Preparedness Pro blogged: Ready to Survive a 90-day Quarantine? It was quite an eye-opening article about the many ways people would need to be prepared in case of a 90 day quarantine, including scenarios we might not think of.
While I agree that everyone should try to be prepared for most foreseeable disasters, I had some questions and comments for her that ended up being too long. So Here's my long comment (and I'll link this blog post in her comments as a manual "trackback"):
Are there any recent or proposed protocols for quarantining various types of locations (big cities, ports, less-populated areas)? If so, are there different levels of whichever protocol might apply, such as: very contagious, but only lethal to young/old/immuno-suppressed; or mildy contagious, but more lethal across the board; or very contagious, and highly lethal D/T cytokine storm? <-I just made those up, perhaps there's already different levels with better names.
Anyway, hopefully there's some kind of realistic protocol based on our current population that considers the different levels of threats. The swine-flu threat took a bit too long before they tried to contain it IMO, even though it turned out not to be as lethal as it was first thought (like it was in Mexico). But once they actually closed some schools, some were closed for quite a while even after they realized the threat wasn't as bad as we feared (although I don't know each locations death rates, so the amount of time might have been justified).
Even if they just "wing it", making protocols up in real time, I'm guessing only certain areas of the country might be looking at the possibility of a full-blown quarantine lasting a full 90 days. Look at China during SARS -- it had a fairly high death rate, yet people still ventured out, albeit with masks and gloves.
But! Even if a partial quarantine happens in your area, don't be too lulled into thinking gloves and a mask will give 100% protection, even if it's an N95. When I first trained at the hospital, they spent extra time on new healthcare workers on wearing TB masks properly. She had a spray that smelled very sweet that she'd spray near the edges of our mask. If we could smell sweet, then we would have been exposed to TB. None of us new healthcare workers in our group got it right the first time!
Also, I'm pretty sure I caught rotovirus from a pedi patient! I had cared for, or assisted with IV, for many roto pedis, so it wasn't like I was inexperienced. But even though we tried very hard to always glove and wash our hands very good with roto patients, I had diarrhea the next morning. I helped hold the pedi during IV insertion, and it was difficult just like it always was with stout toddlers or kids. And I was gloved, but I got sick anyway. So despite training, certain situations will put people at risk (fighting, or not wearing masks properly), even with gloves or masks.