LAKE COUNTY -- Now that the shock of being quarantined is settling in, it's important for us to think about how this pandemic is adding a new outlook on our daily schedules, and how we can learn to create a more self-healing environment for ourselves and our families.

• Priority No. 1, stabilize your home environment. Ensure your cabinets have a sensible amount of supplies, but don't over buy. Overbuying creates panic and doesn't allow for our seniors and families on fixed income to purchase much needed food and hygiene items.

• Clean your house. Practicing good hygiene while at home will encourage good practices such as washing your hands, covering mouths when coughing or sneezing, and not sharing food. We should also practice healthy behaviors such as eating well, sleeping well and playing outside.

• Give yourself time for a proper mental adjustment. Feeling secure about your family's emergency preparedness -- such as having food and cleaning supplies -- will help you free up mental space. When you're feeling secure, that will help your children feel safe and protected. During times like this, children need attention and affection more than ever. Make sure they feel safe and loved.

• After you have undergone the mental shift that COVID-19 has brought to us, try to create some normalcy for your household by creating a schedule. Put it on a weekly calendar with time blocks. Wake up early. Put the most important parts first: food, family, mental and physical fitness.

• Check on your neighbors. Reach out to isolated people by phone, text, Facebook, etc., and volunteer or donate as you can, while still following the governor's social distancing rules. Because at the end of the day, we need each other to be healthy and happy.

It's important that we remind ourselves to relax and be kind. We must realize that we're in this for the long haul, but we'll get to the other side if we're patient and help each other.

To our parents and family members on the frontlines, still working to ensure we are safe, and our shelves are stocked, thank you for your service and make sure you are using all safety precautions to keep yourself and loved ones safe.

-- Lake County Child Abuse Prevention Council


• Baldwin Community School: Beginning this week, breakfast and lunch will be served only at the school. Meals for Thursday through Sunday may be picked up between 9-11 a.m. Thursday.

• Bread of Life Emergency Food Pantry is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Wednesday.

• First Baptist of Woodland Park Church has a drive-through food distribution every third Wednesday. Line-up beginning at 9 a.m. and distribution begins at 10 a.m.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact Duane Roberts 231-631-0561.