Vinay Gupta on Swine Flu preparedness

Vinay posted these recommendations in Global Swadeshi, and they seem to make eminent sense. Don’t forget they only apply when the disease appears in a serious form in your own country.

I will keep track of information sources (but not news), via this tag.

Vinay Gupta:

“Right now, there are four things you should do.

A> Prepare to stay at home for a month while a wave of flu passes by. This keeps you out of the way of the germs. Things to consider are medications, food and toilet paper. You should get a three month prescription for anything you need now in case of quarantine / supply chain problems later. On short notice you can assume (hope) that water supply and electricity supply will continue, although if the flu wave is extremely severe that may not be the case.

Here is an absolutely minimalist food shopping plan.

Click to access how_to_buy_food_for_disasters.pdf

You should probably buy more different stuff, but I wanted to illustrate just how little is required.

Here is a somewhat more comprehensive and gadget-oriented shopping list.…

Readymoms have considerably more sane and comprehensive resource guides available. You should read their stuff.

B> Prepare psychologically for an extremely difficult period. This means doing things like visiting your parents, figuring out your relationships if they are in ambiguous states, making sure that you are not your job, your car, your house or any other such thing, but are yourself. The key to resilience is wanting to survive, putting yourself in the driver’s seat of the situation, and being clear about your goals. The psychological shock of a hundred million people dying of flu in the next year (a reasonable estimate: CAR20/CFR7) cannot be over-estimated. But the immediate challenge is not going into Ostrich-mode and putting your head in the sand: rather, remain alert to threats and act appropriately.

C> Understand what pandemic flu is and is not. Do some reading, not just the news, but the “flubie” sites – there are a number. You’ll see opinions from “end of civilization” through to “keep calm and carry on.” Prediction is difficult, especially of the future, but understanding the range of options and contingencies is critical at this time. You are an individual and community actor in a situation which is as threatening to your life as a car crash or an aeroplan crash in many ways. The fact that the threat is large and distant does not change that it is real. Your brain is poorly evolved to act rationally around large, remote threats but you can compensate by reading, thinking and acting.

D> Go out, today, and buy four things. Surgical or N95 masks, hand sanitizer, a gallon of bleach, and a week’s worth of groceries. You need these things not just to protect you, but to protect the people around you if you get sick. The surgical mask stops you breathing in infectious particles, but it’s even more effective at stopping you infecting other people. Hand sanitizer should be used immediately on returning home or arriving at the office: if everybody does this is really helps protect these spaces. Bleach is a contingency measure in case of things like water supply problems or a need to disinfect an area. The groceries trip is practice for social distancing by reducing your number of trips out, and gives you a little buffer. Social distancing is about avoiding unnecessary contact with crowds and public places to reduce infection risks. If you are in an area at risk, make one trip, not five. Pretty soon everywhere may be at risk at least some of the time.

All of these measures have two effects. The first is that they protect you. The second is that by protecting you, they protect the people around you, and if enough of us do these things, we all protect each other.

Right now, London has no reported cases. If you are reading this in Mexico, however, you should implement immediately. And if cases show up in London, we are on a war footing immediately: everybody does these things to protect everybody else, period.”

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