Thursday, January 23, 2020

20 Things About the Coronavirus

News of a mystery virus out of China has certainly grabbed the attention of the prepper community.  Is this a pandemic?  Is this the pandemic?  The virus has been identified as a type of coronavirus which could possibly cause millions of deaths depending on how it spreads and how severe it becomes.  Here's some things to know...

  1. For a bit of insight into pandemics in general, check out the Netflix docuseries called 'Pandemic'.  I just watched the first episode last night and it gives a general overview of how viruses spread and mutate.
  2. Here's a general overview of the coronavirus.
  3. Note that the WHO hasn't determined that this is a public health emergency (yet).
  4. A researcher created a coronavirus simulation a few months back and determined that such an outbreak could possibly kill 65 million people.  If this could actually happen is currently anyone's guess.
  5. If you really want to delve into virology to understand how viruses work, check out this site.
  6. And if you want to see what others are saying about this outbreak, you can check here, here, and here.  Take everything you read in these links with a grain of salt.
  7. The thing with viruses, whether the coronavirus/H1N1 virus/other type of contagious virus, is that you won't know you have it, until you have it.  By the time you are showing symptoms, you've already had the virus for a while.  Since we are in the middle of flu season anyway, determining if you have a bad cold, the flu, or the coronavirus, is something only a doctor could tell you after doing a blood/mucus test.
  8. Apparently antivirals don't work on the coronavirus.
  9. Here's what the CDC is doing in regards to the coronavirus.  And here is the CDC's Twitter feed for their most recent updates.
  10. Here's a short explanation of how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and other respiratory viruses.
  11. I probably don't have to tell preppers this, but when the authorities decide to shut down a city to prevent the spread of a viral contagion, the first thing people are going to do is rush out and stock up on supplies.  For most preppers, their supplies are already socked away in their home; if your's aren't, prepare accordingly.
  12. The most important thing to know about this or other severe respiratory viruses, if your symptoms are deteriorating, get to a doctor quickly.  The time between "I'm sick and feel like I've been hit by a truck" to "I seriously can't catch my breath" to death can be pretty fast.
  13. Usually the flu kills (or severely debilitates) those who are very young, very old, or those who were already very sick before they caught the virus.  On the other hand, sometimes the flu virus can target otherwise young, healthy adults.
  14. The "granddaddy" of flu pandemics was the 1918 (Spanish) Flu which killed over 50 million people; thus the general panic whenever a flu pandemic is mentioned these days.  Note, however, this was before antibiotics and before ventilators were invented; both of which can greatly impact survival rates of the flu.
  15. My "top 10" stockpile items for the flu: kleenex, Thera flu, Sudafed (the stuff you have to buy from a pharmacist not the OTC stuff), Tylenol, easy-to-prepare comfort foods, fresh ginger/turmeric/lemons/honey (I boil these in water and stay hydrated with this brew), Vicks (I don't use it but the spouse swears by it), Vitamin C, face masks (if you absolutely have to be around other people), and alcohol-based hand sanitizer (antibacterial wipes don't kill viruses!). 
  16. I've had the actual flu three times in my life.  My "treatment plan" mostly involved sleeping (a lot!), staying hydrated, eating minimally, and treating symptoms as they came up.  
  17. Should you get a flu shot?  Obviously this is a decision best made by your physician.  Some years the flu vaccine is more effective than others, and it won't work for the coronavirus; also, there is currently no vaccine for the coronaviruses.
  18. Obviously the media is going to play up this virus as much as possible (if it bleeds, it leads sort of thing).
  19. The very best way to avoid getting the coronavirus and other contagious viruses?  Isolation and quarantine--which is easier said than done but is a very effective barrier against the spread of disease (more info here, here, and here).
  20. Everyone who could come in contact with people who have the coronavirus should prepare accordingly (examples here, here, and here).

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