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Well, it’s hard to post something to this blog with all the flooding of corona virus this and corona virus that. So today will be about something I consider being important during emergencies like this.

When I was in the Army, unit alerts, lockdowns, and high-stress situations were common. For the average civilian, not so much. So here are some pieces of advice that you can take or ignore.

Use trusted sources of information. For us in the states, the Center for Disease Control is the place to go. If you are in a country other than the U.S., you’ll have to look this up. I assume you know who this is. You’ll also want to tune into a local radio station that you trust. I would avoid CNN, MSNBC, and Fox news. These news channels are entertaining but very slanted one way or another politically and mostly conjecture and opinion.

These trusted news sources will provide you with information specific to your area. I can tell you, particularly in the U.S. that responses to this emergency are dramatically different in each state. My wife, brother, niece, and nephew are in Arizona. Me, my sister, and Mom and Dad are in Michigan. The responses and situations in our two states are different. For example, Michigan shut down all of its K-12 schools a good week ahead of Arizona.

Local news will keep you apprised of any cases in your area and what changes/updates there are in your area. Right now there are no restaurants or gyms open. Drive-thru services are available and so are takeout services, but no restaurants are open for sit in, business.

You’ll also notice changes to business hours for most of your grocery stores, club stores like Costco and Sam’s club, and other businesses. Plan on some shelves being empty. Our local Sam’s club was devoid of toilet paper, but was full for all other items, including meat, fresh vegetables, and other items they typically shelve. Your area may be different.

If you do a lot of shopping online, you’re going to notice that Amazon is very limited on food items and that the typical two-day shipping capability is gone. I did some random searches for food items and it looks like some are out-of-stock and the earliest food items can be delivered is in the first week of April.

Ignore social media items concerning the corona virus. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok are all fun, but ignore the information shared there, even from family members that do not live with you. Social media is a rumor mill or grapevine on crack. You don’t know who the sources are, you don’t know if these sources are fact-checked, and they spread like wildfire across social media networks because that’s what these companies want. They want their information to go viral so they can get clicks, followers, and so on, for advertisement purposes. They ARE NOT TRUSTED resources. Go to government websites, like your local government, state government, or the federal government.

Remain calm. Is it comfortable working from home if you’ve never done it before? Is it fun to have to get takeout instead of sitting down in your local hangout or coffee shop? Is it stressful to be bombarded by all the news on the coronavirus 24-hours a day without a break? Of course not.

Visit your news sources a few times a day and do whatever else you do with the rest of your day. I exercise in the home, read books, take my online courses, blog, work on my fiction book, and journal. The rest of my day is either watching a show on a streaming service, playing some games on my Xbox, or hanging out with my family. You’ll find that cutting off some of your news will reduce your stress levels dramatically. You’ll also be more relaxed by focusing your efforts on home chores, hobbies, chatting with friends and family, and getting on with your life.

Obviously, this is a unique situation for all of us across the globe. Some situations are really tough, while others are pretty much the same. Be safe, follow the instructions you receive from trusted resources and news outlets, and help others when you can. Our neighbor asked my Mom if she could get anything for us today. We didn’t need anything, but it was a neighborly thing to do. You can do the same for people in your area. Doing nice things for others will also reduce stress.

Well, that’s all I got for today. I hope all of you are safe, and things are going well for you and your families.

Until next time…