I’m having flashbacks — are you? I can’t be the only person who is having flashbacks during this coronavirus thing to another little pandemic of 2009?

Back in April of 2009, both New Braunfels and Comal ISDs closed down because of Swine Flu. Our schools were closed for two weeks, despite the fact that there wasn’t a single Swine Flu case in the county, or even the surrounding counties. There was a case in Houston. But there’s always a case of something in Houston, because, you know, it’s Houston.

I remember those two weeks off of school quite fondly, actually. We did lots of crafts. We had plenty of toilet paper. I don’t remember stores running out of anti-bacterial stuff, but I’m more of a soap person myself. We even posted periodically from the Prosapio Swine Flu quarantine, generating a remarkable amount of interest in people stuck at home.

Since it seems likely that very soon we’ll all be avoiding each other like, well, the plague, I thought I’d share some survival tips I learned during that Swine Flu time. These are not the washing hands kind of tips — frankly most of us at this point are so good at hand washing that we’re prepared to perform surgery. These are potentially lifesaving in another way; they are tips for surviving 24/7 time with our loved ones.

1. Now is the time to break out every board game you have. I recommend no more than two a day because it can quickly turn dark on day three. (Pawn? Who are you calling a Pawn?)

2. Ice cream is very, very important at times like these. The fact that we are running out of hand sanitizer and not ice cream just shows how short-sighted people are.

3. You do not have enough books to survive for two weeks because eventually TV will let you down. Go to the library quickly before the librarians lock the door.

4. You also don’t have enough PJs for the quarantine. You may need a few more elastic pants at a minimum (see #2 above).

5. You might make a lot of crafts. I still refer to this time in our family as our Glue and Glitter Period. Remember you are not creating things for the Louvre here. You are just trying to get by with every member of your family still relatively intact and sane.

Maybe we won’t get quarantined like the entire country of Italy. Maybe we will be a little less worried, but appropriately cautious. Or maybe we will wear alcohol wipes as clothing.

Just in case, especially since we have three folks in our family who are at real risk for serious complications from this virus, we’re stocking up on ice cream and mystery novels. So everybody please be safe out there and wash those hands.

Winter Prosapio is a writer, a wife, and a working mom of two girls, two cats, and one ridiculously enthusiastic terrier mix.

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