In the past two weeks, I’ve written extensively on the Coronavirus COVID-19 and the consequential impact on business and industry. I’d like to send my thoughts and comments now to you personally.
As you are likely aware, I live in Washington State and we have been the hardest hit state in the Union. Our governor, joined by the Mayor of Seattle and King County Executive, outlined a response that includes banning gatherings of 250 people or more. The press conference also detailed the potential impact on all of us from both a business and personal perspective. To that end, my wife Barb and I began updated our own personal crisis plan. I’m sharing this with you, so you can create your own.
We laid out our plan based on a two-week isolation. What would we need to make sure we have accessible if we simply couldn’t leave. Here is our list of priorities:
Prescriptions: We’ve become lax in our urgency to update prescriptions early because they are normally very easy and fast to obtain. Check out what you take regularly, including over-the-counter. Make sure you have a two-week supply in the house.
Do you have pets that also need prescription medications or special dietary food? Don’t forget them…Captain Jack would be mad!
Food: Sounds like a no-brainer, right? If you’re anything like me, you have to run out regularly to get important items that you might run out of easily. Coffee and wine were on the top of our list!
This is the time to make sure you have healthy food readily available; including frozen and canned. While having these non-perishable are important, I encourage you to stay as healthy as possible in your diet because that will help you stay healthy and energized working from home.
Supplies: Toilet paper, right? Figure out how much TP you really need based on your household! Make sure you include things like dish soap, detergent, cleaning supplies, batteries, and anything else that you believe is important to your household.
Children and Pets: Captain Jack and Bella are basically our “kids” for now. I know many of you readers certainly have children at home. What unique needs do they have for school, exercise, health, and food. Double down to make sure you have two weeks in the household “bank.”
Cash: While we are now able to use technology and credit cards for almost anything, having $200 of cash hanging around the house could come in handy. You never know.
Postal Service: We get items like dog food and razor blades delivered on a monthly basis. I’m sure many of you have access to that subscriber-model so that all you have to do is go outside your door. Unless you’re like us and have a post office box!
The answer is to have a backup person that could pick up your post office box keys (disinfected, of course) and pick up your mail for you to be dropped off on your porch.
All of our bills are paid either automatically or through inline banking. It’s a great time ti add that possibility for you, if you can’t get out to the post office due to being quarantined.
Work: Employees: If you have the ability to work from home, set up now with your employer so it can be easily transitioned. Employers: Identify how you can help employees to continue to work if they can’t come in.
P.S. If you are feeling sick, do not go into work to tell your boss or supervisor. Now everyone is exposed. Employers, how about putting sick request documentation (including information specific to COVID-19) on your website where employees can easily access and email in?
Health & Wellness: You might be isolated and asymptomatic; or not even sick. Your mental and physical well-being are still important. What do you require in your home for two weeks of isolation (other than Netflix)? Pull out that treadmill or other exercise-related equipment. Identify books or other resources you can access to help with the boredom or anxiety. Keep your perspective and sense of humor through this all.
Bottom line: There is an age-old axiom that says, “Hope for the best, plan for the worst.” That’s what it’s time to do. My worst-case scenario for us is a two-week isolation in our home. While I know the dogs would dig that, it’s not an ideal scenario, so we prepare for it hoping it will not occur.
Be safe and healthy.
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