For friends not living near me in the Seattle area.....hear me now (and believe me later - if you must) but you NEED to prepare NOW before this virus and the resulting panic hits your area hard. You may only have a few days left to get a jump on prepping. This is serious, don't wait. I promise you that there is no time left for your bravado bullshit over how you're not afraid/you don't think this is serious/it won't hurt you/the flu is worse, etc....I get it, people have cried wolf over other things in the past and they turned out to be no big deal. This is different. I have a front-row seat and I am trying to help you out.
So here is what I am seeing and what you need to think about.
*If at all possible, pull your kids from school or at the very least prepare for them to be home for an extended time - figure out your daycare plan now - playdates are going to be a no-go also for a lot of people so think about indoor activities and how to keep them on track with learning. (museums, the zoo, play places, library storytime, etc are all closed so no relief there. Daycares are closing as well.) I pulled my son out of school a week before it was officially shut down. I felt like an asshole doing it, but I could see the writing on the wall. Do NOT expect your school to do the right thing and close down early enough. It is your job to make that call for yourself and your family. In retrospect, I wish I would have pulled him out sooner. Don't roll the dice. BTW, His school announced yesterday that they are closed for about 3 weeks - and today they extended that another two weeks. He won't be going back until April 24th AT THE EARLIEST. Hear me - go figure out your shit now because this WILL happen to your kids too.
*Buy groceries!I know, duh, right?! You've all heard about the toilet paper shortages....and it's no joke. People are lining up before Costco can open the doors. There is a video of people racing and pushing to get in once the doors open. There have been altercations in the aisles and in the parking lots, reports of people laying their bodies over the packages to keep others from getting it. It's not just toilet paper and hand sanitizer - meat, milk, butter, bread, etc are flying off the shelves - One person was looking to buy a deep freezer to store extra stuff....they drove all over but everyone was sold out - of deep freezers! Yep, it's that level of hoarding around here. Now stores are starting to ration what people can buy. Look, people are going to panic whether or not you think they should. So get what you need before that happens near you. I suggest going during off-hours if possible. When people are stressed, tired, panicked and frightened - they act like assholes. Expect that to be the case. Try not to be one yourself. I'm not saying panic-buy but you need to be fully stocked and prepared to have your whole family home for weeks at a time, eating all their meals there. Your choices will get slim in the coming weeks. Prep.
*Don't expect anything to be open. Small businesses are suffering greatly. Tons of people are suddenly without income or daycare. If you have a job where you can work from home, goodie for you. Everyone else is fucked. Events and gatherings are shut down. That includes sports, concerts, funerals, churches (they are video streaming services and turning parishioners away at the door) weddings, court cases are being put on hold, non-essential staff is being laid off, doors are closing all over town. Those places that are staying open are running on skeleton crews, shortened hours and limited resources. A grocery store near me just closed because a single worker in the deli area has tested positive. Sucks for everyone they worked with and everyone who shopped there. Remember my previous statement about groceries.....Yeah, they will close the doors completely and there won't be a way to get groceries later. You'll order online? No, you wont.....that is everyone's plan - shit is sold out, prices are gouged, delivery drivers are human and get sick too....don't count on that as an option down the road.
*Get prepared to be sick. What do you normally need when you're sick? OTC meds for fever/cold, cough drops, tissue, A THERMOMETER!? (they are all sold out here, if you don't have one - get one.) Expect to have a hard time even seeing a doctor if you get sick. They are meeting people outside and having those that will be seen wait in their cars. They are doing drive-thru care in some places. Some people are just being sent home and told to self-quarantine without getting help. I had an appointment to see my doctor for something non-virus related. They called and canceled because my Dr. is having symptoms and is staying home. She offered for me to video conference with her from her home instead. I told her no, that I can wait - I would rather have her rest and recover than needlessly overtax an already stressed medical system. Make sure that you have your prescriptions filled and be prepared to not be able to see your doctors for a while. AND do NOT count on actually getting tested for the virus even if you have every sign. There seems to be a lot of "cooking the books" happening with testing and actual numbers of the infected.
Listen, you are my friends, I love you. Please don't think it's no big deal because it is, you need to get over yourselves and work quickly to prepare your families. Whether or not you think this is a big deal doesn't change the reality of what is about to happen in your town.
The grocery stores aren't going to have a separate aisle full of food, paper products and cleaning supplies reserved for the cool kids who weren't fooled by the mass hysteria....Like it or not, you and your family are in this too.
In other words - Knock off the bullshit, pull up your big girl panties and handle your business, this isn't going away anytime soon.
You have my word that we will still think you're a tough-as-nails badass even if you do some prepping "just in case".....
BUT - if you don't - and stick to your belief that it's nothing and screw everyone else- well then we all will think of you as just a plain old ass. period.
Oh and Frog says to stock up on dog food too!