If there is a real issue, I would be happy to have a quarantine. I'll be the first to self quarantine when I know of an epidemic.
Exact same thought I had.
Probably the single biggest motivating factor behind my food preps is the risk that we will face an epidemic at some point, whether man-weaponized or natural. In the early days, I expect that the government will, rather than try to enforce a quarantine, keep telling us little worker bees to keep washing our hands and keep going to work. That's when I think we need to have our antennae up and be ready to enforce a voluntary self-quarantine for our families. The idea would be to avoid contact with the outside world until the epidemic has run its course, or until we have confidence that it's not something we need to worry about.
That's easy to say, but I imagine it would be difficult to implement for a number of reasons:
1. Your income / job. For those of us who don't own our own businesses as our primary means of support, making the decision to self-quarantine, when it's not 100% clear what's going on, could put your job at risk. Sure, your life and the lives of your family are more important than any job, but we still need a means to support our families, and we'll need income at some point. Also, there's always going to be some doubt, and so there's the possibility that you'd be losing your job over a concern that is not warranted. So this is going to be a factor that may prevent us from acting in time.
One way around this (admittedly less than ideal) might be to have some sort of multi-stage quarantine plan. For example, if I became very concerned about an epidemic, but wasn't certain enough that I would want to risk my job over it, I would try to either find or create a quarantined living space (preferably on my property) for me, separate and apart from my family. I'm the one who has to go out and work, and maybe for a week or two I avoid all contact with my family while we continue to monitor the situation. If it looks like things are really getting bad, maybe I quit my job stay in my self-quarantine for another couple of weeks, and then when I'm confident it's safe I will return to the rest of the house and we'll continue our voluntary quarantine together.
The self-quarantine area could be a finished basement (especially if it can be sealed off from the rest of the house, and if it has its own bathroom), a shed, a car, a garage, whatever.
2. Schools. I don't think that what goes on in school is so valuable that missing a few weeks can't be compensated for, but pulling little Johnny out of class for a few weeks because you're concerned about an epidemic that hasn't been "officially blessed" by Uncle Sam is going to attract some attention from the local authorities, most likely. I need to have a plan/excuse as to why my kids will be out of school, as well as a plan for them to continue their education so that they're not just sitting home playing all day.
3. Think of anyone and everyone who comes to your house for whatever reason, and think of ways to reduce/eliminate that interaction. For example, the mailman will be dropping by every day (at least while the post is still running). Do you want to maybe have him drop the mail in a large metal trashcan out front instead of your mailbox, so that you can just burn it all? And on that note, maybe now is the time to switch everything that you can to email-statements for bills, account statements etc. You can still print stuff up for your records as you want them, but cutting down on the mass of mail that comes your way might be important. Remember the anthrax scare?
Just some thoughts that come to mind. This is a complicated issue, but one that I need to work through with a plan.
you have access to a room (and probably necessarily a bathroom) in your house that you could