With the current world situation is it, unfortunately, very easy to imagine a large-scale biological attack on a major city, be it smallpox, anthrax, weaponized hemorrhagic fevers or some other terrors we cannot even fathom, at least not yet.
But what are some practical steps one can take to protect ones existence that of your loved ones?
In this article we will cover some very down to earth and practical techniques that can actually save your life, techniques that have and are being used worldwide in places where this is more than just fear, but a day to day reality.
Step one: First of all, stay informed.
If you don’t know what the biological agent is, or where the attack is taking place most of the other guidelines in this article will be near useless.
You have to know what symptoms that particular biological agent causes, how it can be transmitted and which steps you have to take to protect yourself from that particular pathogen.
The following steps will be general guidelines for most pathogens, so bear in mind that they can or cannot be the best solution for the particular disease that is in your area.
Try to use websites like the world health organization (www.who.int) and the centres for disease control and prevention (www.cdc.gov) , do not follow advice from people that think they know something, look for professionally trained crisis responders, medically trained staff from hospitals and healthcare in general, police, firemen, and so on.
Step two: It is there, not here.
Biological weapons do not respect borders, laws or any guidelines made by our race. If a particular disease hasn’t affect your area yet do not forget about it, keep an eye open because they can jump from place to place very, very quickly.
Step three: Do not count on a vaccine or treatment being available.
Not all diseases can be cured, nor treated for that matter. Avoidance is the best vaccine you can count on, make sure to exercise caution.
Step four: It is here, what now?
The disease is in your area, what can you do? First of all, do not panic, the chances of you being infected are very slim, just follow some basic guidelines.
Exercise caution when dealing with others, watch for common symptoms of that particular biological agent, the most common ones that can be observed across several diseases are coughing, rashes, fever, being lethargic; so basically try to keep your distance from people that show flu-like symptoms, they are the most common across all known biological weapons.
Step five: Just in case.
By now you are starting to get worried, so let’s prepare, purchase some batteries, bottled water, food, and any supplies you deem necessary for an amount of time of at least one week, more would be advisable. Consider everything that you and your loved ones need for the amount of time you think will exceed this particular crisis.
Get a radio as well if you don’t have one.
Step six: If you deem it necessary, exercise social distancing.
It is getting bad now, the disease is popping up across the entire state and a few cases have been showing in your area, what can you do? Now it is the take to take some more extreme action.
All the steps I am going to mention now are going to depend on how severe the crisis is, so act accordingly; try to work from home, keep your kids from going to school, if you have to leave your home (and the disease can be transmitted by air) wear a face-mask and any other form of protection you deem necessary, carry disinfectant gels or alcohol, and try not to touch objects that are touched often by other people, like door knobs, bus seats and so on.
Step seven: Boost your immune response.
There are several ways to better your own immune systems effectiveness, sleep well, exercise often, take probiotics, eat well and so on.
This is mostly so you don’t catch any other diseases, especially the flu, that might have similar symptoms and you are quarantined with people that are infected.
Step eight: Find out which medication works, if any.
Antivirals work? Antibiotics? What can you use as a second line of defence if you are infected?
If it is possible and safe, try to get some to help your neighbours and friends, only do this if it is safe to do so.
Consider vaccination as well, if there is a disease that can be vaccinate against that is similar to the one in your area it might be worth to get the shot, some vaccines that can immunize against several diseases.
Step nine: If you have to go outside, be smart about it.
Move by car, windows closed. Try to keep contact to a minimum, don’t stay for long in heavily trafficked areas and most of all, stay cool and do not panic, again, the chances of you catching the disease are minimal, but do not test your luck.
Step ten: If possible, don’t let visitors in.
Right now it is best not to get visits from friends and family, if it at all possible try to avoid direct contact with people that are not from your immediate family.
Step eleven: Stay calm.
Try to keep your mind occupied by reading, watching the news, playing games with your children or spouse, and so on. Make sure to not focus your entire attention on what is going on, it will drive you crazy in a very short amount of time, especially if you are confined to your house.
Right now the situation should be either sorting itself out or getting really out of hand, in both situations you have very few choices, either hunker down and ride it out (if you purchased supplies you will be fine), or bug out, but that has to be your last resort.
Step twelve: Bugging out.
Ok, this is a complicated one.
If it got this bad to the point of thinking you have to get out from where you are the situation is clearly very severe and some chaos might already have gripped your area.
I will write an entire article just about this particular subject if you guys want, mostly because it is so complicated.
Let me just give you a tip, and this is where I diverge from most medically trained professionals, I would try to avoid at all costs going to a CDC, FEMA, WHO, army or any other local organization facility. Why?
It is a very simple line of thought actually, why would I move to a place where several people are gathered? You just need one to be sick to infect a large group of people, especially in an enclosed area. This places should be for the sick, not for the healthy, stay away from them if you deem it the best course in your particular situation, also try to avoid hospitals and other health centres.
I am sure most people in healthcare will disagree with me on this one, but I am a biomedical scientist, I spent most of my academic career inside a laboratory learning how pathogens infect and make people sick, or even worse; so I have a very practical view when it comes to large-scale infections, especially when biological weapons are involved.
I honestly hope you never have to use this knowledge, but if you do, be careful, stay alert and I am sure you and your loved ones will ride it out.
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