This H1N1 flu bug doesn’t seem to be willing to die a quiet death. I expect that this coming winter we’ll see thousands of flu cases but there will be even more cases of overwrought hysteria by the media and public officials. With the ease of international travel, there are new diseases coming into every country all the time, or so it seems, and some are highly contagious.
That said, imagine for just a moment that you and your family have been placed under an official quarantine lasting seven days, fourteen days, or even longer. No one goes to work, no one goes to school. You won’t be eating at restaurants, going to church or to the movies, or visiting friends. During a quarantine, you will be expected to be pretty much self-sufficient.
How will you cope?
Preparing for something like this is a good excuse to really get going with your prepping. If you haven’t yet started storing food, get busy! Begin with buying extras of the groceries you use more often. No one is suggesting you suddenly begin making bread from scratch, but you should have three or four extra loaves in the freezer along with some frozen gallons of milk.
The simplest step is to jot down what your family eats during the course of one or two weeks and then begin adding multiples of those food items to your pantry. It doesn’t take much to stock up on a couple of week’s worth of food. Remember, though, if you’re the one with the flu, you won’t feel up to making complicated meals, so be sure to have plenty of quickie foods on hand that even young children could prepare. Cereal and pop-top cans of ravioli come to mind as do simple comfort foods like chicken noodle soup.
What else do you need?
In addition to food, you’ll need non-edibles, such as soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, toothpaste and more. You can read about an organized way to begin stocking up on these items here. Just make sure you have enough extra to last 10-14 days, or longer, depending on the quarantine.
Now would also be a good time to make sure you have a working thermometer or two, extra bottles of pain reliever, at least one humidifier, and a few boxes of Oscillococcinum, an all-natural flu remedy. A friend of mine swears by the stuff, and I just discovered I can buy it at a great price through Amazon, of all places! What else do you and your family rely on when everyone is sick and miserable? Hot cocoa? Vicks Vapo-Rub? Whatever it is, have some on hand!
Depending on how severe the illness, you may need contractor-grade bags to hold refuse (do you REALLY want to clean up the mess if a cheap bag rips open and spills vomit soaked paper towels?), biohazard bags, barf buckets, even gauze (or maxipads) to absorb blood. (Remember picture of people with tuberculosis coughing up blood in old movies? Yeah, like that.)
Having the kids at home 24/7 may drive everyone batty, so it will be worth your while to tuck away a few books on CD, DVDs, books, and even school workbooks. Amazon carries the BrainQuest workbooks for various grades, and at over 300 pages each, surely they’ll keep your kids busy for a long while! Just be sure to have plenty of pencils and a good pencil sharpener handy, and there’s nothing like breaking out a brand new box of Crayola crayons in 120 colors to put a smile on a miserable, feverish little face!
And honestly, it could be even harder to keep them happy if they are healthy and just want to be out playing with their friends!
Finally, if no one is working during the quarantine, it’s possible your income might suffer. Your mortgage company, landlord, and utilities must still be paid right on time, so do a little financial planning to be sure that money is set aside in case the worst does come to pass. As always, it pays to be prepared in more ways than one.
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