Don’t panic but do get organised. 

The Covid-19 Pandemic may not yet be an emergency for most of us. But this is an important time for the common-sense preparations that will make a difference to yourself, your family and your friends. 

This is also the time to have the conversations that will matter to those people that you most care about.

It is a time to get specific. Reach out to at least two people in your life to talk through your own pandemic preparations, and how you can help them with theirs. Don’t wait until it is an emergency before you make these important connections. This is a fast-moving situation, and the best time to start your preparations is now.

Here are five action-points that you might talk about with your friends.
Two of these points are acts of preparation.
Two are acts of care.
And the last one is about our acts of community.

These points are like five fingers on a helping hand ... the same hand that you are washing much more regularly now.


Talk with each other about your primary responsibilities to family members. What can your different family members expect to be facing over the next 3-9 months? What are your plans for the care of children, elders and the pets in your life? How can family members stay better connected and help each other at this time?


Talk with each other about your personal preparations. What do you plan to do if you start to show any symptoms of the virus? Draw up your checklists of essential supplies and medicines that you will need to have in your homes for periods of self-isolation. Share your emergency contacts and phone numbers, sort out the spare keys and the passwords to important documents.


Make a commitment to each other to stay in regular contact during times of self-isolation. Ring or message each other at least once a day. If you are not in isolation yourself, offer to help out with shopping or with arranging deliveries. Be aware that isolation can also bring depression and anxiety. But also notice the benefits that can come with being forced to press the >pause< button on your life.
Talk about the books you are reading or the TV series you are watching. Tell the stories you have not had the time to share before. Dare to be cheeky with this life’s moment, and be open to surprises.


Make a commitment to support each other access medical help if and when it is needed. Make plans to help each other get to hospital or to medical appointments.
Most people who get this virus will get over it without needing to go to hospital. But if you think you are in the danger of it developing into a critical illness, then have the serious conversations now that will guide your preferences for advanced care.


Talk with each other about what you can do to help your wider community during this pandemic. This a time to remember that our kindness can also go viral.
Ask yourself: What is the best contribution I can make during this time of crisis?
Your community gifts might include growing food or cooking meals for people who are on self-isolation, helping people get to their medical appointments, checking up on neighbours who are living alone, being a listening ear at the end of the phone, or volunteering to help out with emergency services.

This pandemic is not just a matter for health professionals and politicians.
You also now have got a job to do.
Your job is to get organised so that yourself, your family members and your friendship networks are better prepared, better informed and better connected.
We haven’t seen anything like this in several generations. Let’s make sure it brings out the best in us.

vivian Hutchinson