Government officials including the President say there is nothing to worry about. Do you believe them?
Regardless of your political persuasion, distrust of the government is at an all-time high and for good reason. Sure, both parties engage in political gamesmanship in an effort to secure a majority; however, far too many scandals over the last few years simply do not pass the smell test. The records, or lack thereof, in many cases tell a strong tale. People are simply reluctant to believe the official line any longer. The latest government line claim came less than a month ago when the President held a press conference reassuring the American people that we had no reason to worry about Ebola. After all, it was a half-world away, Americans practice better hygiene and enjoy better health care.
How much of that are you buying? As much as, “If you like your doctors you can keep them?” or “There isn’t even a smidge of corruption in the IRS targeting scandal?” It is true that our health care system is far superior to Africa and as a whole we practice better hygiene. However, the danger of Ebola is not a national issue; it is a local issue and when you are in the hot zone. When it reaches your neighborhood, you really can’t count on more than yourself.
Look at Patient 1—what, are we up to Patient 5?—in Dallas. He had recently arrived from Liberia, was exhibiting symptoms and was sent home from the doctor’s office with a few antibiotics. The hospital staff did get it right the second time. Nevertheless, the infected person contacted 100 or so people in the meantime. The people he came in contact with, at least those identified, are now quarantined.
What if you had contact with a person infected with Ebola? Would you be prepared? How much food do you have? Bleach for cleaning? Protective clothing? What if the next breakout was in your neighborhood? Could you afford to simply pick up and move? What about your job, family, school? What if the neighborhood or apartment building was quarantined in the middle of the night—no one in or out? Sure the Red Cross may drop off some food now and then; what else do you need to survive and prevent the spread to you and your loved ones?
Ebola is an incredibly transmittable disease. Thus far, the only patients “cured” have been the doctor and nurse transported to the U.S. So, if you were Liberian or from another infected country, where would you head if you suspected you had been exposed? That’s right, we painted a huge target on American soil and we have a government that has not shown a willingness to stop travelers coming from infected areas.
Are you prepared for an emergency?
Many prepared individuals and full-blown preppers already have a significant stockpile of supplies to deal with the emergencies most common in their areas. For instance, those living in desert regions prepare for mudslides, wildfires and severe droughts, where someone on the Northeast seaboard may be more concerned with blizzards and hurricanes. Whatever the emergency, much of the preparation is based around regional factors.
What about Ebola? How hard would it be for someone to get off a plane and spread it to your area? It does not have to be someone who just returned from Liberia; it could be Grandma coming to visit the grandkids. Unfortunately, the annoying passenger sitting in 3b next to her did not have a cold, and it was not that hot. However, a sneeze or profuse sweat is all it takes. Worse, it may not be the passenger next to grandma, but the passenger who had that seat on the previous fight, or someone who earlier grabbed the handle of the shopping cart at the grocery store or the doorknob to your office.
I am sure there are those with medical backgrounds or who are much wiser to the ways of prepping for communicable diseases, but here is my starting list of items to consider for combating the Ebola threat. I did not come up with the list; instead, I ran a few Internet searches to see products that had suddenly shown significant increases in sales—like a week-over-week 130,000 times increase in the number of units sold by sector in some cases. Are these people getting it right, going overboard or missing key items?
- Bleach – 5 to 10 gallons
- Protective clothing –Tyvek coveralls, hood
- Duct tape — to seal off open seams at wrist, boot, neck
- Protective particle masks – you cannot live in a HAZMAT suit
- Gas mask – not sure if this is necessary, but sales are up
- Emergency food – quarantine will last for 21 days minimum
- Emergency water – 1 gallon per person, per day
- Touch-free soap dispenser – great for washing without creating a community touch point
- Nitrile gloves – medical grade, 2 boxes per person, per week minimum
How about you? Help out the community and post the items that I have missed or you would recommend in the comment section.