What Will You Do To Protect Yourself During The Next Pandemic?

In doing some research about influenza, I came across the great Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919. This happened during World War I and affected everyone on both sides of the ocean as well as across the world. It affected soldiers as well as citizens. It is estimated that 50 million people died during this epidemic. That is compared to the 16 million people who died during World War I.

One of the things that was missing from this epidemic was antibiotics. They simply did not exist as a medicine during this time. Antibiotics in an usable form was discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming. However, antibiotics are rarely used for any influenza viruses. We do have some medications now that will treat influenza.

It is unlikely though that antibiotics would have been effective anyway during the epidemic of 1918. The influenza epidemic came in two phases. The first phase was less severe and most people recovered from it. It came in back a few months later and killed people within hours to a few days. Most people died from the fever and fluid filling their lungs which suffocated them. The disease affected people ages 20-40 the most.

Doctors and scientists were at a loss at how to treat this influenza. They could not control or stop the disease. Remember, there was no Center for Disease Control at the time. That was not established until 1946.

Don’t remember learning this in history class? I didn’t remember learning it either. However, what can we take away from this?

A lot of preppers have this idea that when a disaster strikes, they’ll just bug out to a rural area. They think they’ll be safe in an area with so few people. But the thing is, unless you’re deep in a national park, you’re going to end up on someone’s property, and eventually a local will spot you and want to know what the hell you’re doing there.

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1. It was not treatable. They believe the strain during this epidemic was the H1N1. Influenza strains can be mild or develop a variant that can make them deadly. Since very little was known about influenza then, it was almost impossible to treat. Today’s influenza strains are proving harder to treat. Flu shots do not cover all strains of influenza. A strain or a variant in the strain of influenza could be strong enough to not be treatable or controllable.

2. It affected strong, healthy adults the most. The age group that was affected the most was 20-40 years old. This is a group of people who are at the peak of life in terms of health and vitality. The problem with that is this is also the group of people who would be the most social group especially in 1918. Even today, people in that age range rarely stay home. The disease would be able to spread very quickly because people are constantly going. They go to work, kids’ activities, social gatherings, and college.

3. It was not controllable. This influenza strain spread very, very quickly. People were given poor advice on how to not catch the disease and how to treat the disease. We now have the Center for Disease Control who would hopefully be on top of the disease. We also now know the best way to treat the symptoms of influenza. We also know that we need rest and to stay home to keep influenza from other people.

Do you think this could happen again? Many people do. Are you ready for the next influenza epidemic? An influenza epidemic of the proportions that occurred in 1918 would be considered a pandemic now.  We hear threats of pandemics now that could happen. How would you survive the next pandemic? What do you need to do to get ready?

1. Get a sick room ready. You should have a room, preferably a bedroom, ready to be a sick room. You should have some medical supplies ready in that room like a thermometer, ibuprofen, hot water bottle, instant cold packs, face tissues, disinfectant spray cleaner, trash bags, face masks, and disposable gloves. You may also want a pandemic flu kit in that room for the people treating the sick.

Most Americans think our medical system is the same as other 1st world countries… That’s what I used to think… But in fact, our medical system is a “ticking bomb” waiting to “explode”!

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) rates our medical system with D+… And in some states it barely reaches a startling F-! And that’s when things go smoothly…

So whenever a disaster or a major emergency event hits… your hospital will be overflowing and the staff probably won’t be able to help you. During Katrina for instance, non-threatening illnesses turned deadly because of lack of supplies and medicine

2. Have white towels, wash cloths, and white bedding ready to use. You want linens you can wash in very hot water or even put in boiling water to disinfect. You can also use bleach on white linens without issues. You want to have extra linens so you can change the sick beds quickly and wash the infected bodies without worry.

3. Have rolls of heavy plastic to cover surfaces like the bed, the floor, the windows,and the doorways. You have to think about disease control going in and out of the house. You are trying just as hard to keep the disease out as well as keeping it controlled in your home.

4. Keep some chem suits on hand. You may want to completely cover up to deal with a sick patient or having to go into infected areas. A chem suit with boots and gloves would be the ideal solution. You will also want a face mask and eye protection to keep safe.

5. Have one person who would be dedicated to taking care of the sick. The less people exposed to the sick person, the better the chances for everyone to stay healthy. Having one person designated to taking of the sick will keep everyone healthier. Having a designated respite person for the caretaker would be a good idea too.

6. Have a plan in place for death. In a pandemic, death is inevitable. What will you do if someone dies? As morbid as it seems, you may want to have a body bag on hand. You also want to have a plan for disposal of the body. Where will it be buried? Will you bury the body? Those are your decisions alone, but having a plan will make those decisions easier.

7. Do not go anywhere if you don’t have to. During a pandemic, being a homebody is your best bet for not catching the disease. Having a good food storage, water storage, and a disinfected home will be wise.

No one wants to think about getting sick much less think about a lot of people getting sick. We like to think with all the technological and medical advances we have now, another influenza pandemic will not happen again. However, new strains of diseases are being developed all the time in nature and in labs. We can not be sure this will not happen again. In fact, it is likely to happen again.

What will you do to protect yourself during a pandemic? Do you think we could have another influenza pandemic?

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9 Comments on "What Will You Do To Protect Yourself During The Next Pandemic?"

  1. Chasingbear | November 4, 2017 at 2:25 pm |

    Do a search for lomatium root, aka bisuit root, indian consumption plant. During the 1918 flu epidemic it is said that the Washoe indian tribe used this plant/root and did not loose a single member to complications of the flu. The reason healthy people died was because of what it called a cytokine storm. Basically a over reaction by the immune system. Tummerric is said to stop a cytokine storm.

  2. Peter McGregor | November 4, 2017 at 3:42 pm |

    Interesting and timely article. The 1918 virus has already been recovered\reconstructed from the grave of victims buried on Svarlbard Island and in the Arctic.

    Some points about treatment and survival.

    1. It appears to have swept away those age categories whose immune systems most vigorously resisted it, which then caused problems of its own,

    2. It’s a virus, not a bacteria. The body’s natural defense against viruses int to rapidly increase the body temperature, which makes it difficult for them to replicate.

    3. Aspirin and similar tar-derived pills had just been recently introduced. They treat ‘feverishness’ and lower the body temperature – thus, inadvertently, giving the virus the chance to massively and quietly multiply until it erupts again and finishes off the victim.

    4. Doctors then began to triage by asking if the victim had taken aspirin and, if so, passing on to other, still-savable patients.

    5. Doctors also noticed that those patients left out in the colder night air had a better apparent recovery rate than those confined in hot, overcrowded hospital wards.

    I am not a doctor or medical specialist so just take these as recollections gleaned from very extensive reading and research on the 1818 flu some years ago. Perhaps a qualified medical professional would like to helpfully add their comments on these points?

  3. Use a ultraviolet light at entrance way to kill virus before it gets into house.

  4. Chasingbear | November 4, 2017 at 5:22 pm |

    Peter, good info.
    I have been told that the body can tolerate up to a 107 degree fever for up to 12 hours if properly hydrated, without any brain damage occurring.
    The key is proper hydration, water. No fruit juices or any thing with sugars, just lots of water.
    These days we suppress fevers and coughs to be more comfortable. Both fevers and coughs are the bodies mechanism for fighting flue and colds. Coughing helps keep the lungs cleared of drainage than can cause pneumonia and of course fevers make for a inhospitable environment for viruses to grow.
    Sometimes the things we do for our own comfort can actually cause our demise.

  5. Antibiotics are not useful for treating viral illnesses such as influenza.

  6. J. Schroeder | November 4, 2017 at 6:43 pm |

    My main concern is not the flu right now, how about the Bubonic & Nuemonic plagues that
    started in Madagascar & have spread to 9 countries.

  7. More soldiers were lost in WWI to the vaccine than on the battlefield. They gave them the shot and in 24 hours they were in the hospital and 2 days later they were dead. Never got a chance to fight anything but the vaccine and most of them hem lost.

  8. Peter McGregor | November 5, 2017 at 4:42 pm |

    Thank you for your useful reference to, and recommendation of, tumeric, Chasingbear!

    The really excellent book ‘Flu: The Story Of The Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It’ -by Gina Kolata was the book which started my own extensive research into the 1918 flu, the (finally successful) attempts to recover and replicate the deadly 1918 virus, treatment for it and the dangerous inadequacy of the annual flu vaccine, which apparently merely ends up weakening the body’s own immune system as well as introducing mercury etc., into the body.

    As part of that research project, i came across the useful information, part of which I’ve repreoduced for for (under copyright law) ‘educational purposes’:

    ‘Maine pine needles yield valuable Tamiflu material
    By Clarke Canfield
    Associated Press Writer / November 7, 2010

    PORTLAND, Maine—A little-known raw material used in the most widely used antiviral flu medicine comes from the fruit of trees native to China. It turns out it also comes from pine trees in Maine’s backyard.

    Researchers at the University of Maine at Orono say they’ve found a new and relatively easy way to extract shikimic acid — a key ingredient in the drug Tamiflu — from pine tree needles.

    Shikimic acid can be removed from the needles of white pine, red pine and other conifer trees simply by boiling the needles in water, said chemistry professor Ray Fort Jr. Additional testing is needed, and it remains to be seen if there’s demand for the product or if the process can applied commercially in the private sector, he said.

    But the extracted acid could be valuable because Tamiflu is the world’s most widely used antiviral drug for treating swine flu, bird flu and seasonal influenza. The major source of shikimic acid now is the star anise, an unusual star-shaped fruit that grows on small trees native to China…’ (You can Google and read the whole invaluable, and largely overlooked, news item on the ‘net, using the headline above to find it).

    Hope that this is of some practical help to others if a pandemic does strike again!

  9. Peter McGregor | November 5, 2017 at 7:42 pm |

    Folks, take warning – this actually happened in Europe in 2009 and was only discovered and a potential pandemic prevented because an exceptionally conscientious lab worker in one of the receiving countries decided that it might just be a good idea to test this batch of incoming vaccines! Google ‘accidental release of live bird flu vaccine’ for multiple reports and stories on this. You can make your own mind up about whether it was an ‘accident’ or not…

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