Survivopedia: Sudden Freezes and the Cascading Problems they Cause

Richardson, Texas, city worker Kaleb Love breaks ice on a frozen fountain on Feb. 16. (LM Otero / Associated Press)

Bill White at Survivopedia talks about Sudden Freezes: The Cascading Problems they Cause while discussing the recent Texas storm/freeze.

The arctic blast that blanketed the United States has hit Texas particularly hard. Being a warm state, Texas doesn’t see much cold weather.

Yet this particular cold front has broken all records, with below-freezing weather for five days in a row. That sudden cold spell has caused cascading problems, starting with power outages. Being a citizen of Texas, I had a front-row seat.

Power outages during extreme weather events are not uncommon. Our aging electrical grid is hit the hardest by any severe weather, from ice to wind. Power companies nationwide are well-versed in emergency repairs, trying to get the power back on for people. Even so, the incidence of major power outages has been on the increase for over a decade, with weather events being the leading cause of those outages.

In this particular freeze, roughly 5.4 million people lost power, with some 4.3 million of those people being in Texas, mostly in the major population centers. But why was the Lone Star state hit so hard? People are hard at work, finger-pointing, but there’s nothing to point fingers at in reality.

When systems are designed, and plans are made, risk factors are taken into account. Those risk factors drive a wide range of design decisions, such as what temperatures equipment has to be designed to work in. That is a necessary cost containment method. Building any particular capacity for resilience into a system or structure adds cost, whether it can withstand wind, earthquake, or cold. So, extremes that are unlikely to happen are ignored, making it so that the farther any particular event falls outside the design envelope, the greater the possibility that it will cause problems.

In this case, the weather that the polar vortex brought to Texas was a once-in-a-century event. The electrical infrastructure wasn’t designed for it, leading to a large number of cascading failures. Interestingly, the failures did cascade, showing us what might happen in an even bigger grid-related disaster. Let’s follow this through.

Rough Order of Events 

To start with, Texas is leading the nation in wind power, with roughly 20% of all Texas electricity coming from wind. The decision was made to decommission some older, less environmentally friendly power plants to meet federal regulations.

At the same time this trend towards wind power was going on, the board of ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) decided to reduce the amount of energy reserve capacity in the state, as part of the effort to increase the percentage of renewable energy. The reasoning was that the state could always buy energy from the surrounding states, should there be a need for extra.

In addition to moving more towards wind energy, the other significant change in the Texas grid was a vast increase of natural gas power plants. Now, roughly 48% of the state’s power comes from those plants, which are preferred because they are extremely clean burning.

Before the cold front hit, many power generating plants were pulled offline for maintenance. This is a regular occurrence, but the timing was unfortunate this time, as the lowering temperatures caused people to use more energy to heat their homes. The margin between capacity and consumption became razor-thin.

Then the cold hit, bringing freezing rain. One of the first casualties of the cold was wind turbines. The freezing rain built up on the wind turbines’ blades in West Texas, throwing those units out of balance. To avoid the destruction of the turbines, they switched off automatically. This happened to roughly half the total wind turbines, reducing the state’s total power production by 10%.

Wind turbines in colder climates are manufactured with built-in de-icing capability, much like airliners are. But this measure is not included in those installed in Texas because of the low likelihood of freezing on the turbines’ blades.

While this was going on, natural gas consumption increased as people tried to keep their homes warm. HVAC systems in Texas have a smaller heating capacity than those installed in homes farther north, as heating of any sort is rarely needed. So the furnaces in most homes were running 24/7 for at least the first four days. It was four days before mine turned off for the first time, which was only for about an hour.

This massive increase in natural gas use was coupled with freezing in the lines (yes, natural gas lines can freeze, both from water in the lines and from hydrates). This didn’t entirely block the lines, but it did restrict flow. That led to some natural gas power plants having a reduced output and others shutting down. This may have been exacerbated by instrumentation in power plants freezing up. Again, the instrumentation is not protected against extreme cold due to the rarity of that cold.

Early on in the crisis, ERCOT reacted to the entire Texas power grid’s potential loss in the usually accepted way of instituting rolling blackouts. This did not help some state areas where blackouts were already occurring, but it did prevent the entire grid from going down. If they had waited a few minutes more to initiate those rolling blackouts, the damage would have taken months to repair.

Somehow, the location of gas pumping stations and power plants was overlooked in instituting the rolling blackouts. So in some cases, the natural gas flow stopped due to the lack of electrical power. That, in turn, caused more natural gas power plants to shut down, increasing the problem. Those power plants take time to bring back online once they’ve shut down.

So, why didn’t ERCOT buy electricity from the surrounding states, as the plan called for? I haven’t seen anything definitive yet, but I would guess that since freezing cold was affecting the entire country, nobody had the excess capacity to buy from. Electric utilities were probably all producing at max, just trying to keep up with the increased need.

Up to this point, the cascading had only been in the electrical grid; but it didn’t stay there.

The next victim of all this was municipal water throughout the state. As with the power plants, water purification plants were not built to withstand several days of sub-freezing temperatures, not even in the northern part of the state.

Municipal water authorities were faced with two problems simultaneously: low to no electricity and freezing temperatures. By regulation, they must have backup power and redundant backup power to ensure that they can provide water when and if the power goes out.

But that didn’t help in the city I live in. When the water purification plant didn’t receive the power it needed, the generators kicked on automatically. But all four generators quickly shut down. They’re diesel generators, and I’m guessing the diesel fuel wasn’t adequately treated for the cold. Diesel is temperature-sensitive, and at about freezing temperatures, the paraffin in the diesel starts to solidify, making it cloudy. I wouldn’t be surprised if, when they pull the injectors, they find that they’re clogged with paraffin.

Water lines in Texas aren’t buried anywhere near as deep as they are in the northern states. It’s not unusual to find local building codes requiring water lines to be installed six feet below ground level in the far north, but they are generally two feet below the surface in Texas. So the extreme cold brought the frost line down to below the water lines, causing pipes to break across the state. Many homes, businesses, and commercial facilities had their water lines break and city distribution lines.

The city where I live had a 30,000 gallon per minute break, which took over four days to find. A building belonging to our neighborhood hospital had its main water inlet break, spilling hundreds of gallons of water on the ground before I found it (I just happened to be the first one to see it). The pipes in a home I’m trying to buy froze and broke, even though the faucets were left on at a trickle.

Water across the state was running at a trickle or less. The entire state instituted a water boil order because the water pressure was low enough. They couldn’t be sure that nothing was leaking into the lines. Grocery stores and other outlets sold out of water on the second day.

Buying water probably brought on the next phase of the cascade, as grocery stores emptied, just like they did in the early days of the COVID Pandemic. Some stores had lines going around the block, with people waiting in the cold to get in as social distancing rules limited the number of shoppers allowed in the stores. Gas stations hung out signs saying they were out of gas.

The entire state went from normal to no power, no water, and no food in days. If this had been a long-term event, such as would have happened had ERCOT not instituted rolling blackouts, then the results would have been catastrophic.

Time for the Blame Game 

As typically happens in situations like this, it took a lot less time for the blame game to start than it did for those working on the problem, even to begin implementing solutions. Some were pointing fingers for political reasons, while others were doing so because they wanted someone to blame for their problems. In either case, the people who were doing the blaming would have been better served using all that hot air to heat their homes.

In reality, the only one to point fingers at is the weather. We haven’t had a freeze like this in Texas in the last 100 years. So it’s not surprising that our infrastructure isn’t designed to withstand it. Spending the money to build that into our systems would be about as useful as buying snowplows, something else we don’t have in Texas.

The people who are complaining to our government and ERCOT forget that it’s expensive to design and build systems hardened against any possible disaster. The engineers designing these systems and the companies that own them have to take financial practicalities into account. It’s a tricky balancing act between avoiding the cost of lost service and spending too much money on building capacities that may never be used. Invariably, it’s a no-win game.

We Americans have gotten spoiled. We are so accustomed to everything being there that our first reaction is to complain when things don’t work the way we think they should. But the truth of the matter is, they never will, not entirely. There will always be things that happen because we can’t effectively plan for every possible contingency.

Prepare for Cascading Events 

As a case study, this has been incredibly useful. One thing it has shown exceptionally clearly is how events cascade, turning one problem into several. The same thing happened in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, although those were mainly supply-related. Still, just knowing how they can and will cascade in a crisis helps us with our planning and preparation.

But this isn’t just limited to major events. Natural disasters can cause cascading failures as well. Hurricanes tend to bring power outages and water shortages as well. At the same time, price gouging exists because there’s generally a shortage of supplies. Just look at Puerto Rico and what happened there after the double-whammy of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

It seems eminently clear at this point that any major event is going to come complete with these cascading effects. Therefore, we must plan for them to happen, not allowing ourselves to isolate any disaster as only one-dimensional.

Those who are using a TEOTWAWKI event, such as an EMP, as the basic outline for their preps are doing it right. While we may never see that EMP, we can expect to see multiple things go wrong simultaneously. Building our prepping plans and stockpiles to take multiple outages at the same time only makes sense.

Survivopedia: Why You Need to Use Thistle for Food and Medicine

Bob Rodgers at Survivopedia has an article on Why You Need to Use Thistle for Food and Medicine. We had a pretty bad outbreak of Canada Thistle (which is a deemed noxious weed in Washington state) a few years ago in our garden. At the time I didn’t even think to look for any information on edibility or medicinal use. Who knew? Different types of thistle can have different uses, see Canada Thistle/Creeping Thistle (cirsium arvense) vs Common Thistle (cirsium vulgare). Milk thistle (silybum marianum) is whole different species, but looks similar. Blessed thistle (Cnicus benedictus) is yet another species, but also with medicinal uses.

The thistle gained a bad reputation when people interacted with its prickles and when it made its way onto their properties.

Livestock owners hate it and see it only as an invasive plant, especially since few domestic animals will feed on it. Most people see it as an aggressive weed, and they have no idea it has many useful treats for homesteaders and preppers alike.

Truth be told, once the plant makes its way into an unused field, it will be quite hard to get rid of it. The thistle is an invasive species that spreads rapidly in disturbed soil and compete with cash and food crops for space, water, and nutrients in the soil. Thistle can be found almost everywhere, and they thrive when growth and reproduction conditions are favorable.


Singularly or in patches, the plant prefers dry rocky or moist sandy soils of forest clearings, swamps, pastures, meadows, open fields, roadsides, railway roadbeds, and you will also find it along the banks of streams and rivers.

In mountainous regions, the thistle can be found in open sunny slopes or in the cracks of steep cliffs. The plant has a worldwide range of distribution from North America (Canada and Mexico included) to Europe and well into the mainland of Asia. It thrives in predominantly temperate to subtropical climatic regions.

The thistle’s forgotten history

Contrary to popular beliefs, the plant didn’t always have such a bad reputation. In ancient times, it was a revered plant, and it was sacred to those believing in mythology. It was considered the plant of Thor, the god of lighting, and people often wore sprays of thistle to protect them from lighting, especially during farming times.

This prickly plant has some fame as the national flower of Scotland. It was credited with saving the Scots in 1263 from an invasion by the fearsome Danish Norsemen. Ruthless hordes of fearless invaders landed upon the shores of Scotland to take the land by force.

Eager for battle, the Danes failed to prepare breastworks to protect their landing boats. Removing their footwear, they attempted a bold tactic of a night attack upon the unsuspecting, sleeping Scots.

The barefoot warriors encountered no problems until they accidentally discovered the prickly thistles growing in the open fields surrounding the encampments. Startled screams of pain and shock alerted the gallant defenders, and a great battle began. On that day, few Norsemen escaped vengeance as the invaders were driven back to the sea.

Regardless of its rich cultural history, the plant has usage in home remedies and self-help medicine. It gained popularity in the Dark Ages as a remedy for various infectious diseases. Thistles saved Emperor Charlemagne from defeat. The thistle’s roots were made into a healing medicine for his disease-plagued armies. Their good health helped to turn the tide of battle to his favor.

How to identify the plant

The thistle is an annual, biennial, or perennial herb. It’s perhaps one of the easiest plants to identify. Thistle has a fleshy taproot on horizontal or vertical root-stocks and numerous side roots. Most are spindle-shaped and may be swollen or filled with fibers. Roots are usually white or may be tinted the color of their soil matrix.

Thistle stems are straight, erect, and may be either branched or un-branched. They may grow up to six feet tall and be covered with white woolly hairs. Stems may have spines or be without. Cut stems may ooze a clear to whitish-yellow colored sap. The sap has a biting or bitter taste. Stems become hollow at maturity.

Leaves are basal, clustering around the stems. Leaves may or may not have leafstalks or petioles. Each basal leaf is 5 to 10 inches long, lanceolate or spear-shaped, and divided into deep lobes with coarse teeth. Teeth are armed with sharp, stiff spines. The edges of the leaves are wavy in appearance.

Stem leaves differ from basal leaves, which are smaller and base-clasping. The leaves alternate around the main stems and may be lobeless and spineless. Fluffs of wispy woolly hair may cover the leaves.

The flowering stems are usually covered with sharp spines, intermixed with the woolly hair. The top of these stems is a vase-like green cup covered with green leaf-like, spiny appendages or bracts.

Flower heads may be in clusters at the tops of flowering stems. The flowers come in a variety of colors ranging from white, pink, yellow, purple to rose-purple.

The fruits are big balls of fluffy white or grayish silk held in the erect cups. Numerous seeds or achenes are small, elliptically shaped, flat, and plumed at tips with seed hairs. Dissemination is by the wind.

Thistle as a food source

During primitive times and even those living in current, under-developed countries have learned how to use this plant to their advantage. Almost all parts, except for the spines, can be used for food. The plant can be quite useful in a survival or wilderness living scenario. Roots, stems, young leaves, flower buds, flower heads, and seeds can be eaten.

Historically, the plant was credited with saving lives during famines and times of scarcity. Even the early pioneers used it as food when they had to subsist off the land.

The roots of the plant can be eaten raw or cooked and are often used as a turnip substitute when preparing various dishes. Even more, the roots were often dried and grounded into flour that was used as an extender in soups or stews.

The raw roots were often roasted in an oven at low heat in order to extract the sugary syrup or molasses. Although it has a slightly bitter taste, it can be successfully used as a sugar substitute.

Roots were also boiled and peeled in order to be pickled in brine. In Armenia, the boiled roots are soaked in a cinnamon-flavored syrup to make a traditional sweet-meat used n wedding celebrations.

The peeled sterns are considered to be wilderness thirst-quenchers or nibbles by knowledgeable hikers and woodsmen. They are sweet and juicy and can satisfy your thirst until you can find a source of water. I’ve seen hikers remove the spines of the leaves using scissors and toss them in salads or cook them as vegetables.

Some are eating the leaves raw, but it takes a while to get used to the taste; some say it’s an acquired taste, and only the younger leaves should be used. From the same young leaves, you can make a stimulating tea. Such tea was often used in the wilderness as an emetic, and it helped treat mild food poisoning.

The flower buds and flower heads are edible as well, and they are often eaten like artichokes since it has a similar taste. For best results, it is recommended to steam the flower buds and flower heads before using them.

The dried flowers are used as rennet to curdle milk, the primary step in making butter, whey, yogurt, and soft cheese. Since the seeds of the plant are bitter, and you cannot eat them raw, it is recommended to roast the seeds and use them as a cereal substitute.

Thistle as medicine

Herbalists are well aware of the plant’s medicinal properties, and homeopathic medical practitioners state it has the following properties: astringent, cooling, sharp-tasting, diuretic, hemostatic, and anti-inflammatory.

Making a strong tea from the roots and drinking it regularly can stop the discomfort of dysentery, diarrhea, and intestinal flu.

A paste made from crushed roots can be applied as a poultice to infected sores, boils, earaches, and carbuncles. This was actually tested in several medical studies, and it showed good results.

The dried root bark is sometimes held in the mouth for gum sores, lip cankers, or infected tongue. Even more, you can make a dried root powder and use it as a styptic to stop traumatic bleeding in deep, open wounds. Such powder has been used to stop bleeding way before the era of the Roman Empire.

The root powder was often mixed with water and used as a douche to prevent uterine bleeding after childbirth. Making a tea from the same powder and drinking it can control hematuria (blood in the urine).

A dried root decoction can be used in the treatment of hematemesis (vomiting of blood), which is usually associated with a terminally ill patient or accidental ingestion of poison. It was used in the past also to ease the pain of acute appendicitis before surgical removal was done.

Making tea from the fresh young leaves of the thistle is recommended to treat urinary problems, kidney infections, and bladder complaints. Such tea can also be utilized as a wash to treat mild burns or infected areas of the skin.

Athletes in Ancient Greece used a paste made from crushed leaves to ease the muscle pains, neck cramps, and pain from bone fractures. It was effective upon compound or open fractures, where the bone has split the skin.

An early Greek method of treating leprous sores involved the thistle. The juice of mashed thistle leaves was mixed with vinegar and applied directly upon the infection. Treatment continued daily until the sores cleared up.

Science proves what people knew for centuries

This is not just folklore medicine, and modern research has incorporated the thistle leaf extracts into experimental medicine and has shown positive results in the treatment of inflammations, sclerosis, tumors, leprosy, and cancer. Purified extracts have been made into specific drugs in Europe as aids in the treatment of cancer and tumorous conditions.

An antimicrobial study of the thistle leaves shows definite beneficial properties. The active principle was extracted by acetone, alcohol, ether, benzene, or water. It showed a natural anti-germ ability by limiting and suppressing the growth of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and upon mycobacteria in cultured media.

These are the germs that have caused so much misery, disease, and death, suffered by mankind since antiquity. They can be found in the water we drink, sewage, and the soil.

The flowers and seeds of the plant have been used in medicine, too. Flower tea is useful as a wash for infectious sores caused by venereal diseases, specifically gonorrhea, and syphilis. An extract of the flowers is very effective upon yaws, a sexually transmitted tropical infection. A raw seed decoction boiled with milk is still in use in Europe to treat infant diarrhea.


This amazing plant has contributed to the lifestyle and to the livelihood of the native people who utilize it in their everyday living. In some areas of the world, the thistle is a scarce resource and is greatly sought after for its usefulness. The next time you see thistles, don’t think of how to get rid of the plants, but rather how you can use them to your advantage.

Survivopedia: The Beginner’s Guide To Essential Oils

From Survivopedia, The Beginner’s Guide To Essential Oils

Throughout history, people have used essential oils for a variety of applications.

In Ancient Egypt, they were used for religious ceremonies. The Greeks and Romans used them aromatically. And ever since, they’ve been integrated into society.

Today many people use essential oils daily, for several different purposes. Let’s take a quick look at what essential oils are, which ones are good for beginners, and how you can use them.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils come from plants. After harvesting, the plant material is distilled down, creating a pure compound. It’s very aromatic and powerful. These oils are then bottled, so you can store them for use.  They evaporate quickly, so always make sure your lids are on tight.

Want to make your own essential oils from herbs you grow? Check out this post for step-by-step directions.

Because essential oils are so concentrated, they need to be diluted before using. This means the tiny bottles you purchase end up lasting quite a while. You only use a few drops at a time.

Top 10 Essential Oils for Beginners

Name a plant, and you can probably find essential oil from it. There are so many types available. You can also mix your oils, to create combinations.

It’s best to start small. If you are new to essential oils, don’t feel like you must buy them all at once. Pick a couple you think you can get the most benefit from. Then slowly add to your collection.

Here are the top ten essential oils I recommend for beginners. These are the ones that are in my cupboard, and the ones I frequently use. I list the common name and the scientific name for each of them.

I also share a couple of benefits of each. This is not even close to being an inclusive list, just a quick guide to get you started.

Finally, you’ll find a link to one scientific study for each of the oils I recommend. You can dive into the research on your own and see just how beneficial essential oils can be.

1. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Peppermint is revitalizing! It helps improve exercise performance[1]. This essential oil has been shown to help with nerve pain, stomachaches, and bruising.

2. Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)

The sweet smell of orange is calming. Sweet orange essential oil is used to reduce anxiety[2], reduce inflammation, and provide antiseptic properties.

3. Lemon (Citrus limonum)

Lemon essential oil helps relieve stress[3]. It also supports the digestive system and is thought to improve circulation.

4. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)

This oil has a unique, almost woodsy scent. It’s very strong. Eucalyptus has been used as a natural antibiotic[4] throughout history. Many people use it for respiratory problems, and to relieve pain from arthritis.

5. Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

You can use tea tree oil to help treat head lice[5]. It’s also thought to fight bacteria and help relieve shock.

6. Lavender (Lavandola angustifolia)

One of the most popular essential oils, lavender has many therapeutic uses. It’s soothing and can help relieve stress.  It’s thought to help relieve migraines[6] and stabilize moods. Lavender also has antimicrobial properties.

7. Oregano (Origanum heracleoticum)

Oil of oregano is used to treat wounds[7]. It has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a good choice for skincare products. It also is an immune booster.

8Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)

Clary sage is a natural antimicrobial agent[8]. It can help lift the spirits and reduce stress. Many women use it to help with menstrual cramps.

9. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

You can use rosemary essential oil to boost your memory. It’s shown beneficial as part of a treatment plan for patients with Alzheimer’s[9]. Additionally, rosemary is thought to relieve pain and improve circulation.

10. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger helps relieve inflammation in the body. It helps alleviate nausea[10] and can be used to help digestion.

Where to Buy Essential Oils

There are different qualities of essential oils. You always want to read the ingredients before you purchase, and make sure you are happy with what’s in the bottle you’re purchasing. You don’t want any fillers or artificial oils added to them.

You can find decent essential oils on Amazon. There are several beginner packages that are a good place to start. I do recommend going with organic essential oils.

Alternatively, you can purchase from a direct sales company. There are several of those.

I’m not going to tell you which kind to buy. Find one you like and go with it. You can always change later.

How to Use Essential Oils

Once you have your essential oils, what can you do with them? Let me show you some of my favorite ways to use them.


Perhaps the easiest way to get some benefits from your essential oils is to simply unscrew the cap and breathe deeply. You can add a drop or two to a cotton ball and keep in your pocket. Then whenever you need a mental boost, you can pull it out and inhale.

Add to a Bath

You can add a few drops of essential oil to a warm bath.


Looking for a simple way to experience some benefits of essential oils? Pick up a diffuser and select an oil. Let the diffuser release the scent into the air and take a deep breath…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Survivopedia.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is Quarantine Coming?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what will this quarantine do for us?

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

Click here to read the entire article at Survivopedia.

Survivopedia: Sugar and Salt – Your Survival Allies

Chris Black has written an article about salt and sugar food storage over on Survivopedia – Why Salt And Sugar Are Your Best Survival Allies

Sugar and salt are among the most common and widely used household substances in North America.

Both sugar and salt are with us since at least 8,000 BC, as according to researchers, the sugarcane plant was first domesticated by the good people in Southeast Asia 10,000 years ago.

People can live without sugar all their lives, except from Americans of course, but salt is another story altogether. While our bodies can manufacture their own sugar from various foods rich in carbohydrates, like fruits and cereal (fruits also contain sugars by the way), salt, formerly known as sodium chloride, is an essential mineral, which is readily available in nature in its natural crystalline form, also known as rock salt.

Unlike sugar, which is a highly refined/processed food, making for the ultimate soluble carbohydrate, and not very good for one’s health, salt is an essential mineral for both humans and animal life in general. While plant life and animal meat (including milk) contain sodium in various quantities (not so much for plant life), if you’re a vegetarian, you may require extra salt added to your diet, because the human body cannot produce sodium chloride on its own, and the plant-based sodium intake may not be enough for your body to function properly.

The Good News about Sugar and Salt

They’re both non perishable substances, provided they’re stored properly…

Click here to read the entire article at Survivopedia.