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How to Prepare for an Epidemic While Living in an Urban Area

The brunt of the initial preparations for quarantine in regards to the COVID-19 virus is in the past, and simply surviving the remaining weeks and months ahead have become everyone’s focus. However, it’s important for citizens across the globe to begin heeding the lessons of the epidemic now in order to prepare for the future.

Living in an urban area can present some curious challenges when it comes to combatting the spread of a dangerous illness. Here are a few considerations that urban dwellers can keep in mind in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in order to prepare themselves for a possible resurgence — and further consequential shutdowns — as well as how to be ready for diseases that present themselves in the future.

Don’t Forget Hygiene

Everyone is fully aware of how to wash their hands and use sanitizer at the moment. One of the most profound reactions to the coronavirus panic was a massive proliferation of the knowledge on how to properly. Everyone became fully aware of how important it is to stay sanitary when interacting with others — and how important it is to wash for a full 20 seconds after contact. 

However, humanity is amazingly capable of forgetting details like these when they aren’t being confronted by a bona fide threat.

While the worst of the damage inflicted by the coronavirus will eventually pass, the dangers of improper hygiene will remain, regardless of which germs are being spread. In addition, the danger will continue to be exceptionally high in areas with denser populations. One of the easiest ways to have a small yet significant impact is simply by maintaining proper hygiene at all times.

Fight for Programs

For those who live in a city, there are several programs that are worth fighting for so that they are ready to go when an emergency strikes. The recent stimulus bill that was passed in order to prop up the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders only serves to shine a light on how ill-prepared the United States was to handle a nation-wide catastrophe. The plain truth is, government involvement in public health and safety is a murky affair at best, and citizens must be ready to pick up the slack when necessary.

While steps can be made in the midst of a crisis, it’s better to strive for things like housing programs. Or even more aggressive measures like Universal Basic Income before the pressure forces a hasty response. Even things like local food banks and shelters for the homeless should be supported with an eye towards the flood of underprivileged individuals who may need to use them when shelter-in-place orders are enacted.

Prepare on the Homefront

Finally, it’s important to remember one’s personal situation. Many people were caught flatfooted when shelter-in-place orders were issued and everyone was expected to live from home for weeks and months at a time. 

It’s important to learn from these lessons and keep basic quarantine supplies on hand at all times. Of course, if someone lives in a city, chances are they don’t have a lot of space to work with. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to stop them from being prepared. 

On the contrary, the spacial limitations of an apartment or a city plot of land simply require some creative thinking to overcome. For instance, it’s easy to prepare for the next quarantine by:

  • Adopting a minimalist mindset: This doesn’t mean getting rid of everything. It simply means keeping things with purpose and function. This will help to maintain a prepared space without difficulty.
  • Structuring living spaces: It’s important to make sure each area of a city house or apartment has a purpose. That way things like sleep, remote work, and relaxation can all take place in different locations throughout a living space. A critical piece in maintaining sanity during a quarantine.
  • Listing out priorities: It was a misunderstanding of what matters that led to the great toilet paper runs of the early days of the coronavirus. Rather than joining in panic, prepared urban dwellers should have lists of “wants” and “needs.” So they can properly stay prepared and be able to address their personal health, nutrition, and mental wellness during an epidemic.
  • Establishing an urban garden: Urban gardening is an excellent way to increase sustainability on the homefront, regardless of the space you’re working with.

While there are many other considerations, the main point is to make an effort to be prepared on the homefront.

Being a Part of the Whole

There are many ways to prepare for an epidemic, even while living in an urban area. Perhaps the most important thing of all, though, is to resist that temptation to give in to panic

Rather than giving in to the rampant fear and anxiety, it behooves urban dwellers to prepare now for the pandemics of the future — both by taking care of affairs on their own homefronts as well as looking for ways to bolster their local urban communities as a whole.

Featured image credit: by Anna Shvets

Indiana Lee
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