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One of my friends who is single, like myself, has created a plan should she become significantly compromised with illness by the corona virus. Many of us are likely to get the corona virus, and some of us might get quite ill. Making a plan now will allow folks to know they have their ducks in a row, and get on with taking good care of ourselves.

I adapted this plan for my own use, to build my pandemic team. I asked if she would allow me to offer up a template for others to use. It is certainly not only single folks who need a plan. Partnered folks, and folks with kids also need a plan, for how to keep themselves from passing it to each other. But for many couples, they will be having planning conversations over these weeks that will allow the non-infected partner to hit the ground running with implementation of their pandemic plan.

So here is a template for your use. Obviously, adapt as needed, based on your own sense of your needs and your situation. And then email it to your local people, and get a plan in place now.


Will You Be My Pandemic Pal?

As you all know, I have (medical condition), am aged (xx), and live alone. I have decided to create a support team in case I become sick at home with the covid-19. This plan is for how I can get the care I need without putting anyone at risk for contamination. This plan is based on CDC recommendations and the many recommendations I have read.

Here is how it would work:

If you agree to be on my team and I become sick with the corona virus and am directed by my doctors (insert medical provider with contact information here) to stay at home, I’ll send everyone a group text to that effect. Then I would ask that you communicate with me by group text. I appreciate that it will be cumbersome to receive so many back and forths, but it will limit the number of texts I need to send, assuming I might have a high fever and feel quite unwell. I would ask that folks check in on me throughout the day to see how I am doing and if I need anything. If I need something, you would decide among yourselves who would bring it by. Depending on what we decide, you could leave it by the side door or bring it into the house (indicate location of an outdoor key).

I’m well-stocked with food, over-the-counter treatments for viral symptoms and my prescription medications.

If I get sick, the recommendations are that we never cross paths. I’ll plan to stay in (indicate room or area of residence) and will only use the bathroom (indicate which location if more than one). I will place my dishes (in the dishwasher if you have one and if not the sink) if I am unable to wash them. This is so that I can keep the kitchen as safe as possible for pandemic pals who drop by.

Alas, I do not have a face mask. If I get one, I will wear it whenever I come into the kitchen.

If you do come into the house and need them, my cleaning supplies, including latex gloves, are under the sink. If it is warm outside, please open the doors and windows to bring in fresh air, and close them before you leave. I have left an envelope with cash by the front door so you can reimburse yourself for anything you bought for me.

If I need to go to the hospital, I’ll send a group text, and will ask the someone to contact an ambulance to take me so that we can continue to avoid contact. If folks do not hear from me for half a day I would like you all to arrange for someone to come check on me. If I do not answer your calls from the bedroom, please do not enter. Just call an ambulance. If you are with me , please remind me to bring two manila envelopes that I have placed by my front door. They have all my information – health insurance, advanced directive, health care power of attorney, next of kin contact info. Also contact these people: (list family, health advocate, medical power of attorney, etc.)

It is possible that ambulances will not be available. If this is the case, I will try to put on fresh clothes, gloves, and wrap up my face with scarves so that you can drive me, and you will be prepared to wipe down your car (or uber/lyft) as soon as you get me to the hospital.

Now that you know the job description, please let me know if you do NOT want to be on my team. Please feel no pressure! I appreciate that you all have various other responsibilities, and I have others I can ask. Also let me know if only one partner of a couple should be on the group text.

Here is the contact info for the other folks on my team besides you: (put names, numbers and email addresses here).

I have been thinking about this and reading about this for days. Now that I have this set up, I can move on to figuring how how I can thrive while healthy and social distancing.


For some of you reading this, it may feel alarming to think through the worst case scenario, and for others, you are already consumed with thoughts and anxieties about what could happen. If you want other ideas about how to make plans as a means of containing your anxiety, check out this other blog I posted last week. Honor Your Fears: A Hypocondriacs Guide To the Corona Virus And also….stay safe.


Smith is an analytically oriented psychotherapist with 25 years in practice. She is additionally the  Founder/Director of Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice, which specializes in matching clients with seasoned clinicians in the Greater Philadelphia Area.

If you are interested in therapy and live in Philadelphia or the Greater Philadelphia Area, please let Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice match you with a skilled, experienced psychotherapist based on needs and issues as well as personality and style.All of our therapists are available for telehealth conferencing by phone or video in response to our current need for social distancing. Request an Appointment Today.

If you were interested in this blog post, check out some of these:

Anxiety, Medications, and Lost Decades

How Can Therapy Help When the World is the Problem?

Life Isn’t Easy or Fair: Idealization Tortures us Thinking it Should Be

Contact us

Author Karen L. Smith MSS LCSW Karen is the founder and director of Full Living: A Psychotherapy Practice, which provides thoughtful matches for clients seeking therapists in the Philadelphia Area. She provides analytically oriented psychotherapy, and offers education for other therapists seeking to deepen and enriching their work with object relation concepts.

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