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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We’re a group of suburban preppers in the Northeast and live in the NYC suburbs that write The Suburban Survival Blog to talk about preparedness and self-reliance out there to help others prepare for what could be an uncertain future due to economic, weather, and other reasons.