It was eye-opening to learn this week that I’m a lot closer to Ebola than I thought…
My Relative –> Has a Co-Worker –> that is the Boyfriend of an Infected Person.
Hopefully, you could follow that, but if not don’t worry about it. The point is, we are all probably only a few people away (or less) from Ebola and not even know it. For instance, just this week a doctor in New York has been riding the subway and walking the streets with millions before realizing he was infected.
We are learning about new Ebola outbreaks constantly, leaving many of us wondering what can we do to prevent from catching this deadly virus.
I’m not trying to add to the panic, but being aware of what is happening around us will hopefully give us a chance to prepare.
I definitely don’t have all the answers (no one does), but I do have Alex Smith here to share some of his suggestions on ways to keep you and your family from becoming the next victim, and hopefully staying safe if there was an Ebola outbreak.
Written by Alex Smith
Ebola: Can We Stop the Spread?
Imagine your crouched low at the starting line of an extremely critical race. At any moment, a gunshot will explode through the air. You will burst forth, pumping your legs as hard as you can.
But you can’t win this race by speed alone.
Beside you is a Porsche. Candy red and gleaming, it’s in the race, too.
So how do you outrun a Porsche?
You can’t, but you do have some options:
- Play the long game and hold the course until it runs out of fuel and you can finally catch up and pass it. This is going to be painful and will take a very long time.
- Find a way to disable the car.
That is the world and Ebola right now. There is still plenty of fuel (people) in West Africa, and we haven’t found a way to disable (vaccine, cure, etc.) it yet. How this race ends is yet to be seen. Meanwhile, we’re discovering we know less about the disease than we thought.
But don’t take my word for it, here’s the head of CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy):
Watch the video. It’s worth your while. It is a breath of fresh air to hear some honesty from an expert.
I don’t mean to be hyperbolic. It’s not my intent to fear-monger. What I mean to say is that we’ve never had an Ebola outbreak like this before, we don’t know how to stop it yet and things will get worse before they get better.
How much worse? We don’t know.
Maybe it remains largely confined to Africa. Maybe not. And if it doesn’t, perhaps we should at least have a plan for ourselves, because the authorities have certainly shown that they will fumble with this ball all along the way.
That’s what I attempted to achieve with my latest book, Ebola: Understanding and Preparing for an Outbreak. It’s written in a clear and concise manner, with the reader that has a beginning or intermediate knowledge of the Ebola Virus and disaster preparedness in mind.
- Chapter 1: Introduction and Glossary of Terms
- Chapter 2: About Ebola (Transmission, Symptoms, Treatment)
- Chapter 3: The History of Ebola
- Chapter 4: The 2014 West African Ebola Outbreak
- Chapter 5: Early Stage – What to do Now (excerpt Below)
- Chapter 6: Advanced Stage – Outbreaks in Your Country/Region
- Chapter 7: Crisis Stage – An Epidemic in Your Area
- Chapter 8: Methods of Disinfection
- Chapter 9: Establishing Safe Practices (Isolation Rooms, Quarantine Areas, Cleaning Spills, Cleaning PPEs, etc.)
- Chapter 10: Preparations (PPEs and Other Necessary Supplies)
Early Stage – What to do Now (Chapter 5)
Now that we understand what Ebola is capable of, we must take action now to protect ourselves if the virus continues to spread.
- Have a Plan. Having a plan while a threat is not imminent is critical to your success. During a crisis, when panic abounds, it is better to refer to a plan that was developed while you were able to think objectively. Right now, this is your primary goal. Develop a formal, written plan that can be put into action if a crisis arises. Discuss it with your family. At a minimum, your plan should address:
- When you quit going to work/school.
- When you quit leaving your home.
- How to handle family members that show up at your home that could potentially be infected. Consider quarantining them in a tent or building outside of your home, or perhaps in their vehicle, for several weeks.
- When to flee to a family member’s home in an area with fewer/no outbreaks. This should be discussed in detail with everyone involved, especially those whom you would be fleeing to. For additional information on this subject, see my book titled: Getting Home.
- How to self-quarantine upon arriving at your destination. Ensure you have sufficient food, water, toiletries, etc. available for your use until you have shown that your are not infected. These may be brought by you are provided upon your arrival.
- Become accustomed to minimizing personal contact. Avoid shaking hands when possible.
- Become accustomed to washing your hands after coming in contact with fomites. From the glossary, fomites are defined as any object that could transfer the disease from one person to another. Doorknobs, cash, ATMs, etc. are all examples. If you cannot immediately wash your hands, use hand sanitizer with at least 70% ethyl alcohol content.
- When possible, avoid areas that could be a focus of infection. These areas include airports, taxis, subways, public gatherings, etc.
- Build a reserve of cash on hand, as well as savings in the bank. In the event of a crisis, you will need both. Aim for three months of savings and cash. Six months is even better.
- Stock a reserve of PPEs such as N99 or N100 masks, rubber boots, rubber gloves, Tyvek coveralls, etc. See Chapter 10 for details.
- Stock appropriate disinfecting agents such as bleach, vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Note that the shelf life of bleach is relatively short. Because of this, having Calcium Hypochlorite (pool shock) on hand to make your own bleach would be prudent. Making bleach from pool shock will be discussed further in Chapter 8.
- Stock food and water for use in the event of a large-scale quarantine. Several months’ supply of both would be a desirable goal. See Chapter 10 for additional information.
- Stay abreast of breaking news from both official and (reliable) unofficial sources. Compare both sources and learn to trust your gut if you believe a person in authority is downplaying an event in an attempt to minimize public panic. Do not wait for the masses to panic, have all necessary supplies beforehand.
- Begin discussions with your employer about working from home, if possible. You do not have to mention Ebola in particular, if it would make for an uncomfortable discussion. You could simply say that you are considering the option as a means to reduce transportation costs in your budget.
- Develop alternative sources of income in the event your plan dictates that you should no longer go to work. Bonus points if you are able to earn this income from home, without interacting with others.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Since there is currently very little that can be done medically to combat Ebola, having a strong immune system may be one of the few things you can do to improve your chances of survival if you find yourself infected.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Avid outdoorsman: hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, etc.
Saved by grace.
Loved by an awesome woman.
So Are You Prepared for an Ebola Outbreak?
- The threat you face from Ebola and what you can do about it
- Prepping for a Pandemic: Ebola
- What is Your Self Quarantine Plan?
- 10 Things You Should Know About Ebola
- Prepping for an Ebola Lockdown
- Ebola Healthcare Checklist
- Pandemic Survival: Prepping for Ebola, H1N1, SARS & More
- USA and Ebola Virus (The Real Facts)
- What Would You do if Ebola Were to Spread in Your City?
- Open Border, Ebola & ISIS: A Perfect Storm for America?
- How to Protect Yourself from Ebola
- Perspectives: Avoiding Hysteria