Managing Fear

National discussion the past few days centers around the coronavirus outbreak in this country, with Washington at the forefront of discussion.

How I feel about coronavirus

While I try to stay informed on the basics, checking in to reputable news sources when questions pop into my mind, it definitely brings up a bigger issue I haven’t had to deal with on this level, as a parent.

How do you keep your kids safe from big, scary life things like severe illnesses?

Prior to having children, I doubt this impending respiratory outbreak would cause me much concern. I typically get a bad cold or two each winter, have had pneumonia a couple of times as a kid, and after the past two years of minimal medicine (due to pregnancy and then breastfeeding), I feel like I could tackle it!

With three premature, now toddlers running around the house, the outbreak stresses me a little. How can I protect them from this, or at least try my best to minimize their chances of catching it (regardless of if it’s less of an issue for young, healthy individuals)? I’m sure I’m not the only parent with these thoughts running through their mind.

So far daily routine remains unchanged, but prevention is certainly in the back of my head as we go out for adventures. They are growing rapidly and look so very grown up with pigtails, big girl boots, and fancy dresses on.

What have I come up with to this end? Nothing too revolutionary, but all good things to practice as an adult, colleague and parent:

  1. Remind myself not to panic. It’s going to be okay!
  2. Stay informed – the media is doing what they do best…stirring things up and stressing everyone out. Pay attention to reputable news sources and read up on what is going on. For example, I initially considered buying a box of masks (as did half of America) until I researched it further and determined that is not needed or necessary for prevention.
  3. Wash hands like crazy – this one is constant since the day I went back to work, when the girls were four months old. All public places are filled with gross bacteria and illnesses just waiting to latch onto you. Washing hands throughout the day as well as immediately after entering your house makes a difference.
  4. Stay distant from others who are sick. I think this is already one of my life mantras having three tiny kiddos. Even a basic cold makes our daily lives SO much harder…times three.
  5. Be prepared – make sure to have extras of some of the basics. This is simply good planning any time, especially living in Alaska. One week of no trucks or cargo jets would significantly impact stores and daily life. It never hurts to have extra diapers, wipes, milk and food essentials. A freezer full of fish or moose doesn’t hurt either…
  6. Make a plan – we are still working on this one, should we need to actually do it!
  7. Remember…spring is just around the corner and that means (hopefully) cold and flu season will greatly decrease and put our minds a little mode at ease.

And because that was SUPER depressing, here’s a cute video of the girls stroller walking their baby dolls the other day. Yes, before you ask, Reagan is wearing underwear over her pants. And yes, everyone has shirts snapped over their pants as well so they stay on…

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