How To Prepare for the Pandemic

by James Wallace Harris, Friday, February 28, 2020

I’m getting more worried about the coming coronavirus pandemic and have been meditating on what we need to do. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and it looks like they won’t be able to contain it. It also looks like they won’t have a vaccine for another year or two. That means we have to dodge the disease, minimize the effects of getting infected, but ultimately be prepared by finding the best way to handle getting the infection.

The death rates for the coronavirus varies with age. It appears children under 10 aren’t usually dying, but older people are. The overall average for all infected people is 2-2.5 percent dying. That’s much higher than the annual flu but far less scary than things like Ebola. However, that rate rises to 8-10% for elderly people or people with compromised lungs. From what I’ve read, the disease is harder on men and smokers. Women have a more active immune system, but they are also more prone to autoimmune diseases. Smokers have compromised their lungs.

Most countries have been having people stay home in areas where they’ve found an infected individual. That works to a degree. However, the coronavirus can be infectious before symptoms show. Most people get a mild cold-like infection which tends to help spread the disease because people don’t think they are infected with the coronavirus.

I’m sure everyone knows about how not to spread germs – thoroughly washing hands, not touching your face, sneezing into your elbow, and staying away from other people. But if the pandemic arrives will we all stay home until it disappears? How long can you last in your house without needing to go out for supplies? How long can you not go to work?

Getting the virus probably means acquiring a natural immunity if you survive. However, there have been some rare reports of recovered people getting the disease again, or it flaring up for a second time. Now that’s scary.

Healthy people probably have much less to worry about. However, if you’re old, or have any kind of problems with your lungs, it’s time to worry. This population often ends up hospitalized. If you’re part of this group you need to make sure you can get emergency care quickly. But your first line of defense is to avoid getting infected until they come up with a vaccine. That means staying isolated when the infection hits your town. We also need to learn how to go to the hospital when we do think we’re infected.

There’s is hope the coronavirus will die down in the warm months like the flu, or even die out on its own. But if it spreads in the Southern hemisphere now that won’t be a good sign.

I’m hoping the people in charge of every nation will come up with practical solutions to keep people off the streets during breakouts. Fighting the pandemic will depend on both good government and good citizens. It might be possible to avoid getting infected with some proper planning now. Being able to stay at home for long periods will help a whole lot. Sequestering older folks away from younger people will be vital. This year might not be a good time to travel — unless you have a deserted hideaway in the mountains or the desert.



7 thoughts on “How To Prepare for the Pandemic”

  1. In the end, COVID-19 will be no match for human technology. Like all other infectious diseases before this one, a vaccine will enable the human auto-immune system to manage this infection. This particular strain will be incorporated into the existing standard protocols for all other flu like viruses.

    In the meantime our sophisticated 24-7 communications technology serves in part to heighten the sense of worry and panic, as well as inform the public on precautions to take as individuals, and the measures taken by authorities to limit the spread.

    I sense the worst is yet to come, but this too will pass in time.

    How soon we forget that existing flu strains kill almost 700,000 of us per annum, and that figure is only that which gets reported. Not to mention all of the other diseases that take their toll year over year.

    One of my hobbies is genealogy and the demographic history. I’m currently focused on the development of society in SW England early to mid 13th century (I do get out occasionally… LOL) Of course this is just before the arrival of the pestilence on English shores as it was called in that time. Commonly called the Black Death in later times. Well traveled individuals were familiar with this scourge on the continent, so were preparing for the inevitability of it’s arrival, which occurred in the summer of 1348. Although there was no systematic knowledge of how to deal with same. The population of England by most estimates was approaching 4 million people at the time. After the ‘first wave’ estimates have the surviving population in the range of 2.4-2.7 million by December of the following year

    Jumping ahead,…a little over 100 years ago the ‘Spanish Flu’ may have killed upwards of 50 million. The total world population at the time was 1.8 trillion

    We’re still here,…7.6 Billion strong. So far COVID-19 has killed under 3,000 people. The odds are still looking pretty good for survival.

    1. It’s not going to be the end of the world. And if we don’t panic, we can get through it sanely. It will be hard on the economy, people with health problems, and the elderly.

  2. Well, my one-time governor “Mr. Pray the Disease away” Pence, caused an HIV epidemic in my state and is now in charge of the US response (and is currently fundraising in Florida instead of, you know, coordinating)…. so, yeah, I don’t expect a wonderful response.

  3. Translation?
    “Stock up now on….fill in the blanks” meaning grocery store shelves will remain empty, people fighting over this and that and….
    I.E., if “surviving” this depends…to any degree at all…with “people” “being nice” and “cooperating” and all the rest?
    Sorry. It won’t happen…
    Unless I am to believe that somehow, and for reasons no one will be able to explain to me, the same species, Homo sapiens, that find so much pleasure in “hating,” in “blaming” anyone and everyone else who is “different” from themselves for all the current “problems” in life, all that “injustice” and “unfairness”–you know, the stuff of the daily “news”–that now (!), under “these circumstances,” because this can affect “everyone,” well, “that’s different” and we will all just set aside those now petty differences and pull together because, well, it’s the “right” thing to do and we are, don’t you know, “all the same” and….
    At this point in this discussion, put me on the side of those who tend to think, “Oh, a few million less humans on this planet? How can that be a bad thing?”
    After all, it’s “too many” people causing things like “global warming,” right? “Too many” people are the reason we have “world hunger,” right?
    So maybe it is a “new” disease. Hell, maybe it was developed in some secret Chinese lab. Hell, again, maybe it’s a “sign,” part of the Apocalypse. I don’t know…and I no longer care. Either explanation/reason is the same story playing out the same way…and it is never with people “getting along” and being “nice” to each other, not when all reduces to a “me and mine” v “them” reality.
    So the best-case scenario seems to favor that “Oh, it is just a ‘new’ such virus and ‘they’ are working on a new vaccine…” and that story ends the same: A new drug to be given to help people avoid getting it in the future but at the end of the day, at least the drugs companies will make more money and the doctors will make more money and the politicians and the electorate will have yet more things to argue about because well, gee, those vacinations should be free and….
    Welcome to planet earth:
    “…and in sports today….and the weather next week is not looking good if you’re planning on travelling…..”

    1. We have plenty of time to prepare. If everyone buys a little extra each week when they shop it should be no problem to stock up. It still might not happen. And with careful social planning, we could minimize the impact. I’m not going to freak out yet.

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