The stock market is dropping like a rock and all the news is about the coronavirus. Normally we cover stocks, but I thought I would cover our most important investments, our health. Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is telling Americans that they should prepare for the possibility of a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in their community.
The good news is that a handful of bio-pharma companies have made progress in finding a vaccine for the virus, but they are a long way from getting approval and distributing it. Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) has recently has been approved for human testing.
The question now is how to prepare for the coronavirus. I am not an “expert” in diseases like the coronavirus but received training for similar things like the virus while in the Marines.
In addition to being in the Marines, I have survived several hurricanes without power. Natural disasters can be dangerous, but I think the most significant risk in most natural disasters is people going crazy because they are unprepared and scared.
- 1 Here is a quick coronavirus survival guide
- 2 Common Coronavirus Preparation & Protection Questions
- Plan: Develop a plan that you communicate in a clear and caring manner to your family.
- Store Water: You need to have 3 gallons of water (1 drinking and 2 washing) per person per day for two weeks.
- Shelter: You need to have a safe and controlled area that you can stay for 2 weeks or more. A less dense population location is ideal.
- Food & Medicine: Have at least two weeks of food and medicine for all your family. Focus on dry food and that has a long term storage. Amazon long term food kits
- Face Masks: Buy masks now before you can’t get them. Make sure you can tighten them or plan on using tape to make sure nothing is getting around them. Low cost Amazon Face Masks.
- Cleaning Supplies: Having bleach, soap and other sanitation items are critical to fighting this virus.
- First Aid Kit: Have a basic first aid kit that should have gloves, band-aids and tournique.
- Basic Protection: Have a gun and ammo on hand to protect yourself and family.
- Fill Up Cars: The basic plan is not to drive anywhere, but if you have to go somewhere, you don’t want to stop for gas.
- Have a “Bug Out Location and & Plan: Worst-case scenario plan on disconnecting to a less populated area.
- Alt Communications: In a worst-case scenario, cell towers can be overrun. Look at getting 2-way radios like these Baofengs on Amazon.
There is a lot of bad information circulating about the virus right now. Unfortunately, know one knows 100% the specifics of the virus. However, I did my best to answer many of the common questions people have.
First Thing: Don’t panic — but do prepare. This means not only having a contingency plan, but also old-fashioned preparedness planning for your family. It would help if you did many of the same things in case of other possible hurricanes or another natural disasters.
Should I stock up on medicine and food?
The answer is yes, and you need to stock up on food, and medicine now to avoid shortages in the event of a coronavirus outbreak.
Another reason is it is to practice what experts call social distancing. You will want to avoid large crowds to minimize your risk of catching the virus. If coronavirus is spreading in your area, the last place you want to be in any public place like a grocery store or pharmacy that has a lot of people around.
You should have at least two weeks, preferably a month or more, of your daily medication.
Consider pre-buying fever reducers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Rubbing alcohol and band-aids are also recommended to have on hand.
People should have enough nonperishable foods in their pantry to carry them through for a couple of weeks. Unlike hurricanes, most people will have power. Such food items like rice and canned goods can be heated up.
People should also have chicken or vegetable broth and crackers in case of illness.
Hydration is key. You should have plenty of water on hand as well as Gatorade and Pedialyte. If you get the coronavirus, you will want to ride it out at home. Having these supplies will give you the best chance of doing it.
Are unique cleaning supplies needed?
We still don’t know precisely how long the coronavirus can survive on surfaces. Most household cleaners, such as bleach or alcohol, will kill the virus.
Only buy the non-scented bleach because it has the best properties to kill viruses. The scented versions do not kill viruses.
In a worst-case scenario, wiping down surfaces with soap and water should do the trick.
If the coronavirus starts circulating in your area or you have a family member infected, you must plan on cleaning surfaces that get touched very frequently. This includes areas such as kitchen counters and bathroom faucets many times a day.
What about face masks?
Experts are mixed about whether it’s helpful to wear a face mask out in public. The primary reason for this is because it depends on what kind of mask you are wearing. However, the most important thing is if you are using the mask correctly.
You may want to consider using tape to create a better seal for the mask. This will provide better protection than just trying to tighten it.
In addition, many disease experts are reluctant to approve people wearing masks as a preventive measure because it can provide a false sense of safety from the virus.
The bottom line on masks – You definitely need to wear them if you are sick or caring for a family member that is sick. The most critical thing to remember is that the mask needs to be tight against the face to stop the virus from entering your system.
What to do about work or school?
People preparing for the virus need to talk to their bosses, school, and family and start planning to stay home. Most companies can offer temporary telecommuting for employees. As mentioned early, it is uber important to stay away from crowds of people. Introverts will likely enjoy this season, but extroverts may need more planning for alternative communications.
The early signs are fever and dry cough for the coronavirus. It is recommended that you call the doctor’s office before going to the hospital. The exception to this rule is if you are having serious trouble breathing. Contact medical support asap!
Some other flues and illnesses may have similar systems. So a professional will give you the best treat you.
What do with your family and older relatives?
Dealing with family can be the most stressful part of any natural disaster. I can’t tell you how many times people have injured themselves or died people; one person of a family created risks that should have been avoided.
The first thing to do is to communicate your plan to your family members in a calm, clear, and caring message.
In your message, outline the risks of the coronavirus, such as exposure to crowds or going out. Kids and older family members may not want to “disconnect” from social events or friends, but the best chance of success is telling them ahead of time.
In addition, you can provide games and alternative communication methods for them. Specifying that it will only be a few weeks of separation will also minimize the blow of social disconnect.
If a family member or friend does not follow your plan, you most likely need to distance yourself from them in a caring way.
Donald S. Wiggins loves learning about business trends. He has 5 years of experience in financial news and worked his way up from a writer to a senior staff member. He is one of the original writers of alphabetastock.com with a goal to increase readership and financial news coverage throughout 2019. Wiggins is the editor and manager of “Services” category.