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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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…
- 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…
- 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…
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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…
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Great article Jack. The government has definitely put out propaganda and even changed position to make sure they are able to function, to attempt to calm investors and to attempt to prevent the hospitals from getting overwhelmed.
I’ll start by stating that I’m not a doctor, but I don’t think doctors have a monopoly on reason.
I agree that many will be infected because they aren’t able to both quarantine and pay the bills. Due to company policies, most people will work even when sick, because they’ll lose their jobs if they stay home. However, I do think that the standard precautions taken for any respiratory virus will help. Based on past research on the effectiveness of masks against respiratory viruses (before the government fired up it’s propaganda machine) I think that N95 or N99 mask are somewhat more effective than surgical masks (it’s what I wear when needed) but I think surgical masks are better than nothing because the immune system can deal with the small numbers of viruses in in tiny airborne droplets more effectively than it can fight the millions of viruses contained in even a single large droplet.
For this reason, I think that even surgical masks are better than nothing since only microscopic droplets get around the masks and even N95 or N99 masks don’t have fine enough filtration to filter out individual viruses, which can also enter the body through the eyes and ears. and I have purchased them for family in Brazil where N95 masks are not available. So, if you run out of N95 masks, I’d still use a surgical mask.
Nice information,anyone who believes what the government is telling you is very naive,like the aftermath of an EMP,the government says 1‑year in 70% of the people could be dead,no one really knows-could me more or less,no matter the virus does(as in the taking of lives)Is mostly irrelevant,especially if it happened to yourself.The only question(in my opinion)Is are we possibly headed for a SHTF/WROL-Situation.Iv’e prepped for years,but mostly for natural disasters.I’m solo,so for me it’s (if possible)Working with my close neighbors,all of us which are friends and at least now get along,I’m not really into firearms,haven’t fired an M‑16,since my service days(under Carter ‚yes I’m 61,but at least in decent physical shape)but for me,my only long arm is a 12-gauge Mossberg-500,and a 9mm pistol,The key factor(in my opinion)will be police response to various problems,since many officers now have symptoms or have caught the virus,forcing many officers to work double/triple time.So the possibility Olof response to a situation,may not come to fruition.
@Greg — I get it. However, my fear is a bit different at this juncture. Being in the Northeast, the quarantine is wearing on people, quite a bit. As you know there are now ‘peaceful protests’ all over the country because of this. But tempers are getting thin, for sure. My fear is the continued oppression of Govt. overreach. Meaning, citizen tempers getting thin, they’re not making enough money to survive, and support their families, and one of them let’s loose one day in a fit of rage, and the government reaction is one of stronger force vs. the compassion that that person deserves because they’re having a hard time expressing their frustration. All they want to do, remember is likely to keep their family safe, fed, and a roof over their heads, which I suspect is getting harder for many.