Below is a mix of advice we have been given and how some of our team are handling the closedown. We will be working but assuming we won’t be as busy we also have other plans. Either way we will be spending more time at home with people we may not spend as much time with. Being prepared isn’t stockpiling food. The supermarkets will be open right through. You may want to consider your mindset.
1. Show Your Loved Ones You Care:
People are stressed. Worries about the virus, money, elderly relatives, etc. There is a saying ‘when stress comes in the door, love goes out the window’ that we tend to focus on our problems and forget about the people who really matter. When you get home today give your loved one/s a hug and say ‘I love you, we’re going to get through this together’. Your loved ones could be even more stressed than you are. Be there for them. You may come out of this with a better relationship than the one you went in with.
• Share the duties. Make a roster. If you are normally the one that cooks or cleans, etc….now may be the time to start or even jump in as the kitchen hand under ’strict supervision’. 🙂
• Do your own clothes washing or wash the car (give a family member’s car a deluxe groom inside and out).
• Check on all the people in your house every now and then to see how they are going, any problems they are having.
• Look after one another. Some relationships won’t survive isolation. Take the opportunity to hit reset and give yours a boost!
2. Working from Home:
There are a lot of resources online to help you here but some of the tips that we liked are:
• Schedule time to work from home with a set start point.
• Don’t work in your pyjamas. Get up, showered and dressed – it makes a difference to your mindset
• Clear a work space for yourself preferably away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the house – it will help you focus and you’ll be less distracted.
• Have regular breaks. You earn your breaks. Get up, leave your workspace and do something different. Working from home works in perfectly for doing laundry. You can set a load to wash, set your alarm for the 45-50 minutes it takes to finish and then you can hang it out as part of your break. Be the ‘Laundry Jedi!’
3. Spare Time:
We most probably are going to have more time on our hands than usual. Here are some things to consider to make the most of that time:
• Try lots of little things in small amounts. Binge watching Netflix for a whole week may not be good for your posture, your eyes, your waistline or your relationships plus….what do you have left for week 2 onwards.
• Be active. Chances are we won’t be as active during isolation. You are encouraged to get out and go for a walk, even if it means driving down to the beach. Just turn around if it is too crowded and keep your distance from others. Do some exercises at home. Learn to meditate. Our city is packed full of little bush walks – go exploring.
• Watch the diet. If you aren’t as active as normal then watch the calorie intake. You decide if you want to cut back on the portion sizes.
• Combine the ‘Be Active’ and ‘Watch the diet’ above and use your time away from colleagues, friends and extended family to do a 4-week makeover. Emerge from isolation as a new, improved you.
• Household maintenance. I have a small list of things to do. It includes oiling that door that squeak sand fixing a window latch plus more. One is painting….I’m actually looking forward to it. Getting outside may also give the rest of your household a break from you so hedge trimming, weeding, window cleaning, gutter clearing are all win-wins on many fronts. Start a compost, wash the house exterior.
• Give other members of your household their own space. Don’t inhabit the main living space all day. Spend some time in your room or elsewhere.
• Learn a new game…some of our team can’t remember the last time they played a card game.
• If you have small kids then schedule a physical activity every day whether it is outside, in the garage or in the lounge.
• If you have teenagers then you may be blessed with one who has been practicing ‘extreme isolation’ since about the time puberty hit. They may retreat to their bedroom and not emerge for weeks! 🙂
4. Free Online Courses:
One productive way of keeping yourself busy is to learn something new. I understand that there are probably an abundance of online training courses, ebooks etc but through your Auckland Library card, you have free access to thousands of free Lynda.com courses from music lessons and photography through to Microsoft Office, design and other online stuff.
Here is a link, take a look: https://ourauckland.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/articles/news/2016/10/upskill-yourself-online-for-free/
5. Stay Connected:
For may of us this means a good bandwidth on your internet connection. Message family and friend, check in on those who may need help or who may be feeling especially lonely. Ask neighbours if they need anything picked up when you go shopping.
6. Stay Safe:
We all know we have to wash our hands often but think about what objects are coming into your house that will have been touched by other people in their production especially anything stored at low temperatures or frozen.
• Sanitise anything that you will be placing into the fridge. This can survive on cardboard for hours under certain conditions.
• This virus can survive on plastic for days. The section below will cover some technical info on survival rate on surfaces.
How Long Does CoVID-19 Survive On A Surface People Touch
I have been wondering about how long the virus will stay alive in the fridge and freezer for the last few days as well. I rang the Ministry of Health 2 weeks ago asking about how long it will survive on a surface since we have a legal responsibility to provide a safe work environment. If a client or team member was ill would we have to disinfect the whole office or was leaving everything overnight enough. They said they didn’t know at that time. More recently they have said 30 minutes. There is a technical link published on Tuesday in the New England Medical Journal. https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMc2004973. Quite technical but the graphic at the link below gives the number of hours for cardboard, steel, plastic, etc.
These hours are based on room temperature. I did find a link that collated similar studies for various viruses (MERS, SARS, etc) and the disturbing fact was that at 4ºC SARS can survive 28+days. That is approx fridge temperature. Considering the number of hands a product may have come in contact with in its journey through its production run/display we’re wiping cold groceries for the fridge with a sanitising wipe – cheese packets, yoghurts, etc before they go in the fridge or freezer.
Here is a study of the last SARS-COV virus which said it could last for days at room temperature on plastic. This current virus is referred to as SARS-COV-2. The infection it causes is CoVID-19.
You can see why it spreads so easily amongst people.
If you want more info on the virus here is an interview with a leading expert in infectious disease epidemiology: