The Survival Mom: TEOTWAWKI has finally arrived

The Survival Mom talks about some societal and cultural changes resulting from the pandemic in TEOTWAWKI has finally arrived.

This past spring while America was busy shopping for toilet paper and hand sanitizer, and panicking at their shortages, TEOTWAWKI happened.

The End Of The World As We Know It arrived. It slipped right past us while we were all distracted, but make no mistake. We are unlikely as a country and a world to ever go back to “normal”. We aren’t going to turn a corner at some point and magically, it will be as though the pandemic never happened.

Who knew, back in January and February of 2020, that the coronavirus pandemic would be the TEOTWAWKI event that changed our world?

There has been an upheaval in virtually every aspect of our lives. New divisions now exist between people that didn’t exist in the “before time”. Authorities, both elected and unelected, have expanded their powers. Data has been skewed, misrepresented, and at times, falsified in order to maintain an official narrative, and in the meantime, a near-panic-level fear has drilled its way deep into the hearts and minds of millions.

We went from “slow the spread,” “wash your hands for at least 20 seconds,” to now, altering everything about our lifestyles as we wait for a vaccine, which may or may not ever come.

However, it turns out that this TEOTWAWKI event isn’t wholly negative and full of doom as many of us once believed.

Some commentators, James Altucher for one, have called the virus, “The great reset”, meaning that society has a chance to re-imagine and re-create something better than what existed before. Mike Cernovich described it as an “accelerator” – The pandemic has accelerated events that would have eventually happened but are now occurring within weeks rather than months or years.

Our public school system, medical treatment and consultation, family relationships, and businesses are just a few things that are being reset and accelerated.

Public education and TEOTWAWKI

Public education will never be the same. As we speak, thousands, maybe millions of parents across the country are taking control of their children’s education and are seeking to hire teachers and tutors directly.

Image: parent message to find teacher

Nebraska’s homeschool filings are up 21% from the same time last year, and in social media, parents are clamoring to find other like-minded families to create “homeschooling pods”. Here’s a quote from a now-viral Facebook post:

“If you are not a parent/in a mom’s group, you may not be aware that a kind of historic thing is going on right now.

This week there has been a tipping point in Bay Area families looking to form homeschooling pods. Or maybe “boiling point” might be a better term… Essentially, within the span of the last 48 hours or so, thousands of parents are scrambling through an absolute explosion of facebook groups, matchups, spreadsheets, etc. to form homeschooling pods.”

She adds, “This is maybe the fastest and most intense PURELY GRASSROOTS economic hard pivot I’ve seen.”

Parents are learning about micro-schools and diving into homeschooling, even as teacher unions are making demands that might have made sense back in January but are now completely untethered to this new reality. A reality where millions of students and parents discovered the variety of options available and are continuing down that alternative path.

Yes, for public education, TEOTWAWKI is the new reality — the end of public education as we once knew it. There’s no putting the traditional public educational genie back in the bottle, ever.

TEOTWAWKI and the family — surprising results

Another positive result has been during the quarantine weeks, families discovered they quite like being at home together. A friend of mine living in Brooklyn was astonished by how well his family, including two teenagers, are getting along in their apartment, with only a nearby park available for outings and fresh air.

I read this quote from a mom who said, “It’s going to be very difficult to get back to normal because for the last eight weeks we’ve been having dinner together as a family, every single night. And for the previous 10 years, we never did that.”

Many families are facing dramatic financial hardships. I don’t want to minimize that, but at the same time, spending more time together and not less has resulted in, for many, strengthened family ties…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at The Survival Mom.

Survivopedia: Are We Looking At The Wrong Numbers?

Bill White at Survivopedia writes about some of the numbers that aren’t being talked about much related to the current coronavirus pandemic – people with permanent damage who didn’t die – Are We Looking At The Wrong Numbers?

As the second wave of COVID-19 continues sweeping the nation, it is becoming even more politically polarized than ever before.

This is sad to me, that we can’t unite over something that is really not a partisan issue but is affecting us all. Our focus, all of us, should be on doing what is best for the people of our county; and that includes both protecting their health and protecting their ability to provide for their needs, financially speaking. The two are not mutually exclusive.

But that’s not what’s happening. Those on the political left are trying to use the pandemic to make Trump and Republican governors look bad, focusing on the rise in cases, as we wade through the second surge. It doesn’t matter that this second surge was part of the plan all along, as the original lockdowns were just about flattening the curve, in their narrative, the surge has to be because of some grave error in judgment on the part of their political enemies.

Then we’ve got the political right, many of whom are focusing on how the left-leaning media is overreacting and overstating the danger of the current situation. Sadly, they aren’t serving us any better, when they’re saying that we shouldn’t have to be wearing masks. Yes, I understand their position that the government is infringing on our liberty, but at the same time, I’ve got to say that there’s enough evidence that masks help save lives, that it makes sense to do so.

The argument that’s being used is that only one percent of the people die of COVID-19. But just what do they mean by “one percent?” If they’re talking 1% of the people who come down with it, the numbers don’t jive. We’ve had 4,170,000 people come down with the disease and 147,342 deaths as of this writing. That works out to 3.53% of total cases ending up in death.

But we need to realize that 3.53% is a low number. Even if nobody else comes down with the disease, some of the 2,042,559 active cases will result in death. We just don’t know how many. If we divide the number of people who have died by the total number of closed cases, we get 6.9%. That’s probably too high. When all is said and done, the death toll will probably end up being somewhere between those two percentages; we just don’t know where.

On the other hand, if they’re talking about one percent of the total population dying from COVID-19, then we’re talking 3.31 million people. Since we have no idea of how many total people are going to come down with the disease, that number is not outside the realm of possibility. I personally don’t think it will get that bad, but I can’t discount the possibility…

o start with, for every person who dies of COVID-19, there are 19 others who require hospitalization. That’s a hard number, which can be substantiated by hospital records. So the 147,342 people who have died become 2.8 million who have been hospitalized. Unfortunately, I can’t find any data to substantiate that; as everyone is reporting hospitalizations on a weekly basis, not a cumulative total; and I can’t just add those up, because we don’t know how long any of those people have been in the hospital.

So let’s use that 2.8 million number for now. Supposedly for every person who dies of COVID-19:

  • 18 people will have to live with permanent heart damage
  • 10 people will have to live with permanent lung damage
  • 3 people will end up having strokes
  • 2 people will have to live with chronic weakness and loss of coordination due to neurological damage
  • 2 people will have to live with a loss of cognitive function due to neurological damage

Granted, I’m sure these numbers are preliminary and they will be modified in the future, as our medical community gains more information. But we’re talking about the potential for all of those 2.8 million people having to live with some sort of permanent or semi-permanent disability. And that number is only going to go up, as we’re nowhere near the end of this pandemic if an end actually even exists.

If we take the viewpoint that one percent of the population is going to die of COVID-19, as some are saying, then we’re looking at a total of:

  • 3,311,000 dead
  • 59,598,000 with permanent heart damage
  • 33,110,000 with permanent lung damage
  • 9,933,000 who have strokes
  • 6,622,000 with permanent weakness and lack of coordination
  • 6,622,000 with permanent loss of cognitive function

Obviously, we can’t afford that as a nation. While I’m sure that there will be a considerable amount of overlap, with people having more than one of those symptoms, that just means that those who do have long-term effects will be in that much worse shape. And before you say it will just be old people, I know people in their 20s who have come down with COVID and are still battling these sorts of long-term symptoms two to three months later.

When I say we can’t afford that, I’m referring to the loss in our labor force. While a large percentage of the people who have serious problems with COVID-19 and die are elderly people with underlying health problems, more and more younger people are having serious problems with the disease. Are those young people going to become disabled and end up needing public assistance their whole lives? (continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Survivopedia.

Organic Prepper: What It’s Really Like to Work in a COVID Ward

Chuck Hudson, a friend of Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper, who works at Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Roper Hospital in South Carolina takes time to write about what it is like to work in a COVID ward there. Because some people still believe that COVID-19 is entirely a hoax without any patients or full hospitals, Daisy had to preface with the article with her statement about Chuck being a personal friend of hers, so that people don’t think it’s some kind of planted fake story.

Editor’s Note: This article was written by a personal friend of mine. This isn’t some stranger who wrote to me to share some story that may or may not be true. This is a man I’ve known for years who has dedicated his entire career to caring for the health of others. In this essay, he shares an average day in the COVID ward of the hospital where he works. ~ Daisy

COVID virus has turned the world upside down. From the economy of the planet to pitting neighbor against neighbor and friend against friend. Never mind the violence destroying our cities. We are all dealing with this virus with totally unbelievable numbers, huge numbers of infected people, and a rising death toll.

Yet, I look out my living room window and see green grass, flowers blooming and some kids down the street playing basketball.

And then, I go to work.

The area where our day patients come in is called 2HVT. All 14 rooms of 2HVT are now negative pressure rooms. (Also called isolation rooms, negative pressure rooms help prevent airborne diseases from escaping the room and infecting others.) All the rooms of the old Cardiac ICU, which is attached to our cath lab by a short hall, are now negative pressure rooms. 4 South on the 4th floor is now a COVID unit. 6 south, an old Ortho ward, and 5 South have been converted as well. All these conversions are in the downtown hospital alone. All patient areas of the 3, newer hospitals in the system have been converted to handle COVID patients.

Watching the news here in my new home state of South Carolina, no matter the station, it is the same thing: doom and gloom. More and more infected people from testing, talking heads pointing the finger of blame, and numbers being sensationalized. After all, “If it bleeds it leads.” It’s gotten so bad that I turn on the news just long enough to catch the weather and traffic for the morning drive from Summerville to Charleston.

But enough of that. Let me tell you what it is really like in the COVID step-down unit. This unit is for people not sick enough to need high flow O2 or intubation, yet too sick to go to a “regular” floor. (Like there is a regular COVID floor!) As with any floor, the “permanent “ nurses and techs get morning reports from their night shift counterparts. After getting the reports we start our rounds with the patients.

Wait…no, we don’t just walk into a COVID room.

It takes about 3-5 minutes to gear up before entering a room.

Step 1 put on a set of gloves.

Step 2 Put on impermeable gown.

Step 3 Put on N95 mask.

Step 4 Put on face shield. ( We 3D print the frames for these. And use pieces of acetate we get from Staples. )

Step 6 Put on 2nd set of gloves.

Step 7 Triple check that everything is sealed and in order.

Now…we can go in the room.

We try to allow only 1 person at a time in the room, unless something demands that 2 people are needed. The nurse or tech who goes in the room does not leave the room until they have completed all tasks. If the nurse or techs needs something this is where I come in. If I am not assigned a patient, I run and get things. We are runners. We run and get whatever is needed.

What about emergencies?

Same procedure.

We have Mayday bags stapled to the wall in front of each room. Each of these Mayday bags contains the following:

  • 2 N95’s: small and regular
  • “Bunny Suit”
  • Face shield (We 3D print face shields in-house)
  • 6 pairs of separately bagged gloves (sm, med, lg)
  • Bouffant hat

All of this must be put on prior to entering a room. It is mandatory. Even if the patient is dying.

Very little is talked about…so much to tell.

Even the little things that the patients and the staff endure take a huge toll on us.

A majority of our patients have lost their sense of taste and smell. Some can only sense texture and temperature. This makes it difficult and frustrating for our patients and staff. The food delivered to our COVID patients is left at the “Airlock”. In normal rooms, insulated containers can be used for the food, keeping it hot. However, food in the COVID areas must be served using only paper plates, paper cups, paper serving trays and plastic ware. We have to use a microwave to heat the food just before it goes in the room.

In normal rooms a tech, nurse or CNA brings the food to the patients. In our world, only the assigned nurse or tech brings the food. And it may be a LONG wait due to having to microwave the food just prior to going in. We have to coordinate routine care to keep the number of times a room is entered to a minimum. (I have become an expert at microwaving paper plates of hospital grade food!)

One thing the virus does that many people outside of the medical field don’t know is it interferes with the blood clotting cascade. Believe you me, as a former Medical Lab Tech (MLT) I would LOVE to go over in mind-numbing detail the 12 steps of clotting. The intrinsic and extrinsic pathway that lead to a fibrin strand…”OUCH!” (My wife just tossed a crafts magazine at me. I started describing the steps. In detail.)

So, in addition to damaging the lungs, COVID can cause deep vein thrombosis. It also causes DIC (Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation.) Post mortem exams have revealed up to 30% of early COVID patients had elevated D-Dimer, C-reactive protein and lactate dehydrogenase. All markers for clotting system problems, which has led to death by stroke, even in young people.

Some patients are in denial until the last moment.

Recently, I was helping to discharge a fairly young patient, about the mid to late 40s. As I was getting his history and gathering information on his experience, I asked how he ended up in ICU and then in my area.

He told me he thought he had a summer cold. He thought the whole virus was a hoax and refused to wear a mask. When his wife brought him in he thought it was a bad cold AND an ulcer. He complained of stomach pain, severe diarrhea, and shortness of breath. He was admitted to our COVID floor, still in denial. What he had believed was a stuffed up nose was actually him losing his sense of smell. Then he crashed.

The anesthesiologist did what is called rapid sequence intubation. The patient is given sedative and paralytic drugs. That’s it. Once they are intubated, they are put out.

He told me when they jerked his head back and he saw that the young doctor looking scared though his protective gear he knew then it wasn’t a hoax.

Good news: we ARE saving more than we lose.

Here in Charleston where I work, our average patient stay is 4 days. If they go to the ICU their stay is about double that. In the last 3 weeks we have dropped from 44% to 31% of our inpatients being in for COVID. Our percentage of positive COVID tests is at about 21%. We test EVERY PATIENT that comes in the hospital.

We have a game plan:

  • Remdesivir
  • Lovanox
  • Plasma antibodies from COVID survivors
  • Intervene and intubate
  • ECMO: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (to treat some patients)

We have a long way to go. We still have shortages of protective gear, but we improvise, adapt and overcome. Up to 170 or so of our teammates, young and not so young,  have been out with COVID. Some ended up in the ICU. Our hospital is finding ways to use senior management. A large group of nurses that haven’t been bedside in years are filling in as runners, housekeepers, and patient transport.

This is part of a corporate email from this past week. (Patient sensitive information has been removed.)

Roper St. Francis Healthcare has tested and confirmed that 46 more patients since Tuesday have COVID-19, bringing our total to 3,806 since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Once each week, we will provide additional information about our testing and which segments of the population are most affected by the virus.

In the past seven days, 19 percent of our 3,014 COVID-19 tests have been positive, which is down from our 22 percent positive rate during the past 14 days. Our overall positive rate since we started COVID-19 testing is 15 percent. We have 949 tests pending.

Of those testing positive in the past seven days,

– 19 percent are under 29 years old

– 15 percent are 30-39 years old

– 12 percent are 40-49 years old

– 17 percent are 50-59 years old

– 16 percent are 60-69 years old

– 20 percent are over 70 years old

Thirty four percent of those patients have been white, 44 percent have been Black, 5 percent have been Latino and 16 percent have been other.

The areas where we’ve seen the largest number of new cases are North Charleston, Charleston and Summerville.

There have been 3,882,167 cases nationally with a total of 141,677 deaths, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. South Carolina has had 73,101 confirmed cases and 1,203 deaths.

Hero’s? Nah…We signed up for this because we wanted to help.

I’m not going to berate, belittle, or bully anyone over their choice when it comes to personal protective equipment. I am going to ask that you be careful. You do not want someone like me or my old Ranger bud Johnny doing CPR on you. You will end up with damaged ribs.

I’m pretty blessed to be working at Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Roper Hospital. We show up to work each day to care for our patients, and we go home to rest up a little before doing it again the next day. Some of us, myself included, don’t care much for the term “hero”. It is MY job to take care of YOU if you end up in OUR hospital. It is YOUR job to stay healthy, be careful, and be smart about this virus.

Face Masks

There are have been a lot of untruths about face masks circulating in the US during this pandemic from both the government and the public. One of the earliest lies came from the Surgeon General in an attempt to save the limited face mask supply for the sole use of health care providers:

Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!

Two months later, an article in The New England Journal of Medicine would repeat this falsehood:

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection…the potential benefits of universal masking need to be balanced against the future risk of running out of masks and thereby exposing clinicians to the much greater risk of caring for symptomatic patients without a mask…

Both of these statements were obviously meant to cover for a lack of preparedness by both government and private healthcare for a large scale pandemic and resulting lacking of masks for everyone. They sought to soothe the uneducated public with the idea that they had nothing to fear while preserving scarce mask resources for front line health providers, knowing that masks would protect them. These ill-advised statements have come back to bite those who would try to limit the pandemic spread as many point back to these statements among others to counter government calls and mandates for universal mask wearing (whether such mandates are legal or not is beside the point). Of course, face masks are not 100% effective! No one is saying that they are. Can they install a false sense of security? Yes, they can. Properly worn masks should be coupled with other effective measures as a defense in depth against infection.

Masks become less effective when they are worn or handled improperly – of course. And the issue is further complicated by the type of mask worn. N95 or N99 masks are much more effective at protecting the wearer of the mask than a simple surgical mask which is designed more to protect other people from you — though the surgical mask will still offer a little protection to the wearer. These complications are what lead voices in the government and the media to recommend not wearing masks. “It’s too complicated for the average citizen,” is what they think. You can prove them wrong with a little effort.

How to properly put on and take off a face mask:

The US tends to ignore research done in foreign languages, but research about mask wearing and its effectiveness have been performed, and the positive results known, for years. The Lancet recently published an article that surveyed some of these studies, showing the effectiveness of wearing face masks – Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis

The use of face masks was protective for both health-care workers and people in the community exposed to infection…Our unadjusted analyses might, at first impression, suggest use of face masks in the community setting to be less effective than in the health-care setting, but …we did not detect any striking differences in effectiveness of face mask use between settings…

The chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital says that these studies show “wearing masks decreases the risk by 65 percent.”

The above sums up some of the science of mask wearing in order to prevent the spread of contagious disease. Given the contradictory, illogical, and often untrue statements previously made by officials, it is understandable that people are distrustful of recent mandatory mask statements. On top of that, there is the genuine question of government authority to make such mandates. For a very vocal portion of the liberty movement, they have decided not to even try to sort out the science of mask wearing, and instead stake their lives on their believed right to infect whomever they please. However, just because a government official may not have any authority to tell you to do or not do something, that doesn’t mean that whatever they are telling you is a bad idea. So, in case science does not sway you, here are some voices from within the prepper/liberty/tactical communities, talking about mask wearing.

John Mosby/Mountain Guerrilla:

…What is interesting to me is how viciously partisan a medical issue has become. Of course, like I said last week, it’s not surprising. We live in a time in the imperial cycle when you can’t have a conversation about the weather without it turning into a political hot potato. That is what it is.

Our state recently finally got a masks in public mandate. Now, I get it, when the government tells people to do something, they don’t want to do it. I GET it. F… the government. I agree with that. I’m still wearing a mask, because I’ve been wearing a mask since before the government suggested it. I was wearing a mask in public when the government was still telling you that masks were pointless.

I had to go to the feed store the other day. As I was walking in, I stopped outside the front door to pull my mask on. An older farmer was walking out. He saw me adjusting the mask, and snarled, “You don’t have to wear that damned thing!”

“Mister, I don’t have to do a goddamned thing.” I replied. Admittedly, I was already kind of pissy, and his attitude didn’t help mine, at all.

“Well, why are you wearing it then!?”

“I’ve been wearing a mask since January—before you’d even heard of COVID-19, because I’m not a f’ing douchebag. I’ll keep wearing my mask.”

That old man stopped and looked me up and down, TWICE. I swear, you could see the gears turning, as he debated taking a swing at me!

Now, my response probably could have been less aggressive, but…

“I’m not wearing a mask, and I don’t care if the governor and the police tell me I have to!”

“F- those BLM and Antifa protesters. If they’d just do what the police tell them, they wouldn’t get shot!”

Breaking the law—and to be clear, I don’t actually have a problem with people breaking the law. For the most part, I encourage it, in many cases—is always a matter of scale and moral values. YOU may see violating the law—a city ordinance or a state ordinance—about wearing a mask as a statement about your individual rights, just like another person sees his ability to protest against what he perceives, rightly or wrongly, to be injustice, as his individual rights. You’re made because you’re being told to wear a mask. He’s mad because he’s being told WHERE he can protest (and, under the Obama administration, remember, there was a LOT of bitching about “1st Amendment Zones” from The Right).

(And before anybody gets all — about it, obviously I recognize the difference between an act of civil disobedience and a malum in se criminal violation that is violent…although I’d also point out that not following medical advice regarding the containment of a pathogen, during a pandemic COULD be interpreted, pretty easily, as a violent act…)

If you don’t want to wear a mask? I don’t give a s#@!. Don’t wear a mask. I’m not going to call the police on you, and I’m not going to get in your face, and go all Karen on you, telling you how you should be wearing a mask. I really don’t give a s#@!. MY family is wearing n95 masks, instead of just cotton masks, because we recognize that, while a cotton mask WILL help slow the spread of pathogen, if some huge f’ing percentage of people are unwilling to participate, then we need to focus on our welfare, so we can further decrease the chances of US catching the disease, by wearing a mask with better protective value.

Am I going to judge you for not wearing a mask in public? Of course I am. I believe that self-sacrifice for the good of the community is the foundation of civic virtue, and—like the Founding Fathers—I believe without civic virtue, there are no rights. Thomas Jefferson famously wrote a letter to a congregation of Baptists at Danbury, CT once. It’s often quoted, in part, but people overlook one part of the letter:

Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced HE HAS NO NATURAL RIGHTS IN OPPOSITION TO HIS SOCIAL DUTIES.” (emphasis added).

This is the part that everybody likes to ignore, as they complain about infringements on their “rights.” People—on both sides of the supposed aisle—want to claim that the Founders were all about liberty, which is not untrue. What they overlook however—or intentionally ignore—is the fact that every single one of them, not just Mr. Jefferson, believed, as Mr. Jefferson stated above, if you don’t fulfill your social/civic obligations, you don’t HAVE any claim to “rights.” That’s because, while they did believe in “natural” rights, they also believed that man is “naturally” a social creature, and those rights evolve from his position within a society.

So, yeah, I’m going to judge the f!@# out of you. You know what? Who cares? You don’t know me. Most of you wouldn’t know me from Adam, if you saw me on the street. Why do you care if I judge you? Maybe, when people are getting angry about being “judged” for moral transgressions (and failures in civic obligation ARE a moral transgression, however you define civic obligations), it’s not because strangers are judging them, but because they are judging themselves, and realize they are falling short. I know I’m always my own harshest critic, even if others don’t always recognize that fact.

What I’m not going to do? I’m not going to tell you you’re a piece of s#@! for not wearing a mask. I don’t need to…

Aesop of Raconteur Report (also a healthcare provider, treating COVID patients in CA):

CA gov. Gabbin’ Nuisance re-closed 30+ counties yesterday, all because of the morons that think wearing a mask is the Mark Of The Beast, and washing your hands is communism.

He was writing about wearing PPE (masks and gloves) back in April:

…people should be required to wear and use properly appropriate PPE, like masks and gloves, and given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own protection, and get out and about. I’ve taken care of 1-2 dozen Kung Flu patients already, at close range, using nothing more complicated than that. It works, and if I can do it, you darned sure can, if you have access to enough of the PPE to do it…

Aesop also commented himself on the NEJM article linked above back in May:

As a couple of posters have already referenced it, we’ll fisk this metric f**kton of bullsh…, er, rose fertilizer, originally posted in the NEJM a couple of months back, and unaccountably burped back up (or more likely, shat out) again this week.

1) That’s not a “study”. As it’s conspicuously labeled “Perspectives”, it’s sheer OPINION.
And we all know what opinions are like (and in this instance, for exactly the same reasons).
In this case, by an over-educated and under-bright pack of bumbling baboons.

2) The authors are clearly axe-grinding jackholes, their entire thesis is unsupported patent horseshit, and the purpose of wearing cloth/surgical masks (which is what 99.999% of people have on) is always to protect others from you, not to protect you from others, and anyone who doesn’t know that is not only a jackhole, they’re too stupid to be writing papers anywhere.

At their intended purpose, such masks excel, as they have for 150 years or so since they were pioneered for maintaining asepsis in surgery.

3) For bonus points, the Five Blind Mice who authored that codswallop have about 45 years of post-secondary education between them, and yet none of them noticed they contradicted themselves a couple of paragraphs after that corker:

…fundamental infection-control measures.

Such measures include vigorous screening of all patients coming to a facility for symptoms of Covid-19 and immediately getting them masked and into a room;”

IOW, fundamental infection control is masking people to curb the spread of cough and sneeze droplets, the exact method of transmitting Kung Flu against which face masks excel.

Some people tell me I can’t fix stupid; I say I can, if you’ll let me use a big enough hammer.
Those five degreed jackasses should be horsewhipped until the whites of their bones show, and then be dipped to the neck into a vat of rubbing alcohol. Daily. For a month.

4) Don’t get fooled by something just because it’s posted by NEJM…

Chris Martensen of Peak Prosperity has been talking about the effectiveness of mask wearing since March:

COVID-19 is still a new disease. Currently, doctors and scientists are still figuring out how it works in the body and how to treat it. It will be a part of our lives in the future just like any other disease.  Some people ask “Are you going to wear a mask for the rest of your life?” No. I won’t. But I will wear it until the disease is better understood, and there is a best practice for treating it other than putting the patient on a ventilator and waiting for them to die or there is some prophylaxis against it.

Even if you for some reason believe that COVID is no worse than the flu, as a prepper I hope that you have used this time to practice wearing a mask and for figuring out how many masks and other PPE you will need when a serious outbreak does hit. For example, I’ve learned around the head elastic banded masks don’t work well for me because of my huge melon head; the bands tend to break easily while donning the mask. I’ve found velcro masks work much better and are more easily donned and removed with less risk of touching contaminated surface. I’ve learned that you need a great deal more numbers of disposable PPE than I had expected previously. But if you’re not taking this disease seriously, then you probably won’t take the next seriously, either, so maybe it’s something that you don’t need to worry about in your preps.

Alt-Market: The Delusion Of A Seamless Reopening Is About To Be Obliterated

From Brandon Smith at Alt-Market, The Delusion Of A Seamless Reopening Is About To Be Obliterated

During the first wave of pandemic lockdowns, America became a rather surreal place. The initial shock that I witnessed in average people in my area was disturbing. Half the businesses in the region closed and a third of the grocery store shelves were empty. The look in people’s faces was one of bewilderment and fear; their eyes were like saucers, no one was staring into their cell phones as they usually do, and people huddled over their shopping carts like wild dogs protecting a carcass.

Luckily, this tension has subsided, but only because the majority of Americans have been assuming for the past couple months that the pandemic was going to fade away in the summer and that the “reopening” was permanent. Sadly, this is a delusion that is going to bite people in the ass in the next month or two.

In “The Economic Reopening Is A Fake-Out”, published at the end of May, I stated:

“The restrictions will continue in major US population centers while rural areas have mostly opened with much fanfare. The end result of this will be a flood of city dwellers into rural towns looking for relief from more strict lockdown conditions. In about a month, we should expect new viral clusters in places where there was limited transmission. I suggest that before the 4th of July holiday, state governments and the Federal government will be talking about new lockdowns, using the predictable infection spike as an excuse.”

I also noted:

Certainly, it appears that most Americans hate the lockdowns. But will they be fooled by the “reopening” into complacency for the next several weeks while the government gets ready to hit them with the next round of restrictions? Will they be so caught off guard they won’t know how to react? Imagine the economic devastation of just one more nationwide lockdown event? It will be carnage, and a lot of hope within the population will be lost.

In “Pandemic And Economic Collapse: The Next 60 Days”, published in April, I predicted:

The extent of the crisis will become much more clear in the next two months to the majority. The result will be civil unrest in the summer, likely followed by extreme poverty levels in the winter. No measure of “reopening” is going to do much to stop the avalanche that has already been started.

My position at the time, on secondary infection spikes in the summer as well as renewed lockdown restrictions, appears to have proven correct. Currently, daily reported infections in the U.S. are at a record 50,000 per day or more and cases are rising in 40 out of 50 states. Many of the new infection clusters are in more rural areas and states that a lot of people thought had dodged the initial wave, including California. There has been a massive rush of home buyers moving to rural and suburban America away from the cities. The great migration has begun.

Subsequently, public anxiety is rising yet again. Protests such as those in Michigan over the lockdowns were overwhelmingly peaceful, yet liberty movement activists were demonized and accused of “inciting violence” and “spreading the virus”. Some groups with left-leaning political agendas used the death of George Floyd to create civil unrest. The mainstream media mostly lavished these groups with praise and refused to acknowledge that they might be spreading the virus.

The double standard is clear, but this is just the beginning.

As I have argued for the past few months, the REAL public crisis will strike when the secondary lockdowns are enforced, either by state governments or the federal government. Make no mistake, these orders are coming. We can already see restriction in some states being implemented, though they refuse yet to call the situation a “lockdown”.

California has recently added 24 counties to its “Covid watchlist”, and most of these counties have added new restrictions, including many non-essential businesses being ordered to remain closed.

The governor of Arizona announced statewide restrictions including business shutdowns, suggesting there may be a reopening at the end of July. If the previous lockdown is any indication, this means the next reopening will probably not happen until early September.

Similar restrictions have been announced in Texas, Florida, Georgia, etc. This is essentially a new shutdown that has not yet been officially labeled a “shutdown”.

So what does this mean for the U.S. economy going forward?

Well, the first lockdowns caused an explosion in unemployment, with 40 million jobs lost on top of around 11 million existing jobless. Beyond that, you can add the 95 million people without work that are no longer counted on the rolls by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only a portion of these jobs were regained when the reopening occurred. According to Shadowstats.com, the real unemployment rate including U-6 measurements is 31% – around the same level as it was during the Great Depression.

So far in 2020 there have been 4,300 major retail store closings, added onto the thousands of businesses already hit in 2019 in what many are calling “The Retail Apocalypse”. Small business closings are harder to gauge at this time, but according to Yelp, over 41% of their listed participants are announcing they are closing for good.

This outcome was easy to predict when it became clear that only 13% to 18% of businesses applying for the small business bailout loans received aid, and half of those businesses were actually large corporations

What happens next? The companies that did survive the first phase lockdowns are now going to get hit again, hard. I expect another 50% of small businesses to either close permanently or announce bankruptcy over this summer and fall. This means a second huge surge in job losses in the service sector.

It’s important to remember that the U.S. economy is 70% service based, and around 50% of total jobs are provided by small businesses. The lockdowns hit both these areas of our system mercilessly. And, with most of the aid from the government bailouts being diverted to major corporations, it’s as if someone was trying to deliberately crush the small business pillar of support for our economy. If you were attempting to drag the U.S. into an economic collapse, the Covid lockdowns are a perfect cover to make this happen.

Another economic threat is the slowdown in the supply chain. There will be renewed shortages in many goods. I have received numerous emails from readers who work in manufacturing, repair and acquisitions of vital parts for major companies who have told me that simple components, such as electronic and industrial parts that are required for factories to produce goods and repair goods, are almost gone. Meaning they are not being produced overseas in places like China, either due to the pandemic or geopolitical conflict. They tell me there is a maximum of two months before these components are completely gone.

The greater danger, however, is the higher likelihood of civil unrest. I’ve heard many people suggest that Americans will “never” put up with another round of shutdowns. I think it depends on the state you live in. If you live in places like California, Illinois, New York, or even Florida, the majority of people are going to conform to lockdowns even in the face of financial calamity. Interior states with more conservatives are not as certain. Regardless, I expect at least half the country to be shut down in the next few weeks, and those places that don’t shut down will be accused of “selfishly endangering others”.

As I have said many times since this crisis began, it does not matter how dangerous or deadly a virus is; shutting down the economy is assured destruction and is not an acceptable response.

Of course, certain special interest groups benefit greatly from the increased fear and chaos that economic instability brings. Right now, states like Georgia are pushing to stage the national guard to quell unrest, and I think this will spread to many places in the U.S. over the summer. They know what is coming, and they are worried about people hitting the wall of poverty that is ahead and reacting angrily.

As the globalist Imperial College of London published in March, the plan is for lockdowns to continue on and off for the next 18 months or more. This is not going away, and after the next wave of lockdowns, most Americans are finally going to realize it.

Rather than promoting localized production, independent economies and self-sufficiency, the establishment is going to suggest martial law and medical tyranny as the solution to the pandemic problem. In other words, they will demand total control over the population and the erasure of constitutional liberties in the name of “the greater good”.

These are the same people that downplayed the pandemic at the beginning of the year and refused to stop travel from China until it was too late. They are also the same people (including Dr. Anthony Fauci) who gave the Chinese millions of dollars to play around with the coronavirus at the Level 4 lab in Wuhan, which is the likely source of the current outbreak. I’m not sure why ANYONE would want to give more power to the people that caused the crisis in the first place.

Three factors are working hand-in-hand to undermine U.S. stability and create a rationale for totalitarian controls including the economic crash, civil unrest and the pandemic itself. Understand that preparations to protect yourself and your family must be finalized NOW. There will not be even a minor recovery after the next shutdown.

The Organic Prepper: What 75 Preppers Learned During the Lockdown

This article from The Organic Prepper complies short takes from seventy-five preppers on what they have learned during this pandemic and lockdown. Some are only a sentence, while others are a full paragraph. Here’s What 75 Preppers Learned During the Lockdown

The lockdown that recently took place due to the pandemic was like a practice run for a bigger SHTF event. Many of our prepper theories played out and were accurate, while others weren’t as realistic as we thought beforehand.

People who weren’t preppers already learned a lot about why they would want to be better prepared in the future, but they weren’t the only ones who learned lessons. These preppers took a moment to answer questions about the lessons they learned during the lockdown. (Here’s an article about the things I learned.)

What did you learn about preparedness during the lockdown?

Trisha…

I learned two main things. First, I was very surprised at how strongly the isolation hit me. I am a person who is “energized” by interacting with other people. I knew that already, but I was shocked at how MUCH it affected me. Second, I got a taste of normalcy bias. I kept trying to see ways in which our situation was still “Normal”. As a school teacher of little ones for thirty years, I was pretty much used to switching into action immediately to deal with a crisis and putting my feelings on the back burner. So, I was shocked that it took me a couple of months to “accept” the changes in our lives and start looking for creative ways to make life work and meet our needs.

Maria…

I learned it is so important to pay attention to what’s going on and stay ahead of the crowd. My husband and I were able to stock up two weeks before everyone else panicked. I also learned my plan of being stocked up and shopping only for replacements is a great system. For example I have 3 jars of mayo on the shelf, when I open one I put it on the list to purchase next time and replenish. Same with Costco TP. Every time I shop there I grab one package. We didn’t even go through half our stock pile and I was able to leave it for those who really needed it. I also learned to listen to your instincts, inner voice, the spirit, God or whatever you call it. I listened every time and we have made it through very comfortably. Also, look for opportunities to help others prepare. I have gotten several people to prepare seriously because of staying ahead of everyone else. I couldn’t have done what I did with[out] Daisy and her spot on articles. Like I said earlier, they kept me two weeks ahead of the crowd.

Angela…

That individuals mental state can be intrusive to yours. For me-it preteen having her 1st period.

Annabel…

That things happen really fast. If you act when things happen it is too late. Act now.

Judith…

That prepping is far more than one type of crisis. Organization of preps is vitally important ( I am still not where I need to be). Having a list of recipes and items needed helps with how and what to shop for. Alternative sources for cooking, cleaning etc. are important.

Angela…

Being in a lockdown during the spring was great. House was cool and could bake. Once it got hot, there was no baking. Need to learn to bake more via the fire, not just cook.

Maya…

I had anticipated shortages like food, soap, TP, and PPEs, but I underestimated how short in supply durable consumer goods would be – like the fact that freezers would pretty much become extinct, all gardening supplies, etc. Luckily, I had stockpiled seeds (although this year I brought veggie starts because everything started late this year.) It took until June to get the raised bed kits (industrial area, it’s not safe to grow anything you want to eat in the ground). Canning jars have also become in short supply. I anticipated has shortages, which did not take place – in fact, gas became dirt cheap with nobody able to go anywhere. I did fail to anticipate that the border would be closed for half a year! Living in a border city, I tend to rely on the much cheaper US prices for many things. I really should not have put off dentist and eye appointments, or a haircut! I will get that attended to before the next wave of contamination and lock-downs. I am working now on beefing up food growing and preserving supplies. Desiccants, oxygen absorbers, Mylar bags, food grade buckets, canning lids, canning jars, and food saver bags are all likely to become harder to obtain as food prices rise and more people become aware of how to grow and preserve foods. I am also stocking up on organic fertilizers and indoor growing options. And sprouting seeds – I think I have at least 2 years’ worth of those…

Continue reading at The Organic Prepper by clicking here.

 

 

The Organic Prepper: The Second Wave

Toby Cowern at The Organic Prepper discusses the second pandemic wave and some things that you should be thinking of in order to be prepared in The Second Wave: Regardless of What You Think About the Virus, Things Are About to Change

…Regardless of your personal opinion about the virus, things will change for everyone with the second wave.

First, there’s GOING to be a second wave.

Firstly, we need to accept there is going to be a second viral wave. That is inevitable. That is absolutely inevitable. Now, regardless of your feelings on how bad the pandemic is, how lethal the virus is, what you think of the statistics, or the reporting, etc. I am not going to say that’s irrelevant, but I am going to say that it doesn’t undermine is the fact there’s going to be a second wave. Secondly, for any virus that spreads in the general population spread, there is always a risk of mutations, so just because we could say it hasn’t potentially been “that bad” until now, doesn’t mean that’s the status quo, and it’s going to stay the same.

So let’s first acknowledge those two things.

Now, here’s what’s important about that. Looking at historical trend analysis, which is fairly substantive, the second wave is always going to be worse than the first, not only in infection and fatality numbers but also in overall impact. And why is that? The fact is, the number spike will largely be due to people’s actions as they come out of the lockdown of wave one.

We’re already seeing that:

  • people are (understandably) demonstrating their frustration and venting their concerns
  • gathering in large groups
  • not following certain advice to minimize the potential infection spread

That’s happening and it’s happening worldwide. It is not exclusive to any country. Many, many countries are suffering from this same problem. This isn’t speculative. You can all see this occurring with your own eyes. So these actions are going to be reflected in wave two infection numbers.

For those countries already into the second wave, you can see that wave one is being dwarfed. For those that are not into the wave two yet, don’t worry, unfortunately, you’ll catch up in time.

Government measures

Now, the control measures that the government will try to utilize for wave two will initially be the same actions as wave one, but they just won’t be as readily accepted by the vast majority of the population that came through wave one. People are tired, they are frustrated and angry, and they are scared, largely due to exceptionally irresponsible media action.

So now it gets a bit more ‘wild west’ as the policy for wave two tries to replicate the policy for wave one, but the general populace is not as inclined to comply as it previously was.

That will vary from region to region and country to country as to how vehemently these measures will be pushed back against. The other thing to consider is that people have now had far longer and got far more information to make up their mind on how they feel about certain things. People went into wave one really in the dark. They were able to look at the historical pandemic examples, but not much more. Now, people have read up and formed their own opinion, and begun to crystallize their own thought processes AND will act (or refuse to act) accordingly.

The supply chain

All the problems that occurred in wave one will reoccur in wave two, possibly with more consequences and/or potentially with a deeper meaning. Let’s start with the supply line.

The weakening of the supply lines that has occurred, the lack of certain products, the panic buying, the herd mentality – that’s all still there, and large parts still ‘unsolved’ and it’s going to happen again, it’s inevitable. Things are not “going back to normal.”

I hate to say it, but people in packs, follow very set scripts. They are very predictable in their behavior. That is why we can make statements such as these with good authority. And as much as the suppliers are trying to assure us wave one was ‘well managed’ and ‘not that bad’, reports from various places are showing the contradiction that there was, is, and WILL BE impact on the supply line.

Financial problems

Now, there’s a twofold solution to these problems we are highlighting. One is just to keep preparing to always be prepared, keep chipping away, bit by bit, keep making your purchases, keep your stocks up.

But unfortunately, a lot of people got massive economic hits in wave one. So many are likely limited in their financial ability prepare via purchase. That we fully understand and sympathize with.

Things are going to be different for most of us.

Managing expectations

That brings us to the next point, and I would apply this across the board, regardless of your current situation, is you need to start managing your own and your immediate family’s expectations. You need to start thinking in terms of this:

As supplies dwindle and prices increase, we need to eat more simply, to accept things as they are. We might have to eat less meat, or in fact, we might just have to eat less food.”

Period.

Now this is very challenging because you will still naturally want to push back to get that “normalcy.” You’ll think, “Why should I have to *insert selected discomfort here*?”

Unfortunately, far too many people in the preppersphere were preparing on the basis of:

My lifestyle is never going to be interrupted no matter what.”

When we’re into a long-term scenario, such as this pandemic, there are going to be uncomfortable impacts for everybody.

There will be a point when you will start to feel the impact after you’ve gone as far as you can in your familiar lifestyle and kept to your original standards for as long as possible. If we are being honest, many of you are already at this point.

As much as you can adjust your mental attitude early and acknowledge and start to accept that the impact is happening, or coming, and will worsen, it positions you to be far more resilient further into this pandemic. Because that, folks, is where we are.

We are a LONG way from the end of this.

We can’t relax our preparations.

I’ve been having a number of very interesting online conversations lately, and the phrase that keeps re-occurring is that we’ve been given a “slow-burning virus.” In this modern, insanely paced world, it seems that everybody wanted to have a simple, quick ‘zombie apocalypse’, and in two weeks, it’s all over. Then we kind that we go from there, rebuild, and move on…(continues)

Mises Institute: The State – The Deadliest Virus

Professor Jesús Huerta de Soto, a Spanish economist, writes this piece for the Mises Institute about government tyrannies in Spain, but most of them could just as easily be applied to the US government — The State: The Deadliest Virus.

The deadliest virus is the institutionalized coercion which lies in the very DNA of the state and may even initially permit a government to deny the outbreak of a pandemic. Evidence has been suppressed, and heroic scientists and doctors have been harassed and silenced simply because they were the first to realize and expose the gravity of the problem. As a result, weeks and months have been lost, at an enormous cost: hundreds of thousands of people have died due to the worldwide spread of an epidemic which, in the beginning, the shamefully manipulated official statistics made appear less dangerous than it actually was.

The deadliest virus is the existence of cumbersome bureaucracies and supranational organizations, which did not manage or wish to monitor in situ the reality of the situation, but instead endorsed the information received, while offering constant support and even praising—and thus becoming accessories to—all the coercive policies and measures adopted.

The deadliest virus is the notion that the state can guarantee our public health and universal welfare, when economic science has demonstrated the theoretical impossibility of the central planner’s giving a coherent and coordinating quality to the coercive commands it issues in its attempt to achieve its pompous objectives. This impossibility is due to the huge volume of information and knowledge which such a task would require and which the planning agency lacks. It is also, and primarily, due to the fact that the institutional coercion typical of the agency impacts the social body of human beings, who alone are capable of coordinating themselves (and do so spontaneously) and creating wealth. Such coercion prevents the emergence of precisely the firsthand knowledge the state needs to bring about coordination with its commands. This theorem is known as the impossibility of economic calculation under socialism. Mises and Hayek discovered the theorem in the 1920s, and the events of world history cannot be understood without it.

The deadliest virus is the dependency and complicity shown toward the state by countless scientists, experts, and intellectuals. When authorities are drunk with power, this symbiosis leaves a manipulated civil society unarmed and defenseless. For instance, the Spanish government itself urged citizens to take part in mass demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of people while the virus was already spreading exponentially. Then, just four days later, the decision was announced to declare a state of alarm and coercively confine the entire population to their homes.

The deadliest virus is the demonization of private initiative and of the agile and efficient self-regulation characteristic of it, combined with the deification of the public sector in every area: the family, education, pensions, employment, the financial sector, and the healthcare system (a particularly relevant point at present). Over 12 million Spanish people, including—quite significantly—almost 90 percent of the more than 2 million government employees (and among them a vice president of the Spanish government), have freely chosen private healthcare over public healthcare. The doctors and nurses of the public healthcare system work hard and selflessly, and their heroic efforts are never sufficiently recognized. However, the system cannot possibly do away with its internal contradictions, its waiting lists, or its proven incompetence in the matters of universal prevention and the protection of its own workers. But, by a double standard, any minor defect in the private sector is always immediately condemned, while far more serious and flagrant defects in the public sector are viewed as definitive proof of a need to spend more money and increase the size of the public sector even further.

The deadliest virus is the political propaganda channeled through state-owned media and also through private media outlets which, nonetheless, are dependent on the state as if it were a drug. As Goebbels taught, lies repeated often enough to the population can be turned into official truths. Here are a few: that the Spanish public healthcare system is the best in the world; that public spending has continued to decrease since the last crisis; that taxes are to be paid by “the rich” and they are not paying their fair share; that the minimum wage is not detrimental to employment; that maximum prices do not cause shortages; that a universal minimum income is the panacea of well-being; that the northern European countries are selfish and unsupportive, because they do not wish to mutualize the debt; that the number of deaths officially reported reflects the actual number of deaths; that only a few hundred thousand people have been infected; that we are performing more than enough tests; that face masks are unnecessary, etc. Any moderately diligent citizen can easily verify that these are all lies.

The deadliest virus is the corrupt use of political terminology involving misleading metaphors to mesmerize the population and make people even more submissive and dependent on the state. We are told that we are fighting a “war,” and that once we win, we will need to begin the “reconstruction.” But we are not at war, nor is it necessary to reconstruct anything. Fortunately, all of our capital equipment, factories, and facilities are intact. They are there, waiting for us to devote all of our effort and entrepreneurial spirit to getting back to work, and when that happens, we will very quickly recover from this standstill. However, for this to occur, we must have an economic policy that favors less government and more entrepreneurial freedom, reduces taxes and regulations, balances public accounts and puts them on a sound footing, liberalizes the labor market, and provides legal certainty and bolsters confidence. While such a free market policy enabled the Germany of Adenauer and Erhard to recover from a far graver situation following World War II, Spain will be impoverished and doomed to move at idling speed if we insist on taking the opposite path of socialism.

The deadliest virus consists of the deification of human reason and the systematic use of coercion, which the state embodies. It appears before us in sheep’s clothing as the quintessence of a certain “do-goodism” that tempts us with the possibility of reaching nirvana here and now and of achieving “social justice” and ending inequality. However, it conceals the fact that the Leviathan thrives on envy and thus fuels hatred and social resentment. Hence, the future of humanity depends on our ability to immunize ourselves against the most deadly virus: the socialism which infects the human soul and has spread to all of us.

KIMA: Yakima Hospitals Overwhelmed with Covid Cases

From KIMA TV:

The Yakima Health District says Yakima County Hospitals are being overwhelmed by COVID-19, and the district is pleading with local people to take the steps necessary to stop the spread.

The release from the Yakima County Health District is below:

As of last night Virginia Mason Memorial had no intensive care or non-intensive care beds available.

There were multiple patients waiting for hospital bed space overnight.

This was after at least 17 patients had already been transferred out of the county.

Several individuals are still currently waiting for available bed space.

Across Yakima County, there were 61 COVID-19 positive individuals hospitalized, the highest we have seen to date.

Over the past week, all hospitals have reported critical staffing shortages. Many of these shortages are due to staff being out for either having COVID-19, demonstrating COVID-19 symptoms or because they are a close contact to a COVID-19 individual and are now under quarantine.

Not only do we have the highest rate of COVID-19 infections, but as of last night, Yakima County represented 22% (61 of 242) of all hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Washington State. This was more than King County, the most populous county in Washington State. Yakima County COVID-19 patients also represented 24% (11 of 46) of all ventilated COVID-19 patients in the State, which is the same as King County.

Nearby, the Benton and Franklin Counties health care system is also reaching capacity. “Benton and Franklin Counties are seeing a steady, rapid increase in hospitalizations due to COVID-19, with the number of patients nearly doubling the past two weeks. While hospitals are not overwhelmed yet, if the rate continues, we will exceed capacity quickly.” Said Malvina Goodwin, Benton-Franklin Health District.

Yakima County cannot continue to rely on other counties to absorb patients that need additional intensive care. As our case counts continue to spike after large celebratory weekends, we are seeing hospitalizations also sharply increase shortly after. The entire health care system in Yakima County is exceeding capacity.

Today, as of 3PM we have already seen an increase of 180, one of the largest single day increases of COVID-19 positive cases to date. These numbers will likely be higher when we finish reporting later this evening.

PUBLIC HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS

Stay at home as much as possible

Avoid close contact with anyone outside of your household

If you must go out, ensure at least 6 feet of distance from others and wear a mask

Wash hands frequently and sanitize common surfaces frequently

If you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell, get tested for COVID-19 within 24 hours. For testing locations, call 2-1-1.

If you have any symptoms of illness, stay at home and isolate except to get tested. Make sure those you have been in close contact with know they need to quarantine.

Yakima Health District:

“This is the day we have been fighting to avoid for months, when our hospitals can no longer provide their highest level of care because they are overwhelmed caring for patients with severe COVID-19 infection. We have a choice to make today- whether we continue to do what we have been for the last three months and keep watching our neighbors get sick and our local healthcare system break down; or whether we commit to keeping each other safe and healing our healthcare system by avoiding close contact with those outside of our households and masking when we do need to be out. We need to stop having in-person parties, barbecues, large family gatherings, celebrations, and happy hours and figure out how to connect with each other virtually. These adjustments have been made all over the world and have been proven to work to slow the spread of COVID-19. We need to do the same in Yakima and we need to do it now, to ensure the safety of our families. As a community, we have no choice but to come together to protect Yakima County. We must take immediate action to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that we can provide complex medical care needs to our sick community members. Not just those with COVID-19, but those needing care for any severe illness or injury. We cannot allow our friends and neighbors to die waiting for space at the hospital or waiting to be transferred to another hospital” said Dr. Teresa Everson, Health Officer of the Yakima Health District.

Raconteur Report: Kung Flu Still a Thing, By The Metric …Ton

Aesop, a healthcare professional dealing with Covid patients and a long time blogger of things both preparedness and liberty-related, over at Raconteur Report writes to remind people that, yes, COVID-19 is still a real thing that can kill you, and not some government conspiracy in Coronatardation Bad News: Still A Thing, By The Metric F**kton

…I told you all that to tell you this:
The tests for Kung Flu, because of the incompetent government @$$holes at the CDC (but I repeat myself again), Suck Balls. Bigly.
The swab tests report an inordinate number of false negatives, and the antibody tests (which AFAIK no one has reliably demonstrated yet are specific to COVID-19, as opposed to all coronaviruses, like the common cold) throw out false positives, like a drunk spilling pocket change staggering down the street.
This leads to undercounting those who do have it, and overcounting those who never had, both of which inexorably undersell how many people are infected who we think have it, and oversell how deeply it’s penetrated this society. The latter is a number less than 5%, and probably less than 2%, nationally, at least anywhere outside the Five Boroughs.

Which has inevitably led medical professionals, contrary to the jackassical suggestion above, to use y’know, a clinical medical approach to making a diagnosis of presumptive Kung Flu.

Like what, Aesop?”

Wee quaint little diagnostic tools like, say, X-rays, kids. (Common Core history grads, look up Marie Curie. #medicine # X-rays #actual things.)

For laymen, esp. those who didn’t pay attention in middle school science class, here’s what an average normal chest X-ray looks like:

Bog-simple, no problems. Spiffy, right?
What does it look like when you have ordinary pneumonia?

Mini-anatomy lesson: you have two lungs, R and L. You have 5 lobes; 3 on the right, 2 on the left. Upper, middle, and lower on the right, upper and lower on the left. (Your heart is part of the reason there’s no Left Middle Lobe.) So, look at the pic above. The red arrows in the original stolen (Fair Use, btw) image came with it. See that area of schmutzy stuff all over the right middle lobe? That’s RML PNA: Right Middle Lobe PNeumoniA. The opacity (the blurry part) indicates fluid in the alveoli (little air sacs) in the lung, which is why you can’t breathe: your lungs filled with water don’t work well underwater, because they’re lungs, not gills. That’s what bacterial pneumonia, the kind that antibiotics will treat well, and that a shot will help prevent, looks like. In elderly people, pneumonias of the lower lobes, from less physical activity, prolonged immobility, etc. are the most common, and nota bene: as in this illustration, only on ONE side. (Gunny Hints:You will see this material again.)

So what?
So, let’s look at a typical CXR (Chest X-Ray) of a Kung Flu patient:

WHOA!
Not typical.
Not even typical pneumonia.
There’s schmutz EVERYWHERE.
Schmutz? = “Ground glass opacity”.
Bilateral multifocal pneumonia.
Like you won’t see in bacterial pneumonia.
Like you’d expect to see in pneumonia caused by a respiratory inhaled virus, and/or virus-induced coagulopathy, and/or both. (Pathologists, chime in anytime.)
Which fits only Kung Flu.
You have fluid ALL OVER your lungS, plural, (and pleural! See what I did there?) on BOTH SIDES, which is why people who have this symptomatically can’t effing breathe.
Their lungs, as in the whole contraption, is full of fluid.
And if you’re hypoxic (too little oxygen in your blood stream) on room air, or worse, even on supplemental oxygen, like a nasal canula, or a face mask, you’re pretty f**ked.
If you have that, and a fever from the infection, and a cough, and this CXR, and your blood tests fit the pattern, neither I, nor anyone witrh MD or D.O.  after their name, needs a gorram broke-dick CDC-approved COVID test to tell you, me, Yellow Dog, or Medicare, that you have Kung Flu!
They can see it for themselves, with their own lying eyes, and they’re not going to falsify it for some pittance of chump change from Uncle Sugar.

Go back and read the AAR from the ER doc in Nawlins (like every one of the ER MDs I know and work with did, long since): clinical indications = Kung Flu. Period. A test, good, bad, or half-assed, is a nice confirmation, but the CXR and other clinical indications are diagnostic (that means a lead-pipe cinch sure thing). Testing, at that point, is a luxury, and if it comes back opposite the clinical indications, will be completely and rightfully ignored. Because the tests are all so much bullshit, courtesy of The Usual Gang Of Idiots at CDC, plus Typical Government Incompetence.

BTW, none of these are my actual patients’ X-rays, but #3 was what the CXR looked like on my guy from this past weekend. (One of six COVID-positives I cared for, BTW.) He’s in his early twenties, kids. Not 80+. Not 70-80. Not even over 40. Barely old enough to legally buy a beer. Full coronavirus bilateral multi-focal pneumonia.

What does this mean for you?

1) Temperature screenings are going to get everyone infected.

2) Getting everyone infected means you can expect orders of magnitude more sick and dead people (from Kung Flu, not with Kung Flu, if you’re that particular brand of Coronatarded) than you’ve seen so far.

3) Lockdowns largely stopped this, but
a) we cannot, and weren’t intending to, lock everyone down forever until the economy was in total flames, nor would we wish to continue the experiment
b) some of you were too smart to pay attention to what worked, because “muh paycheck!”
c) TANSTAAFL

4) You (for any value of that term) have essentially decided to throw everyone who dies from this under the bus, in order to preserve the economy.
a) You did it, are doing it, and want to. Own it.
I’m not judging which is better, but don’t try and soft-soap and sugarcoat the decision you made, and the consequences as a direct result.
b) Don’t yap and yammer about your anti-abortion creds, if you’re willing to kill people at the end of life as casually as the Governor of Virginia is willing to kill them at the beginning.
Like Esau, you’ve sold your credibility there for a mess of pottage, and there are consequences to that sale. As noted in one tale, “we’ve already established what sort of person you are; now we’re simply discussing the price”.
c) There was a right way to do this, but most of the country couldn’t wait for that.
Suture self. And tell granny and gramps you loved them, and will miss them.

5) Get used to your masks, unless you like bilateral multifocal pneumonia.
a) Unless you’re Mary Mallon.
b) And deserve her fate.

6) You have no wild idea who’s sick, and who’s healthy, never did, and probably never will.
a) You DGAF, never did, and probably never will.
b) You have not hired Helen Keller as your crossing guard on the freeway.
c) EVERYONE is Helen Keller crossing the freeway.
d) Kung Flu is the 5000 busses upstream from you.

7) Good luck with your choices, and may the odds ever be in your favor.

8) I told you before, you’re not going to get what you like, and you’re not going to like what you’ll get.

9) This is a virus. It’s real. It kills people. There’s no recognized effective treatment, and no vaccine, and neither truth will change, probably this year, at least. There’s no evidence – none, nada, zip, niente, bupkus – that getting this confers any immunity to re-infection or that any such thing as “herd immunity” will ever be achieved. Not least of which because it’s been genetically altered with SARS, Ebola, and HIV sequences in the gene. (Thanks, Dr. Frankensteins!)

Luckily for you, it “only” kills about 1-3% of people who get it. That’s 1/30th-1/90th of Ebola. It’s 20-30 times worse than the flu. But it can’t be reasoned with, it can’t be bargained with, it’ll just keep coming.

Bonus: Getting it symptomatically creates permanent damage to the lungs and other organs, even if you survive.
And as you’re seeing now, (and 30-50% of those reading this will totally ignore, no matter how many times we tell it to you) the deaths from this virus are the least of your worries in the grand scheme of things, compared to the other 5000 consequences to life in society.

10) This virus doesn’t give a flaming bag of dogsh*t what your politics are, what whackdoodle conspiracy theories you espouse, who you voted for, or for the Constitution and Bill of Rights. People on both sides politically are so full of sh*t about this crisis their eyes are brown, and stupidity is no exclusive province for either side. (No, really. And I can show you their blogs and press releases.)

11) You ain’t seen nothing yet.
You’re not crawling out of this.
You’re not even close to the crawling-out-of-this stage.
You’re still in the crawling-intoit stage.
You have no idea how deep this swamp is, and while one can only ever walk halfway into such a swamp, you had no idea how big it was when you walked into it, thus when the halfway point was will only be determined after you come out the other side, retroactively.

Hurts, don’t it?

Organic Prepper: Have You Learned These Lessons?

Selco at The Organic Prepper asks Have You Learned These Survival Lessons During the Pandemic?

There are some skills and strategies that survivalists and preppers keep bashing on over and over again as important ones for hard times.
Some of those are good, others are simply wrong, or miscalculated, or let’s say “built” on wrong the foundations for whatever reason.

There is nothing better than learning from your own experiences (other than maybe learning from other folks’ mistakes). We all went (and still going) trough very turbulent times, hard times, so let’s check which of those “strategies” you learned and already experienced, or simply check about those that you did not see yet, but that you might see in the future.

It really can happen anywhere

The core of my writing, teaching courses, and everything else – the core of my survival philosophy is that “it can happen anywhere“.
It is something that you need to adopt as a first step of understanding how the world of survival works, and actually if you cannot adopt words “it can happen anywhere” you’ll never be a survivalist.

Sure, you can call yourself a survivalist, but if you cannot comprehend the fact that “it can happen anywhere” you will never be fully ready.
There are numerous reasons why the S can hit the fan anywhere no matter in what kind of modern country and society you live, and actually there are numerous reasons why the “fall” can be deeper and more painful in more modern societies, but that is a topic for some other article.

The system is fragile.

I think you all by now understood how the system can be fragile in an unexpected situation, and it is true no matter how advanced the system is – it is fragile.

And no, for this particular revelation it is not important at all whether you support the political system that rules, favor a political party or not, or any other personal opinion about the “parts” of the system. Discussing and wasting time about why the system is fragile and why it failed to cope with properly handling the event is simply wasting time. No system is built for huge events, at least it is not built to sustain and cope with largescale events in a way that your lifestyle (freedoms, rights, way of living that you use to, etc.) will stay intact.

A large scale event will affect the system, and depending on the duration and severity of the event, it may do so to the point that the system actually disappears.

The greatest danger when SHTF

Tornadoes, asteroids, dirty bombs, viruses, pandemic, wars… you can not be ready for all of that, and if you concentrate efforts to be ready only for a particular scenario based on a particular danger in that scenario, you’ll very easily fall into the trap of forgetting something extremely important.

Prepping (when it comes to what danger you should prepare for) in your philosophy, should be the simple fact that you are preparing for danger from other people.

In most survival scenarios, other people will be an immediate threat or will become the greatest threat very soon after the event happens.
Yes I know, a tornado does not have anything human in its nature, but if a tornado or serious storm brings the city to halt, it will soon bring a situation where there are more people than resources. Without a system to control it, then those people fighting for resources will become your biggest problem, not the tornado.

So if you are prepping for serious weather only without taking into consideration that actually other people might become a bigger problem than the event, you are doing it wrong.

People carry viruses in a pandemic, weapons in war, hate in a political clash, or they need resources after an economic disaster. Start your prepping for every scenario with the consideration that “other people” will most likely become a problem and threat. At best, simply factor that you will be forced to deal with them, for example through trade, and plan your prepping philosophy from that point.

As I mentioned it is not only the fact that other people may become a threat. It is also the fact that you’ll be forced to interact with people on other levels (trade, negotiations, mutual agreements, alliances…).

It probably will not be a situation where you need to shoot everybody else. You’ll need to interact with those people, to live with those people around you under the new circumstances.

Timing is everything.

Survival could be explained as “being ahead of others”.

Do not mix this with up “looking different than others” which survivalists often think is necessary. It actually can be dangerous to look and act differently than others when the SHTF.

Being ahead of others is about being different, not necessarily looking different.

Timing and “being ahead of others” is not some complicated thing, because if you are into prepping you should already know that you need to keep an ear on the ground all the time and seek information that you can use in your favor before the majority of other folks get it. The run on supplies in America was a perfect example of this…(continues)

Mises Institute: The School Closures Are a Big Threat to the Power of Public Schools

Ryan McMaken at Mises Institute writes about how US school closures during this pandemic are changing the way people think about schools, confidence in the institution, and how it may lead to changes in the future. The School Closures Are a Big Threat to the Power of Public Schools

Twenty twenty is likely to be a watershed year in the history of public schooling. And things aren’t looking good for the public schools.

For decades, we’ve been fed a near-daily diet of claims that public schooling is one of the most important—if not the most important—institutions in America. We’re also told that there’s not nearly enough of it, and this leads to demands for longer school hours, longer school years, and ever larger amounts of money spent on more facilities and more tech.

And then, all of sudden, with the panic over COVID-19, it was gone.

It turns out that public schooling wasn’t actually all that important after all, and that extending the lives of the over-seventy demographic takes precedence.

Yes, the schools have tried to keep up the ruse that students are all diligently doing their school work at home, but by late April it was already apparent that the old model of “doing public school” via internet isn’t working. In some places, class participation has collapsed by 60 percent, as students simply aren’t showing up for the virtual lessons.

The political repercussions of all this will be sizable.

Changing Attitudes among the Middle Classes

Ironically, public schools have essentially ditched lower-income families almost completely even though school district bureaucrats have long based the political legitimacy of public schools on the idea that they are an essential resource for low-income students. So as long as the physical schools remain closed, this claim will become increasingly unconvincing. After all, “virtual” public schooling simply doesn’t work for these families, since lower-income households are more likely to depend on both parents’ incomes and parents may have less flexible job schedules. This means less time for parents to make sure little Sally logs on to her virtual classes. Many lower-income households don’t even have internet access or computing equipment beyond their smartphones. Only 56 percent of households with incomes under $30,000 have access to broadband internet.

Nonetheless, working-class and lower-income parents are likely to return their children to the schools when they open again. Many believe they have no other choice.

Attitudes among the middle classes will be a little different, however, and may be more politically damaging to the future of the public schools.

Like their lower-income counterparts, middle class parents have long been happy to take advantage of the schools as a child-care service. But the non-educational amenities didn’t stop there. Middle-class parents especially have long  embraced the idea that billions of dollars spent on school music programs, school sports, and other extracurriculars were all absolutely essential to student success. Sports provided an important social function for both the students and the larger community.

But as the list of amenities we once associated with schooling gets shorter and shorter, households at all income levels will start to wonder what exactly they’re paying for.

Stripped of the non-academic side of things,  public schools now must sell themselves only as providers of academic skills. Many parents are likely to be left unimpressed, and this will be all the more true for middle class families where the parents are able to readily adopt homeschooling as a real substitute. The households that do have the infrastructure to do this are now far more likely to conclude that they simply don’t need the public schools much of the time. There are now so many resources provided for free outside the schools—such as Khan Academy, to just name one—that those who are already savvy with online informational resources will quickly understand that the schools aren’t essential.

In addition to this, many parents who were on autopilot in terms of assuming they were getting their money’s worth may suddenly be realizing that public schools—even when they were physically open—weren’t that much of a bargain after all…(continues)

Doom and Bloom: Reopening After a Pandemic

The Altons at Doom and Bloom Medical have an article up about Reopening After a Pandemic – what it looks like, the CDC recommendations, and federal and state plans.

The COVID-19 pandemic has rampaged throughout the planet, but a few encouraging signs are giving some citizens the impetus to emerge from their homes. Although the number of cases and deaths continue to rise, several countries have flattened or are clearly on the far end of the bell curve.

Testing in the U.S. has surpassed 10 million and the percentage of severe cases requiring ventilator support are dropping somewhat compared to total cases.

Although some pandemic supplies are still generally unavailable to the average citizen, hospital staffs (in our area, at least) seem to be getting more personal protection equipment than before. While still accepting donations, Cleveland Clinic Florida states on its website: “…through months of planning for the pandemic it had “adequate supplies and medical equipment…”

As time goes on, personal protection gear will become more available

Aside: This may not be the case everywhere. If you have a lot of extra personal protection equipment, consider donating some to your local hospital in case of a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

While we are beginning to get more optimistic with regards to public health, the financial news is terrible. 36.5 million unemployment claims have been filed. Businesses are reaching the point of no return; some brick-and-mortar enterprises may not survive if they don’t reopen soon.

And the customers? Just because the businesses are reopening doesn’t mean the patrons will come flowing back. Many people have been traumatized and are scared to venture out into the New Normal. Some have been able to work from home, cook dinner instead of eating out, and otherwise fend for themselves. They won’t be seeking these services outside the home so much anymore, even if money isn’t an issue.

Cooking at home

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a detailed 17-page document of its recommendations for reopening. Some believe the criteria may be too strict. The battle between public health and public policy continues.

What are the criteria that must be met before reopening occurs in the U.S.? The federal government is giving leeway to state governments, but there are 50 states, and almost as many different plans of action.

FEDERAL PLANS

The federal government (and most states) want a phased approach to return to normal (or at least the New Normal). Optimally, certain milestones should be reached before beginning phases:

SYMPTOMS: The federal government recommends that the reopening should begin when there is a downward trajectory on the graph of cases of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) within a 14-day period as well as a similar trajectory specific to COVID-19 signs and symptoms.

CASES: The federal government wants to see a downward trajectory of documented COVID-19 cases within a 14-day period, or at least a downward trajectory of positive tests as a percentage of total tests conducted with a 14-day period. This assumes at least a similar (or larger) quantity of tests performed during the same time period.

HOSPITALS: The goal is to have a robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers with a particular interest in checking for antibodies against COVID-19. Also, hospitals would need to have no or few patients requiring “crisis care”.

PHASE 1

INDIVIDUALS SHOULD…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Doom and Bloom Medical.

The Guardian: We Mocked Preppers and Survivalists – Until the Pandemic Hit

The Guardian has a little article about how everyone wishes they had been preppers before this pandemic. Hopefully some people will be inspired to be a little more prepared in the future.

We mocked preppers and survivalists – until the pandemic hit

You’ve heard of preppers, right? Survivalists? If you’ve watched TV shows like Doomsday Preppers, you know about their strange, apocalyptic beliefs: that a disaster could strike at any time, overwhelming first responders and the social safety net; that this crisis could disrupt supply chains, causing scarcity and panic and social breakdown; that authorities might invoke emergency powers and impose police curfews. Crazy theories like that.

In fact, many perfectly reputable organizations – including the US federal government and the Red Cross – recommend Americans maintain extra food and emergency supplies. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) advises keeping a two-week supply of food, as well as water, batteries, medical masks, first-aid supplies and a battery- or hand-powered radio, among other things.

In mainstream society, however, interest in prepping usually invites ridicule about bunkers and tin-foil hats. Preppers have spent years as the objects of our collective derision.

Until now. Today, we’re all preppers – or rather, wish we had been. Non-preppers have been caught in a rain shower without an umbrella. I don’t know if preppers are laughing right now, but perhaps they’re entitled to some vindication.

Now, I’m not a prepper. I am an effete quasi-intellectual with no practical skills of any kind. My current “emergency supplies” are some Hungry-Man Dinners and a liter of bourbon. If things get really bad I will finish the bourbon, lie down and wait to be eaten by stray cats.

But I’ve come to respect the preppers’ ethos of survival and preparedness. One of my friends is one, or at least on the spectrum. When coronavirus hit, he wasn’t one of the millions of people scrambling for surgical masks; he already had them in his survival kit. He kept a few and gave the rest to elderly people.

It has become fashionable to arguenot entirely accurately – that there are “no libertarians in a pandemic”. Certainly, this crisis has been a stark reminder of the importance of collective action. We’re all on this ship together; Covid-19 has laid bare the pathetic inadequacy of the US social safety net, our lack of investment in the common good, and our government’s short attention span for preparing for crises that don’t involve terrorism or war.

But collective action also requires some level of individual responsibility and preparedness, too, at least for those with the ability and the means. You can’t aid your elderly, immunocompromised or poorer neighbors if you haven’t taken the bare minimum of preparations. There’s a reason that airplane safety demonstrations warn passengers to put on their own air-masks before assisting others.

We’re right to be angry at the people stripping supermarkets bare and hoarding desperately needed supplies. Those people aren’t preppers, however. Preppers don’t engage in panic-buying. That’s the whole point. That’s why it is called prepping.

“Prepping is a choice that occurs before a panic, not during,” a prepper recently complained on Reddit. “If you didn’t stock up over time, you are a hoarder or, perhaps worse, an opportunist. In times like these we need to come together and support one another. That doesn’t mean giving away your supplies, but it does mean living in a society.”

Another added, “We aren’t the reason that elderly or immunocompromised people can’t find hand sanitizer, masks or toilet paper. We bought things in small increments when it made zero impact on the supply.” … (continues)

 

See also, The Atlantic: We Should All Be Preppers

Of Two Minds: Surviving 2020 – Plans A, B, and C

Charles Smith at Of Two Minds has an article on Surviving 2020 – Plans A, B, and C

As the bogus prosperity economy built on exponential growth of debt implodes, we all seek ways to protect ourselves, our families and our worldly assets. There are any number of websites, subscription services and books which offer two basic “practical recommendations:”
1. Buy gold (and/or silver) and don’t worry about timing the market as everything else will become worthless.
2. Establish a heavily armed and well-supplied hideaway before everything implodes.
My problem with these suggestions is that they are predicated on a decisive “end of the world as we know it” collapse of civilization.
While I am alive to the possibility of this cataclysm, an analysis of the many feedback loops which will slow or counteract such a decisive collapse suggests other alternatives are even more likely: my term for the slow, uneven decline of the credit/speculative-bubble era is devolution.
I cover feedback loops, historical cycles and why a lengthy devolution is as least as likely a scenario as abrupt collapse in my book Survival+ (free downloadable version is linked below).
In other words, I do not see planning for eventualities as “either/or.” I look at it in terms of three levels:
Plan A: dealing with devolution: government services are cut back, prices for essentials rise over time, fulltime paid jobs become scarce, the State (all levels of government) becomes increasingly repressive as it pursues “theft by other means,” i.e. the stripmining of private assets to feed its own fiefdoms and Elites; most assets fall in purchasing power (value) as the system’s financial props erode.
Plan B: When things become rationed/unavailable, services become sporadic, pensions stop being paid in full, spontaneous homeless encampments arise in heretofore “nice” areas, cities go bankrupt, small businesses go underground to survive the ever-higher taxes being levied on the few remaining productive enterprises, etc.
Plan C: if things fall apart: either move to communities where you or your family have roots (tough luck for all the millions of rootless Americans shifted around by corporate “relocations” the past 50 years) or turn to your neighborhood, town, friends, family, church and other social networks for cooperative strength.
The problem with putting all your resources into a “bug-out” strategy (Plan C) is that it might not come to pass, in which case you’ve misallocated your assets.
This is why I focus Survival+ on structuring a prosperity which will work on all levels. This prosperity has five basic parts:
1. Prepare for hybrid work by developing multiple skillsets, interests and contacts and understand that being productive and reciprocal is more important than getting paid (as I put it: “to take care of Number One, first take care of numbers 2 through 9.”)
2. Develop sustainable, overlapping social networks (self-organizing networks) in which you have more than one place to interact with the same person, i.e. at church or in the neighborhood. I call these non-State, voluntary networks transparent non-privileged parallel structures because they are independent of the State and Monopoly/Predatory Capital Elites.
3. Cut expenses to the bone so you no longer need a large income to “survive.” Consider lowering your taxable income by working less so you’re no longer working so hard just to pay taxes generated by high incomes. (Thanks to correspondent Stephen A. for noting that barter that results in gains is generally taxable. As always, check with the I.R.S. or a licensed tax advisor to confirm what income is taxable/nontaxable.)
4. Reach a new understanding of “prosperity”: health and social wealth are the “treasures” which money cannot buy. Yes, we all need some money, and preserving/growing whatever capital you do have will be difficult and time-consuming. There is no easy “one size fits all” solution.
5. Understand the importance and strength in building and maintaining personal integrity, the one asset we each control in totality and that no one can take from us. All reciprocal networks (financial, political, religious or social) depend entirely on trust, and the bedrock of trust is complete personal integrity.
Much of the devolution we now face is a direct result of the degradation of integrity. This moral/ethical component of financial implosion is glossed over by the corporate media because the Power Elites have implicitly undermined integrity and morality as a means of soldifying their control of the media and of the national income.
Yes, I know this all sounds wonderful, but how do you do it in real life? Well, life is and always has been a do-it-yourself affair. With 200 million+ employable people in the nation, what advice or recommendations can I possibly give to any one individual, when only that person knows their own interests, strengths and potential customers, clients, allies, competitors and mentors?
Let’s start with one simple truth: nobody knows the future. Thus everything we discuss now is contingent on a number of unpredictable interactions. To base our planning on one scenario is to risk misallocating our scarce assets and resources…(continues)