Wow, what a crazy couple of weeks it has been. I’m not sure how things are going where you live, but here in Colorado things are definitely changing.
Schools and Universities are either closed, or doing online classes only. Grocery stores shelves are bare. And for whatever reason, people are driving like complete jerks. I don’t understand why.
I mean there are less cars on the road, so my commute time has dropped by about 15 minutes. So no reason to really be hurrying around.
I know I have shared before that I’m a nurse. I work in an Orthopedic office. Meaning yes, I do come into contact with sick people, but most of them have had, or will be having an orthopedic surgery.
And the phone calls. My goodness. With every passing day I get more and more phone calls from people who are terrified of this virus, even though our clinic is not really the place for them to be calling. People are afraid, and very anxious right now.
The building I work in is a specialty care building, which is where all of the specialists work. We do have an urgent care in our building. I’m sure there have been some people that have the Corona Virus have made it into our building. And just like you, I have probably come into contact with it. But does that mean I’m scared? No. I’m not afraid of the Corona Virus.
I just try to keep everything clean at home, as well as at work. I wipe all of the exam room handles with sani-wipes (like antibacterial wipes on steroids. And I try to remember the whole social distancing thing while I’m at work. I don’t go out to lunch, and try not to go shopping during my lunch hour. (I miss my Dover’s lunch runs.)
I’m A Planner
If there is one thing I have learned because of where we live is to plan. We don’t have a lot of property, but when compared to typically subdivisions where people are crammed together, we have a lot of space. I would consider it semi-rural. Right now I’m grateful for that.
But that means when a snow storm is coming, or even planning for the upcoming week, I plan ahead. And it’s not just a one time shopping spree to stock up. No, I plan ahead because living in the country, that’s just what we do. Because going to the closest Walmart store for a forgotten ingredient is an hour long trip. I like to plan ahead, so we don’t run out of something.
The same thing goes for gas, we have extra gas and diesel fuel for our tractor and lawn mower, and just in case. But when I fill up my car’s gas tank, I look at a 1/4 tank being empty. Because you never know when you may be in your car for an extended amount of time.
Typically I buy enough hay and grain to last 3 weeks at a time. Not because I’m thinking that something is going to happen, but because I don’t want to drive into town every week to get more hay. So I plan ahead to make sure I have enough feed for my horses for several weeks. I would like it to be more to be honest. But space and finances prevent that from happening.
But I’m a planner. I buy what I can to help us get through. And right now that is really important in the United States, and well honestly everywhere else too.
Social Distancing – For Horse People
My email inbox has been filling up with announcements from different organizations like CHJA, and USEF about horse shows being postponed, as well as show seasons.
And while that is kind of a bummer, I can understand why they are doing what they are doing. It’s nice to see the proactive approach rather than a reactive approach to this situation. It’s doesn’t mean this will be easy, to stay away from horse functions, but I think it’s important.
I’m not going to give a lecture on the Corona Virus. You can get that from the experts. But I can share with you some of the things that you can do at the barn, or around your property to social distance yourself from the virus.
Stay Away From Large Gatherings
You may want to postpone that next horse show you were planning on going to. At least for the next couple of weeks. Yes, I know that is disappointing. But we want to do what we can to help this virus to come to an end as soon as possible. So stay away from large groups of people, which would include horse shows.
You may even want to consider canceling upcoming clinics, or even group riding lessons. I know that may sound a bit extreme, but right now it’s probably a good idea.
If you keep your horse in a boarding facility, it can be hard to stay away from others. But you probably have gloves, wear them at the barn. And wash your hands, a lot. If you are going to be around others at the barn, keep your distance. Hugs for your friends or trainer should be kept for another day. The virus is transmitted through close contact through droplets which happen with coughs and sneezes. So keeping your distance from others is a good idea for now. Does the social distancing make sense now?
Stock Up Reasonably
The thing about the Corona Virus that has me more worried than the virus itself is disruption of the supply line. Think about it, if people get sick, or stay home from their jobs (which they should if they are sick or have been exposed) is that eventually the supply line will stop. Now I’m not saying this to frighten you, or to get you to go buy up a year’s supply of people and horse food. But it is really important you have enough food and supplies for you and your horse for at least two weeks, a month would be better. The best time to prepare for something like this would have been a month ago. But that is neither here nor there. But if you can get to the feed store and buy a couple of extra bags of grain, I would.
And for your groceries, I would not advise going to the grocery store and stocking your cart full. In the grocery store you are exposing yourself to hundreds of people who may or may not have been exposed to the virus. I like to shop online at Walmart Grocery and then just go pick up my groceries. I only come into contact with one person then, the person helping me put the groceries in my car.
And honestly, right now the stores are filled with people that are afraid, and they are panic buying. I don’t want to be anywhere near people like that right now. If you have never tried the Walmart grocery option, and it’s available in your area, I would highly encourage you to try it out. And if you use the link I provided above, you get $10.00 off your order!
I love it. I can shop from the comfort of my home, get exactly what I need (and want) and then pick it up. I don’t have to go into the store. I don’t have to go up and down the aisles. And I don’t have to waste time at the grocery store.
Keeping Everything Clean
Although I like to keep everything clean in general, right now it is even more important. And of course my barn is clean, but I am spending a little extra time cleaning in my home too.
I don’t typically use paper towels in my cleaning routine, so I am safe from the lack of paper towels that everyone seems to be buying up. I use scrub rags, which are old towels that have been cut up, or I use the endless supply of dollar store rags I have bought. Paper towel problem solved.
I like scrub rags better because I can reuse them. So for the same price of a roll of paper towels, I can buy a bunch of towels for the sole purpose of cleaning, and reuse them over and over again.
And while I’m on the topic of cleaning, let me share with you my recipe for a cleaning solution that I like to make to spray on surfaces in my home.
Thieves Essential Oil Surface Cleaner
This cleaner works great in my home, as well as in the barn. I LOVE essential oils. And when I want to disinfect surfaces, my thieves cleaner is what I use. It’s really easy to make, and this is what goes in my cleaning solution:
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Dr. Bronner castile soap (or dish soap)
- 40 drops Thieves Blend essential oil
- Warm water
- Spray bottle
And you just add all of the ingredients to your spray bottle and wa-la! You have a disinfecting spray that smells great!
I use this spray on all commonly touched surfaces. Like toilet handles, light switches, door knobs and hand railings. Any surface that is touched multiple times by different people gets cleaned with this solution at least once a day right now.
The Thieves Essential Oil Blend is based off the tales of four French thieves who survived the plague by covering themselves with cloves, rosemary, and other aromatics oils while robbing people during the plague. These inspired essential oil blend consists of a blend of Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Lemon and Rosemary. This essential oil blend not only helps to eliminate airborne foul odors, but it also has a strong defense against airborne pathogens. Which is why I use it when I am cleaning. It really works.
And when I get home from work, I remove my work shoes before entering my home. Kind of like when I wear my barn shoes. I don’t want to track in anything on the bottom of my shoes. So I keep my shoes out in the garage, and I don’t touch them with my hands when putting them on, or taking them off.
Staying at Home -Social Distancing
And while you are focusing more on home time, and staying away from the masses of people that you probably come into contact with every day, i’s the perfect time to read some of those books you have been meaning to get to. Or take an online class to one up your riding for when you can go to the horse show again. Or, take this extra found time, and go out and work with your horse.
Try not to let the fear and anxiety take hold of you. Instead of thinking about all of the scary things that can happen, try and find something to keep your mind busy that is for the better.
Do what is being asked of us to social distance ourselves, so we can make this virus stop spreading like wildfire. Stay home, and educate yourself on productive things, not things that instill fear.
We will get through this. But how you get through it is up to you. I choose to prepare, and remain calm. Which is what I hope I can pass on to you too! And if you are staying home, and looking for something to do, I have over 550 videos on my YouTube channel you could watch? I mean, it would give you something to do, right??!?!?