Thursday, April 30, 2020

Lessons Learned: Pandemic

After the Coronavirus or COVID-19 "Pandemic" there should be some "Lessons Learned".

First, lets put the COVID Pandemic in perspective.  Approximately the same number of people died from COVID, as from the CDC tracked Influenza & Pneumonia deaths that occur each year.

So it is safe to say that as far as a Pandemic, SHTF Scenario, or Apocalypse is concerned, this one was clearly on the "Easy Setting."  Yet there were empty shelves, long lines at many stores, with shortages and rationing of:
  1. Food
  2. Toilet Paper
  3. Masks to protect from airborne virus
  4. Hand Sanitizer
  5. Sanitary wipes
  6. Disinfectants
  7. Bottled Water
  8. Garden Seeds
  9. and much more that was limit 2 per shopper.
Did we over react? YES, in many ways we did, especially the Main Stream Media, misrepresenting the facts and driving fear.  They never put things in perspective, talking about things like the US has the most cases, but not telling you it was low on a per capita basis, and that we had done more testing than any other country, so naturally we found many cases.

While COVID was quite deadly, the early & decisive actions saved many lives.  Before you object, let me provide some numbers from the CDC. In the United States there are about 50,000 people die each week from all causes.  From the Common Flu, during the winter flu season, there are about 500 Americans die per week.  Two - Three weeks after imposing protective measures the COVID death rate peaked at over 10,000 per week after increasing sharply.  With out the quarantine measures, it would have been much higher.

In the US, a Travel Ban from China for non-citizens was imposed 10 days after the first US case was reported and a month before the first death.  Many thought this was premature (including me), but the China actual death rate (not what they report) was likely staggering according to many indicators: Crematoriums running 24-7, Urn sales and cell phone account closures soaring way above normal.

So what are our Lessons Learned?

  1. Disaster can be upon us before we realize it.  There won't be much, if any warning, and even if there is, most won't recognize it, until it is too late.  Our Red Flag Warnings may help you recognize a potential disaster is coming, or already here, but if not prepared ahead, this early warning will only help you a little.
  2. We must take responsibility for our own safety and well-being. We can NOT depend our our government to protect us from everything. The 2009 Swine Flu (H1N1)  killed as many as 575,000 globally but our governments were still not prepared with enough masks & respirators.
  3. Advance preparations is essential. Disaster can come in many forms, but in this case it was a viral infection which is difficult to fight. Only with specific weapons (not guns), like N-95 Masks and sanitizers, along with good practices, can we fight it at all. Helpful habits include things like washing your hands with soap & hot water frequently, not touching your face, wearing a mask, along with social distancing, especially with new arrivals to our group. 
  4. Security is important, and gun & ammo stores are likely to be shut down by the government as non-essential businesses.  Those that are open, are sold out, even at list price.  So IF you are ever going to want a handgun, or AR and plenty of ammo to protect your home and family, you better do it before you really need it & before it is too late.  Even if / when guns are banned someday, there is likely to be a grandfather clause, allowing exiting owners to keep them for a while, as long as they register them.  Many countries (like Australia) have been through this slow, gradual gun ban process that is achieved incrementally over many years.  Don't wait!  Act Now.  With out a gun, you will just be saving supplies for someone who has a gun, or a large gang big enough to take them
  5. Mental health during quarantine or social distancing is important.  Having movies to watch, books to read, games to play, puzzles to work are good, especially if the on-line games & social networking are not working.  Having someplace to get out and walk or workout is important. 
  6. In hind sight, we should have only quarantined people over 60 & others in the highest population density cities; but we didn't know that at the time, and the lack of upfront knowledge and the inherit unknown risk can be dangerous in many ways.  The lesson here is that the treatment (or actions taken), must not cause more damage than the problem.
So what do we need to have to be ready; next time may not be so easy.

  1. First, look at our Beginners List, then add:
  2. Food
  3. Toilet Paper
  4. Masks to protect from airborne virus
  5. Hand Sanitizer
  6. Sanitary wipes
  7. Disinfectants
  8. Bottled Water
  9. Garden Seeds and a few garden tools 
  10. Have plenty of ammo, and some good Prepper weapons, like a hand gun and an AR.
 Each of these Blue links above have a wealth of additional resources, and Knowledge is Free, so learn what you can by reading.
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Saturday, April 25, 2020

Medical Masks

In a Pandemic, it is critical to understand that different masks have far different levels of effectiveness, and that home made cloth masks are the worst.

During the COVID Pandemic, New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio’s new signature look is a western-style bandana pulled up over his mouth and nose. No doubt he’s well-intentioned. But that kind of face-covering is only a hair better than no covering at all. Science shows it’s a mere 2 percent to 3 percent effective. It’s misleading.

N95 masks, which are molded and fit tight to the face, filter out 95 percent of viral particles, even the smallest ones. These masks offer the best protection, but when in short supply, public officials want them reserved for health care workers on the front lines, so they recommend the public NOT wear them.  Again, it’s misleading.

Surgical masks, the kind you see commonly worn in hospitals and dentists’ offices, are flat and held to the face with elastic. They’re made from a nonwoven material, polypropylene, that is a somewhat effective filter. They protect the wearer from about 56 percent of viral droplets emitted by an infected person nearby, according to research in the British Medical Journal.

Do NOT reuse the mask and avoid touching the outside of the mask, because it’s likely contaminated after use.

If you have to resort to homemade barriers, keep in mind that the more layers of cloth, the better the protection. Four layers likely block out 13 percent of viral droplets, compared with the 2 percent blocked with a single layer, according to a study in Aerosol and Air Quality Research.

Getting everyone to mask up helps to protect the uninfected, and keeps the unknowingly infected from spreading the virus.

What’s was the root problem during the COVID Pandemic? Year after year after year, through three presidencies, federal health bureaucrats ignored warnings about inadequate supplies of masks and other equipment in the event of a pandemic. Ten federal reports sounded the alarm, even as the nation witnessed SARS, MERS, avian flu and swine flu that circled the globe. In 2009, during the swine flu outbreak, the federal Strategic National Stockpile dispersed 85 million N95 masks, as well as other protective masks. The masks were never replaced afterward.

Remember our Pandemic Lessons Learned:  You cannot depend on the government and must take responsibility for the safety and security of you and your family.

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