C> Understand what pandemic flu is and is not. Do some reading, not just the news, but the “flubie” sites - there are a number. You’ll see opinions from “end of civilization” through to “keep calm and carry on.” Prediction is difficult, especially of the future, but understanding the range of options and contingencies is critical at this time. You are an individual and community actor in a situation which is as threatening to your life as a car crash or an aeroplan crash in many ways. The fact that the threat is large and distant does not change that it is real. Your brain is poorly evolved to act rationally around large, remote threats but you can compensate by reading, thinking and acting.
D> Go out, today, and buy four things. Surgical or N95 masks, hand sanitizer, a gallon of bleach, and a week’s worth of groceries. You need these things not just to protect you, but to protect the people around you if you get sick. The surgical mask stops you breathing in infectious particles, but it’s even more effective at stopping you infecting other people. Hand sanitizer should be used immediately on returning home or arriving at the office: if everybody does this is really helps protect these spaces. Bleach is a contingency measure in case of things like water supply problems or a need to disinfect an area. The groceries trip is practice for social distancing by reducing your number of trips out, and gives you a little buffer. Social distancing is about avoiding unnecessary contact with crowds and public places to reduce infection risks. If you are in an area at risk, make one trip, not five. Pretty soon everywhere may be at risk at least some of the time.
All of these measures have two effects. The first is that they protect you. The second is that by protecting you, they protect the people around you, and if enough of us do these things, we all protect each other.
Right now, London has no reported cases. If you are reading this in Mexico, however, you should implement immediately. And if cases show up in London, we are on a war footing immediately: everybody does these things to protect everybody else, period.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
disaster pandemic aid notes
Bill Gates on mosquitos, Vinay Gupta on ending poverty with open hardware.
And now we have the Swine Flu in North America.
Disaster relief, open design solutions, local control, growing food from your own garden, solar water distillation and solar UV purification... all sounds a little more suburan in light of these worries:
Posted by WE at 9:22 AM