Preparing for Pandemics

The very first pandemic in recorded history was described by Thucydides. In 430 BC, during the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta, the Greek historian told of a great pestilence that wiped out over 30,000 of the citizens of Athens which was one to two thirds of the population.

Thucydides described the disease as such “People in good health were all of a sudden attacked by violent heats in the head, and redness and inflammation in the eyes, the inward parts, such as the throat or tongue, becoming bloody and emitting an unnatural and fetid breath.” Next came coughing, diarrhea, spasms, and skin ulcers. A handful survived, but often without their fingers, sights, and even genitals.” This sounds like septicemic plague. Septicemic plague, happens when the bacteria enter the blood from the lymphatic or respiratory system. Patients with septicemic plague develop gangrenes in their fingers and toes, which turn the skin black (which gives the disease its moniker) though rare, this form of the disease is almost always fatal – often killing its victims the same day the symptoms appear.

gangrene due to ebola

Photo and Source: Insecta-Inspecta

In 541-542 AD. There was an outbreak in the Byzantine Empire that killed up to 10,000 people a day in Constantinople. They died so fast, they couldn’t bury the dead. It was the first Black plague pandemic. There would be two more, the last ended in 1959 and killed over two million people in India and China, alone.

But by far, Flu pandemics have killed more, an estimated two billion people have died from forms of the flu.

The Center for Disease Control, or the CDC, monitors diseases around the world. What they are, how they begin and end and how they travel. The CDC uses this information to determine which flu viruses are likely to effect the American population months in advance of the September flu season, when kids go back to school, and makes the multi flu vaccine.

Before this, flu would decimate large amounts of people, such as in 1918, when over 600 thousand Americans died. And most of these victims were healthy adults in the prime of their lives. Back then, we were healthier, as a nation. Most people walked everywhere, for miles, ate whole foods without preservatives, high fructose corn syrup or pesticides and fertilizer. Animals weren’t fed grain mixed with other animals, or steroids and antibiotics.

Here is excerpt from the US Department of Health and Human Services for the State of North Carolina. The typos are their own.

States were not required to report flu victims until September, 27th 1918, and only women and children. so on that day……

pandemic flu chart 1819

In 1920 the population of North Carolina was 2.55 million.  That is now, almost the population of Mecklenburg County and the city of Charlotte, alone. In 1920 the majority of people lived in rural areas. No city had more than 70, 000 people.

This flu started with a high fever that often killed it’s victims in only three days. There were three waves and from the first to the third, the virus mutated into an even deadlier form that killed young men and women, particularly a high percentage of pregnant women.  23 to 71% of pregnant women died and 26% lost their children.

On september 27th, North Carolina reported to the public health service.  With cases reported from Raleigh to Wilmington,  officials tersley reported that ” all the hospitals are crowded”.  In the first week in October,  the flu was epidemic in Raleigh and Wilmington. They reported that the outbreak was particially bad in Fayeteville. By the last week in October, officials were optomistic that the worst was over.

In the wake of the pandemic, local officials in North Carolina estimated that over thirteen thousand died. But these numbers were no doubt small, because entire families died and the numbers did not include men for some unknown reason.

During the pandemic, State officials in North Carolina were quick to respond, and advised communities that once the flu showed up, to close schools, factories and cancel all public meetings. Local officials grimly noted that the flu had spread north, from Wilmington, via the railways. During the height of the pandemic, doctors noted that in some areas the flu changed and people died within three days, volunteers delivered soup and food to families too sick to walk or even cook for themselves.

By October 6th,  Winston-Salem shut down churches and canceled social functions.  By the 16th and 17th, soda fountains, tobacco houses and shops were closed. Farmers stopped farming and people didn’t even speak to each other for fear of getting sick.  Children stayed indoors and Doctors and nurses worked for days without sleep.

On October 24th, all of Charlotte was quaranteened.  There were already 400 reported cases and many more at Camp Greene. On November 14th, the government vessel  City of Savannah, had arrived two days earlier with 1,900 Puerto Ricans in Wilmington, to build Camp Bragg. When it left, 28 had died.

Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill children, elderly, or already weakened patients; in contrast, the 1918 pandemic predominantly killed previously healthy young adults. Modern research, using virus taken from the bodies of frozen victims, has concluded that the virus kills through a cytokine storm (overreaction of the body’s immune system). The strong immune reactions of young adults ravaged the body, whereas the weaker immune systems of children and middle-aged adults resulted in fewer deaths among those groups.

pandemic ft riley kansaspandemic child grave marker

In the end,  7%-10% of the entire world population died. More than from the Black Death in the middle ages.

Native tribes had entire villages wiped out. Just like when they were intentionally infected with smallpox by settlers from Europe and Great Britain when they colonized America.

  This flu from 1918 is still out there. It’s called the H1N1.

So much for the history lesson.

And now the CDC states that it’s not a matter of if, but when. Ebola will come to the US.

It has a 60-80% mortality rate among healthy adults.

Even if you survive, it can hide in your body and come back as a stronger, and antibiotic resistant form.

The Andromeda strain

Scientists have long known that viruses can and have, come to Earth on meteors. In the movie Andromeda Strain, it comes in on a satellite that has gathered a specimen the size of a pin head. The virus it carries kills an entire town and nearly spreads to kill off most of the Earth’s population.  If you think this is far fetched or a Sci fi story, it has already happened.

The Kerala red rain phenomenon was a blood rain (red rain) event that occurred from 25 July to 23 September 2001, when heavy downpours of red-colored rain fell sporadically on the southern Indian state of Kerala. Black rain was also reported. Colored rain was also reported in Kerala in 1896 and several times since, most recently in June of 2012.

After intense analysis at two labs in the UK, Astronomer Chandra Wickramasinghe who studied the cells with microbiologists at Cardiff University says that “As the days pass, I’m getting more and more convinced that these are exceedingly unusual biological cells. The Red Rain cells of 2001 multiply under extreme heat and were found not to contain DNA.“ Now cells that do not contain DNA should scare you.
Louis published his results in the journal Astrophysics and Space in 2006, along with the tentative suggestion that the cells could be extraterrestrial, perhaps from a comet that had disintegrated in the upper atmosphere and then seeded clouds as the cells floated down to Earth. In fact, Louis says there were reports in the region of a sonic boom-type noise at the time, which could have been caused by the disintegration of an object in the upper atmosphere.*india red rainindia red rain 2

Samples of the red rain in India. *From the Mysteries of India web page.

So, a meteor could bring down death as well. Paranoid now?

So here is the scenario: Week one.

A working, but poor, man becomes infected with Ebola in Africa. In a panic, before he shows symptoms, he empties his bank account and buys a last minute, one way ticket to the United States. He knows his best chance to survive is in a US hospital.

The flight takes 25 hours, including a small layover in London.  He arrives in New York at 8:30 in the morning, he checks into a hotel on the outskirts of town and waits 24 hours for his fever to start.  He eats the complimentary breakfast in the common breakfast area, checks out, and takes a cab to the nearest hospital.

In the busy Emergency room, the woman checking in patients does not ask if he has come from a country outside the US, recently. They see so many international people, she assumes he is just another immigrant.  They don’t ask for green cards or visa papers in the ER.

She sends him to the waiting room, where he is called over by the finance officer. She asks if he has insurance, he says “no” and has him fill out a form. She doesn’t notice where he comes from, just puts the form in a basket for later data entry.  His fever is running high and he has now begun to cough and sneeze.  Even though there are masks in the waiting room, he does not put one on, nor is he asked to do so.

After three hours, he begins to vomit in the waiting room, so he is finally placed in a room to wait for a doctor.

Thirty minutes later, the young internist comes in, has the nurse draw labs, who has the hemocultist come down and draw blood, and the tech takes vital signs.

His fever is now spiking. They place him on IV fluids and

They give him a fever reducer and his labs come back with Ebola. The hospital is placed on lock down. However it’s too late. There has been a shift change and the staff that first saw him is now out, home, shopping, eating out, and seeing family and friends.

The cab driver from the day before now has a slight fever, and is still taking fares all over the city and it’s boroughs and.. the airport, where those passengers interact with other people in the airport and all those people board planes for every corner of the planet.

The people who were on the two planes he flew on are all also now showing symptoms and so are people in London, where he had a stopover. Statistically, if you are on a flight of 4 hours or more, and someone on board is ill, you have a 70% chance of getting ill, yourself.  Ebola is currently a disease spread by blood, body fluids and not washing hands.

However, the CDC released a statement and poster on how Ebola was spread by droplets. A day later, they pulled the poster. Hmmmm.

From the New York Post: “The ​U.S. ​​Centers for Disease Control on Thursday yanked a poster off its Web site explaining how Ebola can be spread by contaminated droplets — from a sneeze for example — a day after The Post reported on the frightening revelation.

The fact sheet was taken off line, and a link that led to it a day before now sends viewers to a different page with a different message.” The CDC is lying to us.


So now Ebola is now all over the US.

Now, ask yourself, at what point in time do you stop, going to work, school, church, the grocery store?

If someone in your family becomes infected, what do you do?

Doctor offices ask you about Ebola contamination now, so they will no doubt make you leave and go to the hospital.

Here is where a good repore with your PCP comes in handy. My doctor knows me well enough that I can sometimes get him to just call in an antibiotic, and then if I am not better in a few days, call him back. So go to a Doctor, every six months, so they know that you are not a hypochondriac or a drug seeker, and talk to them about what will they do if you are too sick to come into the office.  Ask them, after a few visits, what is their policy about an Ebola outbreak, or something like that. Will they call in medications..or send you to the ER?

pandemic sneeze

Picture from


Week two: Everyone stops going to work, even the police, firemen, Doctors and Nurses.

You cannot get food, medical attention, prescriptions, even FEMA reservists and national guard will not respond. Martial law is declared.

Week three: People begin to starve and venture out to steal and kill for food and water and gasoline. They justify murder because their kids are hungry.

Week four: People are really desperate. The unburied dead begin to smell.

Cholera could be a problem now. Water sources and purification will be extremely important now.  You can only go three days without water. Two people need 55 gallons of water, per month. Water weighs 8lbs per gallon.

A person can go 45 days without food, but after the first three weeks, you will be too weak to forage, or defend yourself.

Fema has a pandemic plan in place, which includes medical waste disposal and large amounts of scrubs and biohazard suits. And no doubt, body bags.

FEMA will plan for the following:

Essential functions are those functions that enable an organization to:

  • Provide vital services.
  • Exercise civil authority.
  • Maintain the safety and well-being of the general population.

Sustain the industrial and economic base during an emergency.

They will set up a five deep command structure that is geographically dispersed, to keep and update vital information, to provide security and personal information concerns are addressed.

The workforce may be reduced by as much as 40% with employees who are sick or have family that is sick, or are afraid of becoming ill. Thus communication through phones, laptops and smart phones will be vital. A JFO, or  Joint Field Office, where local, state and federal disaster employees will go, with generators and food and water, will be set up. Often in the state capital, but in a large disaster, more local offices might be set up. They will be heavily guarded, because if the entire system breaks down, there will be even more chaos.

Employees will be encouraged to telework. Disaster assistance applications will probably be only for public assistance to towns and states for repayment of the costs of overtime, supplies and equipment costs. This will be taken online.

FEMA states that disruptions in critical sectors, such as utilities, banking, and communications, may cause cascading events and the disruption of routine operations and services. Therefore, It will be necessary to plan for possible interruptions and replenishment of supplies.

Disaster planners will develop standby contracts to ensure delivery of critical supplies and services. These contracts for goods and services are negotiated before an incident occurs and activated when the suppliers are contacted after the incident. Since a pandemic will affect the entire local population, it is important that contract suppliers have a pandemic plan in place, themselves.

Also the need for identifying alternate suppliers if standby contractors are at risk for pandemic exposure.

Supplies and generator fuel for 12 weeks, the initial first wave, should be stockpiled. So when you hear that FEMA is stockpiling food and water, it’s because it is only prudent to do so in advance, not after the horse has left the barn. Which is why we should prep for 6 months to a year.

Remember, Ebola has been around for decades and there is no cure yet.

Once the growing season starts, even if you have seeds and a garden space, it takes 90 days for some plants to bear fruit, and if you have enough water for them.

Then you have to guard your food.

Hydroponics will help in winter and sprouts are a good, quick, food source for fresh vegetables. Broccoli, alfalfa, and bean sprouts are nutritious.

Are you willing to kill a parent with a staving family, for food. You need to decide that now.

You should belong to a mag group, or mutual assistance group, because there is safety in numbers.

Think of how you will defend you family, and supplies.

Money, after a few weeks, will be worthless. The currency will become food, water and fuel. Also booze and cigarettes, and drugs. Illegal and pharmaceutical.

You should stockpile a year of medications, including antibiotics.

Keep your vaccinations up to date, for you and your pets to. You don’t want to die of tetanus or fido to get rabies.

Both are 100% fatal, unless you get early attention, and it’s often too late, once symptoms show up.

If it’s a flu pandemic, get the flu shot. Even if you still get a flu that the shot does not cover, it will still provide some antibody protection.

pandemic who alert system chart

So now, today, you need to:

Stockpile 6 months to a year of food, medications, antibiotics and other medical supplies. Over the counter medications like aspirin, fever reducers, cold medication, cough medication, bandages, soap, Clorox, Lysol spray, toilet paper, heavy duty duct tape, N95 CDC approved masks with two way valves and plastic sheeting. (make sure you get real N95 masks, there are a lot of cheap fakes out there. Get CDC approved ones. Two way valves make the mask more comfortable and your glasses or goggles don’t fog up.) You can buy your own biohazard suits. Solar water shower bags. Garbage bags, plans for waste disposal.

Stockpile prescription medicines and antibiotics. (see previous blog on this)

Food for pets. Flea treatment. Fleas can kill your pet.

Stockpile clean and potable water, like rain barrels, and locate sources of water and ways to purify them without electricity.

Stockpile fuel, such as gasoline, propane, charcoal and wood.

Weapons for self-defense, and decide when and how you will defend yourself.

Plan to group together with family or neighbors, because there is safety in numbers, and it’s easy to lose control when you are by yourself.

Seed for future food replacement. Bug and pest killer. Fertilizer and bags of soil. Soil and sand not only can be used to deflect bullets, but insulate against radiation.

Vitamins to supplement a less than ideal meal plan.

Extra contacts, readers and eye glasses.

Money and barter supplies. (food, water and medicine will become very valuable)

Wind up radios, communication with the outside world will be vital.

Communication plans for the family.

What to do if someone gets sick or dies at your shelter.

Hopefully, martial law and some luck will restore our civilization in a few months, but you can’t wait till it hits the news that Ebola, an alien virus, or even the H1N1 is out.

FEMA has stockpiled food and water for its people, and a small percent of the American population, you need to do it now, for you and yours, too.

flu pandemic be prepared



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