. If half the US population gets infected, that’s around 5 million US fatalities. There is a lot to think about on how that many fatalities and that number of sick people would affect your work, government services, private services, and everyday life.

How long do you think a pandemic quarantine could go on with power, running water, the internet, and trash pick-up continuing to run as normal?

If Covid-19 (also known as the Wuhan coronavirus or nCoV-2019) were to spread where you live as it has in China, it’s possible that extreme measures could be taken. Possibly even a China-style lockdown, where people are told to stay in their homes and where businesses are closed. I’m referring to something much more extreme than just a handful of us self-isolating. 

While I certainly hope such a situation is unlikely, it’s something we should all consider a possibility and get  prepared for, just in case. Considering whether or not this would be an off-grid scenario would play an extremely important part in your preparations.

Selco and I had a very interesting chat about this after I’d raised the point in a group discussion. I thought you might be interested in our thoughts. Of course, there’s no way to know exactly how this might go down, so it’s pure speculation on our part based on the research of similar situations, knowledge of our systems, and personal experiences.

Would we have utilities and services during a quarantine scenario?

…A lot of things are automated, which makes me believe we could potentially have a month or two of relative normalcy with regard to utilities, even if folks aren’t going to work. Garbage pickup would be another matter.

First things first, electrical power, natural gas, water, and the internet could run a long time automatically or with just a bit of input from someone on a computer. A pandemic isn’t going to fry our circuitry like an EMP would, for example. There’s nothing general-infrastructure-wise that would immediately compromise these utilities.

But this assumes that everything besides the pandemic is smooth sailing – that we won’t have any tornadoes, any hurricanes, any blizzards, any earthquakes, unfortunate bolts of lightning, or accidents. And it also omits manmade problems like riots that damage the infrastructure or even deliberate sabotage.

In a full-on pandemic, there’s likely going to be nobody to go out there and repair potential damage. And it’s possible that even if people were willing, they might not have access to the necessary supplies or equipment if these are items that they get on a “just-in-time” basis.

As for water, it could run for a long time but it might not be safe to drink. We’d need to be alert that there’s nobody there testing the tap water and adding chemicals. I don’t love chemicals like fluoride in my water but I do love essential chemicals better than I like amoebic dysentery and shigellosis and cholera. That being said, even if the water wasn’t drinkable right from the tap, it would certainly make life easier if folks not on septic systems could still flush their toilets, and water could be purified in a multitude of different ways

A good question is what would happen with electric power and all other utilities once the SHTF.

And yes answer is not simple. It is based on type of event and severity of the event, but I think we can have some good guesses about it.

UtilitiesPower, running water, communications (internet, cell phones…) and similar utilities up to waste management in all modern societies are brought to an advanced level of functioning.

All that is so “modernized” in a way that most of us usually do not notice or actually do not care how it is being delivered to us. People don’t care how these things work.

I also do not know in depth how all that works, but I know that most of the utilities today are being brought to us in a very automated and interconnected way.

So, as a result, it works good, until it does not.

I think the price for that is the fact that when ONE thing goes out soon another thing will go out too. Even if something goes out FAR from you, it may still mean it easily may go out at your home.

Maintenance

Do not forget, things (services) no matter how modernized need to be maintained, so, if there are no people around to do maintenance, services will not work.

It depends on how bad the event is, and the control the government has over the event, and the society in which the event happening. It is a question of are people gonna be there to maintain services.

As an example, if some serious event is happening, are people willing to go maintain services or they are more willing to go home and protect their loved ones? They are all just humans, do not forget.

People

Also, if there is still a system functioning, the government or some kind of system, does it have enough power to FORCE people to maintain services? People will want to go home to their families.

The important fact is: if the event happening here is serious enough to bring problems to utility services, it is probably serious enough to make other services like the police force or medical services no longer working. So, as a result, the security situation will be deteriorated, so that is another obvious reason why people would want to be more with their families instead of at their job.

A deteriorating situation with utilities will usually go with a deteriorating situation in behavior between people, so it is not like our only problem will be city services and everything else will be fine at home (and safe)…

Click here to read the entire article at the Organic Prepper.

The Medic Shack: Pandemics

The Medic Shack has a short article up about preparing for pandemics, Pandemics. The Media, Food and YOU. It is not a comprehensive guide, as he admits in the article; rather, it is meant to assure the reader that the risk is real and how to get a start on thinking about preparation.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a bit on Typhus in the US. 3 years ago it was barely on the radar. The talk of the town was Ebola. It is making a guest appearance in Congo. Oh guess what. There is a bit of a civil war going on there. What happens when war and deadly communicable disease meet? People leaving to escape the war. And bringing the little friends with them. Cat Ellis The Herbal Prepper and I talked about the dangers of modern air travel and the rapid spread of violent viruses. What we didn’t talk about then was our family car.

Right now Typhus is having a resurgence in California and in Texas. And its coming on the winter travel season. OMG DO WE NEED TO SEAL OUR STATE BORDERS TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE PURPLE CREEPING FUNGUS???????ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!

OK. A little melodramatic. But a valid concern.

NO we are not going to start bouncing about in a panic like a fork dropped into a garbage disposal.

Fact is is if a pandemic is going to start there is not much in the 21st century way of life that will stop it. Until we get “Star Trek level Bio Scanners” that will screen and kill pathogens, we need to be smart about protecting ourselves and family

Last year was the deadliest flu season in decades. @ 80,000 deaths were attributed to the flu. CDC Brief on Flu Deaths 2017-2018 (Also NO I am not going to get into the pros and cons of flu shots) I’m just using it as an example of how bad a virus spread can be.

Viruses are not the only “bugs” that can kill us. For people who do not live in the desert southwest or mountain west have not heard much about Bubonic Plague. Except out of history books. My son Jake’s boss at the local blood bank in Anchorage thought he was joking when he talked about how plague kills people every year. Until he showed them the stats.

So how do we prevent the spread of disease or the start of a pandemic when things go bad if the technology of the 21st century can not do it?

Do we isolate ourselves behind walls and barriers? Or do we learn how to stop or at least slow down the spread of disease.

Quarantine.

It is one of, and in all reality the best way to stop the spread of disease. In todays world it is a “dirty word” We say that we need to quarantine Fido for a few days before bringing him to the summer retreat in Hawaii its all good. But when we say we need to quarantine a group of people from Outer LithuUnitedia because the Purple People Eating Fungus is running rampant there. People get up in arms and the cries of discrimination and racism fly though out social media and the 24/7 news outlets…

…This article is one of those that was and is tough to write. In reality it needs to be broken into a host of smaller articles detailing different facets. This one is written to provoke. No promote discussion. Please take the time to converse with me or with anyone about the different scenarios. My email is medic@themedicshack.net Facebook is The Medic Shack or Mewe at The Medic Shack

Pandemics are real. Not the product of imagination. Time is way past to learn how to protect ourselves from them. The first link of the chain, and one that is ALWAYS broken, is. Communication. There is no real, concise, and most of all believable source. But wait! What about the CDC? Yes they send out warnings. But are dependent on the national and local media. Ok so what about the local or national media? Good question. What is the general media talking about. When there is something on the news about illness it is sandwiched between politics, hate crimes and the Hollywood Who’s Who. Do a news site search for the current Ebola outbreak in the Congo. See what you find in the news.

As I said earlier. I have no intention of doing the fork in the garbage disposal routine of panic. I am just wanting to pass on information. The most powerful weapon we have is not our weapons. Its our mind. We need to employ it. And to employ it we need to arm it. Knowledge is ammunition. And used correctly it is the most powerful weapon and more importantly, the best tool for survival.

Cat Ellis The Herbal Prepper has written a book on pandemics. Its called Prepping for a Pandemic and its on Amazon. Get a copy and read it.

Click here to read the entire article at The Medic Shack.