It is day 7….

It has only been 7 days since the poop really hit the fan on this coronavirus for those in the US and I needed a break from social media, news reports. I wanted to simply focus on my family for the weekend. Even though they annoyed the tar out of me, were exceptionally lazy, continually made messes throughout the house, and just got on my very last nerve – I had to distance myself from the virus news and focus on our new rhythms as a family. While I don’t have a totally new perspective, I have some new ideas.

First, please be very careful where you get your information regarding celiac, the virus, risk, and cures. There are lots of charlatans who will promise a cure or scare the bejeezus out of you. I will refer you to these sites and other legitimate sources for information. Here are a few links to some reputable sources: BeyondCeliac, Coeliac UK, Celiac Disease Foundation, and finally the CDC for general information regarding the COVID-19 virus. There are a few others, but I cannot list everyone. The general consensus is that celiac disease alone does not make someone immunocompromised or at greater risk from the virus. This information may change in the future, but for now, that is the best science we have.

Second, if you do contract the virus and end up in the hospital, there is a concern about obtaining gluten free foods. Hospitals may or may not be able to provide suitable gluten free foods in normal times and probably even less so in these unusual times. Most hospitals have Ensure and Pedialyte and both are gluten free, but beyond that there may be an issue. Please consider having a “to-go” bag stashed with gluten free snacks that can get you through a few days.

Specifically, I received a message from someone regarding their experience. She is suspected of having COVID-19 and was concerned about a hospital respecting her gluten free diet. Here is what she sent to me:

“Our local hospitals have stopped allowing visitors. I already knew there wasn’t a hospital in town that could accommodate my diet. I called the hospital I am most likely to be sent to and asked how to handle the food transfer. They said we could arrange a no contact delivery. I can already tell that is going to be a fiasco but that isn’t even the worst of it. Everyone in my house will be placed under mandatory quarantine if I have to be hospitalized, so no help there. Everything in my house currently would be considered contaminated by the virus so people are leery of making the transfer but we have thrown around some options to disinfect the containers. I also hadn’t considered the containers themselves. They will need to be disposable. The hospital staff isn’t going to have time to deal with it. People need to think about these things now, it’s a lot to deal with in a crisis especially when you are feverish and can hardly breathe.”

We might need to make a few more preparations than the regular population. Please take this advice to heart, but don’t panic. Just pack a bag with some gluten free bars and snacks to help you get through.

There are lots of ways to help in this crisis, but here are a few – donate blood, sew masks, use a 3-D printer to create face masks for doctors, or go grocery shopping for an elderly neighbor. But the best way to help is to stay safe yourself by continuing to be vigilant on your gluten free diet, social distancing, and washing your hands.

What did we eat over the weekend? Friday night we had more leftover BBQ and finished that off. Saturday we picked up some Vietnamese food to support local restaurants. Sunday we had frozen pizzas. Again, not sexy, but this week should be better food. I’m going to make a list with recipes using both what we have in our house and some new things from the grocery store.

I will further say that this new normal is starting to set in. Staying home rather than running around delivering children to a variety of activities is okay. It is a far slower pace and has required some adjustment. I have cooked more than I normally do and I already cook a lot. I’m going to branch out this week and try some things I wouldn’t normally try to cook, so wish me luck.

Stay healthy and safe out there!

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