President Trump just declared the coronavirus outbreak a national emergency. No doubt you’ve been inundated with information about this pandemic that has traveled so rapidly around the globe. Perhaps you’re already prepared for it; but if you’re like most of us, you aren’t. Not only that, but there’s a good chance you’re not even sure what to prepare. You’ve heard about people buying surgical masks and toilet paper, and wondered if you should do the same. But then, if you haven’t already bought them, you’re not going to find them either. Even Amazon is sold out.
I know you’re worried. Any man would be. You’ve got a family to take care of, right? That’s your job. Well, don’t worry that you’ve missed the boat; because you haven’t. If you do like everyone else and just follow the herd, it’s not going to do you the least bit of good. But there are things you can do.
Starting With the Basics
What’s being called the Coronavirus, or COVID-19 is a new virus, never before encountered. It’s similar to other viruses in the Coronavirus family, but not the same. For one thing, it’s not as serious. In fact, for most people who don’t have underlying health problems, it’s no more serious than the flu.
But it is still a virus. That’s a concern, because medical science really doesn’t have any means of curing viruses. Antibiotics work for bacterial infections, but they don’t do a thing for a viral infection. The body’s autoimmune system has to defeat it on its own. All that doctors and hospitals can do is provide supportive care to those who have serious cases, keeping their bodies alive while they defeat the virus.
As a virus, you have to catch it from someone else. That usually means that they cough or sneeze and you breathe in the virus-rick droplets of “aerosol” that come out of their mouths. Those droplets can travel as far as 12 feet (although most people are saying six feet). Those droplets can also land on surfaces and the virus can survive there for up to nine days. If you touch that surface, then touch your face, like we all do, there’s a good chance that the virus can get into your body and reproduce.
Stop it Before it Starts
Our best weapon then, against the Coronavirus, is to stop the disease before it starts… at least, stop it from getting into our families before it starts. How can we do that? A lot of it is nothing more than training them to develop the right habits.
A lot of people are stocking up on medical masks, hoping that will protect them from breathing in the virus. But that doesn’t really work, unless you are in close contact with a patient who has the disease, such as caring for a family member. In that case, you should be using the hard cup N95 masks or P100 respirators. Otherwise, the masks that doctors use are more to absorb droplets coming out of the mouth of the doctor, so that they don’t infect the patient; they really don’t protect the doctor.
You’d actually be better off putting that medical mask on someone who is sick, or at least someone who is coughing. That way, it can prevent the aerosol created by their coughs from spreading around and getting on other people and surfaces.
What does protect the doctor is washing their hands a lot and disinfecting their offices. The simple act of washing your hands with soap and water will reduce the number of bacteria on them by 50 percent. So washing every time you are in contact with another person or a surface which might be infected is the best protection you can have.
How to Make Homemade Hand Sanitizer
For times when you don’t have a sink available, you can use a disinfectant hand cleaner. These have become scarce, as people have been stockpiling. So you can make your own. All you need is:
- 1 cup 60% or greater Rubbing Alcohol
- ½ cup Aloe Vera gel
- 15 drops Tea Tree Oil
Mix those ingredients together and put it in a small plastic bottle to carry with you. Give bottles to your family members too. Teach them to wash their hands, every time they have contact with others or make contact with a surface which someone else might have coughed on.
Since that hand sanitizer has alcohol in it, it’s going to dry your skin out. That’s dangerous. Dry skin cracks, making openings in your skin. Since your skin is a major part of your body’s autoimmune system, what those cracks do is negate the ability of the skin of your hands to protect you from the virus. Fortunately, our wives have a solution to this problem. All we have to do is use hand their hand cream to counter the drying effect of the alcohol and keep the skin of our hands from drying out and cracking.
Yeah, I know guys, I hate that stuff too. But as men we should suck it up and do what we have to do. We’ve got our families to protect.
Other Good Habits to Keep
To go along with washing our hands, we all need to develop the habit of not touching our faces. Supposedly, the average person touches their face 10 times per minute. Each of those times, we’re giving bacteria and viruses the opportunity to get onto our face, where we have several openings leading into the body. If we rub our eyes or pick our teeth, we’re putting those germs directly into our bodies.
In order to avoid picking up COVID-19 off of surfaces, keep everything clean. Disinfectant cleaners have become scarce, just like the hand cleaners, as people stockpile. But the old standby of bleach still works. All you need to do is mix 1/8 cup plus 4 teaspoons of normal bleach (not the color-safe or scented kind) into one gallon of clean water. Then put it into spray bottles for use. That diluted solution of bleach is strong enough to kill the virus on any hard surface, like tabletops and door knobs.
Finally, get your family to keep their distance from others, as much as possible. Remember that aerosol droplets can travel as far as 12 feet, although in most cases, six feet is far enough. The best way to keep the disease from spreading, especially to keep it from spreading to your family, is to minimize contact with others.
Prepare for Quarantine
The key to stopping the spread of any epidemic or pandemic is to bring human interaction to a stop. That’s totally impossible, but it is possible to cut it down severely. That’s why China, Italy and other countries have initiated quarantines. This is the big gun that the government has available to use against the spread of any pandemic.
The question is, are you ready for that quarantine, or even a voluntary quarantine? That means you and your family staying in your home, for a minimum of 14 days, without going out for anything? Do you have everything you need for that? Are you ready, should it become necessary to start that quarantine today? Do you even know what you would need?
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