The threat of a pandemic seems strangely outdated to many people. People who are convinced modern science will always prevail over nature's adapting spread of diseases. It is the belief of others that in a world as out of balance as our own, strange viruses are apt to appear and spread faster than we can configure treatment.
Sickness is not any less common today than it was a couple hundred years ago, in fact, it might by even more common. Not as concerning as they once were, symptoms similar to a cold or the flu rarely keep anyone home these days, making illness all the more contagious. If a new virus was to surface today, it could spread at a frighteningly high rate and take a lot of lives before being controlled.
When considering a future pandemic, scientists look at Ebola as the perfect example of destructive and fatal disease that is highly complex and difficult to control. Ebola hemorrhagic fever has claimed thousands of lives in Africa, and to this day has no cure, only treatment that may or may not suffice to save a life. This bleeding disease has a 90% death rate, and is a cross-species disease infected initially by primates. When a disease affects human and non-human subjects it is difficult to contain, and can spread quickly as it is difficult to treat and track the infected animals.
Disease spillovers, or in other words an illness that jumps from species to species, is what most believe will cause our next big pandemic. Aside from Ebola, diseases like SARS, HIV and hantavirus have been contracted similarly, and caused severe outbreaks amongst various populations. These diseases weren't even all limited to primates, but other distinctly different wild animals.
According to many scientists, the reason for diseases spilling over from one species to another has something to do with our unstable environment. Our planet is constantly changing, and so are the populations introduced and dwindling in specific areas of the world. Some diseases unknown to us are carried by animals that then spread a disease they never appeared to have, mutating when contracted by a new host, which can cause severe damage to the human body. This sort of disease could become increasingly difficult to break.
The truth is, no one can pin point a day or a year when the next big pandemic might surface, only to descend after bringing a big piece of humanity with it.
Diseases like these are easier to prevent than cure:
- Store at least a month's worth of survival food and water.
- Stay inside, do not risk exposure, this is why you have emergency storage.
- Keep a supply of first aid kits, medical masks, and rotate medicines and vitamins so you have a continuous supply. Wash your hands frequently.
- Make a plan with your family on how to avoid infection and what to do if anyone is infected.
- Don't panic, getting inside your head can cause you to feel sick even if you're not. Remaining calm will keep your body stronger and your mind sharper.
Remember, being independent allows you to safely isolate yourself from the dangers of a pandemic by limiting the need to leave your home. It is important to understand the dangers and prepare for them wisely, but don't let yourself panic. Pandemic's throughout history have always been resolved through modern medicine, and humanity survives. Survive with your emergency supplies and live to talk about it.