Illness and Quarantine
As much as we might like to think that medicine has advanced to the point that we do not need to seriously consider infectious illness anymore, the reality is that we remain vulnerable. We have regular seasonal outbreaks of flu in the US as well as occasional localized outbreaks of infectious illness that continue to take lives and serious tolls on health and productivity. We hope that we will not see an outbreak such as the Flu Epidemic of 1918, but plagues and pestilence have been prophesied in the days preceding the coming of the Lord and we would do well to be prepared. Review these lists with your families as we head into flu season.
General illness prevention:
- Start with the Big Three: Exercise (especially walking) boosts immunity, Sleep allows your body to heal and regenerate, Good Food helps your body to perform optimally.
- Listen to your body—take care of it before it worsens.
- Consider reducing your sugar intake during flu season. Sugar seriously diminishes the ability of your white blood cells to eliminate invading organisms. Particularly avoid it if you are feeling run-down or have illness in the house.
- Wash your hands (for 20 seconds—sing the ABC song once or Happy Birthday twice) when you arrive home. Avoid touching nose, mouth and eyes with unwashed hands. Most illnesses are spread through these routes.
If you get sick:
- Take it seriously. Stay home and rest, if at all possible. If not, increase your fluid intake (a gallon of liquid per day for a couple days can entirely knock out many colds) and take it as easy as you can. Eliminate anything that is not essential from your schedule. Ask for help. Nip it in the bud and don’t risk it turning into something more serious.
- Keep your germs to yourself. Cough and sneeze into a tissue, throw it away and wash up. Keep your distance from others—three feet is usually sufficient. Very few people will be offended if you decline to shake their hands due to illness.
- If you have used vitamins, herbs or other preparations to build your health in the past, break them out again. Give your body all the help you can.
- If you use over-the-counter preparations, remember that many of these address only the symptoms. You are still sick even if you feel well! Continue to take precautions and strengthen your body.
- Ask for a blessing! It will bless and provide direction to you and bless the Priesthood holder’s life as well.
Illness is widespread or serious & you need to quarantine:
- The family breadwinner(s) need to be prepared to work from home, or have savings to cover a gap in income. Make sure you have the equipment you would need to work from home for a few weeks. If you are seriously ill or if your work can not be done from home, you will need to have money set aside. Your employer may provide for Medical Leaves of Absence or have a pandemic illness plan in place already. Enquire.
- Make sure you have several weeks’ worth of your usual medications.
- Use your stored food, water and fuel—this is why you have them! Depending on the severity of the outbreak, stores and other businesses may or may not be open. Keep on hand three months of the things you usually eat and use. Grinding wheat and soaking beans can wait until you are well.
- Stock up on supplies specifically related to illness. Whatever you use when illness strikes, keep enough on hand to last through an extended period with all family members affected. Don’t forget supplies to stop the spread of illness inside your home as well—soap, tissues, paper towels, wipes, rubbing alcohol, bleach, disposable gloves, face masks and a stash of paper dishes and plastic utensils can all help.
- Choose a sick room in case you need to quarantine within your home. Optimally, it should have its own bathroom, maintain a comfortable temperature and have some natural light. A bell or whistle will help the patient(s) easily call for help when it is needed. Those going in and out should take necessary sanitary precautions. These could range from just washing hands upon entering and leaving, to wearing full protective garb. This PDF goes over procedures for donning and removing protective clothing, as well as the situations in which such items would be used. Restrict the number of people who will access this room. In a household with two parents and young children, one might be assigned nurse duties while the other takes care of the rest of the family.
- Allow time for convalescence. Relapses and secondary illnesses can often have even more serious consequences than the illness that preceded them as the body is already worn down. Break out the dvds, puzzles and board games, work on crafts and read aloud to each other. As health returns, cook or bake together and spend time in quiet activities outside. It can sometimes take several weeks for full strength to return. Be patient and keep the mood light, fun and grateful!
More links and good information at this site: http://lucysfrugalliving.blogspot.com/2009/04/pandemics-prepare-for-quarantine.html