There it is. Even the CDC is admitting that it’s not “if” but “when” for widespread disease caused by the novel coronavirus in the U.S. And even the CDC is telling us to “prepare” because there may be “significant disruption”.
Yep. Even the CDC is telling us to prepare. They have had plans in place for pandemic flu for years and are hanging the COVID-19 preparations and advice on that framework. Links to that information can be found here, and here.
I talked about this already earlier in the month, but I’m going to talk about it again. Although the overall risk may still be low, it pays to be prepared ahead of time.
Do you have food supplies enough to get through a quarantine? There may even be supply chain interruptions in our “just in time” store inventory world. Even if you can get to the store, are you ready for supplies to not even be on store shelves?
Do you have basic home sick care supplies enough to last through several family members becoming ill? We’re talking fever reducers, cough syrups, a thermometer, oral electrolyte solutions, tissues, disinfectants, soap and hand sanitizer? Don’t forget comfort food care items like bullion cubes, crackers, jello, popsicles, soup, etc.
Masks and gloves are a consideration, but may be hard to come by at this point. If you are handy with a sewing machine, you could consider sewing some masks yourself. Although these won’t be as good as N-95 masks, they may be better than nothing, especially if you are already immune compromised (or have a family member who is).
If your place of work is closed because of a public health order, can you get by financially for awhile? Does your office have a work-from-home option? If they close schools, do you have childcare fall backs? These are all things to consider and plan for.
All of that said, basic hygiene and infection control practices still apply.
WASH. YOUR. HANDS.
Try not to touch your face.
Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand.
If you must use your hand, use a tissue, and wash immediately.
Try not to touch potentially contaminated public surfaces and disinfect home surfaces regularly, especially if a family member is ill.
If you are sick, STAY. HOME.
Did I mention WASH. YOUR. HANDS?
Hopefully, this will all turn out to be over-preparation and the virus will remain well-controlled here in the U.S. But as Benjamin Franklin advised in 1736, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
That axiom is as true today as it was 280 years ago.