If one day, you wake up and find out that a pandemic has begun and your area is at risk, what would you do?
This was the question that has been going around since COVID-19 emerged and China started its lockdown.
But since the virus has been growing exponentially every day and wasn’t able to contain the outbreak, threatening other countries or nations, this leads the W.H.O. to accept that this epidemic outbreak has gone pandemic.
Pandemic, which means it is a disease that spreads beyond national borders, possibly worldwide, while epidemic affects a large number of individuals within a community or region only.
We have heard about Influenza pandemics that claimed 100 million lives ages ago. Influenza has different strains like Spanish Flu, which was considered the worst in history, Asian Flu, Hong Kong Flu, and the most recent one, the Swine Flu. There was also this so-called Black Death that claimed the lives of over 75 million people in the 14th century.
In recent years, Ebola, the Coronavirus family including SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), HCov (Human Coronavirus), and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) emerged as an outbreak which killed thousands and caused millions of people to be quarantined. But they were able to be contained thus eliminating the possibility of a pandemic.
But why is this COVID-19 officially considered a pandemic now?
The first pandemic caused by a coronavirus.
With more than a hundred countries battling with this virus, it is so unfortunate that this virus is still growing and infecting people around the globe. Confirmed cases grow exponentially each day, with more than 4000 people died in a short span of time. Many countries have announced travel bans. Italy, which is a hot spot and has thousands dying has been enforcing a countrywide lockdown. South Korea, with also a large outbreak, has a voluntary lockdown to suppress this virus from spreading more.
Preparing against pandemic
First, don’t be left behind. Follow the latest update from your favorite news channel or from the reports that agencies like WHO (World Health Organization) have been releasing daily. We may be caught off-guard now, but most illnesses have symptoms so we can still prepare for it and plan for the worst.
What do we need? Some basic items could be:
- Cough remedies
- Fever medicines for adult and kids
- Nasal decongestants
- Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline) for dry, worn noses.
- Tissues like Kleenex
- Surgical Face Masks
- Drinking water
- Isopropyl Alcohol, Hand Sanitizer
- N95 respirator masks
- Thermometers – more than one
- Ice – in case you can’t get a very high temperature to go down
- Over the counter pain relievers like Tylenol
- Food that can last for a minimum of 4 weeks
- Heavy-duty garbage bags
- Sanitation supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels, baby wipes, and feminine wash (hygiene supplies)
- Hand Soap
These are just basic items – you may add more. The important thing is you have what your family would need in such a situation, that can last for a while, instead of panic buying and going outside where the threat is just outside of your door. Also, if one of your family showed symptoms, it is best to treat at home first before going to the hospital.
While above are essentials that you must have in your house, please note that you must not hoard these supplies. Just consider how many people you have in your household, and buy enough supplies for your family.
People are in panic mode right now, and we know that feeling too!
But please bear in mind that it’s not just your family that you should think about. Other people should have those supplies too. You may have many supplies, but if supplies aren’t available they will be infected, there’s a big chance that you and your family will be infected too!
How to be prepared for a pandemic – “the worst-case scenario”?
Should an outbreak occur in your area, it is best not to go outside for a while. This is the only effective way to protect yourself and your family from a disease outbreak.
Also, make sure that you are in a healthy condition. Do exercise every day, have a little sunlight for at least 20 minutes every morning, eat healthy food and take vitamins/supplements (adult and kids).
But in case going outside among people cannot be avoided, make sure to wear a mask, they say surgical face mask is enough to block/filter viruses but using respirator masks like N95 is much better, and bring isopropyl alcohol/hand sanitizer always in case it is not feasible to wash your hands with soap outside.
And once you get back in your house, make sure to always wash your hands with soap first and use hand sanitizer/isopropyl alcohol too or take a shower and change your clothes before having physical contact with your family.
How long should you and your family remain isolated?
It depends on where you live. If you live in a city, it may be longer than those living in rural areas that are less populated. Usually, those living in the city will leave and look for safe, less populated areas because, in a large population, people keep moving around, and each one is possible to be a carrier of the disease.
Listen to the news, especially if your area has been locked down.
What does lockdown mean?
It means “No one goes out. No one comes in.”
This is currently being enforced in China and now in Italy, and soon other countries may follow to.
It may sound harsh, but this is a very effective way to stop the disease from spreading.
And there are no exceptions. This means that the supplies you have are the supplies you’ll have until the government cleared everyone to go outside.
Once the lockdown has been started, the stores opened will be limited usually those who can provide supplies like medicine and food only.
Do you have the supplies you need to survive a pandemic?
People usually don’t listen to what the government advises but we’re telling you, by the time a lockdown has been announced in your area, it will be too late for you to stock up on supplies. So since WHO declared that COVID-19 is now a pandemic, go to the nearest store and buy all the supplies that you and your family might need. But again, NO HOARDING!
Prepare a minimum of 4 weeks’ supplies should things get bad in your area. It is most unlikely that the water and electricity will be cut-off (long power outages), but it’s still best to prepare for this also, just in case.
With pandemic already here, preparing how to handle such situations will still definitely save you and your family. Make your plan NOW and stick to it. Some people might think you are over-reacting, but don’t let that stop you. Because a pandemic will still progress so much that it’ll be too late for you to act.