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.

End of the American Dream Blog: Almost Everyone Is Wrong About This Coronavirus Pandemic

Michael Snyder of the End of the American Dream blog shares his thoughts on The Facts That Prove That Almost Everyone Is Wrong About This Coronavirus Pandemic. Mr. Snyder is mostly trying to point out in this piece that both the group saying that Covid-19 is nothing/a hoax/the flu/etc. and those thinking it is a pandemic holocaust are wrong and that the facts show something in between.

When it comes to COVID-19, most Americans seem to be gravitating toward one of two extremes.  Some are treating this pandemic like it is the end of the world, while many others are dismissing it as a “nothingburger”.  But the truth is somewhere in between.  Nobody can deny that lots of people are getting sick and lots of people are dying.  In fact, the U.S. death toll has doubled in a little over a week and it has now shot past the 47,000 mark.  And as this pandemic progresses, a lot more people are going to get sick and a lot more people are going to die, and this is going to be true whether the lockdowns continue or not.  The lockdowns were never going to stop COVID-19, and anyone that believed that was just being delusional.

 The only time a lockdown should be instituted is if a pandemic has gotten so bad in an area that hospitals are being absolutely overwhelmed, because if people can’t get treatment that is a factor that could potentially increase the overall death toll substantially.

In most of the United States that is not happening right now, and so in most of the nation the lockdowns should be immediately ended.

But won’t a lot more people start getting sick if that happens?

Of course, and this is something that the “nothingburger” crowd doesn’t understand.  Lifting the lockdowns is going to cause the virus to cycle through our population at a much faster rate, and the numbers will get pretty ugly.  But as long as the medical system can handle it, lockdowns are not necessary.

What “the end of the world” crowd does not understand is that when you are dealing with a virus that spreads as easily as this one, it is inevitable that most of the population will eventually become infected.  You can “flatten the curve” and delay the inevitable with lockdowns, but that also prolongs the pandemic.  In the end, roughly the same number of people will get sick and roughly the same number of people will die no matter how the pandemic is “managed”.

This week, the “nothingburger” crowd has made a really big deal out of the fact that a study conducted in L.A. county discovered that about 4 percent of all residents had already developed COVID-19 antibodies, and they were trying to use that study to prove that this pandemic is not much of a threat at all.

Actually, it shows just the opposite.

This pandemic is not going to be over until herd immunity is achieved, and according to Johns Hopkins that does not happen until 70 to 90 percent of a population has developed immunity…

When most of a population is immune to an infectious disease, this provides indirect protection—or herd immunity (also called herd protection)—to those who are not immune to the disease.

For example, if 80% of a population is immune to a virus, four out of every five people who encounter someone with the disease won’t get sick (and won’t spread the disease any further). In this way, the spread of infectious diseases is kept under control. Depending how contagious an infection is, usually 70% to 90% of a population needs immunity to achieve herd immunity.

So let’s do some really quick math.

Let’s assume that the study conducted in L.A. County is representative of the nation as a whole and that approximately 4 percent of all Americans have now developed antibodies.

And let’s also assume that herd immunity for COVID-19 will be achieved when 80 percent of the total population has developed antibodies.

If 47,000 Americans have died at the current 4 percent level of exposure, that means that we could potentially be looking at an overall death toll of 940,000 once we hit an 80 percent exposure level.

Does anyone in the “nothingburger” crowd want to try to claim that 940,000 dead Americans is not a big deal?

I keep hearing people say that this virus “is just like the flu”, and that is absolutely absurd…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at the End of the American Dream blog.

Yakima Herald: Yakima Has Highest Rate of Covid-19 in WA

From the Yakima Herald, Yakima County has highest rate of COVID-19 cases in Washington, double the state rate:

Yakima County has the highest rate of COVID-19 infections in the state by a significant amount, and is double the state average, according to state Department of Health data.

The county had a rate of 337 cases per 100,000 people, according to the latest state data, accounting for the 840 Yakima County cases recorded by the state as of midnight on Monday.

That’s significantly higher than the next highest county rate in the state, Snohomish County, which has 274 cases per 100,000 people. It’s double the state rate of 168 confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people.

Yakima County also has the second-highest rate of testing for COVID-19 in the state after Snohomish County, according to Yakima Health District spokeswoman Lilian Bravo.

As of Tuesday evening, Yakima County had 886 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 38 deaths, according to the Yakima Health District. Twenty-five people were hospitalized with the respiratory virus. The health district did not provide updated numbers Wednesday due to technical difficulties.

Map released

On Tuesday, the health district released a map showing the breakdown of confirmed COVID-19 cases among residents in each city and town in Yakima County.

The health district map shows where community members infected with the virus live, not where they contracted the virus, said Bravo. Community members can contract the virus from anywhere in the community, she said — not just areas with higher rates of residents with confirmed cases.

The health district mapping is based on COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population, not actual case numbers in each town or city. Cases in long-term care facilities, which account for about a third of cases in the county, were not included in the map to prevent the data from being skewed. P.O. Box addresses were also excluded.

High densities of cases can be seen in parts of Yakima, Sunnyside, Toppenish, Wapato and Tieton, among others.

The high case rate in the county compared to elsewhere in the state can be attributed to outbreaks in long-term care facilities, as well as the high proportion of essential workers in Yakima County, Bravo said.

Cases at seven Yakima County long-term care facilities make up 25% of the county’s total cases.

Essential workers

About 72,700 of 115,000 Yakima County jobs, or 63%, are in essential industries like agriculture, health care and wholesale trade, according to job figures from the first quarter of 2018 provided by the Yakima County Development Association.

This compares to 54% statewide.

“Context is that over 60% of jobs are still considered essential in Yakima, so we’re not as shut down as some areas in the state,” Bravo said. “Having more individuals still working, not necessarily always being able to work from home, having to show up to work — that’s going to put them at a higher risk of infection.”

Yakima Health District map of infection rates

NY Times: Official Counts Understate the US Coronavirus Death Toll

From the New York Times, Official Counts Understate the US Coronavirus Death Toll

A coroner in Indiana wanted to know if the coronavirus had killed a man in early March, but said that her health department denied a test. Paramedics in New York City say that many patients who died at home were never tested for the coronavirus, even if they showed telltale signs of infection.

In Virginia, a funeral director prepared the remains of three people after health workers cautioned her that they each had tested positive for the coronavirus. But only one of the three had the virus noted on the death certificate.

Across the United States, even as coronavirus deaths are being recorded in terrifying numbers — many hundreds each day — the true death toll is likely much higher.

More than 9,400 people with the coronavirus have been reported to have died in this country as of this weekend, but hospital officials, doctors, public health experts and medical examiners say that official counts have failed to capture the true number of Americans dying in this pandemic. The undercount is a result of inconsistent protocols, limited resources and a patchwork of decision making from one state or county to the next.

In many rural areas, coroners say they don’t have the tests they need to detect the disease. Doctors now believe that some deaths in February and early March, before the coronavirus reached epidemic levels in the United States, were likely misidentified as influenza or only described as pneumonia.

With no uniform system for reporting coronavirus-related deaths in the United States, and a continued shortage of tests, some states and counties have improvised, obfuscated and, at times, backtracked in counting the dead.

“We definitely think there are deaths that we have not accounted for,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, which studies global health threats and is closely tracking the coronavirus pandemic.

Late last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance for how to certify coronavirus deaths, underscoring the need for uniformity and reinforcing the sense by health care workers and others that deaths have not been consistently tracked. In its guidance, the C.D.C. instructed officials to report deaths where the patient has tested positive or, in an absence of testing, “if the circumstances are compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty.”…

Click here to read the entire article at NY Times.

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

From KIMA news,

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

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

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

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

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

End of American Dream Blog: Food Distribution System Breaks Down

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what can you do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But now it is upon us.

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

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

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

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

Related:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alfred Lotka

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If testing is not available, the three criteria are:

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

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

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

Pneumonia (circled)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is a list of supplies in critical shortage:

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

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

Here are the numbers of supplies given:

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

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

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

Reason: Stop Looking for ‘Leadership’ During the COVID-19 Outbreak

JD Tuccille at Reason has some well pointed words about leadership during the current pandemic – Stop Looking for ‘Leadership’ During the COVID-19 Outbreak

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., pundits and opposition politicians pounded President Trump for displaying a “lack of leadership” in response to the deadly virus. And it’s true that, as always, the president was prone to minimizing inconvenient developments, bristling at critics, and contradicting members of his own team. Without a strong, focused figure in the White House (maybe somebody less deplorable?), we can’t possibly pull through this crisis, the opponents suggested. But that’s ridiculous; anybody making their responses to events contingent on political office not being held by narcissistic ass-clowns is putting their fate in the hands of circumstances they can’t control. They’re making a false virtue of dependency.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t listen to people who have expertise. Epidemiologists shared widely reported warnings in January of “the spread of 2019-nCov within and outside mainland China.”

“The more we learn about it, the greater the possibility is that transmission will not be able to be controlled with public health measures,” Toronto-based Allison McGeer, an infectious disease specialist, cautioned at roughly the same time.

Even China’s awful political rulers, who muzzled medical whistleblowers after they warned of the disease (there’s leadership!), admitted by the end of the month that the situation was out of control.

Just weeks later, the World Health Organization, as clumsy and prone to stroking authoritarian regimes as it is, said the virus had “pandemic potential,” while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of “severe” disruptions to American life from “community spread” of the new virus.

Anybody paying attention had the opportunity to get ready for what was comingif they were allowed to do so by our fearless leaders.

It’s worth noting that, when political officials act, their most positive efforts come from getting out of the waythat is, by undoing the “leadership” they demonstrated on earlier matters.

President Trump announced “compassionate use” easing of restrictions on patients’ use of drugs that don’t yet have FDA approval for treating COVID-19.

Congress extended liability protection for makers of protective N95 face masks so that hospitals can directly purchase equipment that isn’t specifically approved for medical purposes under cumbersome FDA rules.

Eased regulation enforcement, announced by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), means the government won’t take action against health insurers who modify their catastrophic plans to cover COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment for their customers.

Licensed physicians can also now practice across state lines, under CMS waivers that ease a host of other rules that bind the practice of medicine in red tape. The feds played catch-up on that one: states including Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington had already moved to ease restrictive licensing of medical providers before the feds jumped on the issue.

Even the Transportation Security Administration is joining in, modifying its insistence that doom is found in any liquid container of more than 3.4 ounce capacity so that travelers can carry 12-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer on airplanes.

“The coronavirus is forcing authorities to admit many of their regulations are unnecessary,” Reason‘s Nick Gillespie noted…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Reason.com

Rep. Bill Jenkin – COVID-19 Information and Resources

The following coronavirus information comes from the office of Representative Bill Jenkin.

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We are facing uncertain times. The shadow of COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to threaten our health, lives, economy, and overall finances.

The governor has signed into the law the bill we passed at the conclusion of the 2020 session providing $200 million in emergency funds to immediately equip local and state agencies with funding to help in their response efforts.

I want to ensure you, your families, and your businesses have the most up-to-date information and resources relating to this virus. Below, you’ll find important information and resources to keep you informed and hopefully answer some questions I’m sure you have.

The House Republican Caucus has created a website with local, state, and national resources. Our communications staff keeps this updated daily. It’s another great source for you. I encourage you to bookmark this website.

For other daily resources and the latest headlines, I encourage you to subscribe to my caucus’ daily morning headlines – known as the Capitol Buzz. You can do so by clicking here. I also encourage you to follow our news aggregator The Ledger. You can bookmark the site by clicking here.

If there’s anything I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at (509) 492-4648. You can also email me at Bill.Jenkin@leg.wa.gov. My Legislative Assistant, Marge, is also here to assist you with whatever you need. You can email her at Marge.Plumage@leg.wa.gov. I encourage you to reach out. We’re here for you.

I promise, together we’ll get through these uncertain and challenging times.

Sincerely,

Bill

Coronavirus | Information and Resources

Information for you and your family

Recent announcements and news releases from the Governor’s Office and Department of Health

Information for parents from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

Information for employers and employees

Governor’s Office | Partial list of resources to support economic retention and recovery related to COVID-19:

Employment Security Department:

U.S. Small Business Administration:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Department of Labor:

Department of Financial Institutions:

  • Financial Resources for Washington Residents Impacted by COVID-19
    • Accessing Your Financial Institution.
    • Unemployment Help.
    • Trouble Paying Credit Cards.
    • Trouble Paying Your Mortgage.
    • Trouble Paying Rent.
    • Student Loans Deferment.
    • Short Term and Emergency Loans.
    • Paying Utilities.
    • Insurance Issues.
    • Avoiding Scams.
    • At Home Financial Education Resources for Students.
    • Additional Resources.

Department of Labor & Industries:

  • Workers’ Compensation Coverage and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Common Questions
    • Can COVID-19 ever be allowed as a work-related condition?
    • When to file a claim.
    • When will a claim likely be denied?
    • How can I file a COVID-19 claim?
    • Filing a worker’s compensation claim: Exposure vs. contraction of COVID-19
    • Quarantine.
    • Covered treatment and post-exposure care.
    • Additional information on COVID-19.

Office of the Insurance Commissioner:

  • Coronavirus
    • Health insurance.
    • For insurers and medical providers.
    • Travel insurance.
    • Other types of insurance

It’s an honor to serve you.

Sincerely,

Bill Jenkin

Organic Prepper: How to Help Your Community Be Better Prepared

Kara Stiff at The Organic Prepper has written How to Help Your Community Be Better Prepared for Covid-19 (and Future Emergencies). It’s worth your time to read.

…Some people can’t get their doctors to prescribe a reasonable stockpile of essential medications, or they need regular access to a hospital for dialysis or some other life-saving service. Some don’t have an extra dollar to spend on food for later because they can’t cover food for today. Others can’t stay home even when they’re contagious because they’ll lose their job. And some are suffering from depression or other mental states that make it literally impossible to think about the future, much less plan for it.

Some of these have been issues for me in the past, and I’m just lucky those periods of my life were short. There are millions of people who live there permanently.

Systemic and personal barriers to other people’s preparedness affect me personally, even though my family is in pretty good shape. We live out in the country but we’re still surrounded by neighbors, and our fortunes will rise and fall with theirs. My family can only be as prepared as our neighborhood, our county, our state. Which is to say, not very prepared at all.

How I’m working on community preparedness

So instead of further addressing our personal preparedness with diminishing returns, I’m working on community preparedness. I’m not an elected official or a leader, just a private citizen, so the things I’m doing are friendly and neighborly things.

Before we got our little cold I did my friend’s monthly livestock feed run for her, saving her a day in the car so she can rest up and take care of things at home. Then, I took my elderly neighbors some extra eggs. I haven’t seen them in a while, and it’s to both of our advantages if they remember who I am. I reintroduced myself to my neighbor who just moved in, so he remembers who I am, too.

Of course, it’s safest to live in a tight network of preparedness-minded people with diverse and complementary skills who unconditionally support each other. But how many of us are actually achieving that right now?

It’s difficult to build and maintain that sort of situation in a nation where most people aren’t interested, and people are always moving. Some of my neighbors form a pretty good support group, but I also have neighbors I’m not close with. Knowing their names and faces is far better than not knowing.

Another thing I’m doing is giving extra money to my local food bank. In these times when all the headlines scream that unemployment is low and the economy is hearty, about 15% of my county is already leaning on the food bank, including lots of elderly people and families with small children. These are the people who can least afford a health problem or a wider financial disruption, and it’s ultimately better for me if they have access to the resources to stock up.

The greater the proportion of the population who can meet some of their needs in any emergency, be it a virus, a weather event or just a personal job loss, the more likely it is that any forthcoming disaster assistance can cover the remaining needs. More needs met equals less unrest (certainly not none, but less) and less unrest equals my family being safer (certainly not safe, but safer).

It’s easy to feel that because I’m all set, all those grasshoppers who won’t see to their own needs can suffer and it doesn’t affect me. But it isn’t true. I am safest when everyone is safest.

This week I’m reaching out gently to friends and family, especially those who are vulnerable because of asthma, pregnancy, age or other preexisting conditions. Because my anxiety about my own family is relatively low, I can speak to them in encouraging, soothing, practical ways, sharing information and urging them to get some extra food so they have the option to stay home, hopefully without stressing them out too much. A few people actually contacted me, and I was able to better answer their questions and listen to their feelings because I’m not panicking myself. They weren’t interested last week when I mentioned the virus offhandedly, but this week, they are.

People become receptive to preparedness on their own timelines.

You might have found in your personal conversations that people are uninterested or even scornful about your preparedness ideas. I’ve certainly found that. My dad was polite but not too excited about my thoughts during last winter’s ice storm. Now he’s been following the Covid-19 news, and all of a sudden he wants to talk more in-depth about water catchment, food storage, and communication if the cell service is ever disrupted.

His change of mind just goes to show that people have to become receptive all on their own. In my experience, all we ordinary private citizens can do is try to gently plant a seed of interest in preparedness topics, and then be there to water it when the circumstances are right. For a lot of previously uninterested people, those circumstances are right now, and they might be looking around for somebody to learn from. Groups you’re already a part of (such as clubs or churches) may also be more receptive now that they used to be.

I’m not suggesting giving them a guided tour of your storage, or anything else that compromises your own security, but something as simple as speaking quietly to group leaders, assisting them to support others…

Click here to continue reading at The Organic Prepper.

Reminder to Check on Vulnerable Neighbors

There have been some stories shared on social media of people being carefully approached by strangers who are in the high-risk categories for COVID-19 (older adults and people with heart disease, diabetes or lung disease) and asked for help with shopping or other resources, because the strangers are afraid to expose themselves by going into crowded stores themselves. Sometimes they are being given cash and a shopping list, which exposes these high-risk people to both theft and then not having supplies. If you have neighbors whom you know are in a high risk group, it is a good idea to contact them (ideally via a remote method that doesn’t expose them to anything you may be carrying) and ask if you can assist them with any preparations. You could also print them an OK/HELP sign so that they can notify neighbors if they need assistance, and the people for whom they have phone numbers aren’t able to respond to help.

Be mindful that you still need to practice good hygiene to prevent infection in either direction when passing off goods or payment.

AYWtGS: Handling Quarantine with Kids

Karen at A Year Without the Grocery Store has an article up – Got Kids? How Do You Handle a Coronavirus Quarantine With Them? – with some suggestions on handling quarantine without going crazy.

We all love our children.  But despite that love, want to see parents cringe quickly?  Tell them that they are going to be stuck inside with their children for three months or more.  More than that, they cannot leave their home.

That thought in itself is incredibly overwhelming!  Add to it, getting ready to cut yourselves off from the world, it’s enough to devastate any parent.  How do you handle being cooped up with your kids for months on end?  Don’t stress, there are answers that don’t include 24/7 TV.

Let me start by saying, I’m a mom to five kids ages 8-17.  I don’t take the notion of being stuck inside my home for months with my kids lightly.  While younger kids will have an easier time staying home, older kids are going to feel the isolation much more.

So how do we handle a quarantine with kids?

When I was pregnant with my second set of twins, I was in the hospital every week for a non-stress test.  I had a friend who was pregnant at the same time.  She was hospitalized with placenta previa.  She wasn’t just hospitalized for a week or two.  No, she was hospitalized for more than TWELVE weeks.  And during that time, she was mostly confined to half of a small room.

How in the world did she keep herself sane being remanded to that small room for so long?  Some of her tips and tricks will work for us as we talk about how we’re going to help our kids (and ourselves) through what could be a long quarantine.

(1) Start Your Day Off Healthy

Make sure that you are starting your day off with a multi-vitamin, vitamin C, and a probiotic.  I would also suggest that you spend time in God’s word and prayer at the beginning of your day.  We love to sing together as a family, and this would be a good time to do that as well.

(2) Make sure your kids are learning.

Whether you homeschool or not, make sure that your kids are still learning.   Even if you send your kids to school, make sure that they are bringing their school books home with them as you get closer to keeping them home from school in a quarantine.   Or you could put together a school kit so that you will always have items to help your children learn if they can’t go to school.

For me, it’s really simple.  I have three children still in school.  And since we homeschool, they will all continue doing their school just like normal.  That will go a HUGE way toward helping things still feel normal.

What about older kids who have graduated and are working while still living at home?  Make sure that you have conversations with them now about when you are going to tell them that they can’t continue working for a while.  Have them talk to their employers NOW to manage expectations.

These older children should still be learning!  As I was going through totes today taking stock of everything for our quarantine, I found suture needles and other implements for doing stitches and practice skin.  Find a YouTube video on practice suturing and have them learn how to do sutures.  Or have you or your kids ever made bread or noodles from scratch?  Why not use some of that time to learn how to do a new skill?

(3) Make sure that you and your kids are moving daily.

If you have little kids, it’s obvious why they should do physical activity every day.  But what about older kids who aren’t bouncing off the walls?  Why should they (and you) exercise daily?

Studies have shown that mice were divided into three groups and all infected with the flu.  One group was sedentary.  One group jogged on a wheel for 20-30 minutes (modest activity for mice), and another group of mice was kept on a wheel for 2 1/2 – 3 hours.  Fifty percent of the sedentary group died.  SEVENTY percent of the mice who ran for 2 1/2-3 hours died!  Only 12 percent of the mice who were kept on the wheel for 20-30 minutes died.

Even if you aren’t going to expose yourself to the virus, keeping your body moving a modest amount can help your body better handle whatever is thrown at it.

Now, not everyone has a treadmill or a stationary bike, I get that.  But do you have Amazon Prime?  You can learn (or practice) yoga with your kids using this free video.  Don’t like yoga?  Here’s an exercise video called “Marching Low Impact.”  Or buy a digital copy of “Sweating to the Oldies” and sweat (and laugh and laugh) with your kids.

(4)  Play at least one game a day with your kids. 

This is a great time to spend time playing some of those games that you don’t play regularly either because you haven’t taken the time to learn them or because they take a little more time to play.

Do you have two decks of cards?  All you need is a Hoyle Card book, and you’ll have hours of fun at your hands.

Another thing that might fall into this category is putting together puzzles.

(5) Take a skill that you have to the next level.

Do you have a skill that you enjoy – like knitting?  Take it to the next level.  Maybe you could learn how to do cables or knit in multiple colors.  I’ve learned a bit about spinning, but don’t take a lot of time to actually practice it.  This would be the perfect time to take that skill to the next level.

How Do You Handle a Quarantine with Kids?(6) Schedule time for kids to talk with their friends using Facetime or Skype.

Only one of our kids has a cell phone.  And her cell phone is one for which we purchase minutes.  That means that calls aren’t a regular part of our kids lives.  Even if your kids have cell phones, talking with friends makes so much more of an impact when they can see them.

What if your kids could ‘virtually’ get together with their friends regularly during a quarantine?  They would be able share stories of what’s going on, what they are learning, and the time would pass so much faster.

(7) Enjoy movies and TV shows in moderation.

There are few things that make me feel more claustrophobic than sitting in front of a screen watching mindless TV too long.  I will often feel the need to get up and do something when I’ve got an Amazon or Netflix show going too much.  But that being said, sometimes, we just need to let our minds go to a more fun place and a movie or a TV show can do that for us.

(8) Most Importantly set a routine for your days.  How Do You Handle a Quarantine with Kids?

I say this last because I wanted to give you a lot of options for filling a routine.  Why do you need a routine?

When I was pregnant with my second set of twins, I was in the hospital on a weekly basis for non-stress tests.  I had a friend who was pregnant at the same time, but she was admitted to the hospital because of placenta previa and was at high risk for hemorrhaging.

The thing is that she wasn’t just in the hospital for one or two weeks, she was in the hospital for TWELVE weeks!  She wasn’t just confined to the limits of the hospital.  She was almost exclusively confined to her small hospital room, which she had to share with another person from time to time.

How did she keep from going crazy while she was confined to such a small space?!?

The most important thing that she did (by her own admission) was to set a routine for her day.  She would start it with time in God’s word and prayer.  Then she would spend around two hours scrapbooking.  After that, she would watch TV for about two hours.  Then she would work on a crocheting something for an hour or two.  Her kids and her husband would come and visit her for a couple of hours later in the day.  She would spend some time reading after that.  Then she would spend some time coloring in a coloring book.

Her routine kept her from going completely stir crazy.  So I want you to take 10-15 minutes and using activities from above or others that you come up with on your own to set a schedule for yourself and your children so that you have a routine for when you all are quarantined.

Will the routine change once you get into your quarantine?  Absolutely!  Some things will work.  Some things won’t work as you envisioned them, but you’ll be giving yourself a framework for your family.  Change it around, turn it on its head if need be.  But make sure that you actually have a routine so that everyone doesn’t go completely crazy!

What About You?

What other ideas do you have on how to keep your kids from going crazy during a quarantine?  How long do you anticipate that your family will need to be in quarantine?  Are you concerned about missing any really big events because of the quarantine?  I’d love to hear!  Share with us in the comments so that we can all be better prepared.

Together lets Love, Learn, Practice, and Overcome!

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Dr. Gabriel Cousens’ COVID-19 Wuhan Coronavirus Protection and Prevention

The information below from Dr. Gabriel Cousens was going to presented as part of a health/essential oils presentation during the general assembly meeting tonight (which has been cancelled):

COVID-19 Wuhan Coronavirus
March 10th, 2020 UPDATE
Protection & Prevention
The COVID-19 Coronavirus question, on one level, is getting more complicated, as a certain amount of disinformation contradicting the basic data is emerging. Some say it’s an internet hoax, others say it’s not that serious, and others are saying it needs to be taken seriously. Even though some are saying, “No problem – It’s a minor threat”, it would be a major mistake not to take the proper hygiene and anti-viral nutritional protocol precautions and start the immune system building protocol as outlined in my Coronavirus Protection Protocol. There’s an old Sufi saying, “Love everybody (hoax or not), but tie up your camel (follow the prevention protocol).” This means we must act preventatively. My position as a former lieutenant commander in the Public Health Service is to give advice that will at least make people healthier (if I’m wrong) and save lives (if I’m right).
The present evidence strongly suggests that although there is some controversy, COVID-19 is a laboratory-made weaponized bio-terror virus. This virus is a manmade chimera, which is not actually normally found in nature.
It also turns out that the nations with the most advanced 5G rollouts also have the highest incidence of COVID-19 cases and mortality. There is clear statistical evidence of these 5G-exposed populations have the highest infection rates and death rates. It has been observed that those nations with the most powerful 5G networks are having the biggest outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus to date. It is well-known that 5G not only is associated with higher rates of depression, paranoia, and anxiety, but also higher rates of weakened immunity, cancer, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes. There are over 10,000 studies showing that 4G is associated with decreased immune system function and chronic disease. Researchers are also claiming that 5G is at least 100 times more potent than 4G, so it’s no surprise that 5G would be associated with higher morbidity, vulnerability, and mortality from this weaponized coronavirus, COVID-19. Based on the available science, it’s reasonable to theorize that 5G could specifically activate the pathological potentialities of the virus. Although this is only probable speculation and has not been totally proven, it still brings us back to prevention with an additional point – the importance of fighting against 5G wherever they threaten to roll it out, for our sakes and the sake of humanity. It took 30 years to absolutely prove smoking causes cancer; we cannot afford to wait that long.
Research from the well-respected Lancet journal out of England shows that people should be quarantined at least 24 days, while others are saying it should be up to 1 month before being released back into the public area. Whether it is by ignorance or by malefic choice, we’re releasing people into the public after only 14 days of quarantine, if they are quarantined at all. It’s not clear who’s making these unscientific decisions but brings us back to the fact that it is our responsibility to take care of ourselves. The estimates are that if we really take care of ourselves, and/or with hospital treatment, the average fatality rate is between 2% to 3.4% depending on age and degree of wellness. Others, who have direct contact with Chinese sources are claiming it may be 10 times higher. A statement made by Anthony Fauci, MD, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in an editorial published on 2/28/20 in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggested that COVID-19’s mortality rate is “considerably less than 1%”. The worst mortality rates, which increase with age and lack of proper health and hygiene, could be 15-18% fatality rate if over 70 years old; others say this approximate 15% mortality rate is for those over 80 years old; and still others say these higher rates apply to those as young as 60. Other scientific estimates of the mortality rate are: 8% for ages 70-79 and 3.6% for those ages 60-69. Mortality rates seem to increase with age. Kids under 10 seem to be quite safe with a projected fatality rate of .04%. The bottom line, again, is that we have the ability to protect ourselves from this, and there’s no need to go into fear, but we do need to pay attention.
As the statistics unfold, the mortality rate for COVID-19 appears to be roughly 30 times greater than the flu, although the rate of spread for the flu virus is greater. Marc Lipsitch, a Harvard epidemiology professor, has stated, “I think the likely outcome is that it will ultimately not be containable.” He predicts that at least 40-70% of the US population will contract the virus. Most medical experts believe that while it can’t be contained that 98% of the population will do ok. COVID-19 is a lower respiratory illness, as opposed to the cold, which generally effects the upper respiratory system.
As of March 10th, 2020, an estimated 110,000 people worldwide have been affected by COVID-19, but others estimate at least 300,000 people in China alone have been infected. Of those infected, 81% have a mild infection, 14% have a moderate infection, and 5% become critical and need hospitalization. Two-thirds of those who have died are men. 80% are older than 60 years, and 75% had underlying chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
In an attempt to gain some perspective, current statistics show that on a single day, such as on February 10th, 2020, 108 people in China died from COVID-19. Even if the numbers are tenfold higher for COVID-19, it brings it to 1,080 people dying in a day, which is still less than all other causes of death per day, except suicide.
·     1,660 Americans died of cancer.
·     2,150 Americans died from heart attacks.
·     123 Americans died from suicide.
·     3,287 Americans died from car accidents.
·     8,500 children around the world starved to death.
Obviously, the deaths per day from COVID-19 was significantly lower than other causes of death for that day. Also, the 1918 influenza pandemic had a mortality rate of around 5%, but enormous impact because it was highly contagious. The idea, of course, it not to become a statistic for any of these causes.
Compared to other lethal viruses, COVID-19 also has a lower mortality rate at this state of the pandemic. For example, according to WHO, the mortality rate for SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is approximately 10% and for MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), it is 30%. COVID-19’s mortality rate may be as low as 1%, but is probably, based on current statistics, at least 2-3.4%. As you can see, relatively speaking, on a global level, COVID-19 has a lower mortality rate than these other major viral infection threats, but generally a higher infectivity rate than all but the H1N1 epidemic of 2009/2010. The last SARS outbreak had more fatalities than the current COVID-19 currently has. Currently 110 countries have reported COVID-19 infections; second to the H1N1 outbreaks. In general, it seems, at this point, that the COVID-19 virus is less deadly than MERS or SARS, but neither have captured the headline attention that COVID-19 has received.

Continue reading “Dr. Gabriel Cousens’ COVID-19 Wuhan Coronavirus Protection and Prevention”