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We all feel great…until we don’t. Any one of us can find ourselves in a situation where we have to drop everything and head off to the hospital. During a pandemic, you'll be faced with unique challenges. Once at the hospital you will be separated from anyone who accompanied you and denied visitors for the duration of your stay. Are you prepared to spend several days to several weeks cooped up in a hospital room with no visitors and no entertainment?

If you have to leave for the hospital or isolate outside your home, here are some tips that will help you be prepared to grab and go.

  • Sign up for an online password manager and keep it updated with usernames and passwords for your Netflix, Spotify, Facebook, and all the other apps that will allow you to enjoy your favorite movies, tv shows, music, and to reach out to your friends and family.

  • Gather spare earbuds or headphones, along with your Kindle, iPhone, iPad, and their associated cables and charging apparatus. Don't forget several sets of ear plugs to block out noise. Put everything in a ziplock bag and place it on your desk or the table by the front door.

  • Also include in the above mentioned ziplock bag: a detailed list of medications, or better yet, the list and actual medications; include your doctor's contact information, and insurance card; take the time now to write out your current health issues and include all known allergies. This will get you through Admissions in a hurry.

  • If you want to be super prepared consider bringing a backpack and adding some comfort items like: a soft sweatshirt, robe, cozy slippers, a pillow, and flip-flops (for the shower).

  • Toiletries: On days when you're feeling pretty good, you'll feel a lot better when you have your own deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, lip balm and electric razor. Throw in a pack of gum or breath mints as well, and you'll feel up to facing the world, or at least the world contained within your room.

  • Pack crossword puzzle books, a journal or writing paper and a couple of pens and a clip board.

  • Snacks: You'll thank me on Day 7 for this tip. You will not be allowed to leave your room to go to the vending machines, so any snacks you bring will be all you'll get for the duration of your stay. Bring single-serving packages of crackers, nuts, dried fruit, candy and cookies.

  • And lastly, while few people want to think about it before it's too late—do you have a health care directive and medical power of attorney to speak to your wishes if you're not able to?

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