How to Prepare for a Pandemic01.03.2020, 12:20
Panic! Run inside! Hide, self-isolate...and spend lots more time online, completing mini-tasks here at Prizes Drop. You’ll be able to increase your points dramatically for swapping into Amazon vouchers, Netflix discounts etc. Then, you can use these to buy latest video games or movies, and help fill up those long stretches of quarantine time.
We’re kidding, of course. No, never panic. It’s not great for clear thinking. Although, reducing your presence in crowded areas, particularly where a virus has been at large, is a good idea to help stop its spread.
Another plan is simply to take some precautions in the event of shortages caused by disruption to supply chains, where the phases of this new coronavirus, Covid-19, play out.
A ‘pandemic’ is a big word being thrown around, but what it means is that there is a pathogen becoming well distributed across more than two countries. Modern medicine has learnt a lot from previous outbreaks of flu-type diseases. Today we have information being swiftly exchanged like never before in history and medical response reacting globally. It’s just a matter of time before control is exerted over this new virus. However, in the interim it means reducing its spread as much as possible, where it seems to pass easily via water droplets between people.
So of course, Covid-19 is something to be aware of and it’s wise to start encouraging people to take necessary precautions.
Regular washing of hands, and keeping a good distance from other people, remains the two most simple and effective precautions. Then, self-isolating, in the event that you do fall ill, and reporting it to ensure you’re tested correctly are also things to mentally prepare for.
Firstly, the advice is: Don’t panic buy, and don’t hoard. The end of the world itself is not coming yet. It’s more a question of stocking up gradually in case of some shortages appear during the ‘main phase of a pandemic’, and considering the needs of all the members in your family, particularly the elderly ones, who may have more specific requirements.
Owning a small stockpile of essential goods could help to limit the possibility of running out while restrictions or quarantine measures are in place. This in turn could help limit individual exposure to the virus, especially for those more vulnerable.
The following suggestions come from a virologist’s personal blog:
Medication and essentials: vitamins (in the event long-term food shortages begin to narrow regular dietary needs), extra prescription drugs and over-the-counter fever and pain medicines; feminine hygiene products; toilet paper and tissues.
Cleaning and hygiene: soap, sanitiser and general household cleaning products.
Food suggestions: cereals, grains, beans, lentils and pasta; tinned food such as fish, vegetables and fruit; oil, spices and other flavorings; dried fruit and nuts; powdered milk and/or UHT milk; items for pets; as well as soft drinks, some sweets and family chocolate bars as treats.
If the pandemic were to become more ‘severe’ that it potentially cuts off access to fresh foods, there are some items to buy, hopefully for only a short time: Bread and wraps, meat for freezing, milk, eggs, yogurt, and fruit and vegetables. Vehicle fuel could also potentially become scarce, becoming an important consideration for those based further afield.
A Backup Box
In the above, we’re simply talking about a ‘Pandemic Backup Box’ of essential items for the home if containment of this virus takes longer than anyone can currently predict.
Bear in mind, it will also depend on your location, as some locally-produced items may suddenly come to the rescue. They will find happy customers, thankful at last of their existence, where stocks of mass-produced items from other countries dry up.
Staying calm and thinking how to reduce the spread of Covid-19 should it come closer to your area, are the important things.
And if that means completing more Prizes Drop mini-tasks in the comfort of your own home, then so be it!
For more info you can read 'So You Think You're About to be in a Pandemic' (Virology Down Under)
You should also watch 'Contagion' (2011) from Steven Soderbergh, an amazingly prescient, gripping film which perhaps not enough people watched (in China).