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Prepping for a pandemic

(27 Posts)
Stratter5 Sat 07-Nov-15 12:58:08

Seeing as pretty much every flu expert says its 'when', not 'if'; what do you reckon are the go to absolute needs for a prep?

Any medical people about who can give the rest of us some handy tips, and specifics?

cozietoesie Sat 07-Nov-15 14:33:33

I almost feel grimmer about a possible pandemic than I do about other Troubles. (Says, Stratter5 'Now why does that not surprise me?' wink)

I think that the interconnectedness of the UK/world means that if you didn't have natural immunity, you would likely be infected before it became apparent that there was a Trouble; you have to add a possible illness factor (without standard medical services) to the other scenarios. It also depends greatly on what the particular pandemic actually is and how it affects people.

Otherwise, I guess, it's just a standard prep.

The big question, as always, is WHEN. (When do you decide, when do you act, when do you do a whole range of things?) I don't know the answer to that for myself although I suspect that I would, like much of the population, just be sucked into the making do until it was too late to do anything else.

Stratter5 Sat 07-Nov-15 15:18:12

I'm exactly the same. 'Minor' events that are likely are power outages, and floods - well floods here, seeing as they've just spent over £100K on signing Evacuation Routes. But the major one that concerns me most of all, and is probably the most likely thing to happen, is a flu pandemic. We've dodged too many bullets, we are well overdue one, and we are so fucking crowded and interconnected with the world, that it is inevitable.

swisscheesetony Sat 07-Nov-15 15:33:34

I think I'd bug in.

I get the heebie Jeebies on the northern line - was necer vaccinated against TB... Wasn't a problem back then.

City dwellers would be fucked.

atticusclaw2 Sat 07-Nov-15 15:40:05

The swine flu scare was what got me thinking about this sort of stuff in the first place. As a result I have a pack of face masks in the store cupboard (but I am aware that they prevent ill people from spreading the germs rather than give protection to those who are not sick.

You'd need all the stuff necessary to stay inside I guess? Plus things like hand sanitiser, bleach and latex gloves to prevent germs spreading and then a good first aid box and stocks of basic meds like paracetamol and ibuprofen to control temperature.

Stratter5 Sat 07-Nov-15 17:14:01

You'd do well to be scared, tony; when I was tested prior to having my BCG back in the early 80's, I was found to be positive. Had an xray done, and it showed a shadow where I'd caught TB and successfully walled it off. Can only have caught it on a plane, or on the underground. I was brought up in the countryside here, and in a rural state in the US, Minnesota.

I'd bug in for any disease, we live in a tiny, rural town that would be considered a village down south. Best off where we are imo.

Nonnainglese Sat 07-Nov-15 17:17:37

London's officially the TB capital of the world so that would worry me more than anything else sad
It's not controllable so awareness and vaccination is the only way to go.

swisscheesetony Sat 07-Nov-15 17:22:13

I've not been to London since 2011 so no worries. grin I used to live in Istanbul - my docs back then were largely unconcerned about my lack of vaccination. Fast forward 20 years and I'd be at risk visitng my capital.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Sat 07-Nov-15 17:54:21

I'm on high dose, long term antibiotics for something else so I always have a carrier bag of different abx in the house. Hopefully that might help.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 07-Nov-15 20:00:58

Bug in. We're on an island so might be slightly better, depending on how it starts/spreads.

cozietoesie Sat 07-Nov-15 21:04:10

People might be interested to view Survivors 1975 and the remake Survivors 2008.

The former is very much a film of its time but I've included a link because I think it's still worth seeing - it's a darker and bleaker beast altogether despite the characters eg all speaking in cut glass BBC accents.

The remake is available on Netflix if anyone has that and wants to avoid postage stamp screens.

CalmYoBadSelf Sun 08-Nov-15 01:02:24

Stratters I grew up in 1960s Liverpool and tested positive on BCG in the 70s despite TB not being prevalent at the time and my family being amazed as they had never heard of anyone catching it

Pandemics terrify me as I work in the NHS so have a chance of catching something before anybody knows what is happening

Having said that we live at the seaside so there is no chance of growing anything for miles around here, we rely on supermarkets for food so are stuffed if there is any big problem

Stratter5 Sun 08-Nov-15 01:02:39

Thanks for the links, cozie they were both excellent series.

cozietoesie Sun 08-Nov-15 10:53:00

I wouldn't agree entirely, Calm. I've seen vegetables grown and animals raised very successfully close to the sea. You also have at least the possibility of inshore fishing and with pollution likely dropping quite fast I would have thought - all other things being equal because I don't know where you live - that it's perfectly possible to maintain a family or two in the longer term. You just have to think (as with most things) about learning the skills.

warmastoast Sun 08-Nov-15 12:55:23

I haven't really thought much about practical steps that you would need to take- assume quarantine is quite an important measure. I remember with all the hysteria around swine flu people still didn't really know how to approach it even while the news had doom-laden wall to wall coverage. The advice was just to throw away your tissues and wash your hands and if you're vulnerable you'll get a vaccine that we just produced and are not sure if it actually works.

I think there were a lot of lessons learned with the ebola-crisis, about how to identify and isolate an outbreak and try to communicate strategies effectively to the population. There were some interesting developments in online, crowdsourced mapping of outbreaks - being able to monitor that would be very helpful information. But I guess it also depends on the disease to a large extent and how it's transmitted..

A bigger concern, though I don't have any contingency plan for it, is the prospect of a post antibiotic world.

cozietoesie Sun 08-Nov-15 13:01:38

That's closer than you might think, warm. (One of my 'things' as well.)

Have a little rootle around on this site - particularly the section on antibiotic resistance.

CalmYoBadSelf Sun 08-Nov-15 13:34:30

I can see what you mean in theory cozie but I did try to have a vegetable patch one year and a full year of mulching, toiling, etc yielded about enough to do one Sunday dinner for the four of us so I suspect we would starve before we mastered it.

Fishing would be possible if a) we knew how and b) we could steal a boat and launch it which would be more of a challenge than it sounds due to being in the NW where the beaches have such shallow gradients you are exhausted just walking to the sea when the tide is out

Pollution dropping fast is a good point though, it is permanently windy here so the sea air is pretty healthy

warmastoast Sun 08-Nov-15 13:45:12

Tbh it's one of the few things I find genuinely scary to consider and although I don't advocate a burying your head in the sand approach I think I might have avoided reading too much into it yet.

I know WHO, MSF and many other high level health institutions are saying that the threat of growing antibiotic resistance is already here.. Increasing public awareness and knowing what small practical steps can be taken on an individual level could make it less inevitable- things like calling for a reduction of widespread antibiotic use in the meat industry, reducing unnecessary use in medicine..

cozietoesie Sun 08-Nov-15 13:45:39

That's why I mentioned 'learning the skills'.

Inshore fishing - eg with large rowboats or small sail boats is no mean skill. And clearly you also have to eg choose your vegetables and stock animals to suit the terrain and your abilities. (Potatoes, for example, are just wonderful - and nice and dry/easily storable when grown in sandy soil with a seaweed mulch and that's the sort of thing you would likely have to go for - asparagus beds would be of limited usefulness. wink)

I'd persevere if I were you. smile

Stratter5 Sun 08-Nov-15 13:54:04

Carrots grow well in sandy soil, I think. Try small to start with, I grow things in big pots, as my garden isn't big enough for a veg patch and chickens, and the chickens won.

It's definitely not a skill you want to leave off learning until the SHTF.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 08-Nov-15 16:34:06

I think crab pots or finding out what shellfish are easily collected would be massive more useful than fishing. I think the livelihood is that hunter-gathering is easier than farming in the short term. Obviously depending on where you live.

cozietoesie Sun 08-Nov-15 16:44:07

You may well be right - although it depends, as you noted, on various factors such as your living situation, available stocks of aquatic animals and how quickly they replenish etc etc. I should imagine that people would do both in fact.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 08-Nov-15 16:45:40

True. I've tried fishing and I've tried clam digging and only one will result in clumsy me falling into the ocean! grin We have salmon here, though so I really should learn how to get my hands on them.

cozietoesie Sun 08-Nov-15 16:54:25

Clam digging - which I've done - is no sinecure but inshore or deep sea fishing is a particularly dangerous and difficult occupation. (Apart from which, there are all sorts of additional skills needed to do with eg boat and net maintenance, learning how to sail in the particular waters etc etc.)

I just don't see any way round it happening eventually in light of the sheer volume of protein available at all times of year. Yes, you very much should learn how to catch salmon if they're available to you. (And legal. wink)

swisscheesetony Sun 08-Nov-15 16:58:45

The burns are full of sea trout right now... completely illegal of course, but you could always string a net 50' up. In a PA world the rozzers aren't coming. wink

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