It appears from watching the evening news that I'm the only person in the ArkLaTexas not panicking over the Chinese Virus from Hell. Maybe that's because there have been exactly ZERO reported cases in the state of Louisiana, and none in Northeast Texas. Sure, it's in San Antonio, but more people are dying in car wrecks in and around San Antonio every day than have the Corona Virus.
That said, I can't seem to convince anyone that they really need to be worried about the Flu. So, for the sake of argument, let's talk about this virus so we can actually have you good and prepared for the flu too.
First thing to let you know is that you're wasting your money if you rush out to Target or Walgreens and buy surgical masks. True story. First, so you'll know the kind we're talking about, take a look at this picture:
That's a surgical mask and it's pointless to wear to protect you from an airborne virus. It's a barrier mask which is used to keep blood and liquid splatter from infecting you. It might help if someone sneezes, but only to the extend that it keeps the droplets out of your nose and mouth, because the tiny airborne particles are going to go right through it.
If you're really going to get into "survivalist" mode and go for a mask, you're going to have to pay up for the N95 variety. When we log into our suppliers (the people who sell us medical supplies) they all have banners at the tops of their websites that basically say "if you're looking for N95 masks, forget it." 1) Everyone has bought them up. 2) They're made in China in factories that are closed. If you feel like you desperately need them you're going to get gouged on eBay or Amazon or some place like that, but they're out there. This is the kind you want:
Remember, this thing is about 3% fatal, which means that if 100 people have it only 3 die from it, and it's just like the flu in that it takes out the unhealthy much more than it does those who are in general good health.
Your best bet is to take good solid flu precautions, even if Corona Virus gets here. What does that mean?
1) Be in the proper Immune System shape to fight it off. That means eat plenty of green, leafy vegetables. Get Vitamin C in your diet. Get plenty of sleep. If you smoke, smoke less. Limit your alcohol intake both in number of times a week, and amount you drink when you do.
2) Carry hand sanitizer with you wherever you go and use it like you're Rain Man or something. It's going to dry out your hands a little, but you can find a bottle with aloe in it.
3) Wash your hands at every opportunity, using WARM to HOT water, and make sure you do it thoroughly for at least 90 seconds each time you do.
4) Don't touch anything you don't have to touch, especially in public. Use paper-towels, napkins, or toilet paper to open doors in public areas.
5) Don't use public restrooms. Just hold it til you get back to the office.
6) Be careful in other people's cars. Touch as little as possible, and if it's reasonable under the circumstances try to keep a window rolled down and lean that way, especially if there are several people in the vehicle. The wind blowing past you lessens the chance any air makes its way from them to you. It will circulate the air in the car, but that was happening anyway.
7) If an outbreak happens, stay at home when possible. You can even call your kids' school and ask for their homework/assignments to be assembled at the office, and you can go pick it all up so they can do it at home. When they miss the Perfect Attendance ice cream party, you can do your own.
8) If you're at a grocery store buy the fruit and vegetables that are already packaged in plastic. Don't get the ones everyone has pawed at before you bought it.
9) Stay hydrated! Whether that means coming to us for an Immune Tune IV, or just drinking a bunch of water, a dehydrated body leads to a compromised immune system, and that's the last thing you need during flu season... I mean Deadly Virus From the Orient Season. ;-)
Following those simple steps will make a big difference.
Remember, there's VERY LITTLE chance this thing is going to become some kind of ArkLaTex killing machine, but if we get case or two around here and you panic, taking precautions might keep you from getting the real killer, the Flu.