China’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus: Don’t Panic, Prep!

China’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus: Don’t Panic, Prep!

China’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus: Don’t Panic, Prep!

If you’ve been paying even a smidgen of attention to the coronavirus that’s spreading across China, and minimally, for now, into other countries, you know that the information coming from communist China does not reflect reality. The virus is said to have an incubation rate of up to 14 days and, more alarmingly, it can reportedly be spread by people who are asymptomatic. So the steps China is taking—locking down massive cities, closing every theater across the country, banning Uber-like ride share services, for example—will have precisely zero effect on containing the spread of the virus (not to mention, it’s been around since at least last December). About five million people were allowed to leave the, allegedly, ground-zero city of Wuhan itself before authorities locked down the city. Did some of them carry the coronavirus with them? Probably. Have they traveled out of the country? Who knows. So couple that with what we’re told is a virus transmittable to other people before its host even coughs, and anyone with a couple of functional brain cells can see that controlling the virus is a losing battle that’s far past its due date:


So with that: let’s not panic; let’s prep. So here’s a list of practical, common-sense things we can do, and stock in our homes, to keep ourselves and our families as safe as possible, should this thing (or anything for that matter) manage to find its way here in greater numbers than we currently have (and I think that’s a given; see the previous paragraph if your attention span is as short as mine):

Don’t travel. Especially to China. Now, I’m not so naïve as to think that people can just stop traveling, particularly if it’s part of your job. But if you must, and it’s by commercial airline, train, bus, whatever, make sure to have lots of hand sanitizer, keep your hands OFF your face, wash your hands frequently, and, if you’re unconcerned about people looking at you weird…

Get a mask. No, not a Halloween mask, silly. One of these, N95 or better, for every member of your household. (Hint: some of those little paper masks we see lots of folks wearing…are basically worthless. Just as are airport staffers taking temperatures of people traveling. Infected people may have no fever. It’s feel-good, we communists got this, propaganda.)

Speaking of airports: don’t hang out with large groups of people. Now I know that’s tough to do, especially for our kids who attend schools that could double as petri dishes for their science experiments. But avoid what you can, and again, have that sanitizer with you, wash your hands, and make sure your kids do too, and that they understand the importance of it.

Gloves. These go with your super-sexy respirator masks.

Eye protection: goggles, face shields, or safety glasses. You really, really don’t want someone sneezing, coughing, hacking up a lung into your eye, and thereby infecting you. Plus they look great with the masks and gloves. Two-fer.

Image Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection; public domain

See? Cute, right?

Clean room suits. They complete the outfit for the fashion-conscious among us. And for those of us who are all about function, well, coupled with the aforementioned mask, gloves, and eyewear, they function to keep you safer from invading viruses, and anyone in your home who may be sick with one.

Thick-ply plastic sheeting, duct tape, a trash bin, and heavy-duty biohazard liners to create a quarantine room. Now it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever need to create a sick room for a member of your household, but it’s better to have the items on hand—cheap and easy to find—just in case. Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to build one.

Water. Get lots of it. Or have access to it. Some of us have wells; but many of us don’t. So have lots of bottled water on hand. You can even fill empty milk jugs, etc and store those.

Food. MREs are readily available. I bought a few of them, at relatively low expense, on eBay years ago. Make sure to check them periodically as they do expire eventually. You can also purchase food kits from companies like these, or simply buy bulk, freeze-dried items at your local grocery store each time you shop. Many can be stored literally for decades.

Extra prescription meds, over-the-counter medicines, and a fully-stocked first-aid kit. This particular coronavirus causes a nasty case of pneumonia. As a child, I was hospitalized with it many times, and as an adult with the walking type. So I know how difficult it is to shake. And breathe. And if you have an underlying illness—say, asthma—it’s crucial that you have extra supplies of your necessary meds on hand. I can all but guarantee that when the shit hits the fan, you won’t find what you need.

Heating source. Have a wood or pellet stove? Make sure you have extra fuel for it.

A generator. Now I realize that they need fuel, which may be tough to come by in a zombie apocalypse, and that they’re not cheap. But in an emergency, you’ll thank me. We had a power outage a couple of years ago that lasted several days, in below-freezing temps. Along with our wood stove, stored food, and our generator, we had Christmas lights on in our rear yard while the rest of the neighborhood was pitch black and sitting around their one candle.

Batteries. Double-A, triple-A, Cs, Ds, and portable chargers for your cell phones. Have a bunch of all of them.

Candles. Have more than one. They tend to, you know, diminish when you use them.

Battery/solar-powered radio, similar to this one.

Guns and ammo. Hey, it’ll give you an excuse to go buy more (like you needed one!)

A bug-out-bag for each member of your household. You can find a comprehensive list of what you might include in it here.

So what are you waiting for? Go get prepped.

Now you’ll excuse me while I go and take my own advice and finish up my prep list (and if I’ve left anything out, please tell us in the comments!). Because…this coronavirus isn’t receding (there are flights still arriving in the United States from various cities in China; no problem, right?). In fact, the numbers of infected are growing significantly…

… because math, and you can bet they’ll continue to climb. So, as they say, better safe than sorry.


Welcome InstaPundit readers!
Feature Image Credit: Ben via Flickr; public domain, image cropped.

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  • GWB says:

    some of those little paper masks we see lots of folks wearing…are basically worthless
    Going to disagree. If it disrupts the flow of air to the mouth/nose, then it’s not totally worthless. And finding the ones that are supposed to be good enough to keep out viruses is getting harder and costlier.

    Clean room suits.
    If you need these, you’re already screwed. Very, very screwed.

    Water. Get lots of it.
    If you’re looking at a long-term emergency (and something like a true pandemic would be longer term) hoarding water isn’t going to help in the long run. Instead, get a water filter that takes care of chemicals and bugs. (You might want something with more throughput than those survival pens, but they’re a start.) Also, stock up on bleach – you can sanitize your water with it. (And, learn how to sanitize your water mechanically.)

    a fully-stocked first-aid kit
    Also, though it’s not directly applicable to a pandemic, a trauma kit. While many first-aid kits have tourniquets, a trauma kit has something like a quick-clot bandage, a tourniquet, something to plug a sucking chest wound, a liquid or powder antiseptic – those sorts of things. Most of your first-aid kits have lots of band-aids for boo-boos and nice little wipes for cleaning a thorn puncture, but they lack the capability to administer first aid for really traumatic injuries (gunshot, chainsaw, large knife wound, etc.). And, if the authorities are all busy handling the pandemic, you will have a lot longer wait for an ambulance, or even service at the emergency room.

    and portable chargers for your cell phones
    Solar chargers. Us conservatives mock them for powering our society as a main source, but for the individual survival situation, they are outstanding. For things like charging cell phones – that don’t need a constant power source – they are ideal.

    because math
    Also because I’m positive they lied about the initial numbers. Some of those initial cases are, I’m sure, thrown into this later number so it all adds up in the end.

    One more thing to add to your to-do list, if not your prep kit:
    Watch Outbreak and Andromeda Strain. (Don’t bother with zombie movies – that’s a whole different sort of pandemic.) Then watch a bunch of other Michael Crichton movies (because they’re all about human hubris founded in science). Then, learn from them: don’t touch that blue goo on the wall, no it’s not just a bad head cold, do NOT be the canary that takes off their mask, don’t go down in the basement alone, etc.

    • GWB says:

      Oops, was going to specify that by “bugs” in the filter, I meant bacteria and viruses.

      Also, last para, the first italics should have ended after the first sentence. Then “learn” was supposed to be italicized.

    • John says:

      I can”t read this. The teal highlighted text on a white background is very uncomfortable to read. I have never finished reading an article on this site.

      • GWB says:

        You can set your browser to give you more readable colors. Just override the “unvisited link” and “visited link” colors.

    • The Demon Slick says:

      The coronavirus based on current data has a mortality rate of about 2.5%. The current strain of flu has a mortality rate of about 10%. And it’s here, already. Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t worry about the coronavirus, but compared to the flu, it’s not that bad. Unless it’s much worse than what the current data shows there doesn’t seem to be any reason for the huge freakout.

      • Jamie butler says:

        I agree but I think we are all being lied to. If this thing was not any worse than the flu. I don’t think China would lock down cties and put people in quarantine. I think there’s more to this than China or any governments are telling.

  • RE says:

    Liquid bleach degrades over time. It turns back into water over a matter of months.

    Buy dry bleach like the Clorox brand DRY laundry bleach, or pool chlorine, if you intend to store bleach for more than say, six months. Keep it dry and sealed up.

    Buy foods you will normally eat. Canned Soup is a good food, has a two year expiration date, and lasts much longer. I have eaten five year expired soup and other canned goods that were stored at room temperature without any ill effects. And they tasted fine too. Soup is a good choice if you or yours are ill. I have a nice selection of the Name brand soups in flavors I personally like. Also tuna, PB, pasta, vegetables, and spaghetti sauce. All bought on sale for 50-70% of the normal prices. Buy stuff you like and in the brands you have eaten too.

  • cirby says:

    I’ve already been within hearing distance of someone who was happily chatting about “just getting back from Beijing.” At a business meeting with hundreds of participants from all over the world.

    If this was a zombie plague novel, we’d already be well past the “bug out” chapter.

  • I am most unimpressed. The author says “don’t panic” and promptly goes into a full, ‘the world is coming to an end’ hysteria. I reminded of the unfortunate guy in the states who, during the Gulf War, was forced to buy gas masks for his family because his wife thought that Iraqi missiles, which might (but didn’t) carry poison gas but that couldn’t reach beyond the Middle East, had her in a panic. The unfortunate guy had learned that it made no sense to talk sanity to his wife.

    This article is like that. What we’re facing is a nasty viral infection. The author wants us to respond to every possible evil that might accompany every possible disaster. She wants us running about like headless chickens, preparing for all of them. That is ridiculous.

    The power is not going to be off. The police will still make their rounds and respond to 911. Your water will be safe. This virus doesn’t spread that way. Hospitals may be overloaded, as they are in China, but they’ll still be open, staffed by dedicated people. If you want to know what will actually happen, study the Great Flu Epidemic of 1918. That’s the worst case scenario. All that’s changed is that we now have the ability to treat and perhaps save many of the more severe cases. The measures they took will be much like what we might do if this one (or a later one) takes off and becomes a pandemic.

    I suggest ignoring this article. The author is so addled she thinks the lock-downs that China has implemented are ineffective simply because they’re being applied late. That’s nonsense. Although they’re less effective now, they still work and will still slow the spread. She’s a classic hysteric, she wants to make matters to be worse than they are and even criticizes proven and effective methods, so she can justify cowering in her taped up basement surrounded by water bottles and armed to the teeth. Take her as an example of what not to do.

    • Penrod says:

      “ study the Great Flu Epidemic of 1918. That’s the worst case scenario.”

      Well, now, it sure is reassuring to know that during the 1918 flu pandemic Philadelphia used bulldozers to dig mass graves for the dead. Bulldozers.

      That’s a pretty bad worst case scenario.

  • Pete says:

    In case of a pandemic, is bugging out the smartest thing to do?
    Stay in your home and avoid the hordes of probably infected people that are also bugging out.
    If you have prepared your home will provide food, water and shelter much safer than some motel or tent.

  • Penrod says:

    We had a useful reminder today: be ready for unexpected needs of others.

    Just before going to bed last night I got an email from my wife’s cousin, who is in Cambodia helping get their school system back on its feet after the noble socialist Pol Pot improved conditions for the proles by murdering all the teachers in the country.

    She went over before the corona virus news hit, so had no preps for it. She’s a Mormon, so she has supplies….at home in Oakland, CA. Cambodia is sold out of N95 masks and she is going home to Oakland via Hong Kong in two weeks…assuming planes are flying.

    She asked if we have any N95 masks, and if so could we spare any for her flight through Hong Kong. A colleague of hers lives here in Honolulu and is flying out to Cambodia this morning and could deliver them.

    So I dug through the junk and found 20 3M N95 surgical masks rated for avian viruses, delivered five of them plus a photocopy of the don and doff instructions to her friend this morning at 7:45, and off they go to Cambodia.

    Now that it’s too late it occurred to me that I should have included some nitrile gloves….oh well, she didn’t ask and I didn’t think of it. The masks were the most important.

    Anyway, the whole thing reminds me of the problem of an event occurring either while traveling, or when one has house guests, and of the usefulness of an extended network of people sufficiently prepared so they can help each other.

    From notification of need in Cambodia to delivery of masks to delivery person: 10 1/2 hours, good night’s sleep included. Not too bad.

    There appear to be no’s masks available anywhere in Honolulu, so it was ours or none. Sometimes it does pay to be prepared before a possible event, even if it turns out to be only for peace of mind.

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