Sheltering In Place: Staying Alive During a Pandemic
Sheltering In Place and Isolation May Be the Only Way to Stay Alive During a Pandemic
People it seems cannot stay put, even when their actions may endanger the life of others. Dr. Nancy Snyderman, a medical expert that works for NBC News was in what is called voluntary isolation because of her contact with a person infected with Ebola. Now she is in mandatory isolation, quarantine in other words, because she violated her own voluntary isolation (Ahmed, 2014).
Being a doctor, she certainly should have known better. She did know better, but did it any way is the only logical assumption you can draw at this point. You cannot trust the experts to do the right thing apparently, but this does not mean you have to follow suit.
Learn to stay home, to lessen your exposure. How many times have you just gotten home from an errand and realized you forgot something, so back into the car you go for another trip to the mall or grocery store. This only increases your exposure. You have to remember Ebola is not the only threat out there, and the threats gather in public places. Plan your trips carefully so you only have to make one trip instead of three.
Get better organized and be prepared to “hunker down” when needed. This will take discipline, of which Dr. Snyderman has none of it would appear. Her desire for something insignificant took priority over the health and welfare of the public at large. Her and other so-called experts are the ones advising us all on how to stay safe from Ebola and other deadly diseases. Some help they are.
Your lifestyle will have to change whether you like it or not, and it will take a conscious effort to limit your exposure. Social gatherings, malls, restaurants, theaters and other places can become deadly places if there is a disease outbreak. You can survive without these places, so start limiting your exposure now so it becomes a habit. You have to learn to think differently given all that is going on in the world and country today.
Home is where the heart is, and your home may very well ensure your heart stays beating if there is an outbreak. The diseases out there will be in crowds and public places, and if it is not in your home now, it will not be in your home unless you bring it back to the home, so again exposure means danger.
Get your home ready for an extended stay. You might ask yourself, who cannot stay inside their home for a few weeks without stepping outside once, well can you, and have you ever had too. If the answer is no then you simply do not know, and you may find it is more difficult than you imagine.
You cannot just sit for weeks, there must be things for you to do and this has to be part of your preparations especially if you have children. You know better than anyone does what it takes to keep your children occupied, so make sure you have the resources in place to do just that, not for a few hours, but for a few weeks or longer.
It will take more food in the home then you previously calculated. You have to prepare with boredom in mind and lack of activity. People sitting around all day waiting for the clock to run out on an incubation period will eat more.
You will likely need more water than previously calculated to ensure you have enough to launder with and to maintain a higher level of sanitation. This assumes of course, there is a disruption in your water supply.
There is no reason to assume however, that at this point there will be a disruption in your water supply due to Ebola. Things can change, so it is important you be prepared for disruptions however. Keep in mind natural disasters can strike during a pandemic that could create disruptions in utilities, which would exacerbate the pandemic, so prepare for the worst.
Only you can decide if you need to spend the money to get protective suits and other equipment for yourself and other family members. When would you need the suits is the question. If a family member is suspected of having Ebola then you simply cannot treat that person. The patient would have to be immediately isolated and the proper authorities contacted. You would have to isolate other family members and yourself away from the patient, in the home until medical experts arrive.
You would not wear protective gear out in public, on subways or buses so again only you can decide if it is worth the money. Keep in mind those that have the training are contracting the virus despite being suited up in the proper gear, so what does this mean for you if you do not have any training or even knowing if you have the right gear. Protective gear in some cases, may give you a false sense of protection.
Isolation of anyone suspected of having the virus is the only way to protect yourself and others, and plans for this should be incorporated into any preparedness planning.
Ahmed, S. (2014, October 14). Retrieved 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/14/health/ebola-nbc-snyderman-apology/index.html