March 13, 2020/Coronavirus Preparation
By Michael D. Barker
Lansing, Michigan -- The coronavirus crises is a viral outbreak and as such it will cause various problems locally and nationally.
What you can expect?
Things will not happen suddenly. First, there will be suggestions to not do things such as attend social gatherings, touching or being in enclosed spaces. Hand washing will be strongly recommended.
Next expect that the ideas of social distancing will become enforced. Bars, restaurants and entertainment venues will be forbidden to open. Some may be allowed to service the public but only through carry out.
Finally, nearly every business will be closed except supermarkets and items that are considered necessary to public health will be rationed. This is quarantine. You will need reasons to go anywhere and possibly some permission slip to do so.
What should you do now?
You should have, at least, enough stores to last 2 weeks at all times. These stores should include medicines (medicines should probably be 3 months since a good deal of it is manufactured out of the country and there could be supply problems), personal need items, cleaning items and, of course, food. This is necessary because, at certain points, people will get concerned and start dragging things off the shelves. This will go away after a bit but having decent supplies should allow you to ride it out. You should also recognize that this is the standard quarantine time and that you may be required to stay home for that time period.
The Green Zone. This is a relatively pristine environment that you maintain. The virus comes from the outside therefore you can build a barrier to prevent it from building up inside and creating a threat to you. The first thing is to understand ring fencing. This means a protective barrier that allows nothing to pass.
There is no way that I can tell you all the ways you can do this so I will tell you what I’m going to do and why.
I have two entrances to my house, the back door and the front door. The back door opens immediately to my kitchen, refrigerator and small bathroom. The front door, however, opens to my porch. This porch has southern exposure and the virus does not do well in direct sunlight or heat. I can walk in with from what ever contact that I have had outside and immediately begin to discard items. I have a small UV light dryer unit there that I can put items in such as masks, phones or keys that will disinfect them in an hour. I also have wipes there that I can use to wipe my hands. I will sit down take my shoes and coat off and leave them on the porch. I will then step into my house through another door, close it and put on shoes that I have sitting on a rug there. I then will go up the stairs and wash my hands and face. Now depending on how much contact that I think I have had I will maybe stand on another rug upstairs and switch out of the rest of my clothes. I will take these clothes and rug and put them in the dryer and turn it on. The virus hates heat. I will go back down to the door and wipe the doorknob then finalize the process of by washing my hands and then my face.
Where’s the virus? Sitting outside my living space. I can then move around comfortably without danger in my house. If to add a bit more consideration I wipe down surfaces like railings and fridge handles or whatever I regularly touch once a day then my environment is Green.
That’s it. Fortify 1 entrance and only use that entrance.
This may seem onerous but really under this situation, you should not be out much in contact situations.
Here is a big thing. The virus tends to fail above 82 degrees and high humidity in 2 hours. Frankly, this means that if you let your house get hot for four hours then turn on the air conditioning you will make your home much safer.
Debt. Keep it low. There may be times when you can’t work and you will need money to take care of things. Get your cards down as much as possible because this is how you will transact. No one will want to handle checks or paper money.
A few other things to note.
This situation should probably last for a year. Plan for it.
There is a chance that this virus will swing back in the Fall and be very nasty to those between 20 and 40.
The N95 mask is very good at protecting you but provides NO protection to others once you have become infected. The mask that should be worn then is a simple surgical mask that keeps your infections breath in a short radius. Please, learn how to wear masks, this is important to the health of others.