Friday, March 20, 2020

Social Distancing: Week 1

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
Hello, preppers! How is everyone doing after this crazy week? That's a question I asked yesterday in our Facebook group and there have been quite a number of replies to that. A lot of our newer preppers are quite worried, and so that post has become a place where people can ask questions or express concerns without judgement, and they've been getting excellent replies by our more experienced members. I invite you all to drop by, join if you aren't members, and make use of this resource.

I'm actually doing quite well. I'm an introvert and rarely leave the house more than once a week (I have a designated "chore day" where I put on pants and brace myself to deal with people), so this is barely affecting me. When I did go outside this week, I found myself enjoying the lack of congestion. I know this can't last forever and that businesses can't prosper if everyone stays away, but at this moment I find myself really enjoying all the extra space and wishing that social distancing were something we could adopt year-round.

When I was done with my errands, I wiped down with  a Lysol disinfecting sheet everything in the car which I'd touched with my hands -- don't forget both sides of the car door handle! -- then went inside the house, wiped down the doorknob with the same sheet, and went to the bathroom to wash my hands.

I don't worry about getting sick with COVID-19. I'm healthy enough that I don't think catching it will put me in the hospital, and I'm still young enough that even if it happens I have a near-certain chance of survival. My main concern is bringing it home to my parents, who are both in their 80s. My mother has no underlying conditions to make her more vulnerable, but my father has cardiac problems, hypertension, pre-diabetes, and a persistent hacking cough which he's had for decades (probably as a result of smoking in the 1960s), which means that if he contracts the disease it's practically a death sentence for him.

And yet, both my parents decided to go to church last Sunday and went grocery shopping last weekend, last Wednesday, and will go again tomorrow. I think it's foolish of them, but they're adults who know the risks, and I've learned through repeated hurricane evacuations that they won't listen to me when it comes to things like this. So if they do end up catching the disease, it's more likely that they caught it themselves rather than catching it from me. (I know that mom wipes car surfaces with a Lysol wipes but I don't know what precautions dad takes, if any.)

It's always strange to be living through a moment which I know is historical, a moment where I realize "This is a point where we will measure things as being before or after this." I felt this on 9/11, and I'm feeling it now; our society will definitely change as a result of this weeks-long lockdown, if not outright from deaths. I just hope we learn the right lessons from this, such as "Everyone should have at least a month's worth of supplies in their home" and "First responders may not always respond, so have the tools and skills necessary" and "Home schooling isn't a bad idea".  Alternatively, we could learn the wrong lessons from this and end up losing more freedom as government exerts more control over our lives to prevent things like this from happening again. At this point, I don't know which is more likely.

Finally, I'm going to give everyone a recipe for what to do when you run out of  toilet paper.
  1. Gather up clean but unusable cotton fabric, like old t-shirts and torn bedsheets.
  2. Give them all a good washing. 
  3. Cut them into toilet squares (4"x4").
  4. Use these as you would toilet paper to wipe after urination. 
  5. Placed used fabric squares into a lidded container until laundry day. 
  6. Launder the squares with soap and water to remove the urine from them. 
For cleaning yourself after defecating:
  1. Find a washcloth that you won't use on your face. 
  2. Wet the washcloth under a running faucet. 
  3. Wipe until you are clean. This may require you to rinse the cloth under running water. 
  4. When you are fully wiped, get the washcloth soapy to kill any bacteria, then wring it out and let it hang dry. 
  5. Wash your hands as normal. 

I hope you find this information useful. Stay strong, and remember that there's no shame in asking for help or seeking reassurance. Depend on your preps, maintain a positive attitude, and we will all get through this. 

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