Due to the emerging health threat of the Novel Coronavirus, we are seeing an unprecedented increase in demand for long-lasting emergency food and other survival supplies.
The news regarding the Coronavirus have been plaguing the media lately causing widespread concern, preparedness initiatives, and supply demands across the world.
In this article, we highlight the current warnings being issued and what effect those alerts are having on the local and global economy. More importantly, we discuss what you need to do to ensure your family’s safety!
Important Covid-19 Warning and Alerts
Federal Health Officials have been actively informing the public on the spread of the Coronavirus ever since it was discovered in late December 2019.
- December 26- 31, 2019: Several cases of patients suffering from an unusual type of pneumonia were reported in Wuhan, China. The Wuhan Health Commission notified the international community as the number of cases continued to rise.
- January 23, 2020: Wuhan implements a city-wide lockdown. Other cities are placed in quarantine or restrict public transportation.
- January 30, 2020: The International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declares the Novel Coronavirus to be a “public health emergency of international concern”.
- January 30, 2020: The first case of Coronavirus is identified in the United States due to human-to-human contact.
- January 31, 2020: The United States declares a Public Health Emergency. Any US national returning to the country from China (especially the Hubei province) is placed under quarantine for 14 days. All other travelers entering the States from China are denied entry.
- February 11, 2020: The World Health Organization changes the name of the Novel Coronavirus from 2019-nCoV to COVID-19.
- March 2, 2020: Washington and Florida state governors declare a State of Emergency in their respective states.
- March 4, 2020: First Coronavirus-linked death in California prompts Governor Newsom to declare a State of Emergency.
While the risk remains low for those of us in the United States (as of today- March 5, 2020), many states and agencies are implementing aggressive measures to reduce the spread of the virus.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has been urging civilians to prepare their households for a potential outbreak in their community.
Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine emphasized the importance of families putting together a “Coronavirus Preparedness Kit” that would contain a sufficient amount of supplies to survive a minimum of 14 days if home quarantining becomes necessary.
Local Effects of the Coronavirus
If you haven’t already noticed changes taking place in your community because of the Covid-19, you may start to notice them pretty soon. These are some of the things you can expect to experience in the months to come:
- STORES BEING STRIPPED OF SUPPLIES
Just like with any emerging disaster, people have rushed to their local markets and stores to buy as many supplies as possible. The peak in news coverage has prompted anxious civilians to prepare for the virus as it seems to be getting worse.
Emergency preparedness companies (including us!) have experienced a spike in orders over the last month. Manufacturers are working tirelessly to produce all orders received, but the demand has caused a significant delay in shipping. In our case specifically, we’re estimating between 35 and 50 business days for shipping. This means that ordering as soon as possible is vital because we ship on a first-come-first-served basis. The sooner you place your order, the sooner you will receive it.
The demand for non-perishable food items, cleaning and sanitizing products, and medication has been insane. For this reason, you can expect to see empty shelves and, in certain places, ration limits on how much you’re able to purchase at any given time. Shortages are occurring in stores all over the world. You can see some pictures here.
- CITY LOCKDOWNS
Countries like China, Italy, and Iran are imposing city-wide lockdowns, road closures, and strict restrictions on the movement of people.
Similarly, South Korea raised its alert to the highest level, which could turn into city lockdowns as well if the situation worsens.
Two hotels in Abu Dhabi were under lockdown when it was discovered that two Italians staying in the hotel had tested positive.
Approximately 30 schools throughout the United Kingdom shut down temporarily to test the students who had recently traveled to Italy.
In cities where the virus is spreading quickly, companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook are closing their offices to the public and allowing their staff to work from home for the next month.
- MANDATORY AND VOLUNTARY QUARANTINING
Travelers returning to their home countries from high-risk places are likely to be quarantined for a minimum incubation period of 14 days upon their arrival. This gives authorities time to test each person and determine if they carry the virus, as well as monitor their health for the estimated propagation of the virus.
Several cruise ships who have confirmed cases of onboard passengers with the virus have been placed under mandatory quarantine (on the ship). The ships themselves are not allowed to dock until all passengers have been tested. Diamond Princess and the Grand Princess Cruise Ships are two cruises that have drawn a lot of media attention because of this.
Quarantining is mandatory if you or someone in your family is confirmed to have Covid-19. Voluntary home quarantine is recommended when a person exhibits symptoms that resemble the virus but tests have not been done or revealed a positive case yet.
Global Effects of the Coronavirus
As the Coronavirus continues to spread, we are starting to see the massive impact that it is having across the world- not just in the confirmed number of cases and fatalities, but in all aspects of our lives.
These are some of the effects that we are experiencing on the international scale:
- DELAYS ON THE IMPORT AND EXPORT OF SUPPLIES
As you know, China is a major contributor to the international economy. A huge percentage of the products you purchase are either labeled “made in China” or partially produced in China.
Because of the Covid-19, anyone that is ill or exhibiting symptoms of the virus cannot go to work, meaning that the speed of production decreases. Since many cities in China are under lockdown or quarantine, some factories have had to close altogether for the time being.
Since the speed of product fabrication is impacted, so is the importing and exporting of such items. It works like a domino effect. Any production and shipping delay experienced in China will have a significant effect throughout the world.
- IMPACTS ON THE STOCK MARKET AND GLOBAL ECONOMY
Businesses and consumers are seeing an unprecedented drop in revenue due to the Covid-19.
Imagine all the companies that rely on Chinese-made products, such as Alibaba, Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks, Apple, McDonald's, and MANY others. Having no backup manufacturers outside of China to produce what these companies need, means that a lot of items will be marked “Out of Stock” until the situation normalizes. Without the ability to sell, any company suffers.
The United States, and many other countries, depend heavily on Chinese materials to finish and sell their own products. In order to fulfill orders quickly, companies may have to find alternatives to the Chinese manufacturers they were previously using and build their products with the help of local manufacturers instead. This increases the cost of production, and more often than not, the consumer will have to pay that difference.
Another major impact on the economy is linked to the immediate restriction that was placed on travel. We’ll discuss this next.
- IMPACTS ON TRAVEL AND EVENTS
Restrictions on international travel and tourism to and from China, Italy, Iran, and other countries were issued overnight as governments implemented border closures and city-wide lockdowns. Public transportation has also been reduced or stopped altogether in some cities.
In order to prevent the virus from spreading within large crowds, numerous events, sports, concerts, festivals, and conferences have been canceled or postponed.
- INCREASE IN VIOLENCE
Recently the news shed light on the hostility caused by the Covid-19 and how Eastern Asians are suffering from stereotypes and prejudice due to their appearance.
In this situation, a young Singaporean man was physically attacked while walking down a busy street in London. This case is not unique, as explained in an article by CNN. There have been many reports of hate crimes and discrimination linked to the xenophobia of the virus.
What you should do about the threat of the Coronavirus
The propaganda surrounding the Novel Coronavirus has been non-stop for the last few months. While the media has instilled a lot of fear into the public, it’s evident that we need to take drastic measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Prevention is certainly better than the cure, especially because there is no known cure!
These are some tips to help you become prepared in the midst of this emerging health threat.
- DO NOT PANIC
Even though it’s natural to be scared in the wake of a global disaster, you should not be panicked. When you make decisions out of fear, you can make matters worse. Develop a family plan of action, and determine what measures you need to take to ensure that you and your loved ones remain healthy. Some things to think about include whether or not to take your children out of school temporarily, considering the option of working remotely if your work allows you to, and what sanitation practices to implement to reduce the spread of germs in your home.
- IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
An analysis of all Covid-19 fatalities shows that the grand majority of those who died had pre-existing health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, hypertension, and cancer. It’s imperative that staying healthy can increase your chances of survival if you’re exposed to the virus. Eat foods with high nutritional content that will boost your immune system. Remember to take your vitamins!
- IF YOU'RE NOT FEELING WELL, STAY HOME
If your health deteriorates, contact your doctor or go to the emergency room to get medical attention. If you have pre-existing health conditions, you may be at a higher risk so get seen by a medical professional as soon as possible.
- WASH YOUR HANDS REGULARLY AND DON'T TOUCH YOUR FACE
Keeping your hands sanitized is one of the best ways to limit the spread of a virus. Washing your hands for at least 30 seconds is said to be the most effective.
- PREPARE A HOME QUARANTINE KIT
Having a kit with the minimum supplies to live without outside assistance for at least 14 to 30 days is crucial. The CDC, WHO, and other agencies promote having a 14-day kit, but I highly advise preparing for at least 30 days. There’s no way to determine if a city-wide lockdown will be issued in your community, thereby shutting down supermarkets and stores. Prepare as many supplies as you can including water, food, sanitizers, and hygiene items.
- STAY UPDATED WITH THE LATEST NEWS
New Coronavirus cases emerge every day and your community might become one of the next places to experience one. Stay in the know and act accordingly, whether that’s by voluntarily quarantining your family at home or by avoiding specific areas in your city.
- AVOID LARGE CROWDS AND NONESSENTIAL TRAVEL
It’s confirmed that the Covid-19 is spread by human-to-human contact. It’s likely that people may carry the virus before showing symptoms, therefore going to any places with large crowds, such as the mall, airport, and even the grocery store during peak hours, can predispose you to the virus through someone who has no idea they even have it. The fewer people you expose yourself to the better, especially if your city already has confirmed cases of Coronavirus. If you have to be in public, keep a distance of about 6-feet and don’t shake hands.
- EXPECT SUPPLY SHORTAGES AND SHIPPING DELAYS
Like before mentioned, the whole world is experiencing shortages on food, water, sanitation, and medicinal supplies. It could be weeks or months before your online purchases get shipped to you. This will only get worse as the virus outbreak increases, so remember to buy now and be patient in waiting for them to get delivered.
In which ways have you been preparing for the Covid-19? If you have any tips I didn't mention, please share them with us in the comments below!
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