The pandemic of 2020 hit with more force and relevance than anyone in the world could have predicted. What began as another mutation of the coronavirus family, which already produced some serious viral infections like SARS, quickly escalated to the level of a global pandemic. From China, it took only weeks to spread all over the globe and infect millions. Out of those, hundreds of thousands were killed by the COVID-19 disease that is produced by this novel coronavirus. What makes things even worse is the fact that there is no end in sight for the pandemic, at least until a successful development of a vaccine or a groundbreaking treatment. While no one can tell if and when the treatment will appear, even the most optimistic vaccine assessments put it at the start of 2021 or even after that.
This is why the majority of the world is still in lockdown mode, trying to flatten the curve of infection and lower the pressures on their healthcare system. However, the same lockdown is also creating a huge calamity in the domain of global and national economies, with millions out of jobs and many more millions to follow. Because of the economic pressure, the lockdowns are bound to wind down and end sooner than later. This means that the populations of countries, from the US to India, will gradually get back to work, studying and all other everyday activities, along with certain restrictions in place.
These will be regulating social distancing and other measures, all designed to lower the chance of viral transmission. However, even with the most stringent rules, most experts, as well as the medical history of outbreaks like that of the Spanish flu from 1918 and 1919, show that there is always a viral rebound towards the end of the year. This rebound follows a lull in infections and transmission rates that also usually appears once a population – or populations – begin to introduce measures to stop its spread. So, with the second wave of COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic definitely incoming, what are the things a prepper could do to make sure they and their family are safe? Here is a list of five essential elements for being prepared for the second wave of the 2020 pandemic.
1. Preparing for a Shorter but more Intensive Period of Shortages
If the experience of previous pandemics counts, there is a certainty that the new wave of infections, likely inbound before the end of the next winter, is going to be shorter than the first one. However, it could also be more intense, with less infected individuals but more deaths appearing in the vulnerable populations. This means that there might be no need to hunker down for months and months. Instead, the wave will likely take place in a timeframe lasting between several weeks and at a maximum of three months, from start to finish. In general, this means that any prepper should not need extensive supply caches, but more diverse ones.
Because of the intensity, there is likely to be a rush on the stores once the news about the rising death rate come out. The rush will probably last only days, but it too will pillage the stores for a range of basic goods, both sensible like canned foods and completely irrational, like toilet paper. This is the reason why anyone preparing for a second wave should make a stockpile of a whole range of non-perishable goods during the summer, covering everything they normally consume. Then, at the start of the autumn, perishable but long-lasting goods like cold-stored and dried foods should also be acquired. This way, anyone will be ready for the second wave or simply use the supplies if the stores remain working normally.
2. Attain or Create Face Masks
The second wave of the pandemic will also include further additional knowledge about the virus itself and how it spreads. Also, countries will be determined to protect their healthcare and frontline medical workers, so there could likely be a ban on the general public procuring many types of personal protective equipment. At the same time, chances are that countries will mandate wearing face masks in closed spaces and public transports.
There are two types of commonly used masks. The first is the surgical mask, which is loose-fitting and is basically in place to stop an infected person from spreading the pathogen faster. They offer little in terms of individual protection. N95 masks are tight-fitting and able to filter about 95 percent of airborne particles of all types. They are used mostly by healthcare workers and are the best alternative when it comes to providing some protection to the wearer. However, since N95 masks are in short supply everywhere these days due to the pandemic, they might be hard to find if you don’t already have some at home.
Instead of buying surgical masks that have a limited lifetime, a better option is to buy or make a textile mask that is reusable. These provide a similar level of protection for the wearer and people around the same person but can be used indefinitely. Masks like these can be purchased anywhere or even made at home by connecting several layers of thin cloth and adding bands or laces for easy wearing. Having these is a more elegant solution than looking for potentially unavailable surgical masks while at the same time it can save any family plenty of money as well.
3. Stock of Hand Disinfectant
Like with other personal protective equipment, there is a high chance that the governments will not ask the public to wear surgical gloves during the second wave of the pandemic. Yet, having the ability to quickly clean hands in public will still be useful, so hand disinfectant will likely be missing in the first days of the second wave. The best option here is to buy large packs of the same chemicals and then simply divide it into smaller hand dispensers that can be carried in a bag or a pocket.
Even a relatively small container, like that of one liter or 33 ounces will hold weeks of refills for a small hand sanitizer bottle one person uses. While there are many recipes on how to make DIY hand sanitizers, this should be the last option anyone takes. These might work just as well as the industrial ones, but their volatility might be higher so that they lose their sanitizing properties much faster than industrial-made alternatives.
4. Alternative Power Sources
There will be large social and political ramifications in the case of a second wave. With the present state of the economy, any government that tries to instigate a nation-wide shutdown can count on large-scale disturbances from the population that does not want the same measure. As the lockdowns get underway, this disturbance could range between peaceful protest to massive and destructive riots. If that occurs, losses of power could be expected as repair crews might have to wait for the streets to calm down before going out to fix any problem. That is why a prepper should have access to some emergency power supplies.
The best option is a gas-powered generation. But, even if this is not present, a solar panel with a car-sized battery will also ensure that a household can go through a couple of days without power. Ultimately, if nothing else, a prepper should have several packs of standard batteries and a utility charger that uses them. The charger should also have a range of different sockets and charger connectors. This way, the same charger can be employed to power things like a mobile phone or an emergency light for a short time frame.
5. Access to Drinking Water
Just like power, access to drinking water might be cut off for a shorter period of time if the opposition to the second wave of lockdowns becomes violent and widespread. Here, there is no need to have a huge stockpile of drinking water, but a certain amount is a necessity. This might be as little as a single family-size package of 6 to 8 regular-sized bottles. A supply like that will last a four-person family at least two days with cautious rationing, which should be enough as the first line of measures in the case of any disturbance in the water supply.
However, it has to be present in a household. It also should not be anywhere near its perishing date and replaced as often as necessary in the prepper household. The same goes for having a water filtering pitcher if the water that returns seems polluted with particles of grime and mud. In that eventuality, the filtered water still needs to be boiled to avoid any bacterial poisoning, but the pitcher will take out all larger non-organic particles and pollutants.
With these measures, anyone can be prepared for the potential second wave of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. As always, while most hope it will not happen, the preppers are doing what has to be done to make sure they are ready if it does take place. Using these ideas, anyone can make sure both they and their family are safe if the pandemic starts back up again.