Revisiting your quarantine checklist
For a while, it seemed that the U.S. was making progress in slowing the spread of the coronavirus, but around the country infection rates are rising again.
Until there's a vaccine, the virus may be with us for some time. That means that if there are periodic outbreaks, your community or family may be asked to quarantine again.
Now is your chance to reflect on how things went and prepare for the next time you may be asked to stay home. Here is a checklist that can help you do that:
Keep essentials stocked. It's always a good idea to have several days' worth of nonperishable food and water on hand. Include long-lasting canned and dried foods, and rotate them out regularly. Restock your medicines, toilet paper, hand sanitizers and household cleaners often. And make sure everyone in the family has a cloth face mask.
Know your area's food resources. Find out which stores and restaurants may offer online purchasing, home deliveries or curbside pickup, and know which of those accept benefits from SNAP and other assistance programs. Also look into which schools, community centers and food banks may offer free grab-and-go meals during COVID-19 closures.
Prepare for school closures and virtual learning. If your child had trouble learning from home because they didn't have access to resources like a computer, a phone or the internet, talk to your child's school. They may be able to provide equipment or direct you to affordable options. Also, when day care centers close, some places may have emergency child care programs for essential workers.
Create a social support network. Staying connected is good for your mental health. And we all need people we can call on for help when we can't go out. Make a list of friends, family and neighbors you can call for emotional support and practical help when needed. Remember to stay in touch even when things are going fine.
Strengthen your financial safety net. When possible, try to set aside money to help you get by if you're unable to work. It may be best to keep this money in a separate savings account. Adding even a little here and there over time helps build a cushion.