Quarantines, job cuts, empty store shelves, no school for kids, it’s really unsettling to turn on the news. While this outlook is bleak there are ways to minimize the risks to you and your loved ones.

There are lots of resources available for everything from government guidelines, economic and political matters, health precautions, and how you entertain you and if your kids are home.

The CDC has recommendations to help cut down your risk of exposure, and getting the virus. All age groups are susceptible to contracting the virus. While some younger adults and children may get a more minor case, you can carry it to others. Please think about the risks to other adults, parents, grandparents and others who if contract it could lead to very serious complications and even death.

Please follow direction from your local, state and Federal Government including the CDC.

Anyone with underlying health issues need to be extremely careful to minimize your risks. Those with things like heart conditions, Diabetes, respiratory ailments like COPD, asthma, and other like symptoms are very vulnerable.

Social Distancing is a frequently used term. Keeping people separated, and almost everywhere there should be no more than 10 people gathered. Cancellations of community events, school closures, remote work from home if possible is the current normal.

Just going to the grocery store under these conditions looks like Venezuela does. As we are in a higher risk group the last thing we want to be near is a store full of people. Take advantage of delivery or online ordering if possible. We know from experience the last few weeks, to replenish essentials before you run out. Panic buying has caused shortages in many stores.

We know when ordering there is a good chance we will not get everything. So if we don’t get it we move it back to the list. We have expanded our store selections to broaden our chances of receiving regular supplies. Publix, Walmart, Winn Dixie, Whole Foods and others offer online ordering. Be patient, our local Walmarts have no order times for the next 7 days. Publix with Instacart and Winn Dixie with Shipt have only been able to fulfill half the items in an order. Keep this in mind, we are only venturing to a store if absolutely necessary. As this continues please be kind to those who brave the stores for you. Some have senior shopping hours available.

Update. April 8, 2020. Walmart and others are limiting number of shoppers in stores. They have as many others set up senior hours that include pharmacy on Tuesday mornings. There are now alternatives to this. Yesterday my husband discovered you can now do a pick up similar to groceries.

Designated parking spots for pharmacy only allow you to call in and let them know you have arrived. They took his ID information over the phone. They then brought the prescriptions out to the car. A mobile reader let’s you pay there and you can even use your own pen to sign.

To be honest if this had not happened we were looking at moving our prescription to a pharmacy with a drive-through. So this was a pleasant surprise. While we love the staff at our local pharmacy it just didn’t seem risking our health over. This morning I also received notice that they can mail them to you as well.

Yesterday afternoon I was selected and joined Senator Rick Scott’s telephone town hall. This is the third one I have participated in. Each time you talk not only directly to your Senator, but he has trusted medical and financial experts on the call. He diverts questions from participating people like me to the expert needed to answer the question.

Per this process the latest advice from a medical professional was if possible limit visits to stores and pharmacies. Grocery items should be wiped down after returning home and wash hands well after handling.

They also took my contact information and as I was qued to ask a question they allowed me to leave a voicemail message directly to my Senator. While I have no idea if any others are doing this, I was greatly impressed. It helps give clarity to guidelines given on the news.

Are your children home from school and need something to do? There are a huge variety of online resources and other methods of learning to keep them entertained. Have them help with things like baking. Here we have not been able to buy bread, do we are making our own. Everything from a Crockpot recipe to traditional white and wheat. My mom’s Pioneer Bread
is one not to miss. I can tell you coming home from school when we were little, nothing beat a slice warm out of the oven.

If you have time on your hands a great way to prolong your groceries is freezer meals. Not only do they save you some time if suffering from crazy scheduling, but are a great way to preserve your supplies. Check out some of these great recipes here.

Check out some of the most prestigious museums around the world. Google has teamed up with these great places to bring the experience to your couch. Some are VR (virtual reality) ready. So by all means take a virtual trip to the see the worlds most famous art. Click here.

Cooking and baking will add things like maths and science they don’t know they are getting. Have them help you plan a road trip for a future vacation. They can learn about the individual states, their history, culture, famous figures. Have them plan on sites to see, museums, parks, landmarks… You get the idea. It will not only occupy, but kindles a learning experience that will also give them hope for the future. Check out some of these for States as each is inducted into the USA.

For older students, you can easily expand to world history, countries, and nations. Things like cultures, languages, music, art can all be added to keep it interesting.  Our parents used these same techniques both in and outside of school.  It also helped us learn real-world skills.  Best of all we only really noticed as we left home and ventured out on our own.

Looking for something for yourself? If you are forced to be home and have some downtime, maybe you tackle a couple of books from your “To be read” pile. Or binge-watch a new tv show, catch up on one you missed or rewatch some of those movie series in order. Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Outlander, Marvel Movies Universe, Star Trek, Star Trek reboots, Star Trek Discovery series, Star Wars, The Mandalorian, The Mummy Movies, Bosch series, If you have a favorite please let me know and why you love it.

Information on stimulus checks here.