Our family is taking the current situation with Coronavirus (Covid-19) around the world seriously and we’ve begun preparing for what seems like an inevitable lock down. We’d continued as normal for quite some time but over the weekend things shifted and so has our attitude. It was only a couple of weeks ago that we went to the Mardi Gras parade with large crowds. But, since then, it’s become clear Coronavirus (Covid-19) is not going away any time soon and in fact, we all need to take some responsibility in trying to stop its spread. Keeping my parents safe and limiting the chance BJ will get it is paramount for us. However, our social guy is going to be none too pleased at being in lock down should that occur. He gets antsy on weekends if there isn’t an activity planned and loves nothing more than heading out with Hubby each morning to be dropped at his day program.
I thought I’d share what we’re doing now in preparation for lock down due to Coronavirus. We’re keen to hear about your preparation too.
SCHOOLING & WORK
Should we be put into isolation, AJ and Hubby will no doubt need to work from home, so I’ve contacted our internet provider to ensure we have fast WIFI so they can work effectively. I doubled the speed of our internet for $10 a month. With our provider it takes 48 hours to take effect so I’m glad I’ve done it early.
We have had one extra supply of our usual medications made up to avoid going out. My Dad usually leaves his prescriptions with his chemist, but I’ve picked them up so I’m able to get them made up at a local chemist who will deliver if necessary.
I’m usually an early shopper so I’ve continued that routine to avoid large crowds. It’s certainly not as quiet as it usually would be at 8am but it’s still quieter than mid-morning. I’ll also be shopping more at small shops that are not enclosed like in a shopping centre or mall to minimize contact.
I haven’t stockpiled groceries, but I have enough to get us through if we need to stay home for a while. In the beginning I was just thinking of things like tinned tomatoes for Spaghetti Bolognese or lasagna but today I thought about fun foods. Party food the kids would usually get as a treat or on a special occasion and a few nice treats for Hubby and I including wine, cheese and dip. After all we’ll all need to keep our spirits up and so many things are made better with a good attitude and tasty food.
Our major supermarkets here in Australia are now offering the first hour of trading exclusively to the elderly and people with a disability 7-8am from Monday to Friday. While this may not suit everyone it may help some get essential items.
Ladies Running Errands is offering a shopping service for people in Sydney who are choosing to isolate or who become isolated. I believe those with NDIS funding can use it for this service (groceries paid for by the service user) Call head office on 1300807031 to see which areas of Sydney are covered by this service. The service aims to cover shopping for fresh food and supplies. They’ll try their best to get popular items usually out of stock and can also pick up prescriptions, do chemist and post office runs. A fantastic alternative if you can’t get out to the shops.
When we have access to hot water and soap that’s our go-to. Everyone washes their hands as soon as they arrive home. Each of us has hand santiser in our cars and BJ has one in the pocket of his wheelchair. I carry a small hand santiser in my pocket which I use regularly while shopping.
I phoned Brightsky today to order more hand santiser and they are taking back orders. They don’t expect to fulfil my order until the end of April. We have enough to get us through until then but I wanted to have some on order in case this goes on longer than I’ve anticipated.
We’ve spoken with our doctor’s office to find out what the process is if at any point we are concerned we have Coronavirus. We’ve been told to call the office and we’ll be asked some questions and sent on to the appropriate clinic at a hospital if he thinks it’s necessary. I hope we don’t need this but it’s always good to know the process ahead of time.
At this stage we are mainly trying to isolate ourselves from my parents as they are within the most vulnerable age bracket. We’ll use Facetime to make sure we stay in contact in a more meaningful way than just over the phone. At this stage BJ is still going to his day program which has increased hygiene measures.
Before isolation is essential I suggest setting up elderly relatives and others with a way of having virtual contact, whether that’s Skype, Zoom or Facetime. Now’s the time to do it.
SOCIAL STORIES OR VISUAL SCHEDULE
Many people thrive on routine and when that goes out the window it’s important to put supports in place to help them adjust to the change. Preparing a social story or a visual schedule now may help ease the stress attached to a shift in routine. Within that social story share what the new routine will be, who will be at home and what will happen during the day.
DRIVE TO NOWHERE
I know many people will be quite happy bunkering down, but BJ will not. We are ensuring we have a full tank of petrol so we can go for drives to nowhere. We won’t get out if there’s an order of isolation, but we’ll go for a drive to avoid BJ going stir crazy. BJ stir crazy equals parents stir crazy.
If we need to isolate, we’ll have lots of hours to fill with our guy. We’ll be pulling out games and activities that have been buried in the cupboard for a long time. We’ve got Foxtel (cable TV), Disney Plus and Netflix so I’ll set up the lounge room like a cinema, complete with candy bar to ensure it seems more fun than just sitting down for a movie.
We may not be able to travel but we’ll be watching some of our family movies of our adventures including Disneyland and New Zealand.
Thanks to Pam who is already in quarantine in the US for sharing these virtual tours available of some of the best museums of the world. And if you fancy taking the kids on virtual excursion (field trip) you can do so here.
Today I was scouring the stores for ideas of things that could keep kids and adults busy so I could make this as useful as possible. I have a list of stay at home ideas you can read here as a starting point.
So here’s some activity ideas should you find yourself in lock down due to Covid-19.
If you can’t go on holiday, why not make a photo book from your last trip? BJ loves his photo books. We use Snap Fish and they run regular specials. It’s a great meaningful activity and something that’s always hard to get around to doing normally.
Use your local library to source entertainment for the family. DVDs, audio books, magazines and books are all available at no cost. Hopefully there should be something for every age and ability. (Thanks to Christine from Adventure Baby for suggesting this when I was lamenting needing entertainment for BJ)
Plan a holiday – even if we can’t be travelling at the moment, use the time to get the family involved in choosing a holiday destination and working out what you’ll do when there.
Do some baking. Our freezers are full of cooked goods but the kids always enjoy getting involved in cooking a sweet treat.
Buy a new game or activity to have away in case of isolation. Outdoor games will let the kids blow off steam with large scale games available at a reasonable price.
Sticker books might allow Mum and Dad some quite time.
If you usually rush the kids through their bath routine, why not let them linger and have fun. Add a water pistol, Gelli Baff or a bath bomb and a regular activity will immediately become more fun.
Buy supplies to make slime with the kids.
Get some shaving cream for silly fun on balloons.
Get photos printed at the photo shop and put them in a photo album or scrapbook.
Bubbles are cheap and fun. Play with them in the bath or outside.
As a family we are taking the risks of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) seriously, however we intend to keep the atmosphere at home light and bright to avoid undue anxiety. Hopefully by being well prepared with both practical and fun items we’ll have covered our bases.
Stay safe everyone. Wash those hands, follow government recommendations and feel free to share your tips with us. Whether that’s a service being offered or what you’re doing to prepare for lock down. We realise many of our overseas readers are already in lock down. If you’ve got valuable insights please share those too.