ACTION ITEMS TO TAKE NOW DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Whether you have reduced income now or expect to have reduced income in the near future due to the pandemic, here are some ways you can find some financial relief at this time:
Got car insurance? Call your insurance carrier/agent/broker, and ask if your carrier is refunding insurance premiums due to no/less driving during the pandemic. We have confirmed that several big insurance carriers are providing automatic reductions.
Contact your creditors – credit cards, mortgage lenders, auto lenders, student loan companies, etc. – to see what payment relief options they are offering during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have been proactive about allowing periods of no payments with no late fees or interest. If there are long hold times on the phone, send a message through your online account or live chat with a representative.
If you are a small business like us or an independent contractor, you may have federal grant or loan options available to you. Visit sba.gov. And talk to friends who may have utilized any of these options, or business groups you belong to, for additional suggestions on how to help your business along during this pandemic.
CHECK YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
As we isolate to prevent physical illness, let’s not forget about the importance of maintaining our mental health. Below are some tips and resources to help with this, including for older students who are expected to do a high volume of school work and cope with coronavirus anxiety. And please, before it becomes mentally or emotionally unbearable, please reach out to anyone – one of the resources below, a friend, a family member, even one of us. We are all in this together.
Screen time can add to anxiety, as it leads to headaches, sore eyes, and a lack of sleep. Invest in a pair of blue light glasses to help reduce the amount of blue light you are taking in.
Try and stick to your normal, non-isolation routine as much as possible. If you used to wake up and grab a coffee at your local coffee shop before heading to work/school, make a cup of coffee at home before you start your day. Before, you probably were not wearing pajamas during the day – if that’s part of your normal routine now, at least wear different pajamas to bed.
Keep your immunity up. Don’t skip meals, drink lots of water, and get plenty of sleep.
The CDC offers advice on how to cope with stress caused by the quarantine for adults and for children. Everyone deals with stress in different ways. We must pay attention to what triggers stress within ourselves right now to cope with that stress in an appropriate manner. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html
The ADAA offers advice for managing anxiety and depression in lockdown. This advice is not limited to but includes reframing your thought process, avoid obsessing over COVID-19 news coverage, starting a new quarantine ritual, using telehealth to access professionals, and recognizing that a chaotic home leads to a chaotic mind. https://adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/consumer/covid-19-lockdown-guide-how-manage-anxiety-and
Find your call center for a crisis helpline. https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/our-crisis-centers/
ARE YOU IN AN UNSAFE SITUATION?
If you or anyone you know is in a domestic violence situation, this isolation period might create an even more unstable and dangerous situation for the victim. Please utilize these resources:
CALL 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233
TEXT 24/7 text LOVEIS to 22522
CAN’T FIND CERTAIN SUPPLIES?
Check your local stores when they first open in the mornings as they are probably stocking their shelves every night. Check office supply stores, such as Office Depot or Staples, for products such as toilet paper and hand sanitizers.
Ask family, friends, and neighbors for a helping hand. You may have something they need or might need in the future.
For items like hand sanitizer, there are many sources for recipes online on how to make your own hand sanitizer at home.
PROTOCOL FOR AN ESSENTIAL WORKER TO RE-ENTER THE HOME
While essential workers are working tirelessly to contribute to the healthcare and wellbeing of their communities during this time, they and their families might be wondering how to beef up the protocol when the essential worker enters the house. Below we share some of these steps:
The Essential Worker removes shoes outside. Spray shoes with Lysol and leave outside for at least 15 minutes.
In a designated area of the house such as the garage or laundry room, the Essential Worker changes out of most of his/her street clothes, which goes into a plastic bag.
The Essential Worker immediately takes a hot shower, or at least washes hands thoroughly.
Being very careful with the street clothes, wash them immediately with hot water.
Wipe down with disinfecting wipes anything that the Essential Worker touched prior to entering the home and getting cleaned, including door handles of the home and rooms and even the inside of his/her car.