Creating an Ebola Survival Plan
Ebola is currently the world’s deadliest outbreak. From the first symptoms until death can be as little as three weeks. So it goes without saying that we should go to great lengths to avoid the possibility of contracting Ebola.
The following is a common sense plan for doing just that. Before Ebola appears in your town or city, have a plan in place for what you will do to survive the Ebola outbreak.
Ebola is a virus, much like Influenza (the common flu) is also a virus. So for the purpose of this survival plan, we’re going to combat Ebola using the same knowledge we already have with regards to the flu.
First of all, there is only one possible way to catch Ebola. And that one way is by being around someone who has Ebola. Therefore, any effective Ebola survival plan must include a strategy for avoiding people. In West Africa it has been surprising that so few elderly people are among the Ebola dead. One might think that they are frailer and more likely to die of an illness. But the most likely explanation for the lack of older people dying from Ebola is that elderly people don’t get out much and therefore are not being exposed to people carrying the Ebola virus.
As long as Ebola has not yet appeared within your city or town you can probably go about life as normal. However, upon hearing news of the first confirmed case within the city, town or county in which you live, I would strongly recommend implementing the following actions.
These steps are written in order of vigilance. The first confirmed case in your area would probably warrant the first few steps to be taken. As the virus begins to spread in your area, however, you’ll want to consider the more aggressive steps on this list.
Step 1) Upon hearing of the first confirmed case of Ebola within your city, town or county, you should immediately stop going out to eat at restaurants. Avoiding restaurants during a localized Ebola outbreak is especially important because of the fact that other people are preparing your food. If they have been exposed to Ebola, they could potentially pass it along to you in your food.
Step 2) Cease all non-essential activities that would put you in large groups of the general public. This would include sporting events, concerts, shopping malls, movie theaters, etc… In other words, just don’t go.
Step 3) Don’t use public bathrooms. Ebola is carried in bodily fluids. Well….guess what’s in public bathrooms? People who are prone to contracting illnesses are also likely to be the same people who seldom wash their hands. In a public bathroom there is a potential for those people to come in contact with their own bodily fluids and then, without washing their hands, grab hold of the door knob to exit the restroom. Then when you grab the same door knob…you may have just picked up Ebola.
Step 4) Stop going to church. No, I didn’t say stop praying….you’ll need lots of that, but it’s common practice during a church service to stand up and shake hands with the people around you. If any of them are carrying Ebola, it may just spread to you via a cough and a hand shake.
Step 5) As the Ebola outbreak in your community spreads, you will next want to strongly consider avoiding grocery stores. The one place that nearly everyone in your community has to go on a weekly basis is the grocery store. If someone with Ebola goes there, coughs on their hand and then puts that hand onto the shopping cart, there could be Ebola viruses present on the handle of the shopping cart for several hours. But in order to avoid grocery stores during an Ebola outbreak, you will need to stock up on non-perishable foods before a local outbreak occurs.
Step 6) Because Ebola can reside inside a person for three weeks before the first symptoms appears, once an outbreak begins to spread in your area it will be safe to assume that you’ll need to avoid the grocery stores for at least three weeks or more. That’s a long time. One way to help stave off starvation is to get a fishing license. In a worst case scenario, you can at least go to a pond, lake, river, stream or the sea shore and catch fish. It should go without saying, however, that you need to purchase the license prior to the local outbreak beginning.
Step 7) Don’t use the bathrooms at work (refer to step 3).
Step 8) Stop going to work. This of course is the most difficult step on this list. But everyone hates it when a co-worker comes to work sick. Next thing you know, it’s being spread around the office and everyone is getting sick. Well this time it’s Ebola, the world’s most deadly virus. It might be worth it to skip work and avoid catching Ebola.
When a local outbreak of Ebola occurs where you live, the best thing you can do is to stay at home as much as possible and avoid people.
Photo credit: flickr Creativ Commons, Ebola Virus by The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)