Well, if it is one thing I can hon­est­ly say, is that I nev­er thought I would be writ­ing about an actu­al pan­dem­ic that I might be in the mid­dle of, in any stage of its process.  When I first heard about Coro­n­avirus pri­or to the COVID-19 strain being iden­ti­fied as dif­fer­ent from tra­di­tion­al Coro­n­avirus, I thought this might be the flu or a nasty strain of the com­mon cold.  I was very much in the “this isn’t going to be a big deal” camp, but my prep­per spidey sense said, let’s keep an eye on it.  My OCD nature has had me lis­ten­ing to count­less hours of pod­casts from infec­tious dis­ease experts, watch­ing YouTube videos, as well as read­ing every sit­u­a­tion report out there that I can find, every day, here are the facts as I read, heard, see them.

  1. COVID-19 (both strains) are hyper con­ta­gious. If you are in a medi­um-sized room with some­one or more than one per­son who has it, you are prob­a­bly going to get it.
  2. Not every­one who has it knows they have it. Some peo­ple car­ry it, and spread it, while show­ing NO symp­toms, ever.  They’re your typ­i­cal germ car­ri­er.  Buy­er beware.
  3. We are prob­a­bly all going to get it, or at least be exposed to it. There’s not much that can be done about that now…
  4. Event Can­cel­la­tions. The can­cel­ing of any and all gath­er­ings regard­less of what any­one thinks is to help spread the infec­tion rate out over a longer peri­od of time, rather than expos­ing every­one, and spread­ing it all at once. This strat­e­gy will pre­vent hos­pi­tals from get­ting over­whelmed too quick­ly.   It won’t help few­er peo­ple con­tract COVID-19, but it does mean few­er peo­ple will die, and I think we all can agree, this could be an impor­tant and respon­si­ble deci­sion…
  5. All data shows this is up to 10x more dead­ly than the com­mon flu.  Two weeks ago the experts weren’t so sure, and the data was incon­clu­sive.  Those at the top of the infec­tious dis­ease food chain can rea­son­ably pre­dict the mor­tal­i­ty rate now… That’s still not ter­ri­ble, and if you get it, you’re prob­a­bly going to be fine… Prob­a­bly…
  6. If you’re over 55, obese, or don’t exer­cise, you should already be in quar­an­tine. The mor­tal­i­ty rate is quite high (Upwards of 11%) for those high-risk groups. The obese and non-exer­cis­ers sim­ply don’t have healthy enough lungs to fight this thing off very effec­tive­ly.  This, of course, is rel­a­tive, depend­ing on the per­son.
  7. The incu­ba­tion peri­od from the time you con­tract it, until the time you start show­ing symp­toms is, on aver­age four to five days. How­ev­er, dur­ing that time, you are con­ta­gious. Peo­ple shar­ing air with you are prob­a­bly also going to get it from you. This is why the spread can’t be stopped.. only slowed.  They’re not offi­cial­ly say­ing that, how­ev­er.
  8. If you’re not in those high-risk groups, this will feel like a real­ly nasty cold or flu to you. Many peo­ple in the U.S. have already had it (I think it has actu­al­ly been around longer than we know, and believe that I may have had it last year), and sim­ply did­n’t know. This is why it’s spread­ing so quick­ly. There are numer­ous peo­ple are cur­rent­ly spread­ing it, and have no idea.
  9. Wash­ing your hands is always a good idea.  How­ev­er, it is not as effec­tive as the gov­ern­ment (CDC, etc.) is telling us. I mean, how many times a day can you wash your hands??? It’s prob­a­bly the only thing you can rea­son­ably do.  I’ve looked for aloe and rub­bing alco­hol in con­ve­nience stores, gro­cery stores, and phar­ma­cies.  Nada…  This thing is spread ‘most­ly’ by shar­ing air with peo­ple who are con­ta­gious.
  10. Sur­gi­cal Masks… A sur­gi­cal mask won’t help you. You need at least an N95 or N99 grade mask. If you don’t already own them, good luck, and you should be look­ing for them Hos­pi­tals have first right of refusal, and I under­stand while not con­firmed, the US Govt. has a con­tract with 3M and essen­tial­ly said, we’re buy­ing the lot, and you’re not sell­ing to com­mer­cial any longer.  Not con­firmed, again…
  11. Kids and peo­ple who are fit and exer­cise reg­u­lar­ly are the groups cur­rent­ly fair­ing the best when around those with COVID-19. It’s killed vir­tu­al­ly nobody in those two groups. In fact, most peo­ple in these two groups aren’t even end­ing up in the hos­pi­tal.
  12. Opin­ion… The CDC and WHO are not being hon­est enough about the fact that basi­cal­ly every­one is going to get this, because they don’t want to cause all-out pan­ic.  Although if you have been to BJ’s, Cost­co, Sam’s Club or oth­er big-box dis­count stores, you would think the zom­bie apoc­a­lypse is hap­pen­ing as we speak.
  13. This isn’t going to “blow over” in a few weeks.  This is at least medi­um-term.  six — 12+ months.  It will like­ly peak towards the end of April or mid-May (spec­u­la­tion), but the dust prob­a­bly won’t be ful­ly set­tled until late fall or going into next spring 2021, glob­al­ly. This is just get­ting start­ed. This means you should be pre­pared to self-quar­an­tine for two weeks to X months.
  14. Toi­let paper is prob­a­bly the least of your wor­ries, although you can­not find any any­where.  Peo­ple know that if they are in quar­an­tine they’re going to want a clean ass, and there­fore it’s gone… Stock­ing up cer­tain­ly makes sense once you’ve got all the oth­er things you’re prob­a­bly going to need.  Hope­ful­ly, you’ve got your water, food, med­i­cines, etc., already.
  15. Last­ly, clos­ing the schools will make this way worse… Peo­ple need to work, and so do health­care work­ers.  Many of them are con­trac­tors, are hourly, or work on a per diem rate.  If health­care work­ers are sud­den­ly forced to stay home with their kids because they’ll have no oth­er options, and no sit­ter will come to their home due to COVID-19, they’re not at work help­ing the sick. If you think hos­pi­tals are ill-equipped to deal with this now, close the schools and watch what hap­pens in the long term.

The con­clu­sion, I do not believe any­one is over-react­ing.  Peo­ple have a renewed inter­est in hygiene, they’re at least short term prep­ping (there is a whole oth­er dis­cus­sion that could fol­low this one about the after­math of the short term prep­ping and poten­tial unrest that may fol­low). COVID-19 is seri­ous.  It’s mutat­ed once already and may (chances are) mutate again.  It’s going to kill a lot of peo­ple. Sta­tis­ti­cal­ly speak­ing, you will prob­a­bly per­son­al­ly know or be in the six degrees of sep­a­ra­tion of three or four peo­ple who are going to die.

Stop act­ing like it’s not a big deal and start get­ting ready, if you have not.

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