When a deadly virus comes to your area, you might not have much choice but to quarantine yourself. This might come in the form of a self-imposed quarantine or a forced quarantine, under the penalty of arrest from your government. Either way, there are thoughts and considerations that every preparedness-minded person or family should think through before the need to start prepping for quarantine.
In the Preparedness Community, we often discuss pandemics, but we rarely consider what happens during a quarantine. This is apparent in the number of articles one finds on Prepper Website. The keyword “pandemic” contains many articles, two pages worth. But the word “quarantine” only has five, not including this one.
Why Should We Consider What Happens During a Quarantine?
As the Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across China, the government has locked down many cities and imposed a quarantine on its citizens. These citizens, especially those in Wuhan, a city bigger than New York City with 11 million inhabitants, didn’t get a warning. They didn’t get the heads up to order supplies from Amazon or Alibaba or even make a run to the grocery store. The quarantine was quickly imposed.
One New York Times article, written January 24, 2020, quotes a representative from the World Health Organization in Beijing, that this virus outbreak could last months.
Dr. Gauden Galea, the representative of the World Health Organization in Beijing, said in an interview on Friday that while much was uncertain, health officials were preparing for an outbreak that could last for months. He said that eventually thousands of people would most likely be infected, citing models produced by public health experts.
“My own office is gearing up for a number of months,” Dr. Galea said. “We do not expect it to disappear in a number of days.”
He said much would depend on the patterns of infection over the holiday travel season. He said there was little precedent for the travel restrictions imposed by the Chinese authorities but that public health experts were hopeful that they could help contain the virus, along with efforts to expand screening, promote the use of masks and isolate sick patients.SOURCE
Preparedness-minded folk might want to make sure that they don’t get caught having to quarantine without the needed supplies and considerations for months on end.
Food and Supply Considerations
How often do you go to the store for groceries and supplies? I might be addressing the choir right now, but there are still people out there that don’t have more than 2 weeks worth of groceries and supplies. Two weeks won’t be enough if your quarantine lasts “months.”
Stocking up on food isn’t that difficult. But how often do you stock up on laundry detergent, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, and toilet paper? We don’t always consider these hygiene items. If you are stuck in your home for months, you are still going to wash clothes, take a shower, brush your teeth and use the restroom. You don’t want to go out for these items or go without if you don’t have to!
Imagine being locked up in your home with a crazy virus infecting people out in the wild. You know that you will want to stay informed about what is going on. Many self-reliant minded don’t trust the mainstream media to share out the full truth of what is going on. It will be up to you to find alternative news sources to keep up-to-date on the spread of the virus and how others are responding to the quarantine.
One way that many stay informed is by reading alternative news articles. Prepper Website has made it very easy for preppers to find a ton of articles in one place over at the Alt. News Hub. Another way where you can get a lot of information is Twitter. On Twitter, you can follow news organizations, mainstream, and alternative to see the articles that they are sharing from their websites. You can also search for specific keywords and even hashtags to follow what individuals are saying about these topics.
Lastly, if things really go sideways and the internet goes down, those who have access to a HAM radio can still get information during a quarantine. There are HAM radios that are not very expensive and can run on batteries. One popular HAM radio among preppers are those made by BaoFung. One word of caution – You need a HAM radio license to broadcast from a HAM radio during normal times. However, being in quarantine due to a pandemic would probably constitute a time when anyone without a license could broadcast.
Establishing Routines and Procedures During Quarantine
The first few days of a quarantine might feel like a snow day for most. Kids will be happy to not be in school and adults might like the idea of sleeping in. But soon afterward, the kids will start to annoy each other and the stress of being inside and what is “out there” will get to everyone. It will be smart to set up routines and procedures for everyone in your family, or even if you are a single person living alone.
Routines While in Quarantine: Morning Procedures
A morning routine should be established to make sure everyone is sleeping and getting up at the same time so noise isn’t being made during the late hours and keeping family members from getting a good night’s sleep and in turn, staying healthy. The only caveat to this idea would be if someone needed to stay up to protect the home and alert everyone if bad actors were trying to break into the home.
A morning routine might consist of everyone getting up at a designated time, washing up or taking showers, the family having breakfast together, and chores being done. But the morning shouldn’t be the only time of the day that should be scheduled.
Routines While in Quarantine: Learning and Studying
The household that finds itself having to quarantine might also want to schedule a time of learning and studying, especially if there are school-aged kids in the home. This is easier if utilities and the internet is up, which should be the case unless things really go sideways! But self-reliant parents might still want to have plenty of books, paper, pencils, and other school type supplies on hand. But times of learning and studying shouldn’t be for kids, adults can and should use their quarantine time wisely by studying a topic or topics of interest. Many preppers have plenty of books that can help in this regard. And if not, there are many free Amazon Kindle books available every day that would apply to a preparedness-minded individual.
Routines While in Quarantine: Family Entertainment Time
Like it was mentioned before, being in quarantine will be stressful. Another time that should be scheduled is family entertainment time. The purpose of this is to spend time together in a fun and light way so that positive family relationships can be maintained. A good supply of playing cards, other card games, like Uno and Phase 10, and board games will be worth their weight in gold.
Routines While in Quarantine: Exercise
There will be a lot of sitting and laying around during a quarantine. Families might want to take some time to set up an exercise program. An exercise program doesn’t have to include a lot of expensive equipment. A program that helps to strengthen your core and keep the blood flowing could consist of doing jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, running in place, and a variety of stretches.
Routines While in Quarantine: Quiet Time
Families might also want to institute a time for quiet during their quarantine. Quiet time would be a time that everyone goes to their own special spot and doesn’t make any noise. This would allow those who need quiet to read a good book, pray or read their Bible. Some might even want to take a nap. There are many different types of personalities out there and some people do need quiet to recharge and stay in a good place. This shouldn’t be neglected.
Routines While in Quarantine: Free Time
Lastly, some time should be devoted to everyone’s schedule to have free time to do whatever they would like to do in the confines of the quarantine space. Free time is necessary to allow individuals to explore and pursue the things that bring them happiness, which would be necessary in an extended time of stress and anxiety.
Routines While in Quarantine: Cooking and Eating
This article has already mentioned the importance of food. But food will need to be cooked, eaten and then there is the clean-up. Every family has a procedure around this, but during a quarantine, there might be a need for others to chip in and clean-up or take turns cooking. This is also a good time to teach other adults or kids the skill of scratch cooking.
When Someone Needs to Leave the Quarantine
There might be a time when someone in quarantine needs to leave the premises and go out “in the wild.” In this case, there should be a decontamination area setup where individuals who return can strip their clothes off, leave them behind and sanitize any parts of their exposed body that could bring in the virus.
The Hit to Your Finances
Another area that is not usually thought of would be the loss of income for those who have to be quarantined. Many companies will not be producing and selling due to the virus. As a result, they won’t be able to pay their workers, even those who can work from home. What will happen to most Americans, who don’t even have $400 in savings, pay their bills? This is another reason why you should pay down your debt and have an emergency fund.
If Things Really Go Sideways
If the virus causing the quarantine doesn’t burnout, then things could go from bad to worse. For example, people who run critical infrastructure might not report to work. Police officers, medical workers, utility engineers, and others might decide that it is too risky to be out and instead choose to stay at home and protect their families.
This was the basis for a docudrama called After Armageddon. The docudrama follows a father, a medical professional, and his family as society breaks down. This is a scary possibility and one that many don’t want to think about.
If this unlikely scenario was to play out, considerations for SHTF, while dealing with a deadly virus in the wild, will need to be planned for. For example, if utility workers are not going to work, then water, waste treatment, and electrical plants will stop working. Modern society will come to a standstill in a most trying period. During this time, violence, uncertainty, and fear will rule and those who care about their families will need to provide a defense.
The Time to Prepare is Now
A pandemic has to get really bad for a quarantine that causes you to stay home and shelter in place to go into effect. But if it ever happens, you won’t get a lot of time to prepare. Just look at what happened in Wuhan, China. The quarantine and lockdown instituted by the government happened fast. That is why you need to be prepared with food, water, meds and all the other things you might need. Most of these items are consumable anyway and will be used if you choose to use a first-in, first-out (FIFO) method to your supplies.
What we see happening in China during the Coronavirus is scary. This is playing out right in front of our eyes. It should cause everyone to stop and think through their preparedness plans, including pandemic preparedness. Right now, you have time to prepare. That is a blessing that others haven’t had.