The rapidly spreading Coronavirus is a situation that we need to carefully monitor – not obsessively or in a panic – but carefully. We focus on the basics at Volusia County Prepping, but there are a few additional items that will be helpful if this goes from bad to worse. First, though, let’s look at some good sources of information that are away from the media hype:
(Links will open in a new tab on your browser)
JAMA Article – Clinical Characteristics of 138 Hospitalized Patients With 2019 Novel Coronavirus–Infected Pneumonia in Wuhan, China
Sanitation – Ordinary soap and water, and hand sanitizer are critically important in preventing the spread of disease, and the Coronavirus is no different in that regard. Have it and use it. In addition, having and using bleach and Lysol spray (Lysol page on Coronavirus) to clean surfaces, and an antimicrobial skin cleanser such as Hibiclens will greatly reduce your chance of infection should you come in contact with the virus.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Should you be forced into a situation where there is a reasonable chance of coming in contact with the virus, then you must do whatever you can to keep the virus from getting into your body. The mouth, nose, and eyes are the most vulnerable parts of the body. An N95 respirator should take care of the mouth and nose, and a face shield or chemical goggles (or at least wrap-around glasses) will help cover the eyes. PPE is not a substitute for caution. PPE is not foolproof.
If you plan to get it, then get it now. As of this writing (FEB 3), N95 respirators are still readily available on Amazon (Amazon link), but don’t expect that to last if this continues to spread.
Respirators that filter out at least 95% of airborne particles during “worse case” testing using a “most-penetrating” sized particle are given a 95 rating. Those that filter out at least 99% receive a “99” rating. And those that filter at least 99.97% (essentially 100%) receive a “100” rating.
Respirators in this family are rated as N, R, or P for protection against oils. This rating is important in industry because some industrial oils can degrade the filter performance so it doesn’t filter properly.* Respirators are rated “N,” if they are Not resistant to oil, “R” if somewhat Resistant to oil, and “P” if strongly resistant (oil Proof). Thus, there are nine types of disposable particulate respirators:
N-95, N-99, and N-100
R-95, R-99, and R-100
P-95, P-99, and P-100
Purchasing appropriately rated masks in the local hardware store or the same product in pharmacy makes little difference. The key considerations are the NIOSH approval and filter rating, as well as proper use.
The Basics – If you have the basics (long term food storage, water, medical, and defense), then you have the option of self-quarantine.
The Bigger Picture
Be sure to read the Pandemic page so you understand what the bigger threat of this is. There are two major threats regarding a pandemic, but the media only focuses on one – the possibility of you, as an individual, becoming infected. The bigger threat is the effect that a pandemic could have on civilization. Please read this article – it will help in understanding why we emphasize focusing on the basics.