Coronavirus – everywhere in the world, this word is probably the most spoken, thought about, feared. It has now turned into a pandemic and most of us know that life won’t be the same for a while…
In the UK, the authorities are so far taking little measures related to confinement, compared to neighboring countries such as France, Italy and Spain. As we have most of our relatives and friends abroad, Lion and I are getting a sense of what could change very soon, meaning the prospect of spending 3+ months in our house, with Apple and Peanut and no physical contact with others. There is still a sense that the UK will avoid this, but that sense was the same in France and Spain 2 weeks ago, so in our house, we are taking act that it will happen and that we have a few precious days to prepare for it.
So far this is what we have done to prepare for a potential lockdown :
- Food : This is a tricky one as we need to plan and get some sort of stock but we also don’t want to be irresponsible and stop others accessing what they need. So we have opted to have enough supplies for 1.5 week (we usually have enough for 1 week) and have tried to get those from local, small shops, to give some cash to those shop owners ahead of the crisis.
- Hygiene : We didn’t partake in the toilet rolls mania – I lived in India for 6 months so I know there are other ways 🙂 We are also very lucky that Lion bought me a “make your own soap” kit a few months ago so we have plenty ! Only slight stockpiling we did was for nappies where we have an extra pack vs usual.
- Work from home : Lion and I are in the fortunate position to both be able to work from home, so we have set up a 2 people working station in our living room and have sat down to design how a day could look like. It is essential for the both of us to keep working and not only because it will keep us busy and paid (VERY important). In our view, it means we are still contributing to the economy with our work and this is one way to play a part in helping our societies through this crisis. We all have a role to play in getting us all through this.
- Homeschool : We have bought several books to keep Apple on track if she ends up missing months of school. We bought most of the 3-5 Collins Easy learning collection and had it delivered yesterday. Lion and I plan to take turns to spend 1 hour homeschooling her each day, during Peanut’s nap.
- Kids activities : we have bought coloring books, activity books and a few craft manuals and supplies. Also keeping all our empty tins to make a tin can bowling game. We have also planned to do mini-discos in the living room, bootcamp with crawling under chairs and over sofas, baby yoga and jumping in puddles in our garden (we are very fortunate to have a bit of private outdoor space).
- Communication : We have joined a local whatsapp help group to stay connected to our neighbours. We have also decided to call one set of grandparents every night for moral support and to keep a strong bond with our children.
- Living arrangements : We have designed a set of “rules of the house” in order to stay sane if we all have to stay indoors for weeks. I will share them in a different post but they include things such as everyone getting some personal space and time everyday. This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, so keeping sane and happy will be essential (and a challenge)
- Finances : Big unknown. We plan to keep our savings as liquid as possible just in case.
- Holidays : No plans and not making any.
- Mental health : trying to limit news watching and to find activities that take our minds off the disruptions to our lives. I am also trying to remain positive for the birth of our third child, in 4 weeks – it is very easy to panic about giving birth in the middle of a pandemic but I keep reminding myself that the odds are very much in my favor. Each day as it comes.
I hope this has given you some idea as to how you can prepare – and gain a semblance of control over a situation that overwhelms us all. This may be here to stay and we can face this together, if we stay calm, organized, disciplined, civil and generous.