How to Survive the Coming Bioengineered Viral Pandemic (Part 2)
By Dave Mills
If a pandemic strikes and you avoid initial exposure to a deadly new bioengineered virus, hopefully you can also make it back to either your home or shelter. This is where a lot of well-prepared survival plans fall apart.
I’ve interviewed hundreds of preppers and almost none have thought about quarantine procedures when it comes to family members and the discipline needed to avoid exposure to your loved ones. Most are well prepared to fend off outsiders and marauders, but assume family members are no risk. If you’ve returned safe without exposing yourself that does not mean your school age child didn’t get exposed to the virus, or your spouse didn’t pick it up while filling up the car and gas cans in rightful anticipation of the end of gas station operations. The very understandable reaction when another loved one arrives home alive will be to embrace—and in the process, possibly pass on the virus.
Quarantine procedures need to start as soon as you’re aware of a spreading viral pandemic, and absolutely everyone should be assumed exposed until proven disease free. With a new bioengineered virus, we likely won’t know the incubation and contagious periods. So when a loved one returns to your home you should have a mask on and keep your distance. If you’ve not planned on this, ideally exercised it, odds are it won’t happen. Some preppers tell me they would never do this—if their child or spouse is exposed to the virus they are going to care for them and would rather die with them than be forced to stay apart and live on while they suffer from the disease and die. I’d argue that you can be a much better care giver and may increase their odds of survival (which we won’t know) if you stay healthy.
While there is increased risk of catching a virus, if you keep a mask on, keep as much distance as possible, avoid touching bodily fluids, you can probably do some care and feeding of the sick and not catch a human to human transmissible virus. The mask may not work, the virus may be extremely transmissible and it may take a very tiny exposure to catch the disease—again, if it’s a virus carefully bioengineered to be highly transmissible and lethal, careful care givers may well get exposed. But you can likely improve your odds if you are prepared and do a little practice on home quarantine procedures.
Folks who have underground, small submarine like shelters are probably less likely to be able to keep distance and avoid air exchanges that risk exposure. Many preppers have rural homes/farms where a large group of family/friends plan to meet to improve their odds of surviving a viral pandemic or other form of collapse. If you’ve got a big area and can keep people spread out this may work, but I’d be concerned that more people from wider areas will mean a much higher probability that one of the arrivals will arrive infected. Quarantine practices here will be much more important—and there had best be plenty of room to keep people spread out. There may also be difficulties with disagreements—what do you do when it’s apparent Aunt Emma is ill with a virus—does she stay or get disinvited?
The worst survival place to be with a highly contagious viral pandemic may be the big underground community shelters some companies are promoting. While they advertise having bioweapons filters, this should not give anyone assurance of safety. First of all, the filters probably don’t screen out 100% for existing, known viral agents—and can have no guarantee against a new bioengineered agent. But the bigger worry is the close crowding of people in big underground shelters and the air recirculation. It takes just one infected person coming into a shared air shelter to pass the virus on to all. If you’re worried about people dropping multiple megaton nuclear weapons on you (I’m not) then being deep underground makes sense, but the much bigger threat we face today is natural and bioengineered viral pandemics. What you need in your home/shelter location is fresh air, space, and distance. A crowded basement or a shared underground shelter is not ideal. A rural retreat that lets you keep your distance from people, has room and procedures for quarantine is better. Some other desirable measures will be addressed in the next article on this topic of surviving a viral pandemic collapse.
Second in a four part series.
Dave Mills is the pen name for a senior retired U.S. military officer and Dept of Defense official. He has researched and written on a wide variety of security and survival issues and advocates much greater preparedness for viral pandemic threats that experts consistently refer to as “inevitable.”