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How Prepared Are You?

I am not sure if you are aware, but the end of the world is coming and for some people the signs of the apocalypse are knocking at our doors. The novel coronavirus outbreak has prompted many people to speculate and pontificate about the consequences and fallout. The problem is that there is still so much unknown about the virus. For example, we still do not know how patient zero was infected. There are rumors that it originated in a market from contaminated bat soup, that the US consulate buried bioweapons in the back yard to bring down the Chinese economy and also that there was a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology where they were experimenting with coronavirus. I will let you decide which one of those is more probable. In addition, we still do not know with absolute certainty how the virus is transmitted. There is new speculation from Chinese officials that the virus is actually airborne (think tuberculosis), not just contact with an infected person (think flu).

. This hasn't been proven, but it also hasn't been disproven.

Unfortunately, misinformed conversation and speculation rules the day. China is notorious for putting out inaccurate information in an attempt to mitigate their transgressions. Many cities in China are on total and complete lock down to quarantine the citizens and try to prevent the virus from continuing to spread. Because of these factors and CCP's thumb on what information is released, it's difficult to ascertain what the situation REALLY looks like on the ground. There is a widely circulated

of what appears to be two Chinese women being loaded into a van against their will. It has been viewed 1.8 million times. With the language barrier and no other context provided, it's easy to speculate something nefarious is happening. As a matter of fact, if you read through the comments, many people do. After having reached out to a couple people who speak Chinese, I confirmed that during the quarantine, it is illegal to be without a face mask. According to the individuals I spoke with, these women were refusing to wear masks and were being taken to forced quarantine.

This brings me to the title; how well are you prepared? Covid-19 is no joke. It's not "just the flu." Since being discovered in late December and as of this writing it is reported that 45,170 people have been infected and 1,115 people have died. (As to the accuracy of these numbers, don't forget China's inability to be super forthcoming.) This pales in comparison to the total number of infected and deaths suffered from the flu on an annual basis, but let's compare those numbers. According to the CDC there are between 9 and 45 million flu illnesses diagnosed on an annual basis which result in 12k-61k deaths on an annual basis. On the high end that translates to a .14% chance of dying. Covid-19 has a mortality rate of 2.4% based on the above numbers. It's serious enough that China is locking down entire cities and countries are prohibiting travel from China to prevent further transmission. I have never seen a response like this to the flu or even SARS and MERS. If this were to impact your community, are you prepared for that?

As I stated earlier, I have been speaking with two individuals in China; one in Shanghai and the other in Guangdong. Shanghai is in a mandatory quarantine status for 14 days and Guangdong just allowed its citizens to return to work yesterday. They both described in detail the lack of resources and scarcity of food, the eeriness and silence in what are normally bustling public places and the sadness of seeing all the people that are hurting and in need on Weibo. Here are some photographs of their current situations:

Think about this for a minute. If the government told you that you must stay in your home and you cannot go outside for 14 days or you would be arrested, would you have enough food for yourself and your entire family? Is there enough food in the grocery stores RIGHT NOW to feed every family member of every household for 2 weeks? Do you have enough medicine for any infections/illnesses that you may have? Would you be able to survive a longer quarantine? What if the water sources were contaminated; would you be able to last two weeks on your current water supply? I honestly feel like we take our lifestyle and societal ease for granted and worry that if something like this were to cluster on a mass scale as it has done in China, many of us would not be properly prepared. I encourage you to develop a game plan and set some bottled water and non-perishable food aside. This would serve as a contingency in any major disaster including something as minor as loss of power from a thunderstorm. This is not a plug or paid advertisement, but one of my favorite places to shop for supplies is

They did just release a notice, though, they are experiencing delays for 60% of their customers due to an unusually high number of orders, so please keep that in mind if you decide to purchase something.

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