While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our daily lives, many of us are wondering how we can prepare for a ‘second wave’. Here we suggest some tips for how to manage in the event of another lockdown.
1. Be work-from-home-ready
If stay-at-home orders are issued again, and your line of work allows it, be ready to work from home. You have probably learned a few hacks already! If the kids keep interrupting your Zoom calls, ask them to make a fun ‘keep out’ sign that you can stick to the door of your ‘office’, even if it’s the kitchen!
It’s important to create a healthy home office environment. Ensure your ‘desk’ is the right height and arrange delivery of essential equipment from your office such as an office chair and a larger monitor so you’re maintaining a healthy posture and are not straining your eyes at a laptop.
2. Be childcare—and school—ready
In the event of future school closures, families will be doing all they can to make work-from-home and child care arrangements work in tandem. Consider a pre-agreed working hours plan with your employer. Most employers will be flexible and understanding of your needs, which might not strictly fit ‘office hours.’ Many companies, with employees working across timezones, for example, already had this flexibility baked into their ways of working, even before the current crisis. Changing your hours could free up more time to spend with the kids not only for schooling, but also for more fun activities, which are beneficial for everyone’s mental health as we work through this global crisis.
3. Stock up on supplies
We don’t mean fill your shopping cart with toilet paper. But you may feel a greater sense of security if you have an emergency stash of relevant supplies in case you are required to stay at home for a period in the future. Not only groceries but also work supplies, and even a reserve of ideas you can dip into for entertaining the kids, such as a new video game or board game.
4. Cover your vacation
We all need a vacation! If you’re planning a trip, ensure you’re covered in case you need to cancel.
Make sure your ticket is refundable. Many travel companies’ policies have changed recently to accommodate the circumstances. For example, Amtrak is waiving change fees on all existing or new reservations made through August 31, 2020, so you can go ahead and book a trip with confidence.
5. Think of the financial long-term
Keep your finances on track today so you’re better prepared for an uncertain future. For example, make an alternative budget in case of an unexpected reduction in household income. Use the present to evaluate your needs: has spending less in lockdown made you rethink your lifestyle? Can you save on outgoings and start putting a little each month into an emergency fund to cover a short-term shortfall, and give yourself some financial peace of mind?
Likewise, peace of mind comes from knowing your loved ones will be taken care of in any change in circumstances. Put your love for them into action by ensuring that your life insurance coverage is adequate for protecting your family in the future.
6. Keep moving
Staying in shape is good advice at any time, but especially if a pandemic hits again. Build a stable of ideas for working out to replace the gym. Plan out a routine and have it ready to implement, including the right equipment. If you're not one for working out, you can still up your activity levels by building a little gentle exercise, such as walking, into your daily schedule. If you need to work from home, or homeschool, don’t forget to build in time for physical activity into any arrangements you make for your working hours. Being active will help with your mental health too.
7. Be positive
Coping with a pandemic once is hard enough, but if we need to prepare for the possibility of going through the challenges of lockdown again, we’ll need a positive mental attitude. Have some strategies for dealing with stress in your mental locker. For example, try to limit yourself to a small time each day tuning into the news. Be mindful, be resilient, and above all, be kind to yourself.
Go back to our newsroom to read more stories.
*Enter footnotes here