Medium: What Everyone’s Getting Wrong About the Toilet Paper Shortage

Will Oremus has written an article at Medium.com on What Everyone’s Getting Wrong About the Toilet Paper Shortage, pointing out that it has little to do with so-called hoarding. The fact is that people actually are using more toilet paper at home. There are similar problems with dairy products. With everyone staying at home and mostly eating at home, consumption of milk, butter, eggs, etc. is higher at home, now.

round the world, in countries afflicted with the coronavirus, stores are sold out of toilet paper. There have been shortages in Hong Kong, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. And we all know who to blame: hoarders and panic-buyers.

Well, not so fast.

Story after story explains the toilet paper outages as a sort of fluke of consumer irrationality. Unlike hand sanitizer, N95 masks, or hospital ventilators, they note, toilet paper serves no special function in a pandemic. Toilet paper manufacturers are cranking out the same supply as always. And it’s not like people are using the bathroom more often, right?

U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar summed up the paradox in a March 13 New York Times story: “Toilet paper is not an effective way to prevent getting the coronavirus, but they’re selling out.” The president of a paper manufacturer offered the consensus explanation: “You are not using more of it. You are just filling up your closet with it.”

Faced with this mystifying phenomenon, media outlets have turned to psychologists to explain why people are cramming their shelves with a household good that has nothing to do with the pandemic. Read the coverage and you’ll encounter all sorts of fascinating concepts, from “zero risk bias” to “anticipatory anxiety.” It’s “driven by fear” and a “herd mentality,” the BBC scolded. The libertarian Mises Institute took the opportunity to blame anti-gouging laws. The Atlantic published a short documentary harking back to the great toilet paper scare of 1973, which was driven by misinformation.

Most outlets agreed that the spike in demand would be short-lived, subsiding as soon as the hoarders were satiated.

No doubt there’s been some panic-buying, particularly once photos of empty store shelves began circulating on social media. There have also been a handful of documented cases of true hoarding. But you don’t need to assume that most consumers are greedy or irrational to understand how coronavirus would spur a surge in demand. And you can stop wondering where in the world people are storing all that Quilted Northern.

There’s another, entirely logical explanation for why stores have run out of toilet paper — one that has gone oddly overlooked in the vast majority of media coverage. It has nothing to do with psychology and everything to do with supply chains. It helps to explain why stores are still having trouble keeping it in stock, weeks after they started limiting how many a customer could purchase.

In short, the toilet paper industry is split into two, largely separate markets: commercial and consumer. The pandemic has shifted the lion’s share of demand to the latter. People actually do need to buy significantly more toilet paper during the pandemic — not because they’re making more trips to the bathroom, but because they’re making more of them at home. With some 75% of the U.S. population under stay-at-home orders, Americans are no longer using the restrooms at their workplace, in schools, at restaurants, at hotels, or in airports.

Georgia-Pacific, a leading toilet paper manufacturer based in Atlanta, estimates that the average household will use 40% more toilet paper than usual if all of its members are staying home around the clock…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Medium.com

Here is a video of a dairy farmer of Wagner Farms, talking about dairy item shortages and supply chains.

Organic Prepper: How to Survive Uncertainty About the Future

From Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper, What Will the Future Bring? Here’s How to Survive the Uncertainty

…Three months ago, we all had dreams, goals for the future, or at least some idea of what the upcoming year would hold for us.

I’ll bet none of us even considered on New Year’s Eve that we’d spend the first half (at least) of the year dealing with a deadly pandemic. Heck, I sat on a balcony in a little seaside village in Montenegro, toasting the new decade with a friend and some Jack Daniels, watching fireworks over the Adriatic Sea, and planning what European destination I’d be heading to next.

It probably never crossed anyone’s mind that there’d be some crazy new virus that nobody had ever heard of which would leave us under the equivalent of house arrest for months. Few of us imagined that suddenly, over the course of just a few weeks, more than ten million Americans would suddenly become unemployed.

Dreams have been shattered.

Goals have been put aside.

Lives have been lost.

Everything has changed.

And nobody knows what the future will hold.

A lot of the things we do know are horrible.

How utterly terrifying to know that we’re all likely to lose somebody we love to this virus or to a medical condition that would have been survivable if the local hospital hadn’t been overflowing with COVID patients.

We know there’s nary a roll of toilet paper to be found in a huge swath of the United States. We know that our supply chain, if not broken, is at the least, badly bruised. We know that if a person we love goes into the hospital with COVID-19, there’s a frighteningly large chance they may never come out again unless it’s in a body bag. We know that medical professionals in New York City don’t even have personal protective equipment to keep themselves healthy while they try to keep people alive. We know that yesterday in the state of New York, 23 people died every hour of the day from the coronavirus that has destroyed the world as we know it.

We nearly all know people who have been laid off. Maybe it’s someone in your family. Maybe it’s you. And if you haven’t yet lost your job, are you waiting for that hammer to drop? We all know of businesses that aren’t going to make it through months of this shutdown.

We know people who couldn’t pay their rent this month. We know people who pulled it together this month but won’t be able to pay May’s rent if this lockdown should continue. We know it’s so bad that the government has said landlords can’t evict tenants in many states – which means the landlords may not be able to pay their mortgages.

We may not know much right now, but we know that the economy is a f*cking disaster.

And we have no idea when this current purgatory will end…

We’d all like to think that one day this will suddenly be over. The kids will return to school. We’ll go back to our offices and our commutes. We won’t be struggling over money anymore. Life will return to the pre-COVID days.

But is this the healthiest way to look at the situation?

Spending all your time looking forward to the day when this is over is an exercise in frustration because nobody knows when that will be. And more than that, nobody knows what “normal” is going to look like when all the lockdowns are over. A lot of things will never be the same.

You can help yourself by learning to adapt now to changed circumstances. This will help you learn to live with the new normal, whatever that turns out to be. Major events are bound to cause major and long-lasting changes. This has happened throughout history.

In reality, the things we’re experiencing right now, while not necessarily easy, aren’t so bad. Things will probably get worse before they get better, but eventually, some form of “better” will come.

Your ability to adapt is indicative of your ability to survive. So let’s get through this lockdown and keep our mindsets positive.  Let’s get through the part that comes next.

Then, eventually, we’ll come out on the other side, ready to tackle the new normal, whatever that ends up being like…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.

Buchanan: When It’s Over, Will We Be the Same America?

From Pat Buchanan, When It’s Over, Will We Be the Same America?

“Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully,” said Samuel Johnson.

And as it is with men, so it is with nations.

Monday, Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, projected some 100,000 to 200,000 U.S. deaths from the pandemic, “if we do things almost perfectly.” She agreed with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s estimate that, if we do “nothing,” the American dead could reach 2.2 million.

That 2 million figure would be twice as many dead as have perished in all our wars from the American Revolution to the Civil War, World War I and II, and Korea and Vietnam.

This does indeed concentrate the mind wonderfully.

Now add to this slaughter of our countrymen a market plunge steeper than the 1929 Crash and a 1930s-style Depression. Wall Street analysts are talking of a wipeout of 30% of our GDP and unemployment reaching 35%.

What a difference a month can make.

On March 3, Super Tuesday, we were caught up in the 14 primary contests after Joe Biden’s stunning victory in South Carolina, which broke the momentum of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wins in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

What March 2020 produced and what it appears to portend is a sea change in U.S. history, an inflection point, an event after which things never return to what they were.

The coronavirus crisis seems to be one of those epochal events that alter the character of the country and the course of the republic.

Consider what has happened in three weeks.

The Republican Party, the party of small government and balanced budgets, approved with but a single dissent a $2 trillion emergency bill. There is talk now of a second $2 trillion bill, this one for infrastructure.

In a single month then, a Republican Senate and president grew the federal budget by 50% and are looking to double that.

For years, Democrats raised alarms about Trump’s poaching of the powers of the other branches. Now Democrats are demanding to know why Trump has not shut down the economy by presidential decree and not used his latent dictatorial powers to order U.S. companies to produce what the nation’s hospitals demand.

Democrats who long accused Trump of xenophobia and racism for seeking to close the borders to migrants entering the country illegally are now silent as Trump closes America to the world.

First Amendment free press champions are calling for Trump’s White House briefings not to be carried on TV because the president is spouting propaganda and lies. The problem: The people are watching and approving of what the media think the people ought not see.

If people in a crisis will jettison lifelong beliefs like this readily, how enduring will their professed belief in democracy itself prove?

The president thinks this will be a V-shaped recession, that once the economy hits bottom and turns up, it will soar, as in 1946 when pent-up demand from World War II was unleashed and America began to churn out cars and consumer good as rapidly as it had weapons of war.

Perhaps. But put me down as a skeptic. You can’t go home again. The shattering events of March, followed by what is coming in April and May, will have lasting impacts on the hearts and minds of this generation.

That once-insatiable appetite for Chinese-made goods at the mall — will it really return? Will Americans, after having “socially distanced” for months from family and friends, be reassured of their safety and pack into restaurants in July?

Observing the carrier Theodore Roosevelt in Guam offloading scores of sailors infected with coronavirus, will Americans be up for a clash with a China that is even today asserting its claims to the South China Sea?

Will Americans who survive this crisis care whether Iranian-backed Shiites dominate Iraq or Saudi-backed Sunni prevail in Yemen?

If March shocked this nation as severely as 9/11, what is coming may be even more sobering.

Are millions of unemployed workers without the cash to pay for or to find medicine and groceries likely to stay indoors for weeks or months?

All those criminals being given early release from virus-infested jails and prisons without the means to provide for themselves and their families, how will they react to weeks of mandatory sheltering in place?

Will MS-13 and its thousands of members, and its rival gangs that live off narcotics sales, comply?

Americans have done well in staying home in March. Will they do so through April, May and perhaps June? Or will the system gradually break down just as the second wave of the virus in the fall appears?

In times of crisis in America, there is a tradition of self-sacrifice.

But there have also almost always been not a few whose mindset is that of the Fort Lauderdale spring-breakers.

Business Insider has a more rosy view, 10 ways the coronavirus pandemic could change American life as we know it

The Federalist: What Will America Look Like After The Wuhan Coronavirus?

Politico: Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently

WA Benton-Franklin Health District: Wear Masks in Public!

From KIMA news,

Benton-Franklin Health District leaders are now advising people to wear face coverings while in public to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Health leaders say medical grade masks should be saved for first responders and medical staff members.

Health officials say something as simple as a scarf would be acceptable to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Experts say the mask, or cloth, can be an added layer of protection for people.

Health leaders say people should also continue to use social distancing guidelines and not leave their homes with the exception for essential activities.

Reuters: U.S. Dairy Farmers Dump Milk as Pandemic Upends Food Markets

From Reuters news service comes a story that hits our region with a good number of dairies, U.S. dairy farmers dump milk as pandemic upends food markets

Dairy farmer Jason Leedle felt his stomach churn when he got the call on Tuesday evening.

“We need you to start dumping your milk,” said his contact from Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), the largest U.S. dairy cooperative.

Despite strong demand for basic foods like dairy products amid the coronavirus pandemic, the milk supply chain has seen a host of disruptions that are preventing dairy farmers from getting their products to market.

Mass closures of restaurants and schools have forced a sudden shift from those wholesale food-service markets to retail grocery stores, creating logistical and packaging nightmares for plants processing milk, butter and cheese. Trucking companies that haul dairy products are scrambling to get enough drivers as some who fear the virus have stopped working. And sales to major dairy export markets have dried up as the food-service sector largely shuts down globally.

The dairy industry’s woes signal broader problems in the global food supply chain, according to farmers, agricultural economists and food distributors. The dairy business got hit harder and earlier than other agricultural commodities because the products are highly perishable – milk can’t be frozen, like meat, or stuck in a silo, like grain.

Other food sectors, however, are also seeing disruptions worldwide as travel restrictions are limiting the workforce needed to plant, harvest and distribute fruits and vegetables, and a shortage of refrigerated containers and truck drivers have slowed the shipment of staples such as meat and grains in some places…

Click here to read the entire story at Reuters.

Foreign Policy: How the World Will Look After the Coronavirus Pandemic

Foreign Policy journal asked twelve “global thinkers” to answer the question of How the World Will Look After the Coronavirus Pandemic. Each author’s response is relatively short for Foreign Policy, but there are a dozen so the whole thing isn’t short. The answers are sometimes opposed to each other, so take away what you will.

Like the fall of the Berlin Wall or the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the coronavirus pandemic is a world-shattering event whose far-ranging consequences we can only begin to imagine today.

This much is certain: Just as this disease has shattered lives, disrupted markets and exposed the competence (or lack thereof) of governments, it will lead to permanent shifts in political and economic power in ways that will become apparent only later.

To help us make sense of the ground shifting beneath our feet as this crisis unfolds, Foreign Policy asked 12 leading thinkers from around the world to weigh in with their predictions for the global order after the pandemic…

The pandemic will strengthen the state and reinforce nationalism. Governments of all types will adopt emergency measures to manage the crisis, and many will be loath to relinquish these new powers when the crisis is over…

The coronavirus pandemic could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back of economic globalization...

The COVID-19 pandemic will not fundamentally alter global economic directions. It will only accelerate a change that had already begun: a move away from U.S.-centric globalization to a more China-centric globalization...

The nationalists and anti-globalists, the China hawks, and even the liberal internationalists will all see new evidence for the urgency of their views. Given the economic damage and social collapse that is unfolding, it is hard to see anything other than a reinforcement of the movement toward nationalism, great-power rivalry, strategic decoupling, and the like…

COVID-19 is undermining the basic tenets of global manufacturing. Companies will now rethink and shrink the multistep, multicountry supply chains that dominate production today…

The international system will, in turn, come under great pressure, resulting in instability and widespread conflict within and across countries…

The result could be a dramatic new stage in global capitalism, in which supply chains are brought closer to home and filled with redundancies to protect against future disruption…

I would expect many countries will have difficulty recovering from the crisis, with state weakness and failed states becoming an even more prevalent feature of the world…

Click here to read the entire article at Foreign Policy

 

End of American Dream Blog: Food Distribution System Breaks Down

Michael Snyder has written an article at The End of the American Dream on how the food distribution system works in normal times and why it is breaking down now – Supplies Are Starting To Get Really Tight Nationwide As Food Distribution Systems Break Down. His message is that times have changed. Don’t blame hoarders for bare grocery shelves; the problem is much bigger.

All across America, store shelves are emptying and people are becoming increasingly frustrated because they can’t get their hands on needed supplies.  Most Americans are blaming “hoarders” for the current mess, but it is actually much more complicated than that.  Normally, Americans get a lot of their food from restaurants.  In fact, during normal times 36 percent of all Americans eat at a fast food restaurant on any given day.  But now that approximately 75 percent of the U.S. is under some sort of a “shelter-in-place” order and most of our restaurants have shut down, things have completely changed.  Suddenly our grocery stores are being flooded with unexpected traffic, and many people are buying far more than usual in anticipation of a long pandemic.  Unfortunately, our food distribution systems were not designed to handle this sort of a surge, and things are really starting to get crazy out there.

 I would like to share with you an excerpt from an email that I was sent recently.  It describes the chaos that grocery stores in Utah and Idaho have been experiencing…

When this virus became a problem that we as a nation could see as an imminent threat, Utah, because of its culture of food storage and preparing for disaster events seemed to “get the memo” first. The week of March 8th grocery sales more than doubled in Utah, up 218%. Many states stayed the same with increases in some. Idaho seemed to “get the memo” about four days later. We were out of water and TP four days after Utah. Then we were out of food staples about four days later. Next was produce following a pattern set by Utah four days earlier.

The problem for us in Idaho was this. The stores in Utah were emptied out then refilled twice by the warehouses before it hit Idaho. Many of these Utah stores have trucks delivering daily. So when it did hit Idaho the warehouses had been severely taxed. We had a hard time filling our store back up even one time. We missed three scheduled trucks that week alone. Then orders finally came they were first 50% of the order and have dropped to 20%. In normal circumstances we receive 98% of our orders and no canceled trucks. Now three weeks later, the warehouses in the Western United States have all been taxed. In turn, those warehouses have been taxing the food manufacturers. These food companies have emptied their facilities to fill the warehouses of the Western United States. The East Coast hasn’t seemed to “get the memo” yet. When they do what food will be left to fill their warehouses and grocery stores?

Food distribution and resources for the Eastern United States will be at great peril even if no hoarding there takes place. But of course it will.

Additionally the food culture of the East Coast and other urban areas is such that people keep very little food on hand. They often shop several times weekly for items if they cook at home. They don’t have big freezers full of meat, home canned vegetables in their storage rooms, gardens, or beans, wheat, and rice in buckets in the their basements.

With most of the country locked down, normal economic activity has come to a standstill, and it is going to become increasingly difficult for our warehouses to meet the demand that grocery stores are putting on them.

Meanwhile, our farmers are facing severe problems of their own.  The following comes from CNBC

The U.S.-China trade war sent scores of farmers out of business. Record flooding inundated farmland and destroyed harvests. And a blistering heat wave stunted crop growth in the Midwest.

Now, the coronavirus pandemic has dealt another blow to a vulnerable farm economy, sending crop and livestock prices tumbling and raising concerns about sudden labor shortages.

The chaos in the financial markets is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, and it is going to remain difficult for farm laborers to move around as long as “shelter-in-place” orders remain in effect on the state level.

Iowa farmer Robb Ewoldt told reporter Emma Newburger that “we’ve stopped saying it can’t get worse”, and he says that this coronavirus pandemic looks like it could be “the straw that broke the camel’s back”

“We were already under extreme financial pressure. With the virus sending the prices down — it’s getting to be the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said Iowa farmer Robb Ewoldt.

“We were hoping for something good this year, but this virus has stopped all our markets,” he said.

Of course this comes at a time when millions of Americans are losing their jobs and unemployment is shooting up to unthinkable levels.  Without any money coming in, many people are already turning to alternative sources of help in order to feed themselves and their families.

On Monday, hundreds of cars were lined up to get food from a food bank in Duquesne, Pennsylvania.  To many, this was eerily reminiscent of the “bread lines” during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

And it is also being reported that the number of people coming for free meals on Skid Row in Los Angeles has tripled since that city was locked down.

Sadly, these examples are likely only the tip of the iceberg of what we will see in the months ahead.

And it won’t just be the U.S. that is hurting.  The following comes from a Guardian article entitled “Coronavirus measures could cause global food shortage, UN warns”

Kazakhstan, for instance, according to a report from Bloomberg, has banned exports of wheat flour, of which it is one of the world’s biggest sources, as well as restrictions on buckwheat and vegetables including onions, carrots and potatoes. Vietnam, the world’s third biggest rice exporter, has temporarily suspended rice export contracts. Russia, the world’s biggest wheat exporter, may also threaten to restrict exports, as it has done before, and the position of the US is in doubt given Donald Trump’s eagerness for a trade war in other commodities.

If this pandemic stretches on for an extended period of time, food supplies are inevitably going to get even tighter.

So what can you do?

Well, perhaps you can start a garden this year if you don’t normally grow one.  Apparently this pandemic has sparked a tremendous amount of interest in gardening programs around the country…

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, more people are showing an interest in starting home gardens. Oregon State University‘s (OSU) Master Gardener program took notice of the growing interest.

To help citizens who want to grow their own food, the university kindly made their online vegetable gardening course free until the end of April. OSU’s post on Facebook has been shared over 21,000 times.

Food is only going to get more expensive from here on out, and growing your own food is a way to become more independent of the system.

But if you don’t have any seeds right now, you may want to hurry, because consumer demand is spiking

“It’s the largest volume of orders we have seen,” said Jere Gettle of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in Mansfield, Missouri. Peak seed-buying season for home gardeners is January to March, but the normal end-of-season decline in orders isn’t happening.

Customers are gravitating to vegetables high in nutrients, such as kale, spinach and other quick-to-grow leafy greens. “Spinach is off the charts,” said Jo-Anne van den Berg-Ohms of Kitchen Garden Seeds in Bantam, Connecticut.

For years, I have been warning people to get prepared for “the perfect storm” that was coming, but of course most people didn’t listen.

But now it is upon us.

Desperate people have been running out to the grocery stores to stock up on toilet paper only to find that they are limited to one or two packages if it is even available.

And now that “panic buying” of seeds has begun, it is probably only a matter of time before many stores start running out.

We have reached a major turning point in our history, and things are only going to get crazier.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans still have absolutely no idea what is ahead of us…

Related:

The Organic Prepper: It’s Only a Matter of Time Until COVID-19 Lockdowns Lead to Civil Unrest and Violent Crime

…A lot of people are blaming “hoarders” and preppers for the shortages seen in stores. Of course, it’s nonsense to blame preppers because we’ve been buying our things over a course of years. And honestly, if it was only “panic buyers” causing problems, wouldn’t the stores be replenished by now? After all, people have hardly been able to shop for two weeks in many states due to social distancing measures.

In reality, there are major issues with the supply chain, a problem many folks aren’t seeing because they’re not at the store. Distribution systems are breaking down.

A source at a Walmart Superstore recently confided that the trucks were only delivering a fraction of the items needed to restock shelves. Imports aren’t arriving in California ports, at least not anywhere close to the degree they were before.

And because more people are eating at home than ever before, the demand on grocery stores has increased dramatically. This also comes at a time after farmers have been driven out of business by the trade war. (source) We have actual shortages here, and it isn’t just due to “panic buying.” That only exposed the dangers of the Just In Time delivery philosophy used by retailers.

Some folks are reporting that the shelves in their areas are full, but many others are reporting the exact opposite

FEE: The Ring-around-the-Rosies Phenomenon – Why Playful Responses to Plagues and Pandemics Are Healthy

From the Foundation for Economic Education, The Ring-around-the-Rosies Phenomenon: Why Playful Responses to Plagues and Pandemics Are Healthy

y older sister took great pleasure in telling a younger-me the dark history behind the nursery rhyme, “Ring-around-the-Rosies.” She told me that the cheerful tune was written about the Black Death: the “pocket full of posies,” refers to small bouquets of sweet-smelling herbs the healthy would carry close to their noses in order to protect themselves from foul-smelling and “contaminated” air; the “falling down” represents death, as is parodied by the accompanying action; and the “ashes” sung about are ashes of that sort.

Needless to say, this isn’t a pleasant backstory (nor an accurate one). In high school, however, I witnessed something which made it incredibly believable. During a school camping trip, at the height of the Ebola crisis, I watched a group of grade-schoolers play a game of their own development: Ebola-tag. Much like a version of tag (given many different names, though I called it ‘blob-tag’), any tagged child would “catch Ebola” and also be “it,” linking arms with their infector.

The children playing didn’t see anything wrong with their game. The parents watching didn’t stop them. At a time when every news agency was sharing the most recent and concerning statistic, it was a small relief to see Ebola momentarily sanitized by children’s laughter.

As the current Covid-19 pandemic became such, I wondered if my youngest brother would be playing similar games, even as I prepared to return from college. He’s empathetic and sweet—but also 10. When I got back, he wasn’t conforming to the pattern; and so, I forgot my curiosity.

That curiosity was soon unexpectedly satisfied, however: I learned that a friend’s siblings had begun playing their own coronavirus tag! The game revolved around the etymology of the virus, which was named for its spiky, crown-like protein protuberances, and their version of tag was one in which the person who was “it” wore a crown, which they would pass off to those they tagged.

Nor is this phenomenon, which I will simply term the “Ring-around-the-Rosies Phenomenon,” unique to children. Adults are engaging in it too, albeit not necessarily in games or play-acting. Perhaps you’ve heard the viral remix of Cardi B’s coronavirus rant. Or heard one of the specially compiled quarantine playlists. And it would take a Herculean effort to avoid the countless pandemic memes and jokes adults and young adults are making en masse.

Playful responses to this sort of tragedy, aren’t new—there were jokes even in 1918 about the Spanish Flu. This sort of black humor isn’t unhealthy. Many Americans are panicking about the pandemic (as evidenced by empty toilet paper shelves across the nation) and many, also, are ignoring it. The cultural saturation furthered by playful coronavirus references threatens the security of deniers, but may also comfort panickers…

Click here to continue reading at FEE.org

Doom and Bloom: R-Nought and a New Pandemic Book

The Alton’s at Doom and Bloom Medical has up an article discussing the infectiousness of Covid-19, and they also announce that their new book Alton’s Pandemic Preparedness Guide: Emerging and Current Viral Threats is now on sale.

If you’ve paid any attention to the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 or watched movies like Contagion, , you’ve heard the term “R-nought”.

Alfred Lotka

The R-nought (or reproduction number) is the 100-year-old brainchild of a public health expert in demographics named Alfred Lotka. A disease’s R-Nought, he said, is the number of cases that will occur in a population if an infected person is placed in the middle of it. Not just any population, however; one that hasn’t been exposed to the infection in the past.

In the 1950s, epidemiologist George MacDonald used it to describe the contagious potential of malaria. He suggested that, if the R-nought is less than 1, the infectious person will transmit to fewer than one other person and an outbreak will eventually peter out. On the other hand, if the R-Nought is greater than 1, the disease will spread. Seasonal flu carries an R-Nought of 1.28, while the current COVID-19 is probably closer to 3.

Probably? Certainly, the R-Nought represents important data regarding an infectious disease. Why, then, probably? Because different sources may report different R-Noughts for the same disease based on a number of factors. It’s not just the nature of the virus itself.

Estimation of the R-nought primarily relates to 3 parameters:

  1. how long a person is contagious
  2. the likelihood that contact with a susceptible person will end in transmission of the disease
  3. the frequency of contact between the infected individual and the susceptible population.

Let’s take them one-by-one. The first is how long a person is contagious. Certainly, you want to quarantine someone during their infectious period, but, with COVID-19, that period is not known for certain.

For SARS, it was about 14 days, so that’s what they’re using for the related SARS-COV2 (the name for the virus that causes COVID-19). There are outliers, however, that range from 20-37 days. With a range that wide, how do they figure out when you’re no longer contagious?

If COVID-19 testing is available, they have determined three criteria for considering release from isolation:

•   You no longer have a fever without using fever-reducing drugs.

•   Symptoms like cough or shortness of breath have improved significantly.

•   you have received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart.

If testing is not available, the three criteria are:

•     You have had no fever for at least 72 hours without using fever-reducing drugs.

•     Symptoms like cough or shortness of breath have improved significantly.

•     At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared (I was surprised at that last one; perhaps 14 days is more prudent).

Pneumonia (circled)

Aside: Recovering COVID-19 patients might be surprised when they feel better but are told that the X-ray still shows signs of pneumonia. This is because the x-ray appearance of pneumonia commonly seems to lag behind the patient’s clinical appearance.

The second parameter is how likely is it that contact with a susceptible person ends up in infection. That depends partially on the characteristics of the virus itself, but It might also depend on a person’s age, general health, lifestyle, or even bad habits.

Older folks may get it as often as younger folks, but seem to do worse across the board. In one study, if you were in your twenties and got COVID-19, your chances of dying was 0.2 percent. If you were in your eighties, it was closer to 22 percent.

What about bad habits? Consider smoking: Most COVID-19 victims are men. in China, 50% of men smoke there as opposed to about 5% of women. Therefore, you can probably conclude that women have healthier lungs, on average, than men.

Cultural differences might also play a role. In Iran and certain other countries, most men work or spend a good amount of time outside. From this, we can infer that they might be exposed more often than women, who probably spend more time at home.

The third parameter is the frequency of contact between the infected individual and the susceptible population. For example, there are people that are known as “super spreaders”. A super-spreader is an individual who is more likely, for one reason or another, to infect others. 20% of infected individuals are responsible for 80% of transmissions to others.

Although South Korea is held out as a model of success in the containment of COVID-19, that wasn’t always the case. In mid-February, confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection suddenly jumped in that country. The Korean CDC attributed the increase in cases to “Patient 31“, who had participated in a mass religious gathering in the city of Daegu.

In New York, a lawyer contracted the illness and then spread it to at least twenty other individuals in his community in New Rochelle. In the early going, he was thought to account at one point or another for more than half of coronavirus cases in the state

Super-spreaders aren’t confined to viral disease, 100 years ago, a woman named Mary Mallon worked as a cook in New York. She was an asymptomatic carrier of the bacteria Salmonella Typhi, and passed that disease to more than 50 other people, giving her the nickname “Typhoid Mary“.

Terminating Typhoid Mary’s employment and quarantining super-spreaders and their contacts helps, but only if it’s done rapidly. In South Korea, it can be said to be successful. In New York, well, not so much.

There’s more to R-noughts than those 3 parameters, like testing issues, the availability of personal protection equipment to a community, and much more. It’s interesting to think about what the R-Nought of the 1918 Spanish Flu would have been if it occurred today with commercial air travel so common.

More updates on issues relating to the pandemic in the near future.

Oh, and if you were wondering where we’ve been lately, we’ve been personally packing medical kits seven days a week as well as writing our latest book, Alton’s Pandemic Preparedness Guide: Emerging and Current Viral Threats. You can find it on Amazon.com and, soon, at doomandbloom.net.

Survivopedia: Coronavirus – What You Should Really Do Regarding Your Stockpile

From Bill White at Survivopedia, Coronavirus: What You Should Really Do Regarding Your Stockpile on how the pandemic may be different from what most preppers prepared and why the so-called “panic  buying” has been a good thing.

As the COVID-19 Coronavirus sweeps the globe, different people are reacting in different ways.

For most, fear is a part of that reaction. That’s normal, as we all tend to be afraid of the unknown and there’s still a lot of unknown about this virus. But the truly scary part isn’t the fear that people are having; it’s the fear that governments are having.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t envy the problems that the president and state governors are facing right now. They are in a no-win situation, where they are having to make decisions based on limited information, with the foreknowledge that there is no right answer. No matter what they decide, there will be others, sitting on the sidelines, telling them how wrong they are.

As it stands right now, if the president or some governor calls for a full quarantine, they will be blasted for overreacting and destroying the economy. If they don’t call for that, they will be blasted for not taking the situation seriously and every death will be laid at their doorstep. Both of these reactions are already happening, it just depends on who is doing the complaining about what the government is doing, and that doesn’t necessarily follow party lines.

Is Quarantine Coming?

The entire state of California, 40 million people, is now under quarantine. New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo is directing non-essential businesses to keep their workers at home. Even in Texas, which has relatively few cases, the governor is calling for voluntary self-isolation for the next two weeks.

Is this an overreaction? Or is it necessary to prevent a massive number of people from dying?

To answer that question, we need to understand why the government is calling for people to self-quarantine, specifically why they’re calling for a 14-day self-quarantine.

There’s no way that a 14-day quarantine is going to put a total stop to the disease. First of all, there are a significant number of cases on record, where the incubation period was longer than 14 days. Secondly, even if all incubation periods fell within the 14-day window, people are still contagious while their bodies are battling the disease. If they are treated at home, there’s still a chance of them infecting their families.

So what’s the 14-day voluntary quarantine about then?

Just like social distancing, the 14-day voluntary self-isolation is about slowing the spread of the disease, rather than stopping it. It is being instituted now, to ensure that everyone who comes down with a serious case of the disease will have a hospital bed to rest in and a respirator to help them breathe. It’s to ensure that our medical community is able to give people the treatment they need, in order to give them the greatest chances of defeating the virus and surviving.

I recently saw some rather interesting computer models, which showed how a viral disease of this type propagates through a population. In a “normal” situation, where there are no safeguards in place, the number of cases of the disease rises rapidly, outpacing the medical community’s ability to deal with it. A full quarantine of those who are infected is hard to institute because you will always have some people who are going to be “leakers” slipping through and spreading the disease. The most effective thing to do is to isolate as many people as possible, reducing the number of people who are moving around and spreading the disease throughout the population.

This is what the government is trying to do. By asking people to shelter in their homes, they are hoping to drastically reduce the number of people who are out and about, with the potential of spreading the disease. We are not being told that we can’t leave our homes at all, but rather being asked to avoid leaving them as much as possible. At the same time, places where people congregate, where one contagious person could easily infect many other people, are being closed for two weeks, with the same goal of slowing the spread of the disease.

I remember reading a few years back about how school desks have more germs on them than the average toilet seat. My reaction at that time was to write a satire about it. But if you think about it, our schools are a breeding ground for disease. They are filled with children, most of whom are not all that concerned about personal hygiene and who all come into close contact with each other. Typically, if one child gets sick, you can count on the whole class catching it within a week or two.

So, what will this quarantine do for us?

Basically, it does two things. The first is that it shows the spread of the disease, spreading it out over a longer period of time. This will level out the workload for our medical professionals so that they can give each patient the treatment that they need…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Survivopedia.

Christian Prepper Gal: This Is Only a Test. Or Is It?

Christian Prepper Gal has an article up on using the current pandemic to evaluate for preparedness – This is a test. This is only a test. Or is it? We don’t know if this event will last two weeks (seems unlikely to be that short), two months (maybe?), or two years (the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 actually surged on and off for about two years). It’s quite possible that we’re living a piece of history that could be remembered for decades or even hundreds of years. For your own benefit, keep a journal of what is happening to you, how you have prepared, what shortcomings you experienced, what you need to improve, and so forth, so that you can go back in less hectic times and make improvements to your life and readiness.

With all that is going on in the world right now, I can’t help but wonder if this is just a test. A test to allow us to see if we really are ready/prepared for what’s yet to come? You know, kind of like a wake up call? Telling us we only thought we were ready.

I’m really hoping that’s all it is! Why? Because I have already learned so much from it. And, by that I mean how much I am NOT ready and prepared! I mean, don’t get me wrong…I am prepared for a short term emergency/SHTF. And by short term I mean a few months. But, anything beyond that? Well, it would be a struggle to survive.

Funny thing is that I thought that was why I was at the homestead…so I could be prepared for a long term SHTF situation. But, I don’t know God’s reasoning behind things. I can only trust Him that there is something more that I need to learn before being put in that position full time. And, I need to be open to Him showing me what that something is. I do know that I learned a lot about prepping/surviving while living on the homestead and some of those things can be implimented in my preps here in the city.

Okay, so I guess looking back on the homestead experiences, combined with this current pandemic (COVID-19), I am seeing where I need to concentrate on improving my preps. So, for me, it’s a combination of both. A test and a wake up call. However, I do believe that most of us who consider ourselves preppers have been able to see areas that need to be improved upon before we are ready for “the big one”. Or is this “the big one”? Personally, I don’t think it is. Although, if those people who are resistant don’t start realizing that this is a serious matter and keep themselves at home as much as possible, it could turn into a long term SHTF.

I do remember many of us last year (2019) feeling like there was an urgency to step up our prepping. Do you remember? I was strongly prompted and urged to do so. Actually, I’m thinking it may have been right around this time of the year. Anyway, I also told my daughter that something was going to happen in 2020. I didn’t know if it would be as a result of the presidential election or something different. But, I did know that we needed to put a rush on our prepping and learning survival skills. It wasn’t fear motivating and moving me. It was God prompting me. Just like this feeling that we really need to get completely serious about prepping for something bigger than this current pandemic. For something that may last longer than a couple of months.

Geesh! It is so easy for me to get off track here! Okay, back to the subject at hand. Is this a test? Or a wake up call? Or both? Now that I’m thinking about it more, it could be both. A test for us to see the holes in our prepping, and a wake up call for us to continue to work on our preps and push to be ready for “the big one” (as in the big SHTF).

This definitely is a SHTF situation that we are living in right now. But, I don’t think it’s the end game just yet. I could be wrong, I’m no expert, so please don’t hold me to it. It’s just a gut feeling that I have. The feeling that something so much worse than what we are experiencing right now is in the works. It may even be the current pandemic continuing to such a place. I don’t know. But what I do know is that I need to be more vigilant and push forward with much more force my prepping/survival endeavors. Once I can. For now, I can remain vigilant and make plans for what I need to do when we get back to a point where I can purchase more food products.

When I really take a look at where I’ve come (with prepping) over the past couple of years I am amazed at the progress I’ve made. And yet, with this pandemic it has also caused me to see all the areas in which I need to improve. And believe me, there are a lot of holes that need to be filled in. I don’t know about you, but it’s not just the food storage that I need to improve upon. It’s also expanding my medical supplies to include a trauma kit and other emergency supplies; which I had started working on just before I moved to my son’s homestead. I need to work on learning more bushcraft/survival skills and practicing the skills I have already learned. There are many areas in my prepping that I need to expound upon and improve. I will not procrastinate. I will not put it off until everything is “back to normal”. I will continue to move forward. There are so many things I can be doing to improve my knowledge and skills while we are all basically self-isolating ourselves.

Here’s some of what I have learned from the Coronovirus (COVID-19) Pandemic of 2020:

  1. That I do not have enough toilet paper stocked. We probably have enough for a couple of months, but who knows how long this lack of availability will last?

  2. That I do not have enough disinfectant wipes, lysol, or bleach stored. Again, I have some, but not nearly enough if this goes long term.

  3. That people are going to hate you for having been prepared with food and necessities. People were actually complaining that there were some who were prepared and didn’t have to go to the stores for food and necesseties. Not even realizing that some people being prepared left more on the shelves for them!

  4. That it truly is important to keep your mouth shut about being a prepper to everyone except those you are willing to feed and care for in a SHTF scenario. This is because of how people reacted to preppers at the beginning of this pandemic (see No. 3). I can just imagine what would happen if it came to the point of food not being available at all.

Those are only a few of the things I have learned from this pandemic. There are some more things I will be sharing with you in upcoming articles and videos.

So, if you are like me in that your eyes have been opened and you have seen areas that you need to expound upon or improve upon in order to be truly ready for “the big one” SHTF, then I pray that you will heed the warnings and regroup, re-evaluate, or whatever it is that you need to do in order to begin to move forward and accomplish those improvements. We don’t know what tomorrow holds. We can’t see into the future (well, most of us can’t). But, we can put our trust and faith in our Heavenly Father and heed His warnings and follow His leading.

Remember we prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Until next time…happy prepping, and God bless!

Hosea 4:6, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (KJV)

Off Grid Ham: Sudden Interest in Radio

Amateur Radio – ready for emergency deployment

Chris Warren of Off Grid Ham talks about the recent surge of Sudden Interest in Radio Syndrome (SIRS) cases in If You Missed The Train, Don’t Worry. There Will Be Another.

There’s a buzz about radio, and it’s not on the radio.

The amateur radio social media pages and web forums are suddenly buzzing with activity. Mostly it’s from people who are not hams but want to become one. This anecdotal evidence is supported by a notable increase in web traffic to offgridham.com in the last three weeks or so. The search terms suggest that most of these visitors are directly looking for information about off grid communications. Surprise! That’s what we do here, exclusively. So if you’re interested in off grid amateur radio you’ve landed on the best web page on this or any globe. covid-19

Saying the quiet part out loud. covid-19

covid-19

Public domain image.

Let’s not be coy. This interest in off grid amateur radio is being driven by the Covid-19 virus calamity consuming the world. While most people are not outright giving it as a reason why they are interested in off grid radio, they are dropping enough hints that it isn’t hard to figure it out. c

The funny thing is, the corona virus is not a calamity in the traditional sense. The grid is still solid. The electricity is on, the plumbing works, and the internet is up. The roads are free for travel and the stores are (mostly) open and (somewhat) well stocked. No one is being burned or flooded out of their homes. Society is still functioning, albeit with a six foot space cushion between every living human. covid-19covid-19

So why do so many people suddenly want to jump into radio? There’s not too many ways it can aid in Covid-19 response efforts, so it’s not about “emergency communications”. Or is it? I think the real motive is not about a disease. Rather, the disease is giving a lot of people a reality check about being prepared. Maybe they’re thinking about what might happen if all the people who make the grid work suddenly fall sick themselves. Maybe they’re thinking ahead to what else can happen where amateur radio really will be a valuable resource.

I’m just speculating and have no firm proof of any of this, but it’s hard not to see an association between current events and the sharp upturn of interest in amateur radio.

What now?

If you weren’t prepared before Covid-19 upended the world, you’re not going to make up for it now. I have some shocking news for all the hoarders filling their basements with toilet paper: You’e panicking and reacting, not preparing. The truly prepared already had a stock of toilet paper before Covid-19 came to town. The good news is that it’s not too late to prepare for the next calamity…and you know there will be another one, someday, somewhere.

Passing a simple test and buying a $35.00 handheld radio off Amazon to stash in a cabinet “just in case” is not going to make you prepared either. Amateur radio has a low barrier to entry but the learning curve is fairly steep once you’re in the door. If you do make the step into ham radio, it’s going to require some effort and practice. It’s not a “set it and forget it” avocation, at least not if you want to be any good at it. Many if not most of the people who become amateurs solely for emergency preparedness purposes will not touch a radio until an emergency actually happens. Then, and only then, will they realize that being prepared is not about collecting stuff.

Skills vs. stuff.  Covid-19

Theres is good news: Learning about ham radio is fun. Amateur radio is after all a hobby that just happens to have a practical secondary application as an emergency communications service. You’ll be a better person and be better prepared if you don’t let the latter overshadow the former. Being prepared is about having skills and having a plan. Regular readers of this website know I beat the hell out of the importance of having a plan. They also know the operator with a lot of skill but very little equipment is better off than a wannabe with a roomful of the latest & best gear. Making the most of what you have and using skills as a force multiplier is the heart & soul of what Off Grid Ham is all about.

Welcome.

If you recently found this website as a curious outsider, welcome. I hope you’ll stick around for the long haul and enrich yourself with amateur radio. If you’re a long time amateur or a regular reader, I hope you’ll refer newcomers to offgridham.com and help them find a reason to take amateur radio seriously.

We are in the midst of a disaster. It’s too late to plan for what’s already happened. If you weren’t prepared, learn from experience. The next disaster is 100% going to happen so ready yourself now. Only a fool waits for the the house to start burning before they go shopping for a fire extinguisher. I believe the strength and spirit of America will pull us through but hope has never solved any problem. As a famous radio host once quipped, hope is just disappointment delayed. Start learning skills and come up with a plan right now.

KIMA News: Donations of Respirator Masks and Other Medical Supplies Needed

From KIMA news, Donations of respirator masks and other medical supplies needed

Health care providers are in critical need of supplies as COVID-19 continues to hit Washington. Critical health supplies are in demand for Trios, Lourdes, Kadlec and Prosser Memorial. The Tri-Cities Business and Visitor Center is volunteering to be a central donation point to drop off supplies. Jim Hall, a representative of area health organizations, explains what type of items are needed.

“Hand sanitizer, wipes, PPE equipment, gowns and more, the more we can accumulate the better position we are going to be,” explained Hall. According to Hall, the Tri-Cities community is stepping up.

“Thank you to the community and thank you to the Business and Visitor Center for putting this collective effort together,” said Hall. You can drop off supplies Monday through Wednesday from 11 am to 7 pm at the Tri-Cities Business and Visitor Center.

“I know all of the medical providers in the area have really been swamped with inquiries from the public on how they can help,” said Hall. You can help by donating or help by practicing good hand washing and social distancing.

Health officials say we will get through this together. “I know nurses and doctors and health care providers are working around the clock to take care of our entire community,” said Hall.

Here is a list of supplies in critical shortage:

  • Masks- Surgical Masks, N95 Masks, or Handmade
  • Face Shields / Goggles
  • Finger Oximeter
  • Gloves (Non-Latex preferred)
  • Disinfecting Wipes
  • Thermometers
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Isolation Gowns

According to the Washington State Department of Health, many items were delivered to Washington State given from the Federal Strategic National Stockpile.

Here are the numbers of supplies given:

  • Gowns: 26,459
  • Gloves: 104,250
  • Masks: 133,760
  • Suits: 13

Here are the numbers of supplies given directly to the state:

  • 1.6 Million N95 Respirators
  • 560,000 Masks
  • 12 Million Disposable Gloves
  • 600,000 Masks
  • 74,000 Disinfectant Wipes

The Medic Shack: Herbal Help for Covid 19

Chuck at The Medic Shack shares some herbal info for boosting the immune system and soothing symptoms of coronavirus.

Herbal Help for Covid 19

Herbal Help for Covid 19 We have been busy. My work has been either totally crazy or worrying about getting enough hours. So I’ve been off the keyboard doing a lot to get things better prepared. The other day my wife told me. You need to start taking your own advice that you write about. Well she really said Read your own damn web pages and DO IT. So that is what we’ve been doing. Got a rushed straw bale garden going Working on some trades. Making a Bowie knife to trade for some things. Filling holes in our preps. Gods I wish we had what we had in New Mexico.

But we don’t. We started from scratch. Like a lot of you. So look if we can do it, y’all can also.

Lets talks about this little bug that is causing such a hubbub.

Covid 19

There is some good news about it. Wait WHAT? Good news? Well YEAH.

  • It is not Ebola or Marberg,
  • Covid19  doesn’t have the high mortality of MERS or Hanta,
  • It hasn’t made Zombies…… Yet.

Overall it has a 98% survival rate. For Gods Sakes. We take bigger risks than that driving to work in rush our traffic here in Charleston.

The at risk population mainly appears to be among the elderly or those with per-existing lung conditions or per-existing conditions that lower immunity. It also seems to affect folks with pre existing cardiac issues. Heart failure and coronary artery disease are the 2 biggies. So far it’s primary way of death is Pneumonia. Lets try to prevent that

The Herbalist point of view.

I’ve been talking with some herbalists that know a lot more than me. All pretty much agree we need to support and build up the body against lower respiratory infection. Talking with some respiratory therapists one of the issues the body has with pneumonia is the bacterial infection and the triggering of the immune response can coat the lungs with “gunk” And yes that is a proper medical term! This can make a incubation “soup” that allows more bacteria to breed and grow. Enter the Lymphatic system. It removes the waste and broken down bacteria, fluids and other items from the lungs. Echinacea is good go to for that. Astragalus, and Ginger are also good. Back home in New Mexico I would use Ginger Echinacea and Ocotillo stems as a tea or tincture.

Coughing

Another thing the virus does is produce a cough. Most of the time it starts out dry. But as infection spreads it turns to a wet, productive cough. The dry cough can be soothed by Marshmallow (Not the Stay Puff kind) Mullein and Pleurisy Root. I sometimes add in some slippery elm to lubricate things up to help sooth the dryness a bit. Not to much.

If/when it transitions to the wet cough we don’t want to stop it. Sounds wrong, but a wet productive cough is the body trying to move the “gunk” out of the body. We now want to help the body “dry out” the lungs and get that crud out. Decent expectorants include elecampane,thyme, Hyssop Lobela and ginger.

Elderberry.

This one is causing a storm. Some think that it causes a cytokine storm and helps the virus with that. I’ve never seen it. I have heard of it from elderberries, but it is very rare. Now there is some work being done with Elder flowers. The flower of the Elder tree. It is showing a higher penchant for attacking a virus than the berry. We use both. I am leaning more toward the elderflower since it is far less sweet and they go a lot farther than the whole berries. I have read that instead of a full 8 ounce cup of the elderflower tea it shows more effect by taking small shots multiple times a day. A few drops of tincture instead of a whole dropper. Right now we have tea in the fridge and a percolation cone going of tincture.

Fire Cider

Our old friend who got “trademarked” by a low life company, They eventually lost the lawsuit. UNFORTUNATELY we don’t have the 6 weeks to make it. Thanks to my partner in prepping crime There is an instant version. Full details are here. Instant Fire Cider, but here is the gist of it:

A very similar remedy can be made at home, right now, with very inexpensive ingredients. You probably already have some, if not all, ingredients in your kitchen. It’s filled with decongesting, anti-inflammatory, and immune boosting ingredients. I’m not as big of a fan of “hot & spicy” as others, but I can’t deny the effectiveness of this combination.

Here’s the recipe (makes 8 oz):

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice or the juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 1/3 cup of raw honey

Directions

  • Add lemon juice, vinegar, and spices to your jar
  • Add honey to bring up to 8 ounces
  • all ingredients in a small jar (like a mason jar or hex jar)
  • Shake well to mix
  • Store in the refrigerator

Finally.

This is a short post. More of a what you can do before and if/when you’re infected. Get off you butt and start gathering the items I’ve listed here. There is no cure and no vaccine. But the gods have giving us the things we need to fight it. Herbs trees and most importantly a brain to do it with. Don’t get all caught up in the media panic or the panic at the stores. Keep a cool head, buy supplies when you can, as you can. Take care of your community, your inner circle. Look if you don’t have to dig into your stores right now then don’t. Use the time we have to keep adding. Don’t buy huge quantities. That makes you a target. Baby steps. Be that no descrpit person that is talked about in the police shows. “What did he/she look like ma’am? I don’t know. Average looking”.

Some herbs to track down

  • Yarrow
  • Astagalus
  • Elecampane
  • Pleurisy root
  • Horehound
  • Mullein
  • Lobela
  • Elderberry and Elderflower
  • Ginger
  • Tumeric
  • Cayanne
  • ACV
  • Honey
  • Hyssop
  • Clear alcohol. IE Vodka , everclear
  • Marshmallow
  • Thyme

There is so much more to cover but there is not much time and much to do. We’ll keep posting as we can. Please add comments to theses posts. Add to them. Share them We will make it though this mess. We will emerge into a different world than we left on January 1 2020. We’ll deal with that as we can. We have some bad stuff coming. Keep your wits about y’all and don’t give up. We’ll make it though this mess and get ready for the next. We have a poop ton of information we have written about prior on The Medic Shack Use them and share them.

Beauty Beyond Bones: Corona & the Value of Life

Caralyn, a young, Christian woman trying to make her way in the big city, at Beauty Beyond Bones has a few words about Corona and the Value of Life.

Yesterday I had 6 Skype dates with my friends, and let me tell you — we were all a little loopy. I think I got an abdominal workout from all the laughter. Most of which, was at my embarrassing expense. 🙂

I’ll tell you what. You think you’ve got some idiosyncrasies? Try being cooped up in a 500 sq. foot studio apartment for a week straight, and then let me know!

Things be getting crazy. And by things, I mean…me.

OK — that’s not the purpose of this post, just a little light humor to brighten our cabin fever 🙂 ((And heads up, I’m posting a lot more on Instagram, so please join me for my crazy candid content. — #BananaGate, anyone?))

SO – One of the most interesting things I’ve watched unfold during this Coronavirus hysteria, is that, whether people fully realize it or not, all of these drastic measures, with the social distancing, and the travel bans, and the working from home…these are all measures to protect life. For the first time ever, we’re all on team “prolife!”

We, as a country – and as a global community – are completely upending our lives, tanking our economy, and flirting with the line of sanity, because we’re protecting the elderly and most vulnerable people. It communicates our recognition of the value for human life. And I’ve got to say, as a prolife millennial — this beautiful teamwork and unity is not lost on me.

I went to the grocery store yesterday (it’s basically the only errand you’re “allowed” to run during these quarantined times), and I, of course was nervous about having to be at a public space. As a young woman with an autoimmune disease, I am hyper vigilant about not contracting Corona. So my MO is: head down – get in, get out, touch nothing, speak to no one, then sanitize until the cows come home.

So, you can imagine how, phobic-me was internally freaking out when this darling 72 year old woman struck up a lengthy conversation with me in the avocado aisle of our natural food store.

I made eye contact and gave a little smile at her, which proceeded to launch her into a full, blown monologue — meanwhile I’m just wringing my hands, thinking, “Please just let me get me out of this germ hotbed” and praying to God that this sweet old woman wasn’t contracting COVID19 from the handlebar of her shopping cart.

But in that moment, as I found myself growing irritated, the Holy Spirit moved in my heart, and gave me a spirit of compassion for this woman. And so I actually began listening to what she was saying.

She lived alone. She was 72. And she was saying that she wasn’t worried, because she keeps herself so healthy by dancing. She said she dances the merengue every afternoon in her apartment — and she even whipped out a couple moves right there in the produce section.

And it was at this moment, sharing in this human connection and moment of joy with this older woman — laughing together and smiling, albeit at a “socially distant” 6 feet apart from one another — that I realized that this precious woman was just in need of some love and warmth, during a time where fear and uncertainty are running rampant at an exponential level.

This gentle, kind and eccentric woman could have been my grandmother. And she’s out here – alone – fending for herself against a virus that is being hawked as the “elderly killer.”

As we went our separate ways, I thought to myself: This is who you’re protecting.

She is who we’re protecting. She is why we’re keeping social distance and staying inside.

It is her life – her value – that has the world taking such dramatic efforts. And realizing that, it brought a smile to my face.

Because as a defender of the unborn, I believe that all life – from conception to natural death – has an innate, inherent value that cannot be stripped away or commoditized, or denied.

One of the most common arguments that pro-abortion people make is that by having the baby, it will detrimentally inconvenience the mother.

But here we are, as not just a nation — but an entire global population — “detrimentally inconveniencing” our livelihoods, our relationships, our economies, our physical and mental health, our leisure time, our lives – in order to protect and defend the lives of the most vulnerable.

I just pray that people realize that connection. And that we reevaluate our judgments on how we protect and defend the most vulnerable and truly voiceless population in the womb. According to the WHO, abortion was the leading cause of death in the world in 2019 — with roughly 125,000 deaths per day.

Can you imagine the outcry and the lengths we’d take to stop that, if, as a society, we cared and recognized the value, dignity, and sanctity of life in those little babies?

The world has — rightfully — come to a screeching halt, for — as of publication — 10,025 deaths.

Each one of those precious lives matters. It’s someone’s mother, father, sister, friend, spouse.

So too, do the lives of those babies. All 42 million of them that died in 2019 alone.

Stay healthy. Stay safe. Stay positive. Stay sane. And next time you eat an avocado, please think of our sweet 72 year old friend, busting out the merengue moves in an NYC grocery store.

I love you all.

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