AvonMom’s Survival Guide to Coronavirus Quarantine for Families

Shortly after school ended Friday, I received an email from my children’s school department stating that schools will be closed until March 30th. Prior to this, I will admit I probably had a very naive view on how bad the Coronavirus epidemic is. Prior to receiving the email I had the attitude that it was all going to blow over. Boy was I very wrong.

What is the Coronavirus 2019?

Coronavirus is a family of viruses that range from a common cold to severe respiratory infection. “Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.” (WHO, 2020) For example, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome was transmitted from cats and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome was transmitted from camels. Though we don’t know how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) got transmitted to humans right now, we do know that it originated from Wuhan, China. (CDC Factsheet, 2020) It has spread worldwide due to people unknowingly carried the virus from Wuhan to other places in the world, including the United States. “On March 4, the CDC issued an updated Travel Health Alert for all United States residents, instructing travelers returning from countries with a Level 3 alert to self-quarantine (“stay home”)  and monitor their health for 14 days after returning to the US.” (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2020) Those who do not live in the U.S., click here for CDC Travel page.


World map showing countries with COVID-19 cases
CDC World Map of Confirmed Cases as of 3/14/20

How do you know if you should be tested for COVID-19? Being a respiratory virus, you can expect symptoms to be like any other respiratory infection including fever, cough, shortness of breath and trouble breathing, however, in severe cases it can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure or death. (WHO, 2020) What makes this viral infection so dangerous is that people can be spreading the virus unknowingly due to being a carrier or looking at their symptoms as if it’s the common cold. “The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main
way the virus spreads. (CDC Factsheet, 2020) This is why we need to cover our mouth & wash hands people! And that is exactly the best way to protect yourself from catching not only COVID-19 but other sicknesses as well. If you do have any of the symptoms listed or you know you’ve had close contact with someone who has been tested positive with COVID-19, you should contact your doctor and the CDC (2020) recommends to cover your mouth when you cough & sneeze, stay home and disinfect & clean surfaces & items you touch.

Learn more about the COVID-19 quarantine and how to protect yourself in public places by checking out Huffpost’s Social Distancing: Places and Events to Avoid Because of Coronavirus.

Quarantine Survival Guide

Right now everyone, across the globe, are in a panic as we all get ready to go into a minimum two week quarantine. Yesterday, I went to the grocery store to pick up the last few items my family would need to get through the next few weeks and I couldn’t believe how many shelves were empty of essentials like toilet paper and milk. Yeah, I seen the news and heard it on the radio how this was happening, but in my head that was “big city” problems. It’s one of those things where you can’t really fathom the reality of the situation until you see it with your own two eyes. Now that reality has finally hit me, what do we next? Below is information & tips I’ve found that I believe will be helpful for not only my family, but for all families on how to get through this quarantine physically & mentally healthy.

Keep Communication Open

Image result for proper communication will always be a main ingredient quote

Communication is probably the most important thing you can establish, especially with your children, during these times. Last year, my family was going through a difficult time as I was battling Stage III Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer. Only being able to comprehend so much and each child being different, I noticed that each one of my boys processed and handled what was going on each their own way. Having the experience of watching my mom go through the same cancer when I was 10, I knew I wanted to be open with my boys and communicate with them what was going on and what they could expect from me and what I needed from them. If they had questions or concerns, I would encourage them to ask, if not me someone they trusted.

Obviously, with my three year old (two year old at the time), I couldn’t communicate with him the same way I was able to do with my older boys. With him, I focused on making sure he felt safe & secure. Yes it was difficult, especially in the beginning, but as time passed and we started going through it, it got easier.

Right now, though many kids may be getting worried or stressing out and unsure how to process everything that is going on. This is when it is important to remember that your children will be taking your lead. You need to be positive and do your best to provide an environment where they feel safe & secure. As child psychologist Dr Jonathan Kratter (WLS-TV, 2020) states, “When parents tell their kids, ‘Just don’t worry about it, it won’t affect you, it won’t bother you,’ kids feel like they’re not being heard” He recommends to listen to what your child’s fears & concerns are based on what they know or heard and figure out what is true and come up with my next tip…

Make a Plan

Goats & Soda A Guide: How to Prepare Your Home for Coronavirus

If you’ve read any of my other blogs you will know that I have always been one that loves to make a plan and have my checklists. For me, having a plan, especially when it comes to dealing with a problem or “crisis”, it helps to take the guess work out of what needs to be done and how to get through it. Many of us are about to embark on a 2+ week quarantine with minimal contact with the outside world. Do you have the daily essentials to get by? Do you have a plan established if you work outside the home? If you still have to go to work, do you have a back up plan for your kids? What are you going to do if you or someone in your home gets sick? Are your older family members prepared? There is a lot of day to day life that is going to be effected for the next few weeks so having all of these decisions made and a plan worked out, it will help give you stability in a time with so much uncertainty.

Need help in making a plan? Check out Goats and Soda A Guide: How to Prepare Your Home for Coronavirus

Maintain a Routine

How to keep kids entertained during coronavirus quarantine.
USA Today’s 13 Things to Keep Kids Entertained if Quarantined for Coronavirus

As you can imagine being big on planning and having checklists, having a routine is a must in my life. Having a routine, for me, provides stability and helps divide the day up so needs & wants are being met. When raising a family, this is especially true. I’m sure we’ve all experienced a hangry child and it is no fun! Now I’m not sitting here saying you need to have a routine where every minute of the day is planned out. Parenting expert Rachel Simmons (Good Morning America, 2020) advises to maintain normal sleep schedule and meal times as you would usually and for the time in between, have your children help you come up with a routine. I absolutely love this idea and it reminds me a lot of the mentality I have the last few weeks of summer break. By continuing on with your daily sleep & meal schedule, you are providing your children security and it will be making it a much easier transition in and out of the quarantine. I also love that we should get our children’s input on how the rest of the day will go. Your kids will be doing “what they want” but it will be in a structured way that you feel is best for them. When doing so, remember to think positively and focus on the big picture. So what if your kids get extra screen time? You can always use screen time as a way to reward them for doing learning activities or chores around the house.

For ideas on how to keep your kids entertained, of all ages, check out USA Today’s 13 Things to Keep Kids Entertained if Quarantined for Coronavirus

Spring Clean

Every year, after a long winter of being indoors for 3+ months, my family has always done a “Spring Cleaning” of our homes. We wipe down the walls, declutter our rooms, deep clean the floors & rugs, open our windows and get that good ole fresh air flowing through your home giving it the boost it so desperately needs. I know for me, I am soooo taking advantage of the fact that 1. my kids will be home all day and 2. we all have more “free time”. I personally feel this is the perfect TIME and the perfect REASON to get that spring cleaning done.

Check out my spring cleaning tips at 5 Spring Cleaning Tips for Busy Moms

Develop/Maintain Healthy Habits

Pivot's in-home workout
BusinessInsider’s How to Carry on with Your Life During the Coronavirus Outbreak

On top of giving your home a clean slate, take this time to really focus on developing those healthy habits you’ve most likely promised yourself a couple months ago. This is a great time to reflect and see how you and your family can start living a more healthier lifestyle and actually have the time to focus on it so when life starts getting back to normal, it will have become a habit, second-nature. Get into an exercise routine, learn how to cook and eat healthier, take the time to do some “me-time”… what can you and/or your family do better?

For those of you who are all ready doing this, don’t stop! If you normally go to the gym, find ways to maintain your exercise routine at home. Between Google, YouTube and apps on our phones, I’m sure you will be able to find something to help you.

Developing/Maintaining a healthy lifestyle right now is only going to benefit you and your family, not only physically but mentally & emotionally as well. Being so isolated from the outside world can become very depressing. We as humans need social interaction, even us introverts. Make sure to eat healthy, to maintain your normal routine as best you can and FYI, you can go for a walk around the block and get some gold ole fresh air.

For tips and ideas (including workout routines & recipes) on how to carry on healthy living during quarantine, check out BusinessInsider’s How to Carry on with Your Life During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Stay Positive

Image result for family communication quote

Just like anything else in life, you need to have a positive attitude and look on the bright side of things. As the famous quote goes, “Life is 10% what happens to you, 90% how you react” (or something like that lol). This is especially important when it comes to those of us who have kids or others who depend on us. They look to us on how to react in times of stress or chaos. If you are freaking out, then they will probably freak out 10 times worse. If you stay calm, take a deep breath when you need to do and focus on all the good you have going on in your life and that this too will pass, it will make life easier for everyone.

In Conclusion…

I just want to say I am keeping all who have gotten sick or are in the high risk categories in my thoughts & prayers. I wish nothing but for all to get through this healthy & safe. For those of you who have tips & ideas that can help others, please share below.

References & Further Information…

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