If you are reading this, you are probably an ESC volunteer, you have been one or you hope to be one in the foreseeable future. So, you either can relate with what you are about to read, or you can take this as a vademecum on how to act when you will find yourself in a CoronaVirus-style situation (and we DO NOT hope for this outcome to happen ever again).
Information is the key for a healthy behaviour, especially in times like this. Check the news regularly on channels you deem reliable: local news, for starters, can give you constant updates on the situation of the country or region you are living in. If you are abroad and don't know a word in hungarian, czech, or italian (but how to ask for beer in pubs, which are now closed worldwide, so not a viable option), look for some regional news websites in English! Reliable news DO NOT include: talking bananas with white circles around their eyes, social media gurus who usually talk about aliens and alufoil caps, mioccuggino.
- While staying informed, spice things up a bit!
Lets face it, news can be boring and apocalyptic at times, and we don't need that. But we have to stay informed, right? So, tune in to your favourite head of State! Great options include (but are not limited to): Mr. Star Wars socks, aka Justin Trudeau; Mr. 'your mom loves him already' Giuseppe Conte; Mr. sexy accent Pedro Sanchez. Feel free to add people to the list, the world needs to know!
Yes, we still need food to survive. And if you don't feel like becoming a post-apocalyptic Gordon Ramsay (see below), then you have to buy food. Go to the grocery shop once a week, help out your neighbors who are afraid to go out or have some pre-existing conditions and they cannot risk the crazy outside world. Buy what you need, do not overstash, grocery shops are and will still be open. Wear gloves and a face mask if need be, you REALLY don't want to be an untore Manzoni-style. Things that are not necessary right now: firearms, 100kg of flour, firearms, tons of frozen food (where are you gonna stash all that frozen food, Antarctica?), firearms.
Now, let me be italian here. WHY ARE YOU STASHING MILES AND MILES OF TOILET PAPER? Do as we did decades ago: place a bidet in your bathroom!
You brag about how tasty you chicken wings are, how heavenly your lasagna is. But lets not fool ourselves here, your go-to dish has always been heated-up mac&cheese. Take this forced at-home time as a chance to upgrade your cooking skills! Ravioli, pizza, meat or vegan dishes, whatever you feel like cooking, cook it! Then post on social media the best ones. Also, your friends don't need to know about your burned strawberry cake, the mess in your kitchen and your nana's curses from up above. She taught you the right way to peel potatoes, how can you STILL cut your fingers in the process?!
There is nothing better than a good book, a glass of wine and you tightly tucked in under the blankets to spend your quarantine days (also, the weather outside is not looking great, 0° and waiting for the snow to fall. It's spring time, folks!). Browse you library (or Kindle catalogue, if you are a son of Satan and really don't deserve the joy of literature), and pick out the books you feel will help you survive these days and the ones to come. Author's choices: Golding's 'Lord of the Flies'; Orwell's '1984' and/or 'Animal Farm'; H.G. Wells' 'War of the Worlds'. Give 'The Hungar Games' to your little cousin, she needs to know how to be a winning tribute. You don't really think reading 'Pride and Prejudice' will help you survive in the post-apocalyptic world, do you?
Online, offline, whatever. Just play. Do you remember your mom, always shouting at you because you spent all your free time in front of a screen? Well, THIS IS YOUR LONG AWAITED REVENGE! Now you know how to fight aliens and zombies, how to build an empire from out of nothing and how to find a cure for a deadly virus (well, maybe leave this to actual scientists, just to be sure). You will rule the world once all this mess has come to an end, lead people to salvation. And you did all this without studying a single day of your life. Pretty much the same as the talking banana(s). Great job!
Call your loved ones, here and in your home country. Being far away from eachother is usually difficult, but right now is a real nightmare, lets be honest. I know, we know, how much we want to go back home, and stay close to everyone we love (and regreting that decision 12 hours later because, gosh, your cousin IS annoying). But, right now, we cannot. So, use your phone, Skype, social media, everything you have to say hi to your friends, family, neighbors. For good measure, call your ex and ask him/her how they are doing: you forgot your favourite jumper at their place, and you want that back. Better for them to stay alive. You can still kill them later (just kidding, killing is a crime. Don't do that. Really. Don't.).
Follow your government's guidelines: if they tell you to stay home, YOU STAY HOME. It is for your own safety and the one of those who have pre-existing conditions. It can be boring at times, but everything will come to an end, eventually: we will find a cure, or we will all die trying. Either way, problem solved. They will make a movie out of it, and in 50 years you will tell you grandchildren how you survived all of this (this is, if you find some soul who wants to actually have some more copies of your DNA around. We've had enough tragedies for generations to come, you know).
Tutto andrà bene.
Everything is going to be alright.
Todo va a salir bien.
Minden jo lesz.