With COVID-19 continuing to spread across the country and world (though with no confirmed cases in Georgia as of yet), now is a great time to brush off your household and office preparedness plan.  Hearing some of the reports of panic buying in California (toilet paper was like gold, said one shopper at Costco), Canada, Japan and Germany over the weekend accents the importance of being prepared now and not getting caught in those types of situations.  As I mentioned in my blog article last Thursday, it is not necessarily the severity of the disease which becomes the issue, but more the general public’s perception to the virus threat, along with their response, and perception of the severity of the illness (combined with organizational and government steps taken to control the spread of the virus) that should cause us to be proactive in our planning.  At this point, the general guidance from the CDC recommends to personally plan for having to self isolate/quarantine yourself/family for 14 days should you become exposed to someone with the virus.  If the disease does not spread in the U.S. as it is anticipated, you can always consider that you are that much better prepared for hurricane season or the next emergency.
Here is a helpful article from NPR, published mid-February, that Jason Bitar in our Gwinnett Office forwarded me last week.  It is titled, A Guide: How To Prepare Your Home For Coronavirus
In the article, the author points out that, “The reason to stock up on certain products now isn’t so much to avoid potential shortages in the event of an outbreak but to practice what experts call social distancing. Basically, you want to avoid crowds to minimize your risk of catching the disease. If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, the last place you want to be is in line at a crowded grocery store or drugstore.”
Here are some additional suggested resources for you, your team, your clients and your family from the CDC:
CDC Guidance:  Get Your Household Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), February 2020
Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
If you, a loved one or a client business has international travel on the horizon, this CDC site can be helpful: CDC –Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel
For those living in Georgia, here is an article, with accompanying video, from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, dated 29 Feb 2020, titled: How Georgia is preparing for coronavirus if it comes
Another thought you may want to consider now is to begin getting comfortable (or expand your use of these resources) with some of the shopping options which provide for either home delivery or pick-up (Wal-Mart, Sam’s, Amazon, and others), allowing one to avoid going into stores and being exposed to others that may have the virus.  You may not need these now, but if you do need the resource in the coming days, you are that much further ahead and comfortable with their use.
There are many other great resources out there. As you come across these, please be sure to share them with the team and others to help us all become stronger and better prepared for whatever we may face.
All the best,
Mark R. Lupo, MBCP, SMP