When a pandemic breaks out, it’s important that you have protective gear on hand. Once the emergency happens, it will be very difficult to get what you actually need – so it’s crucial that you’re prepared ahead of time.
As we’ve seen in the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, those people not prepared are more likely to panic. Supplies of protective masks and disinfectants quickly disappeared from store shelves and online suppliers.
Price gouging also increases as panicked people are willing to pay almost any price for protective supplies.
The top best seller in Amazon’s “Medical Face Masks” category, a package of 100 generic blue disposable masks, is going for $65, over ten times higher than what it cost only a few weeks ago. Keep in mind this type of mask does little to protect you from infection. What they are mostly used for is to prevent spread of viruses through coughing and sneezing.
More expensive are the N95 respirators, which unlike looser-fitting masks keep out small airborne particles and are most often used to protect against airborne transmission. The price of a box of 20 particulate respirators made by 3M and sold by independent merchants has almost quadrupled from $17 to $70 since the end of January. A package of 20 respirators made by Honeywell, another major supplier, and also sold by third parties has quintupled from $12.40 to $64. Representatives from both 3M and Honeywell said they haven’t raised list prices for their products but can’t control how much third parties charge. [Wired]
Masks can help cover your mouth and nose to avoid infection from airborne viruses. But it’s important that you get a mask that’s actually rated to prevent viruses from passing. Viruses are very small and a simple surgical mask isn’t enough for protection.
You’ll want to purchase N95 masks or higher rated masks that are rated to keep viruses out. Most of these masks are not reusable, so you’ll need to have a large supply on hand in various sizes for the members of your family.
As mentioned earlier, these kinds of PPE (personal protective equipment) will become difficult to acquire once a pandemic begins. You should be prepared BEFORE a pandemic strikes and have some of these items in your emergency medical kit ahead of any pandemic.
There are several other items that can help protect you, depending on the type of illness that’s spreading.
One way that disease is spread is through contact with the eyes. The eyes don’t offer the same protection that the rest of your skin does. Contaminants can get in through your eyes because your eyes are mucous membranes. If you come in contact with a virus and then touch your eyes, the virus can be delivered directly to your bloodstream.
Some masks also offer eye protection, but if you don’t have that type of mask, you at least want to have goggles. You need top quality goggles like the DEWALT DPG82-11C Concealer Clear Anti-Fog Dual Mold Safety Goggle. This one offers superior protection.
It’s also important to develop the habit of washing your hands before touching your eyes at any time. This is the most recommended preventative method suggested by health care professionals. The primary way we make ourselves sick is by touching our face. If you pick up COVID-19 by coming in contact with some contaminated surface, you will likely give it to yourself by touching your face. The CDC recommends washing your hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizers when you cannot wash your hands.
Gloves are essential for allowing you to touch people and surfaces that might be covered in virus. Latex gloves have proved effective in preventing transmission of many infectious diseases to health care workers, according to the CDC. But for some workers, exposures to latex may result in allergic reactions. You’ll want to purchase multiple sizes of non-latex gloves because of the growing allergic reactions to latex. Even if you’re not currently allergic to latex, it’s important to note that a latex allergy can develop at any time. These non-latex gloves are an inexpensive addition to your medical kits and do not take much space.
The most expensive thing you can purchase is a biohazard suit. This is a suit that protects you from head to toe when you’re going into an area that’s heavily affected by a pandemic. These suits are reusable, but must be sanitized properly before taking them off.
You’ll only need one suit per member of your family, but you need to make sure it fits properly. It’s a good idea to go through your supply every year and evaluate to see if you need to purchase additional sizes.
Booties are disposable covers for your shoes that help you to prevent tracking in disease on your feet. They’re usually one size fits all, so you can purchase several boxes of one size for your home.
Waiting for an outbreak to buy protective equipment is NOT recommended. You should have some of these supplies in your emergency kits BEFORE a pandemic. I believe, at a minimum, you should have some N95 masks and gloves in your kit. Once this COVID-19 pandemic subsides, and I believe it will in a few months, and once availability and prices return to more normal levels, you should stock your medical kits with a few of these items.
One thing we can learn from this COVID-19 outbreak is that life is short and we’re not guaranteed tomorrow.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. – James 4:13-14
If you were to die today, where would you spend eternity? Heaven or Hell? The difference is a relationship with Jesus Christ. Click here to learn more about how to have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ today.