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Primitive Comfort And Privacy



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In survival situations, or during long term expeditions, one of the things that it is important to procure for each one involved is some degree of primitive comfort that should go a little further than a set of MREs or 'meals ready to eat,' as provided in their packages. For people not to fall under undue stress, and in order to keep morale high, it is necessary to do a little bit more. A basic shelter should receive a little improvised furniture, instead of cooking all the time in a hole or a very rudimentary bonfire, you should construct an oven: instead of sitting on the ground or over a stone or trunk, perhaps making a chair would be much better.

But one of the things that is often overlooked is privacy; this is important not only to feel 'at home' but in order to maintain health and hygiene to minimum standards: overcrowding is not good for the health of a whole group, especially while undergoing extenuating situations such as combat, isolation after some natural disaster, while hiding, awaiting rescue and so on. Moreover: the immune system of anybody subjected to a harsh treatment may be severely weakened so, if disease appears and there are many individuals sharing a place with inadequate ventilation, cleaning and hygiene, the infection will spread rapidly.

Privacy was something unheard of during medieval times, until the Black Death appeared in Europe, around 1348: one of the reasons for its brutal dissemination and the rapid killing of half the population of the continent in just a few months was precisely that cities were overcrowded, with few sanitations and resources, both technical as well as in terms of knowledge, to stop an infection. And as the cities were ravaged, those who could, tried to escape to the fields and forests, and to other towns, villages and cities. This only helped the plague spread with more rapidity.

In this sense, the consequences of the Black Death served as eye openers, so that physicians and authorities finally began to think about the living standards within the wall of their towns: soon after the plague ended, measures began to be taken in order to improve the defences of people, animals and towns against widespread infection. Of course, centuries had to pass until some effective knowledge was gained, but it started then. All survival shelters, cabins, tents and camps must be adequately cleaned. Closed spaces must receive fresh air, and means should exist to isolate the wounded, the dying and the ill if required.




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