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Unless you have been living under a rock, it is hard to ignore that the start of 2020 has been a wild ride. With the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the news and infections spreading to pandemic levels, it seems as if 2020 is about to flex its muscles and show us exactly what Mother Nature can do when she’s angry. As if COVID-2019 wasn’t enough to worry about, it is not the only infection that could cause a pandemic which means one thing; learning how to prepare for a worldwide virus and pandemic has never been more important.
The thing about pandemics – and this Coronavirus pandemic is no different – is that you usually have time to prepare. In the past, they could take quite a long time to really gain a global foothold, but even in today’s world with modern travels, a strong virus will still need weeks to months to really get going.
How to Prepare for a Worldwide Virus
What that basically means is that even if you haven’t done a single thing to prepare your family for the 2019 Coronavirus or for any other pandemic threat, you still have time. What it does not mean is that you have an endless amount of time.
But that does beg the question; do you need to prepare for the 2019 Coronavirus.
The short answer is; yes. Yes, you do.
The long answer is more of a question: why would you not prepare for something that could do so much harm and potentially kill your family?
Side Note: In the long run, this post is about pandemic preparation. However, since at the time of publishing, the current threat is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, I want to add information about it to help you as much as possible. Once that threat has passed, I will remove that info leaving only the general pandemic prep.
Is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus just the regular flu or common cold?
This little tidbit of information keeps floating around my Facebook feed and frankly is driving me insane! I’m already half there ya’ll so come on, give a girl a break.
No. It is not the same thing.
If you believe it is, here is what you are missing: A coronavirus is not a specific virus. It is a TYPE of virus.
However, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus is an entirely brand spanking new virus. We have never seen it before and have zero idea of what it can do, will do, could do, won’t do, might do or what it might wear to breakfast the day it knocks on the door to your home.
In fact, this virus is far more like the SARS virus than it is Influenza. This would be why one of the names for this virus is also SARS-CoV-2, but again, it is a new virus and as such we really don’t know much about it.
Influenza (“the flu”) and COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, are both infectious respiratory illnesses. Although the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu can look similar, the two illnesses are caused by different viruses.Johns Hopkins medicine: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-disease-2019-vs-the-flu
So, are we clear now? This is not the flu. It is not the cold. In fact, it is far more serious.
Where does it say the 2019 n-CoV is a new virus?
The CDC themselves have addressed the fact that 2019 n-COV is a new virus. They address the 2019 CoVid being a new virus HERE under the “Coronavirus 2019 Basics” section and the 2nd question.
There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.CDC: 2019 Novel Coronavirus Basics FAQ
How do I protect myself from the Coronavirus?
Preparing for a pandemic is a lot like preparing for anything else. You do it one step at a time. Now, in the case of pandemic preparedness, while you do have time, you will want to put a little hitch in your giddy up.
In other words, you have time, but you may not have years; or even months in some cases.
Don’t Wait to Educate Yourself
As with anything, the more you know about something, the better off you will be. A good place to start is teh CDC but sources such as the WHO and news sources are also good ways to learn too.
For learning more in-depth preps such as herbal treatment options, how to prevent infection and more, books are probably your best bet. Don’t let the book option scare you. There are ways you can get your hands on the books you need without going broke.
The first is to shop at Thriftbooks for used copies of the books you want. This is one of my favorite places to buy used books. Their prices start at around $2.00 per book, shipping is totally free when you spend just $10.00 and they have a great rewards program that allows you to earn free books. You can check out Thriftbooks HERE.
The second is to download the FREE Amazon Kindle Reading App and to buy cheaper Kindle versions of the books you want. The Kindle app is available on iPhone, Android, PC and Mac so just about anyone can find a way to read if they want. You can download the app HERE.
Practice Good Basic Hygiene
I shouldn’t feel the need to say this, but I do. Good basic hygiene is key to keeping your family healthy. Bathing regularly, wearing clean clothing, keeping your teeth healthy and washing your hands with hot soapy water can go a long way.
This also includes things like replacing your toothbrushes regularly and making sure you’re using a clean washcloth or sanitized bath poof when you shower. Germs can live within those things and they can get fairly nasty if not taken care of.
Practice Universal Precautions
Anyone who has worked in the medical field at all will know what the term Universal Precautions means. They also know what can happen if you don’t take them. Blood, urine, vomit, feces and even saliva in some cases
Basically it means you take extra care to avoid contact with bodily fluids that are not your own; even those of your children.
Supplies you might need for universal precautions:
When you are worried about a virus that may lead to a pandemic such as the 2019 nCovid or even something like H5N1, using these precautions when you must come into contact with the bodily fluids of someone that is not your own can help keep you safe from becoming infected.
Disinfect and Clean
Different cleaning supplies will kill different viruses, but if your home is not clean to begin with, you are very likely harboring a ton of germs and bacteria in the first place.
In other words, if your home is dirty, you don’t stand a chance of keeping a virus – especially a viral pandemic – out of your home. If your house needs a good cleaning, this means you should get it done asap.
After that, you’ll want to focus on disinfecting your home , car and even your hands. Obviously you’ll want different products for your home or car and your hands.
To help try and disinfect your hands, try to use a hand sanitizer with at least 63% Ethyl alcohol. Of course if you don’t have that, plain old soap and water is better than nothing.
What Cleaners Work to Disinfect the 2019 Novel Coronavirus?
For your home, there are several cleaners that have already been tested against viruses such as MERS, SARS, Influenza. They have not been tested against COVID-19, but they will likely work and are far better than using nothing.
- Clorox Clean up
- Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
- Lysol Disinfecting Wipes
- Lysol Original Cleaner
- Lysol Disinfecting Spray
- Clorox Regular Bleach
In addition, if you’re preparing for the possibility of a long term pandemic, you could look into how to make your own homemade disinfectant cleaners.
Ingredients such as white vinegar, lemon essential oil, lavender essential oil and tea tree essential oil have all been shown to be antiviral and antibacterial so they may be a smart addition to your preparations.
Even if you don’t fully believe in the power of natural cleaners, they do make a great last line of defense for when the other stuff is gone.
Limit Exposure Whenever Possible
When a pandemic first begins to take off, you will likely notice hot spots where more people are infected at first. This was the case with the 2019 virus epidemic. It began in Wuhan, China and has pretty rapidly spread from there.
If you are in an area where there is a virus hot spot, you will want to limit your exposure to other people immediately. This means going out only when you absolutely need to. The best way to gauge whetehr you should go or not is by how many people will be in attendance.
In other words, if you’re in a hot spot for infections, it’s probably not a smart idea to attend a concert with 100,000 other people.
If you are not in an area that is considered a hot spot, you may still want to limit exposure once the infection begins to spread but may not need to take as many precautions as rapidly as others.
No matter where you live though, once infections pass a certain point, you’ll want to watch how often you are in public; especially if the area you need to go tends to be crowded. At some point in the intermediate or advanced stages of a pandemic, this may even include places such as your church or your child’s school.
Boost Your Immune System
Your immune system is responsible not only for helping you to avoid a virus in a pandemic situation, but also for helping you to fight off that virus should you become infected.
This makes boosting your immune system incredibly important; especially when you’re trying to fight off or prevent a viral infection such as a coronavirus.
Boosting your immune system isn’t hard to do even if you’ve tried without much success before. I know for me personally, it seems like my immune system is always working overtime and never quite getting anywhere.
Luckily, I’m able to boost things quite easily.
Easy Ways to Boost Your Immune System:
- Elderberry Tea – THIS is my favorite elderberry tea recipe
- Elderberry Syrup
- Elderberry Gummies
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin C
Stock Up on Supplies Now
I’ve always been a big supporter of the idea that having a stockpile is something each family should have, but that has never been more important than in a potential pandemic situation.
Having a stockpile of food, water and other necessary items for an emergency is the only way to ensure that your family has the things you need to survive a long term pandemic.
If you don’t currently have a stockpile, you don’t need to run out and spend all your money. In fact, you can quite easily learn how to build a stockpile on a budget. There is no reason to go broke doing so. Anything you can do will be better than nothing.
Basic items to stockpile:
- Bottled Water
- Canned Goods
- Granola Bars
- Peanut Butter and jelly
- Canned Soups
If you’re looking for a more in-depth list of things to stockpile for an emergency, I have one right HERE.
It seems that a lot of folks don’t have a clear understand of the basics of how a virus will respond to medical treatment.
The short version is this; antibiotics will kill bacteria but they do not kill viruses. This is why a pandemic or epidemic involving a virus can be so dangerous.
With a virus, the only recourse that medical professionals usually have is a vaccine and to treat the symptoms.
With a virus such as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, you can have symptoms that range anywhere from high fevers to pneumonia. As I’ve already mentioned, you can’t kill a virus, but you can treat the symptoms.
Usually it is the symptoms of a virus that causes the most issue and in the event of death, is what kills.
Which brings us to our next way to protect your family from a pandemic.
Be Prepared to Treat Symptoms
As I said a second ago, symptoms of a virus are where the biggest issue lies. If you can successfully treat the symptoms, you can usually successfully treat the virus.
You can treat specific symptoms yourself once you have sought out medical help. Symptoms such as:
- Fever: Tylenol, Ibuprofen or Naproxen
- Headache or Muscle/Joint Aches: Tylenol, Ibuprofen or Naproxen
- Chest Congestion: Expectorant and the addition of a Vapor Rub with a Vapor Shower Discs.
- Immune Boost to Help Your Body Fight: Elderberry Gummies, Elderberry Tea, Elderberry Syrup, Cold & Flu Fighting Tea, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Zinc.
- Dehydration: Pedialyte
Check out our homemade cold & flu shower melts HERE instead of buying expensive ones.
Can You Treat COVID-2019 Symptoms at Home?
In theory, yes. However, the number of people infected with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and experiencing severe symptoms is very high. This alone may warrant seeking further medical treatment past your normal routine doctor visit.
Plan to Self Quarantine
I’ve already mentioned limiting contact, but if you are in a true pandemic situation, you will need to quarantine fully at some point. It is inevitable that in a situation where even doing your grocery shopping could make you sick, your family will want or need to hunker down.
This is why having a stockpile of supplies is so important. To make sure your family can survive if you have to self quarantine, you’ll want to keep at least 90 days worth of supplies on hand.
This may mean taking your regular stockpile that you started earlier and extending it to be large enough to handle the extended time period if it currently wont last 90 days.
Don’t forget to stockpile supplies for your fur babies too. Wet food stores better for dogs and cats than dry but if you’re only storing for 90 days, dry food should be fine. Be sure to add additional water to your storage for them as well.
Know the global impacts
The thing with a global pandemic is that it affects more than just infection rates and death rates. It can also affect the economy of the world, the world food supply, gasoline supply and more.
What that means is that even if your family is not directly impacted by a pandemic, it could still be affected in a lot of other ways. It is those other ways that you should try to prepare yourself for.
Again, having a stockpile that will last a minimum of 90 days, and a well stocked emergency fund are just the first steps you will want to take.
Prepare a Crisis Budget Now
As I said a second ago, a pandemic can greatly affect the economy. This could affect your job, the price of gasoline, the amount you’re spending on groceries and more. In situations such as this, your regular personal budget will n ot work.
Instead, you will need to take the time to create a crisis budget for your family. A crisis budget (Six Dollar Family) is a specific budget that your family puts into place when you need to lock your finances down for one reason or another. It Includes only your basic necessities with zero wants so that you are simply paying on your survival needs.
Learning how to create a crisis budget before a crisis actually happens ensures that when things do go bad, you’ll be able to make the switch automatically without having to waste any time messing around and potentially getting into financial trouble.
Talk to Your Kids if they are old enough
If you have littles, there is no reason to talk to them about a pandemic situation; especially one that has moved as rapidly as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus has. As long as they will listen when you tell them to, they do not need anymore infortmation than that.
However, if you have older children and teens, it may be beneficial to talk to them and tell them the truth. If they are going to school, this is especially important. They may need to wear masks, use hand sanitizers and so on before school is shut down and you will need their full cooperation
Other ways to help you prepare for a viral pandemic
Stocked up on eggs? Worried they’ll spoil before you can use them? Let me show you how to preserve eggs for long-term storage with NO refrigeration needed! It’s super simple and you’ll be amazed at how well it works!
Are you preparing for a pandemic? Let me show you how to build a food supply for a pandemic on a budget AND what foods to start building your pandemic food supply with!
Is your budget ready for an emergency? If not, let me help walk you through how to create an emergency budget step by step! You never know when you might need it.
The common cold, allergies and sinus issues are the worst, but THESE DIY Sinus & Allergy Shower Melts can help! Made from scratch with Eucalyptus essential oil, lavender essential oil and more, they’re calming and perfect for helping you breathe better!
Dinner is ready and THIS chicken noodle soup recipe is served! Your taste buds will never be the same once you taste this homestyle chicken noodle soup!
Preparing for an emergency such as bad weather, pandemic or a financial crisis? THESE 99 emergency supplies are MUST HAVE’s in your preps!
Boost your immune system with a Vitamin C packed cup of elderberry tea! THIS elderberry tea recipe is healthy, simple and delicious!
Being a single parent is hard enough without worrying about an emergency. These emergency preparation tips for single parents are a great place to get started preparing for the unthinkable!