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Pandemic Survival Lessons We Can Learn From the Coronavirus

The Coronavirus is the Christmas gift nobody wanted. It took two months for a simple outbreak in Wuhan, China to become a global phenomenon. It is the first major flu epidemic since the Great Swine Flu Outbreak in 2009. Since pandemics are a cornerstone to every zombie movie we can learn a lot from this to put it towards our own zombie prep knowledge bank.

A Pint Of Corona Please

38% of Americans believe you can get the virus from the beer. This is not true for many reasons. First, the beer is made in Cerveceria Mexico which is nowhere near Asia, or any affected Asian countries. Second, beer goes through a heavy distillation process that effectively kills almost all bacteria and viruses. To make beer you’ll need to mix malted barley, hops, yeast, and water. Everything is heated to a rolling boil for tens minutes (where all germs die), then finally fermented for two weeks depending on the type of beer you are making.

Stop Blaming the Culture

Viruses have no preferences when it comes to infecting people. All they want is a nice soft human to pitch a tent in and call home. Blaming China for the Coronavirus is childish. They don’t want it any more than any other country, they, unfortunately, pulled the short straw in the pandemic world. You can only get the virus if you are within six feet of an infected person. If nobody in your area is sick with Corona it’s okay to say hi to your Chinese neighbor or visit China Town. If you are worried about items shipped from China this is another misunderstanding as the virus can only survive on a surface for three days. Viruses outside the human body are extremely sensitive to the heat and cold, so chances are those packages came over on a plane and froze to death on take-off.

Stay Away From Me

If you are sick, stay at home! Going out while sick just spreads the disease. Unfortunately, too many of us are living paycheck to paycheck so this isn’t entirely possible. If you have to come into work, wear a facemask in order to stop the spread. Those face masks are better designed at keeping things in, then keeping things out. This is explained more in detail in order previous article, Pandemic 101. Also practice safe distancing, which is an old technique used in the 1918 Influenza outbreak. This is where you stay an arm’s length away from those that were sick or showing flu-like symptoms.

The Government is Not Your Friend

Many of us think that in a time of crisis the government would be there in minutes to make things all better. This has never been true. The Government operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. Unfortunately, during a pandemic, they’ll need to consider the needs of everyone, in every state. This leads to a lack of resources, funding, medical teams, etc. The government functions on an old saying, “The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of a few”. Meaning what they do needs to benefit the majority (a large number of people), not the minority (a handful of people). 

Stocking Up

This is why stocking up on essentials is important before any disaster strikes, not just when they show up on your doorstep. Things like food, water, and medical supplies will be at short supply when a pandemic arrives. And, as I just mention the government may take days or weeks to even reach you. In a normal local disaster, they estimate government rescue time to be at two weeks. It’s going to take a lot longer then that if every city is affected by the virus. They’ll most likely only focus on the hardest-hit areas, and if you ain’t in them it’s going to be a while before they show up. That’s why I put together a two-month home disaster kit and a couple of Home Sick Bags stock with basic essentials to help one out when they fall ill.

I’m Right! No, I’m Right!

Another common issue you’ll have to face is conflicting media reports. Nowadays, not everything you hear on ANY news outlet can be legit. 99% of the time when they are doing a breaking news story, chances are they only got 10% of the facts. As more facts come in reports change. Also, many sources have a natural bias built into there platform so if one source tells you to jump, the other will say not to. Do the best you can to collect facts from multiple conflicting news outlets, piece everything together, and come up with your own conclusion based on the facts you have at your disposal.

Mass Hysteria

This is the number one problem in any disaster no matter what it is. You got the news outlets saying things like “It’s a matter of time before Corona reaches your doorstep” and “Corona is on its way! Everybody hide!”. For every real story, there are ten fake ones floating around on social media. Even before social media fake stories were all the rage in disaster. I remember reading news reports about smallpox from the 1800s that said things like “If you get the smallpox vaccine little cows will burst out your pestles” or “This is the wrath of God to punish us for our sins”. Of course, none of that was true, but at the times thousands believed these reports. We still have to go through these kinds of things today, but we have access to facts and statistics. So, next time you read a crazy news story, take a deep breath and think “Is that true?” 

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M.L. Lewis

Written by M.L. Lewis

M.L. Lewis is not new to the world of writing. She has written various short stories and poems throughout the years and has won multiple awards in art and literature. The highest honor she received was Poet of the Year in 2000, and again in 2005. A poem she wrote in honor of law enforcement can be seen in the book, Everything You Wanted to Know about the Heroes in Blue. She was also featured in Encounter magazine for the volunteer work she did for the United States troops. In 2010 she won Resident of the Year in a local newspaper titled The South Hills Messanger. Today, she spends her time increasing her knowledge on disaster preparedness while working on her Ph. D. in Paranormal Studies.

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