I skipped a week of posting to get some things done. I sewed a dress, then I made a new bobbin lace pillow to make lace on. I canned some chicken and beef and I made sure our medical cabinet was stocked and made a dress form.
I did a lot of pondering....
The last few days I have been back to researching and the flu virus being so bad right now has brought me back to my roots again. My Grandfather died from the 1918 flu and so I have done quite a bit of research about this time long ago.
One of our Grandson's just had the flu and our daughter jumped into gear "literally" and quarantined him to his room as soon as he got the symptoms. She donned him and her in a face mask and took him to the doctor to be tested which was infuenza A. She had him stay in his room and she masked and gloved to go in and out to take care of him. She brought his meals and medication to him. When he went to shower she disinfected and aired his room before he could go back in.
This smart action kept the Influenza from spreading to everyone else including my daughter, which was his caregiver. Sometimes it cannot be helped that the others get sick but it worked this time.
I want to say I am no expert here in giving medical advice. I do have some background in disinfecting and sterilizing in a clinical setting and hospital and keeping up with protocol. But I am not giving advice but sharing what I do here at home.
I am very sad to say that we just had a family member to pass away due to pneumonia. It was sudden and the family is in shock, this was someone that was well and running his own business. It just happened so quickly. A cousin of Charles.....
The flu is still very prevalent in the U.S. and I want to say that we all need to use common sense and understand that we all have to be responsible for ourselves and family and follow guidelines and then some.
Keep extra food for emergencies, this is so very important. Three years ago when Charles and I caught the flu due to exposure in a medical facility we relied on our pantry and medical supplies so we did not have to get out. We did not want to give it to anyone and had to be responsible to not do so.
Charles has a hand washing station he built for the back of our car and when he works an account and comes back out he washes his hands right away with soap and water. It is a simple drink container with a spout on the bottom and a wood frame he built and a plastic container to pull out under the spout to wash his hands.
Due to flu being so bad right now, when he comes home he heads straight to the shower and I wash his clothing.
We learned a lesson from when we caught the flu and we were so terribly sick from it that now we are more cautious and when it is flu season we wear our own mask to a medical facility and we try to not touch things and wash our hands a lot. I do not care what anyone thinks, it does not matter. I keep a mask in my purse and if I find I am in a situation that someone is coughing or sneezing that appears ill I have no problem putting it on.
So now we have another more potent virus looming, the coronavirus. Do we panic? Do we ignore it and go on? No we need to be wise.
This is the time to educate ourselves.
I have been reading and keeping up so I can be smart about things. I already know it is highly possible it going to cause shortages and or extremely high costs on certain medical supplies and other things because it already is.
What about face masks? They found out in the 1918 flu pandemic that a covering over the face could help to keep from getting droplets into your nose or mouth from someone else coughing or sneezing. It also helps if the sick patient wears one when around others but if they are all stuffed up it is hard on them so it is good for the care person to cover and wash, wash wash, hands etc.
Do we have disinfection items? We do and this is when the real stuff comes out. There is a time and place to use bleach or peroxide or disinfection wipes, cleaners etc. Sometimes we need these things. I know a lot of people do not like to use anything except "Green" cleaning items and that is good. I use "Green" cleaning for general every day cleaning too but when it comes to sickness I use the more powerful disinfectants because I am not willing to take a chance of using something with less disinfection properties.
Sometimes we need the right tools to do a job...
In an article from 1918 they told how to make a face mask. They said 4 to 6 layers of gauze (Cheesecloth) was needed. BUT, By 1939 they revised this to 10 layers of cheese cloth. During world war 2 in the 1940s people were doing their best to make things from what they had due to the war and shortages and rations.
We should learn from what others went through long ago and realize that there may be times when supplies are low and we need to know how to take care of ourselves and make things we need.
Now I have looked all over the internet and tried to find how to make a "Proper" face mask. We cannot just sit down and sew some fabric together and make a facemask and think that it will protect us. There needs to be a certain thread per inch and a barrier and a wicking layer.
We need a N95 grade /respirator mask to protect us from small particles and hazards and certain viruses. With the coronavirus I do not know if they have even figure the proper barrier. It would be nice if and when they do figure it out they would share it with us so we could protect ourselves.
It needs to cover a large part of the face because it needs to not have gaps around it. I see a lot of people making masks on the internet but they need to be thought through. Anything is better than nothing but add enough layers to be enough. I cannot tell you after much research what that number is.
We need our organizations to be more helpful so we can take care of our families if we cannot get medical care due to a epidemic.
Those of you that live in other countries besides the USA, if you have information from your government sources or educational departments of how to sew medical garments and such please share with me so I can share with others.
We need to think about these things. Do what we can and then go on with our lives. If we have a plan then that is a good thing, we don't have to act last minute and figure it out while we are not at need.
Let us talk about what they did in the past. They did not have what we have today and truly there is a chance we could find ourselves in a similar situation is things got very bad.
For us this week is severe weather preparedness week and with the flu going around there are many reasons to take these things seriously . Charles and I do not just go out and stock up for all of this, we could not afford this. We have slowly built up our supplies which have come in handy several occasions now.
I have not asked any of my readers from Australia, how you have been handling the smoke from the fires? Have you needed face masks?
I want to sew our own washable face masks and caregiver medical gown to go over clothing more like a nursing apron from the past. Add that to our medical kit. The ones our daughter used recently with flu in their home are washable. We both just looked this morning online to see what the prices are now from a few weeks back and they are no longer available and what is there the prices have increased a lot and why I want to make washable.
I have been researching disinfection methods and laundering during viruses etc. Very hot water with soap and bleach is one way. Always use the directions to how much bleach to use because there is a safe way to use bleach.
knowledge is power. Handkerchiefs can be washed with soap, bleach and very hot water, hung in the sunshine or dried on hot in the dryer and ironed as ironing is another good way to add to the sanitizing due to the high temperature of the iron.
Boiling is still another way to boil cloth that needs some extra disinfecting.
Peroxide also plays a part in disinfecting. I am not giving directions because these products tell how to use them.
It is good to have skills to do things to help us to be more secure. Little by little we can add to where we resemble the strength of our generations from the past.
I read the news and I notice the generic look of things and I look at our home and I do not see that. It is because I am trying to remember life's lessons from those in my family that are gone now because I feel safer when I resemble them. They were the strongest people I have ever known, they weathered so many challenges of war and recessions a pandemic, a great depression, another world war, then many other wars. They lived without running water and electricity, their communication was by written letters and in person after traveling by horse and buggy or wagon. They mended and patched clothing and linens. They knew how to preserve food and take care of their sick.
Yes they went through great loses as well but they understood life much better than we do today.
Please pay attention and do not be caught by surprise. It is common to say, "Oh everything is going to be ok", before we know if it really is. It would be more likely to be so if we have the skills and supplies to make it so.
I will now write out an article dated 1939, please remember the time this was written and faded from age. We have learned much more since this was written but interesting at how they were trying to figure things out. If I did use cheese cloth because I had nothing else I would use that as a filler inside a top and bottom layer of cotton cloth. This article is for historical reference most likely not considered today but helpful to understand where we are going.
Physicians and nurses trained in the aseptic technique of the operating room and the contagious disease hospital understand why and how to use a mask for prevention of the spread of infection. The laymen should understand by generally doesn't. The main reason the layman doesn't understand why and how to use this safety precaution is the carelessness or incompetence of the old time practitioner, the elderly and perhaps beloved doctor who had little if any training in aseptic technique during his preparation for practice and hence never has acquired positive principles which do not give way before the conventions and fancies of the public.
A mask that is effective against any respiratory infection caused by germs consists of not less than ten layers of gauze (cheesecloth) having a mesh of 32 threads to the inch. It should measure at least 4"x 8" and it may be held in place covering nose and mouth by meas of tapes attached to each corner and tied at the back-one pair going over the ears, the other pair under the ears.
Uninitiated critics sometimes observe that such a mask would hardly stop disease germs. But it stops the spray droplets and that is all that is required to prevent the spread of dri due to germs.
Whether such a mask stops the virus of influenza I am not so certain, but I believe it is nearly, if not quite, as dependable a barrier against the transfer of virus (organisms too small to be visible thru the ordinary bacteriological microscope, but perhaps visible thru the ultra-microscope) as it is against cri in general, say diphtheria or pneumonia.
Of course such a mask must be worn always with the same side out, if it is donned and removed frequently thru the day. When it becomes soiled it should be discarded and a clean one put on. Ordinary washing and ironing is sufficient disinfection or sterilization for such masks. Of course boiling destroys any disease germ or virus anyway. Soap is an excellent antiseptic. The heat of ironing practically sterilizes clothing.
A mask not only protects the wearer against catching flu or other cri but when worn by a person coming down with or ill with flu or other cri, it protects persons around the patient from contracting the disease.
Another type of mask especially suitable for physicians, nose and throat specialists particularly, as well as for dentors and their assistants and for nurses, a type which I believe might be more acceptable to the public than the gauze mask described is really a transparent shield of cellophane or similar material held before the face on a spectacle frame. Dr. Lewis J Silvers devised such a mask or shield, made of washed non inflammable x-ray film, having snap fasteners by means of which it may be attached to the headband of the physician's headlamp or mirror. The shield hangs far enough away from nose and mouth to permit ventilation, yet effectually prevents spray transfer.