Lessons Learned in the Time of Coronavirus comes from the Things I Wish I Knew Before blog. The article relates some lessons learned in the earlier phase of the pandemic growth in the US.
I’m home with my family this morning, following guidelines for self-isolation and social distancing. It is so surreal, but here are the actionable items that I’ve learned so far from living in the time of coronavirus. Most of us will survive the coronavirus, and this is why these learnings are important to me.
#1 Respond at the first hint of trouble, not at panic time
Determining what constitutes as “the first hint of trouble” is open to debate, but I will say that I responded somewhere in the middle between “the first hint of trouble” and “panic time.”
I went to Costco two weeks ago and decided to purchase some stocking supplies. It was more crowded than usual and I could see a number of carts filled with an irregular amount of certain supplies. However, it was still a manageable crowd. I should have thought of precautionary preparation when the first case of coronavirus was diagnosed, rather than when I actually did. After all, there’s no downside to acting earlier.
A few days ago, I went back to Costco for some allergy medicine and it was panic time. The parking lot was almost full before the store even opened. The allergy medicine I wanted was out of stock, as were all of the panic items (paper towels, toilet paper, rice, pasta, disinfecting wipes, rubbing alcohol). Shoppers were elbow to elbow (great for our minimum 6ft social distancing requirement) and I am now hearing online reports from our neighbors of the continual crowds at all the local grocery stores.
#2 Always have 3 months worth on hand
Why 3 months worth? Well, I’m not sure that’s the correct number, but basically you want to be self-sufficient for some period in the event that you become isolated (due to say coronavirus, store closures, insufficient stock, or a major disaster renders everything unavailable to you except for your home (don’t forget to pack your emergency bag for when your home isn’t an option either).
Here’s what I should have had 3 months worth of:
- Food (that we would actually eat – not random cheap stuff for emergencies)
- Household supplies (paper products, cleaning, and disinfecting supplies)
- Toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.)
- Medications (common OTC items like cold and allergy medicines and prescriptions)
- Protection supplies (disposable gloves, garbage bags, plastic bags, N95 masks, face masks )
I wasn’t able to get some of these items during the current panic time. What I should have done is just gradually amassed 3 months worth of the above items like a regular consumer in the months/years prior and thereafter, just replenish stress-free any items that dipped below the 3-month threshold.
If you don’t have enough room where you live, stockpile whatever amount is realistically maintainable in your available space. If organized purchasing is not your strong suit, use an inventory list – there are many online options to help…(continues)