We know you’d rather not think about it, but we all need to prepare for the worst in this pandemic.
The number of active COVID-19 cases has risen over 130,000. While the country struggles to contain the virus, hospitals are also closing their doors on incoming patients as they reach full capacity. It’s been over a year since the first lockdown and Filipinos continue to live in fear for their lives without proper medical attention.
People have been sharing online how they couldn’t save their loved ones because no hospital could admit them, with one even succumbing to COVID only a few days after he complained of just having colds.
As grim as it may sound, it’s actually wise to start sorting out personal matters while we’re all *sigh* alive and doing well. Personal matters are things that are, well, personal to you: legal documents, digital files and passcodes, important records, valuable possessions/assets, contacts, plans–things that cover your very existence. These should be well-managed and organized early on so that people around you know what to do, should anything (unfortunate) happen to you (this is also where we knock on wood).
It’s time that we think ahead in case worse comes to worst because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Have a list of resources on standby
You’ll never know when someone close to you comes in contact with a COVID-positive person as it takes a few days for the virus to incubate. If anyone in your life starts to show symptoms, it’ll be handy to have a document that can easily direct you to the nearest available hospital.
Find some time to sit down and research on hospitals, mobile clinics, and family practices, listing down their location and contact details — also if they can be covered by your insurance.
For those who are employed, you may try reaching out to your HR department if they already have a database that you can refer to. They may even include the status of the hospital’s vacancy.
Organize your assets
Compile your personal details in a password-protected document in case you need to turn over your assets to someone. Ensure that trusted people will be able to access your bank account, social security, and health insurance if necessary.
To make sure your details are safe, go to your Microsoft document and click File > Info > Protect Document > Encrypt with Password. Type a strong password, then type it again to confirm it. Save the file to make sure the password takes effect.
Make sure that all the beneficiaries of your existing insurance policies have been duly updated as well. As a general rule, do a regular review of beneficiary designations every so often.
Consider estate planning if you have asset settlements that may require the help of an attorney.
Organize your digital files and passcodes
Compile your most important digital files in one folder on your computer, and assign a highly trusted person/legal entity to safekeep your passcodes for you. This is a preventative measure at its finest, because people tend to be forgetful at times–you don’t want to end up like the guy who was locked out of his $250M bitcoin account because he forgot the password (see story below):
Pets are often the first to be neglected when an owner falls ill or passes away. Have an outline of where your pet dependents are going to live, should anything happen to you. Relay your pets’ well-being plans as well as their medical records to a trusted person, to ensure their safety whatever happens.
Equip your emergency contacts
Now that you’ve settled all the nitty gritty details, it’s time to inform selected contacts of the existing documents. In this pandemic, you need to equip those who are closest to you with any pertinent information in case of emergency.
It’s best to be straightforward and tell them how you want to be treated, how you want to distribute your assets, and who else they may need to contact.
Please always stay safe–mask up, wash your hands, practice social distancing–so you won’t have to put these tips to the test, ever.
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