It's day 1 for my family in New York's first coronavirus "containment zone," a state-mandated two-week shutdown of schools and other public-gathering points within a 1-mile radius of the state's epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in New Rochelle. With so much uncertainty—who will get sick, how long will this really last, and will I have the supplies we need—it’s hard to know how to react to this shutdown with my family, which includes two teenagers, here in Westchester County.
As recently as a week ago, "prepare for sickness" topped my to-do list in terms of what to gather and stock up on. In early March, it still all seemed like an anxious person's panic and overkill. At that point—only a few days ago—most of the local discussion among parents and neighbors centered on whether or not COVID-19 was overhyped compared with the seasonal flu. I decided to take it seriously—not as a panicked person fearing for my life, but in the interest of emergency preparedness for the sake of my family.
(Find more information, including school closings and indoor activities and games, in our Coronavirus Guide for Parents.)