A Lesson We Can Learn

By Wayne Johnson, Coordinator of Client Services

A Lesson We Can Learn

While we are currently focused on the threat of coronavirus (COVID-19), there is a lesson we can learn for the future. Many times in the past we have seen individuals who are obviously sick from colds or flu out in public. The risk to others is outweighed by their need to go somewhere or do something. In recent years we have been faced with pandemics other than COVID-19. Remember H1N1 a few years ago?

Our attitudes towards being sick and “just powering through it” need to change. Whenever people do not feel well, they should stay home until they are recovered. If people had followed this practice, we could have prevented another huge shutdown of the country, and even the world, because of an easily transferable contagious virus. If not something on the level of COVID-19, wouldn’t it be nice if we limited the transference of the common cold or flu? The transference and catching of these illnesses are also primarily from personal contact with someone who is sick or something they have touched.

Another lesson we can learn is to be prepared for times when we will need everyday necessities. We are told to be ready for emergencies and have the daily necessities like water, toilet paper, food, and medications on hand. Just in case something happens, be it a pandemic, flood, earthquake or being stuck at home because we aren’t able to leave, it pays to be prepared. Think of all the things that are important to you every day that you consider necessities, and keep enough on hand at all times. Disasters do not send us a month or week’s warning, most times they just occur unexpectedly.

Another reason for being prepared, other than simply being ready for emergencies, is psychological. Look at news stories about people lining up for hours at stores waiting for them to open so they can grab all the water and other needed items before they run out. They grapple with fear of not having what they need, especially for days and weeks when everything could be closed and/or items have long run out. Think of the stress standing outside of a store, maybe even in the dark and cold for hours, worrying if you will be able to get what you need. This takes a toll on your body and mind. If we all just keep a good supply of those items on hand, we could lessen our stress and anxieties.

But you might think, “I don’t live in a big house or have a garage in which to store things.” Find or make room in a cabinet where you can keep bottled water, or maybe purchase a water filter as backup in case you run out of bottled water and have access to tap water. Buy some frozen food and stock up on energy bars. If you are diabetic or hypoglycemic, ask your doctor for suggestions on what to keep on hand in case of emergencies. And yes, as we have recently seen from news media, stock up on toilet paper and paper towels.

Most importantly, have ready all medications you depend on to stay alive and healthy. If your medical insurance will not permit you to refill a prescription until you are almost out, I suggest that you explain that you would like to get an extra thirty days of your prescription medication in event of an emergency. My hope is that following this COVID-19 pandemic, insurance companies will be more open to this practice. After all, it would be cheaper for them to permit you this 30-day supply of medication than have to pay their share of a hospital bill should you run out of it.


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