Thursday, February 27, 2020

A Post-Apocalyptic Author's Thoughts on Pandemic Preparation

As a writer of zombie fiction, I'm no expert on communicable diseases, pandemics, or global health emergencies.  I'm just a guy wondering what I should do to prepare, what is practical, and what I can afford.  In some ways, my current situation in regard to the Covid 19 corona virus pandemic is similar to the situation faced by Jake and Karen in my novel Zombie ComplexFortunately, the ill won't be biting anyone.  Unfortunately, this is real life with real victims and the specter of disease and death facing us all.

We've been thinking that we may need to expand our small stockpile of supplies so that we have basic supplies and food on hand for a potential two to three week quarantine period.  We'll also make sure that we have sanitation supplies (cleaners and hand sanitizers).  We already shop "off-peak" and avoid large crowds.  While the government in Zombie Complex is more of a hindrance than a help, I do have a fair degree of confidence in public health authorities here in the United States.  They are a good place to start for advice on how to prepare for the human corona virus and other pandemics.

Hospital Visitor during a Swine Flu Epidemic - photo by Kencf0618 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

I recommend that everyone start with the Department of Homeland Security's Ready.gov website.  It provides basic information on emergency preparation and has advice on preparing for a pandemic.  It also has links to Health and Human Services (HHS) for more information about the pandemic.  As scenes from quarantined areas appear on the news, it is apparent that streets and store shelves get empty fast when communities are hit.  While you shouldn't panic, this is a great time to get a kit of basic supplies together and adapt hygiene and travel habits to the situation.

If nothing else, this health emergency should give everyone more time to stay home and read.

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