In the face of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the average person has realized that we are all much more vulnerable than previously believed. Indeed, given that we have witnessed troubling issues such as food and water shortages, as well as shortages of necessary supplies such as toilet tissue, soap, and more, most of us have begun to realize the importance of being prepared. Moreover, given that there are multiple waves of every virus and new diseases being discovered every day, pandemic preparedness has now become an essential part of living on this planet. Nevertheless, being prepared requires first acquiring the proper knowledge to do so. That said, the following is an overview of the things everyone should be doing in order to be prepared for the next pandemic.
Practice Everyday Preventive Actions
One of the top things you can do to prepare you and your family for the next pandemic is practicing everyday preventative actions. This is because we are only as safe as our habits and we cannot simply wait until we are involved in a pandemic to start practicing these behaviors. Some of the everyday preventive actions we should be practicing are as follows:
- Using Proper Hygiene: One of the top ways to prepare for the next pandemic is by using proper hygiene. While many people may seem to believe they practice proper hygiene, that is often not the case. For instance, coughs and sneezes should be covered with tissues or into your elbow rather than your hands. Nevertheless, many still do the latter out of habit. Additionally, you should be washing your hands regularly. Especially, after you have gone outside of your home or used materials that may be covered in germs. You should also be sure to wash your hands with soap, being sure to lather the backs of your hands, in between your fingers, and under your nails, and water for at least 20 seconds. Also, if you are not able to wash your hands, hand sanitizer that is at least a 60% alcohol-based is an acceptable alternative.
- Strengthen Your Immune System: Another thing you should be doing is working on strengthening your immune system. This includes eating foods that are high in Vitamin C, garlic, prebiotics, and antioxidants. Additionally, you should also be focusing on certain lifestyle improvements such as getting enough sleep, exercising, and meditating to reduce stress.
- Stay Home: Moreover, whenever you are feeling under the weather, you should stay home as much as possible and contact your doctor. This is both to protect yourself from getting sicker and also to protect others. Also, avoid sharing your personal items with others.
- Clean and Sanitize: Additionally, you should be going above and beyond to keep your home as clean as possible. This means you should be regularly mopping your floors and sanitizing all areas that are frequently touched and used by others. Moreover, you should also ensure all of your dishes and eating utensils are washed extensively with hot water and the proper cleaning liquid.
Create an Emergency Pandemic Plan
Another major thing you need to do is create your own emergency pandemic plan for you and your family. This includes the following:
- Form a Team: Especially for families that have small children, you will likely need to form a team to ensure you have enough people to handle every facet of the situation. Your team may include those who live in your home, extended family members, neighbors, teachers, babysitters, and more. Either way, you should let everyone know that they are a part of your team and what will be expected of them in the event of an emergency or other issue. Moreover, you should also create an emergency contact list of people and professionals that can help outside of your immediate team members.
- Risk Assessment: As we know, some people are more susceptible to illness than others. If you have members of your family that are more vulnerable (such as the elderly or those who have compromised immune systems), you will have to take extra precautions to protect them. Take the time to identify who these people are and make a plan to take extra precautions to protect these people.
- Identify Organizations: Additionally, you need to take the time to identify organizations in your community that can offer assistance during a pandemic.
- Plan for Closings: During pandemics, many schools, businesses, etc. tend to close. Be sure you have created a plan in case these places in your area are closed for extended periods.
Stock Up on Supplies
Lastly, you should be sure that you are stocked up on supplies of all kinds. Generally speaking, you should have at least a 2-week supply of food and water for everyone who lives in your home. You should also have at least a 2-week supply of any OTC medications, vitamins, etc. you may need. You may also want to purchase things such as first-aid kits and emergency response kits that are often kept on hand in case of natural disasters.
Overall, dealing with a pandemic can be very scary for everyone. However, if you take the time to get prepared, you will have a much better chance of keeping you and your family safe.