What is a Pandemic?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) define a pandemic as: ‘a worldwide spread of a new disease.’ History has taught us that a pandemic can happen (tuberculosis and smallpox); and if it does – it can cause chaos on an unprecedented scale. It would be easy to assume that we are safe from world changing pandemics in 2018. However, nothing is impossible and it is well worth having preparations in place should a pandemic occur again.
Preparing for a pandemic
We are lucky enough to have a very sophisticated health system here in the UK. Vaccines are now available for diseases and viruses that would have meant guaranteed death not too many years ago. New vaccines and cures are being created all the time. One thing to remember though is that vaccines are limited and there are some diseases that still do not have one! It is highly unlikely that there will ever be a vaccine for every single disease. Even if this was the case, there may not be enough to go round. Therefore, do not assume a vaccine will be available to you.
Hygiene plays a HUGE role in preventing the spread of a virus. You need to keep yourself free from the bacteria that is causing any illness through maintaining a high level of personal hygiene. It is also important to prevent cross contamination with infected persons. Avoiding ALL contact with people with the disease is your best bet. If this is possible – it will be your best chance of survival. If it isn’t possible e.g. a family member gets sick; then your hygiene becomes even more important.
In short, the most effective way to survive a pandemic is to bug in somewhere safe and wait for the pandemic to die out. Be prepared for this to take some time!
Worst case scenario – global pandemic
If a global pandemic were to occur, the number of deaths would be incomprehensible. Professional medical help would likely be unavailable and it would not be safe to venture out far for supplies. This would be a dire situation and one that not many people would be able to survive.
However, we can prepare ourselves for this eventuality:
1 – Stay as fit and healthy as possible now before a pandemic begins. This will give your body the best chance to fight off any diseases it may become exposed to
2 – Practice and maintain high levels of personal hygiene. Keep your body and your home in a condition where contamination is unlikely.
3 – Have a supply of basic medicine and medical equipment to manage any symptoms that may occur.
4 – Build a pandemic preparedness kit. Gloves, masks, body suits, boots etc. You could take this as far as you want and even include air filtration systems if you deem it necessary. Think about the worst case scenario and what you would need to do to keep you and your family safe. Build a kit that can allow you to do that.
5 – Create a shelter in place plan. Identify a location where you will be able to bug in and ride out the pandemic. Make sure everyone in your family knows the plan and where to go. If you can keep your bug in location free from infection – you might just survive any pandemic!