I am starting my shopping list for next week and it will have a little of every thing. I have only a few items to pick up to finish off the sickroom supplies. Cash and Carry has some disposable aprons that I think will add another layer of protection plus they should be handy for staying clean with messy clean up jobs around the house. My local hardware store has some Nitrile gloves at a good price and a small metal garbage can that should make a good little “burn barrel”. The full face shield is starting to look like a good solution for the outer layer of protection and those safety shields are multi-taskers of protection that can be used for other jobs as well. I found a neat item at the local hardware store. It’s a zipper that you can stick on two different tarps to join them together and it costs about $8.00. I have thick plastic sheeting for making a protective barrier adding that zipper might be handy for making larger tarps at low cost. Double sided poster tape can be put in place around windows and door so you can seal them quickly. Just leave the protective strip on after you stick the tape on the wall and if you need to create a barrier then take off that backing and stick the tarp or plastic to the tape. Leaving the protective paper/plastic on the tape till you need it will keep it free of dust and keep it sticky. I have used the 3M poster tape and it works much better than duct tape for holding things to a wall.
The local vet has IV bags for a good price so I will be getting a few bags for hydration/patient support for the sickroom. I have been reading that some of the big box stores are getting low on gloves and masks so you might check out a paint stores like Sherwin Williams or auto parts stores and even food service suppliers. Many people will not even consider these stores so they should have stock on hand.
I have been doing some thinking about beds for a patient. Using a regular mattress without a moisture barrier is probably a bad idea as you will want something that can be sanitized easily with a spray down of bleach. Camp air mattresses fit the need, as they are somewhat inexpensive and can be used for camping, slumber parties or even extra house guests. I have a couple of these type of mattresses but I’m also checking out a few of the moisture barrier mattress covers for the bed in my sickroom. I noticed that the local Dollar Tree had sheets for sale and I will get one to test out and report the results.
I need to get a couple more spray bottles anyway for my “decon stations” I’m looking for some shallow trays I can set up with a little bleach solution that can be added to my entry ways. That is what the Germans used during an outbreak of Hoof & Mouth disease while I was stationed there in the Army. It might just me seeing potential fixes, but the more I look at how my house is set up the better it seems to get as far as isolation and decontamination. One last thing for your sickroom make sure the air vent is completely air tight if you have some sort of forced air heating system. Get a small heater for that room if you need to add heat because those forced air systems will recirculate air and that is a bad thing when dealing with disease. If you have carpet or wood floors in your sickroom you might want to consider tarps or plastic drop clothes that are easily sanitized and cleaned.
For food shopping I feel I’m doing well with what I have on hand but I’m adding some pork sausage, bacon and German sausages for some variety and easy to make meals that can be quick or slow and easy via the Crock pot. I need to get more of the “fun size” candy bars just in case of a chocolate shortage or if Halloween happens with this whole Ebola thing going on. I think my jello/pudding stash is good but I’d like to add two more 100 count package of the “Otter pops frozen treats” for the sick room. One thing nice about winter in S.W Idaho the whole outdoors can become your freezer.
Okay I’m getting a little OCD about setting up the sickroom for Ebola at worst and some of the diseases that are coming via the USA’s southern border. I think this is a much like a slow moving storm and you have time to take action. I don’t think it is a time to panic but you should be proactive in not only how to go into “lock down” mode but how you will deal with any infectious diseases. Did you think how incredibly valuable an Ebola survivor might be for any community? They will be immune to catching the disease so they could travel, shop, forage and many other jobs with no risk of infection! While these people might understand the fear, I don’t think they will have all warm & fuzzy feeling towards those that refuse to help them at all. Remember in the “West” it is Medically trained people that are getting hit hardest and those type of survivors could be critical to the survival of your tribe. I think you could set up a tent if you are not prepared to welcome a person into your home. You could drop off a groceries and supplies at their front door. Plus you can practice good hygiene and sanitation right now that is low risk. I don’t want you to think you are invincible or you have to be a hero. Just practice your medical/sickroom procedures now, so you are prepared.