At the Toy Box we do not think of ourselves as prepper’s, we just happen to share many of their habits and values. We are subsistence farmers in a large city. Not having a looming fear of Ebola is where we differ from preppers.
A few years ago the big scare was anthrax. The world went crazy as pranksters sent talc filled letters to heads of government. Everyone who could get there hands on some cure-all medicine of the day were including it in their bug-out-bags. I am fairly sure that venders made a mint on the scare. In the end, nothing came of the scare except that Fox News made book on it just as they are with the Ebola scare.
Regardless of what you think about infected healthcare workers and whether or not they have any personal rights, think about some very basic habits you can develop to protect yourself. I am not saying what I recommend and practice will totally protect me. Life and death are in the hands of Elohim. I’m just saying that these are good practices during any time of fear of sickness. They can be easily done by the poor as well as the comfortable.
- Be OCD about hand washing. I am talking soap and water. Those gel’s will make you feel better about yourself but they work about as well as rubbing your hands together briskly… which does work to kill some bacteria (about as well as those gels)
- Gargle with hot salt water at least twice a day. At least once a day swab the inside of your nose with hot salt water. A saline solution will kill bacteria and viruses lodging in your throat and nasal area. When you gargle, really bubble it in. When you swab, sniff it in. If you have a netty pot, it is supposed to work better then sniffing. I do not happen to have a netty pot.
- Drink hot liquids. What gargling misses, hot water (coffee, tea, lemon water, broth, any non dairy drink) will flush germs to your stomach where stomach acids will kill the yuckies. While on the subject, (and this may gross you out) it is better to sniff and swallow then it is to blow and dispose of the tissue. Stomach acid kills the crud, tissues spread it.
Add to these basics some common sense practices.
- Do not touch your face. The eyes, nose and mouth are all portals for germs and viruses. Once you are dedicated to not touching your face, you will be amazed at how many times a day your nose and eyes itch. Grab a tissue first AND be OCD about washing your hands.
- Try to not touch door knobs and public telephones with your bare hands. These two items spread more sickness then any other area of buildings. Plastic pens may also be on the list. Be OCD about hand washing, do not touch your face.
- Take vitamin C, suck on zinc. Grandma was right about vitamin C. An acid body is not inviting to viruses. Vitamin C is helps strengthen the white warriors (blood cells) if you do happen to get sick. Zinc lozenges help heal lesions that make your throat hurt which better protects you from secondary infections.
- Stay hydrated. A well hydrated body is better able to process what the world blows at it then a dehydrated one. The number one sign of dehydration is thick mucus followed closely by tension headaches.
Beyond this, everyone has their own list of tricks and treats to avoid and combat sickness. We like different herbs for our battle. Rest is good. Sugar is bad, so is dairy. (Enjoy sugar and dairy when you feel fine. Avoid them when you are ill).
As a school teacher, I am begging your to stop calling the doctors and nurses who refuse to quarantine themselves selfish while you send your sick child to school. Your sick child is why I get to practice this list. It is also why I get angry when the same parents call these medical heroes selfish. You are not different just because you are sure your child does not have Ebola. What is done is done. Now is the time for compassion, not finger pointing and fear. I wonder if we did not learn anything from locking up the Japanese during WW2 or from the fear of Anthrax. Be smart , be careful (there are more deadly things to worry about then Ebola) and keep compassion alive.