I’ve been writing blogs here now for several years, and as thing progress, I find it necessary for me to progress too! I will be moving to a new blogging site now. If you’d like to follow me, and I hope you will, you can find me by going to:
http://www.dnlakeshore.org. Scroll to the bottom of the website and you’ll see a list of services. “Blog” is listed, and if you click on it, you’ll find me!

I appreciate your input and your loyalty over the years. As I have grown through my PTSD, and in my desire to learn about emergency preparedness planning, I’ve been blessed by your participation either as a reader, or with your words of wisdom too. Thank you for making this experience worthwhile to me. I hope to see you at the new site!

Chris

In preparation for “round 2” of the coronavirus, I’ve been restocking my food provisions. Protein is the most important item in my food closet as I have had bariatric surgery in the past and it creates a protein deficiency that I must work to counteract. However, with the increasing cost of meat these days, and the decreasing availability, I’m forced to look into alternate forms of protein. Fortunately, I like legumes!

Dried beans will keep for years if they’re packaged correctly. And, so long as you soak them first or cook them in a pressure cooker, they’re easy to use in your recipes. In addition, I try to incorporate high-protein grains like whole barley and brown rice. I love soup made with a variety of vegetables, grains and beans. It is super healthy, low calorie, and tasty too! I am not rich, but I still need to attend to getting enough protein. Fortunately, with my barley, bean, vegetable soup, I can manage just fine!

This pandemic has been a harsh reality for many of us. People have lost so much- lives, jobs, families and friends, freedoms, and more. But in spite of all that, there are silver linings among the clouds. I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learned with you.

  1. There are many, many good people on this earth. We usually hear about the “bad guys,” but in the midst of this crisis, there have been thousands upon thousands of “good guys” who have stepped forward to help others. Some have even placed themselves in the line of fire. It has been instrumental in reestablishing my faith in humanity.
  2. If we all pull together, we will make it through.
  3. Mankind is full of talented, intelligent, dedicated and caring people.
  4. If you need a hand because you’ve fallen hard, there are those who will stop, turn around, and come back for you to help you up again.
  5. There are real heroes all around us. We don’t always know who they are since they aren’t wearing their capes, but they are there.

These lessons have been learned from exposure to a terrible evil: COVID-19, something that has made the entire world tremble. No matter how viscous it is, mankind will prevail. The final lesson is that we are blessed and that hope survives.

Have you thought about designing a preparedness plan for yourself and your family as far as responding to this coronavirus crisis? By taking a few minutes now to think things through, you’ll be better prepared to handle whatever comes next. Having a plan can bring some peace of mind.

First, know what the signs of the infection are:

  • Cough- it may be a dry cough or it may be wet
  • Fever – often over 104◦F.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Muscular aches

Self-monitor for these signs, and if you find you are experiencing any of them, put your plan into effect.

Who can you call on for help? Make a list of the family members, caregivers, and friends you can rely on for help. Have their contact information listed too so you can connect with them easily. Remember, if you are sick, you may not be thinking too clearly. Let them know if you are exhibiting signs of COVID-19 so they can follow up and check in on you to make sure you’re okay. They should have a key to your house and know where your Advanced Medical Directives for Medical Care are kept.

Think about the point where you’d want to talk to your doctor. If you have a history of lung problems, you’ll want to list the point where you’ll want medical intervention. For example, if you are feeling short of breath, that’s when you might want to call your primary care physician.

If you require special procedures such as dialysis, blood pressure checks, etc., plan for how you’ll get that taken care of and what additional supplies you might need. Check on alternative sites where you can go if needed, and know the routes ahead of time.

Keep a card with emergency contact information on you at all times. Have your support network listed, as well as medical conditions, medications you are currently taking (listing dosage and frequency), and insurance information.

When times are difficult, we need to make every effort to stay positive. If we don’t, then things seem worse than ever.  I found myself listening to the radio this week as they talked about the latest COVID-19 developments.  I hung on what they were saying because I’m responsible for writing the draft procedures for how we’ll respond to the coronavirus at work.  I wasn’t happy to hear three more people had died in my county, and I worried about the friends I haven’t heard from in the past couple of weeks. Suddenly, I noticed the sun shining directly on me.  I hadn’t noticed it at all until then!

It didn’t blind me, but it brought to my attention what a beautiful day it was.  I was missing it because I was spending so much time in my head worrying about things I can’t control.  The sky was a vibrant blue, the flowers were breathtaking, and the warmth of the sun was so welcome after all the cold and rain we’ve had lately.  I was missing it all because I was stuck inside my head listening to my thoughts.

I think that happens to us too often.  We get so focused on what’s happening inside our heads that we miss what’s going on right in front of us!  Fortunately, once I became aware of what I was doing, I was able to see the beautiful blue sky and all the flowers blooming and what a glorious day it was!

Please don’t lose yourself in this pandemic to the point that you miss the beauty all around you.  Don’t live in your head so much that it passes you by.  It is there if we just step outside our negative thoughts and look for it!

 

 

Part of my job this past week has been to look at the procedures we’ll have to put into place at the office building where I am employed to safely return to work.  I was fortunate to find quite a bit of material online that helped me.  But, it’s interesting to note that every time I think I am finished with this project, another aspect pops up and I have to put in material to address it.

My focus is to keep everyone safe while allowing us to get our respective jobs done.  I am looking at the risks we face as we begin again to work in the same office space together, what supplies we will need to reduce the risk of infection, and what our plan will be to ensure that the staff members who work outside the office are kept as safe as possible.  All of it came together in a plan that, hopefully, will keep everyone safe.

My thanks go out to the people who worked on similar plans and then posted that information for the rest of us to adapt.  There is so much to consider, I don’t believe any single person could have come up with it all.  I hope my contributions are worthwhile to others, and the plan we now have are adequate.

As we return to work, we’ll continue to social distance.  We’ll have stations throughout the office where we can all wash our hands, grab a mask or a pair of gloves, and find tissues handy to reduce the chance of infecting each other.  We’ll provide disinfectant spray so those who work outside the office don’t track the virus back in, and alcohol-based hand cleaner to keep our workers safe in the community as they work.

There was much to consider, but there is much at stake too.  I’m glad my workplace is making the effort to keep us all safe.  I’m glad I was able to be a part of it.

 

If there is one thing I’ve learned from this current health crisis it is that no one can be too prepared. As I listen to projections for how the virus has affected us and the possibility that it will return in the fall, I become more resolved to do all I can to prepare for a second wave. If it never comes, I’ll celebrate along with everyone else, but I want to be prepared so I have what I need when and if the virus returns.

The groceries I had set aside for an emergency are becoming depleted. I’ve used my store of paper products, and I now understand the importance of having gloves, masks, and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on hand. I’ll be replenishing my supply of medications and anything I’ve used from my First Aid Kit. I will need to stock up on dog food and get my licenses and shots for my pets when things open up again.

There are several things I’ve run short of, and I’m making a list of those items and of all the things that have made this crisis tolerable. I’ll be restocking my Ready Kit in preparation for another round of whatever disaster presents itself. When and if a similar situation develops, I’ll be ready! Will you?

Many of us who were somewhat prepared for this pandemic crisis had set aside items we thought we might need in the event of a disaster.  I was fortunate in being at least somewhat prepared for the Governor’s Shelter-in Place order.  Now, however, I have used a good portion of those supplies.  I have found I was short in some areas, and in others, I did not have what I needed at all!  This is a good time to take stock of what helped and what I might need should the situation arise again. 

Things are beginning to level out as far as the Coronavirus is concerned, but we have learned (hopefully) that we need to do more as a nation to be prepared for disaster.  We have been so blessed that we have not suffered more than we have, but this wide-spread pandemic has touched so many of us, it is a great lesson in how we need to prepare during the good times for when times aren’t so good. 

For me, this means replenishing my food and water supplies.  Putting a small amount of cash away again.  Stocking up on paper products (yes, like toilet paper and paper towels!) and keeping a supply of my medications set aside.  I want to add some things to my Ready Kit too, like more changes of clothes, and more games to use for diversion.  I know there are other things I’ll want.   I’ve been keeping a list of things as the need for them arises.

No one can be entirely prepared for a disaster, but all of us can do something to make it better on ourselves should a similar situation come up.  We have the time now to go through our supplies and account for what we’ve used, what we’ve needed, and what we simply want more of, and to make sure we’re ready for the next time something happens.  I’m going to be ready…are you?

 

As I watch all that is happening around me due to Covid-19, I’m struck by how wonderfully people are stepping out to help each other. I remember reading years ago that the thing that sets people apart from other animals is that we are so adaptable. I think that’s been the case here with coping successfully with the virus. It’s a horrible time to live through, yet throughout the ages, mankind has had to cope with disaster. What we seem to forget when things are going well is that we are all in this together, and we are often at our best when bad things are happening around us.

There is so much talk about how young people are focused on partying and don’t care if they spread the virus to others, yet every night on the news there are stories of how word went out that something was needed, and hundreds of people responded. It is a time when we shine too!

Think about the people you know who are most affected by this crisis. The elderly, people with respiratory problems, those who are now unemployed and are struggling financially, those who have recently lost loved ones, or those who are so afraid that they are barely functioning. How can you help? You may not have money to share, but you can call someone on the phone or email them and let them know you’re thinking of them and that you care. You can drop off a bit of food to someone who can’t get out, or send a card saying, “Hello!”

This is a chance for all of use to shine and to help others. “We are all in this together” is not just a catch phrase. It’s a truth that will carry us through and bring us back to normal. I’m glad I’m not alone in all of this. Take a moment to let someone else know they aren’t alone either.

I’ve been very lucky so far in this recent coronavirus crisis. I had made many preparations as part of my emergency preparedness plan. Because I was also assigned to develop a plan at my place of business, I had several years to decide what preparations I would need to get through.

Because of this, I had enough food, water, medicine, and comfort items to see me through. I am very blessed! I have tried to get others interested in prepping, but few people showed an interest. I spoke to a local networking group a couple of months ago, and afterward several of those attending told me I had scared them enough that the planned on going home and starting to make a plan for themselves. I sincerely hoped they weren’t joking.

You can bet when this crisis is over, I’ll be restocking my supplies in preparation for the next emergency. The world as we know it has changed, and I hope more people will change with it. Being prepared is something we cannot afford to ignore any longer. Please take the time now to note the items you wish you had during this present crisis. When you can, begin stocking up and preparing for the next emergency situation. Let’s all be ready next time!