How you can be pandemic prepared

There is a new item at the top of the global to-do list: stopping the spread of this virus AKA flattening the curve. Because we know we all can do our part, we put together a reminder of the small, but instrumental actions you can take to help.

1. Practice good hygiene

Wash your hands with soap regularly for 20 seconds, elbow sneeze, and don't touch your face. These are small (and easy) steps that can have major effects in keeping you safe.

2. Prepare an emergency kit

Get some extra nonperishable food and hygiene products to last you a couple of weeks. Resist the urge to hoard or stockpile items for six months as it places a strain on the system. If you assemble items gradually, everyone will be able to access what they need and you will be more than covered.

3. Take the well-being of others into account

Your well-being and preparations should take into consideration the safety and well-being of others, because this will increase your chances of not getting infected. While your survival instinct may push you to do everything in your power to protect yourself, considering what your community needs and how you can help will be better for you in the long run.

4. Get comfy

This outbreak is with us for some time and we will all need to adjust. Start considering what this might mean for you as an individual, as a family and as a community. Consider that being mentally prepared is a key part of the adjustment process. Tackle small tasks and hurdles each day until you have a full plan to get you through. The more you think about what that means for you, your job, your children's schools, the better you will be able to cope.

5. Maintain social distancing

Adults of older age and people with underlying health conditions are at a higher risk if they catch the virus. Maintaining social distancing not only protects you, but it protects and shows you care deeply about those who are most susceptible. Avoid crowds and interact with grandparents or seniors online (or by Canada Post!). Always maintain at least one to two metres distance between you and others.

When times are tough and you're feeling tired, remind yourself that this is just for now, and not forever.

We all have a role to play in limiting the disease transmission, it's a shared responsibility that will ultimately save lives. Follow the guidelines, prepare, and don't panic.

We'll get through this together.