With the dreaded COVID-19 or simply “coronavirus” spreading like wildfire, it only means one thing: Americans need to prepare for the coronavirus.
National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease Director Nancy Messonnier asserted that it’s not about the possibility of whether the situation gets worst but rather “more of… when this will happen”.
As of date, the total number of those infected with the virus reached almost 86,000 and more than 2,900 reported deaths in mainland China alone. Since mid-January, it has already spread to several countries including South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Iran among a few.
Meanwhile, the US state of Washington recently reported its first casualty due to the said virus. US citizens who arrived from China have to subject themselves in a 2-week mandatory quarantine in US military bases or in their own homes. A Centers for Disease Control report also revealed that there are also a number of US cases wherein the patients have no idea where and how they got the virus in the first place.
Despite the continuing increase of patients with the COVID-19 virus, the WHO still does not declare this as a pandemic. Health experts think otherwise, saying that there is already a global epidemic of this deadly virus. However, Bruce Aylward, a physician and an expert in public health working with the WHO declared that “the world is not ready for the [virus]”.
So, is there hope in containing the spread of this deadly virus? We can never tell, but at least we can do something about it. And it’s not as complicated as you think. Here are some things you can do to prepare for the Coronavirus.
For one, the CDC advised people who came from countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases to self-quarantine at home for 14 days. The NBC News also reported that those who recently traveled to any city or province in China have to comply to self-quarantine.
In addition, the American Red Cross also advised the public to keep a stock of basic necessities such as food, water, and other personal and household needs. Ideally, the authorities advise people to store food and water good for about two weeks, as per recommendation by the US Department of Homeland Security.
The public should avail food items that won’t easily expire in a few days. This consists of canned goods, coffee, pasta, cereal, nuts, and dried fruit. Buying perishable food items such as eggs, yogurt, or milk should be the last resort. In case the inventory of other food items starts to deplete.
Alyssa Pike, a dietitian working under the International Food Information Council. She suggested stocking on canned goods with liquid content. This includes tuna, beans, or tomatoes. According to Pike, these can make cooking pasta and rice a lot easier.
Meanwhile, indulging in sweets and coffee won’t be bad either. Although these are not really considered as essentials. These can help boost morale and ensure stable mental health throughout the quarantine period.
Health experts also strongly advise not to forget buying personal hygiene products. This includes the basics like toilet paper, alcohol/sanitizer, diaper, soap, shampoo, and more. Wearing and hoarding face masks may not be necessary, either. In fact, the CDC assures that thorough handwashing is everyone’s best defense against COVID-19 and other kinds of viruses in general.
As of date, the USFDA is constantly on its toes for potential shortages on medications.
That said, the public should have a month’s worth of prescription medicine supply, according to infectious disease expert, Marguerite Neill. In fact, go stock up with needed medications before a possible shortage might occur.
You should have an at-home first aid kit to treat common injuries like cuts, scrapes, sprains, strains and more. Essential supplies to consider:
Likewise, you should have copies of your medical records on hand just in case. One recent study revealed that older people with pre-existing health issues are at higher risk of contracting the dreaded disease. This is also the same case for those with heart disease and diabetes.
Updating your flu shots is also a must especially at this crucial time. While it may not guarantee protection against the virus, at least it can lessen the impact of the virus if ever it gets you. Also, avoid large crowds as much as possible. Although a lot of event organizers have already canceled or postponed their respective events.
Lastly, avoid traveling outside the country as much as possible. The US government already banned travel to countries with confirmed cases of COVID-19 including China, Japan, and South Korea. Those who recently arrived from these countries that are showing flu-like symptoms should undergo voluntary self-quarantine.
It can feel restricting when you are under quarantine. You should do these for the sake of your health and everyone else’s. Don’t wait until it’s too late, prepare for the Coronavirus now.
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