*Updated 3/15/2020*  Grandparents raising grandchildren have extra concerns about life during the coronavirus pandemic. It is okay if you are scared. No one, not the president or the local health authorities, know what will happen and that is unnerving.

The best strategy is still to avoid exposure to the infection. Slowing the spread of the virus is vital, not only for your own personal health, but because anything we do together now to “flatten the curve” of the pandemic will reduce deaths later among Oregonians who will need medical care at a time when hospitals are overwhelmed.

By the hour, advice is changing. Even the advice above seems outdated. This face moving situation is something we have never had to cope with before, and it is confusing. But notice the general trend lines. Which way are the arrows pointing? One example: at first–five days ago–gatherings of more than 500 were being discouraged. Friday the number dropped to 250. Today, some countries are limiting groups to 5.  FIVE!

If at all possible, stay at home. Limit visits to stores to the least busy times of day. Cancel family gatherings. Hoping for the best is not a plan. Don’t worry about other peoples’ idea that you are “panicking.”  You may be darned if you overreact, but you will be damned if you under-react.