The first community spread of COVID-19 in the United States was detected in the last week of February 2020. The case was that of a Northern Californian woman who had not been exposed to any known carrier of the virus.
Before she was diagnosed, Americans were thought to be at high risk only if they had traveled to high-risk countries or had been exposed to a sick person.
But the Californian woman was not a traveler, neither had she made contact with an infected person.
The implication is that transmission between persons may be more likely than we anticipated.
Since then, there’s been an astronomic increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States. 60 new cases were recorded as of March 3, alongside the 48 cases from the Japan-bound Diamond cruise ship.
It is no longer news that there is widespread panic. Healthcare professionals are advising citizens to prepare instead of panicking.
According to experts, many people may show mild symptoms after initial testing.
Here are evidence-based ways to prepare for a COVID-19 pandemic.
Buy disinfectants and soap
It is no longer news that the best way to prevent contraction of COVID-19 is through frequent and thorough handwashing. So, you must have a good supply of soap.
SARS-CoV-2 may have the ability to survive for more than a week on surfaces, so you’re better off having disinfectant wipes as well.
Studies have shown that ethanol and bleach-based cleaning products may be very effective at wiping viruses from surfaces.
There’s no need stockpiling hand sanitizers or disinfectants. A bottle or two will do.
Stock up on supplies
According to experts, there’s no need for buying facemasks if you are healthy.
Why? Well, facemasks are not very effective in preventing sickness. Surgical masks, for instance, have thin spaces in them where germs can penetrate with ease.
Masks are mainly for “already-sick” people. It helps to reduce the number of respiratory droplets released into the air when they sneeze or cough.
If people continue to buy masks, there’ll be a shortage, and those who are actually in need of it (healthcare providers and sick people) will not have them.
The Department of Homeland Security says that you don’t need more than a couple weeks’ worth of supplies and food.
Buy canned items and frozen foods that won’t spoil easily.
There’s no need stocking up as if there’s going to be an apocalypse. Just stay on top of what you’ve got so that you don’t run out of foodstuff if you are home for a few weeks.
Think carefully about what you need before making purchases. Grocery stores will remain open. They won’t shut down, so you can always ask your friend, a neighbor, or a loved one to get your supplies if you run out of anything.
Stock up on medications
Your medicines are important. You need to keep an eye on them.
Mild symptoms of COVID-19 can be relieved by over-the-counter medications like fever reducers, decongestants, and pain relievers.
You’re better off keeping your prescriptions replenished rather than wait until the last minute.
Early studies have shown that COVID-19 is more severe in people who have underlying health conditions.
Check-in with work and school
Already, there’s a lockdown policy in most countries affected by the pandemic.
You should find out from your workplace and school (for your children) about sick day policies. This will help you plan properly.
It is important that put in place a “work-from-home” policy because infected people will need to quarantine themselves.
Watch the news
You must stay updated with what’s happening in your vicinity. If the virus strikes, the people you have to look up to are your local health officials.
If information reaches you that the COVID-19 has hit your town, you don’t have to panic. Just follow the instructions of your government and public health officials.
COVID-19 is a situation that could best be described as “quick developing.” New information is released daily. So, preparing for the coronavirus varies from community to community.
Practice healthy hygiene habits just as you would if you experienced the flu or during the cold season. Practice social distancing. Don’t forget that some people may be asymptomatic (they have the virus but show no symptoms), so cleaning surfaces and handwashing will be of immense benefit.