Day 19: 2020 Pandemic. Protocols To Follow.

I’m a big fan of SOPs—standing operating procedures. These are ones I received from a reader, Fred, and I think they make sense

PROTOCOL WHEN RETURNING HOME

  1. When coming back home, try not to touch anything
  2. Take out your shoes
  3. Disinfect the legs of your pet, if you were taking it outside
  4. Take your clothes off, and store them in a washing bag. If possible, clean with water at 60ºC or higher.
  5. Leave purse, backpack, keys, etc. in a box at the entry of your home
  6. Take a shower. If you cannot, wash all your exposed areas
  7. Clean your cell phone and googles with soap and water, or alcohol
  8. Clean the surfaces of what you brought from outside with bleach before storing it (bleach to be diluted 20ml in 1 liter of water / 80ml in a gallon)
  9. Take your gloves off and wash your hands
  10. Remember that it is not possible to make a total disinfection, goal is to reduce risk.

PROTOCOL WHEN LIVING WITH PERSONS AT RISK

  1. Sleep in separate beds
  2. Use different bathrooms and clean with bleach
  3. Do not share toiletries and utensils
  4. Clean and disinfect high contact surfaces
  5. Wash clothes, linens and towels frequently
  6. Keep your distance, if possible in separate rooms
  7. Air the rooms frequently
  8. If fever 38º or higher and problem to breath, contact emergency services by phone
  9. No to break quarantine for 2 weeks. Each time you go out of your home restarts the counter.

PROTOCOL WHEN GOING OUT

  1. Wear long sleeves jacket
  2. Arrange you hair and eliminate earrings (you will touch your face less)
  3. If you have a mask, wear immediately before going out
  4. Try not to use public transport
  5. Try that your pet does not touch surfaces outside your home
  6. Bring Kleenex with you and use them to cover your fingers when touching surfaces
  7. Discard used Kleenex immediately
  8. If you cough or sneeze, do it in the inside of your elbow, not on your hands or the air
  9. Try to pay contactless. If using cash, wash your hands.
  10. Wash your hands immediately after touching anything outside home, either with soap and water or alcohol
  11. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE until having clean hands
  12. Maintain distance with other people

The above were translated but you get the gist. Pretty much follows what we do here.

Another thing based on my own recent surgery and talking to doctors—if someone gets sick and needs an ambulance, have all their medications in a labeled bag. Include contact info, blood type, allergies, etc. Because you will not be allowed to go with them.

It’s difficult to type one handed while lying on my side but I’m limiting upright time as much as possible.

PLEASE! Take this virus seriously. Stay safe.

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also now in Kindle Unlimited.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The NY Times has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19, Coronavirus. Click HERE to go to it. Also, The Economist has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19 and it does a very good job drilling down on various aspects.

Day 18: 2020 Pandemic. Trust science. In NYC someone dies every 6 minutes today from COVID-19.

Hard as it is to believe, we are still just in the early stages of the pandemic.

The number above has been ticking down. Yesterday it was every 7 minutes. If you think NYC is far away, don’t worry, this will come to your town soon enough.

We have a president doling out emergency supplies as if it’s a game show, rewarding those states he believes support him and denying those he views as enemies. It’s an incredible spectacle but we’ve become so number that today’s tweets that his daily briefings have the highest rating on TV seem normal. It’s not. But it is our insane reality. I was under the impression that the president serves ALL citizens but that has not been this case with this administration. The childish pettiness of having an 8 year old bully in the White House is killing people. Now. Today.

In case people haven’t noticed, there are a lot more red dots all over the country that weren’t there a week ago. This is spreading. And it will keep spreading. No one will be spared despite their political or religious beliefs.

In the next few days we will surpass our 9-11 death toll. Think how we reacted to that.

I’ve always found that those who deny climate change or the reality of COVID-19, also use their cell phones without having a clue how they work. They trust that science implicitly. It’s like sitting on a plane listening to someone go on about the world is six thousand years old and denying science. While on a plane.

I’m only able to work for a couple of hours a day as I need to spend 18-20 hours horizontal with my left side down in order for the gas bubble in my right eye to work its science. Or I guess I could just do what I want. I’ll trust the science.

Here is a new article on how to handle packages and groceries. I know I posted some info on this earlier, but this is the latest. I basically work this in stages. Opening everything in the garage, disposing of the packing material in recycling and leaving it out there for at least 24 hours. I come in a wash my hands thoroughly.

I’ll get back on track with long term preparation as I’m able to function a little bit better, but right now I’m knocking out essential stuff. My writing is way behind schedule and will be, but there are more important things going on. If you have Kindle Unlimited, please note I have over 60 titles in the program here, including my survival guide. Feel free to check some titles out. I also do rolling free books on my freebies page. Psychic Warrior just went free today, based on a real program, Trojan Warrior, I was affiliated with I 10th Special Forces. If you saw Men Who Stare at Goats, some of that came from this program and also First Earth Battalion.

PLEASE! Take this virus seriously. Stay safe.

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also now in Kindle Unlimited.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

Once more, the NY Times has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19, Coronavirus. Click HERE to go to it. Also, The Economist has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19 and it does a very good job drilling down on various aspects.

Day 17: 2020 Pandemic. The Deniers

My surgery went well, did a follow up with doctor today and he said eye looks good, but I’m out of commission for a while. One eye for weeks and having to spend a lot of time horizontal on my left side. I apologize misspellings or mistakes– working with one eye is difficult.

A West Point class mate of mine posted on my blog a cogent response to an article from the National Institute of Health about the how this pandemic will play out:  What a bunch of CRAP! Hope it helps your book sails.”

Besides wondering how he got his degree, it brings up an important factor. In fact, I replied with an article from WAPO about how epidemiologists are now having to factor in the deniers to the spread. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/27/coronavirus-models-politized-trump/?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most

To which he replied I needed a legitimate source, not the WAPO. Of course, he never listed a legitimate source of “Crap” and that’s the interesting part. People are believing sources that, so far, have been proved wrong every single step of the way on this. Yet, they still BELIEVE.

I actually wish I could believe. I hope he is right. I hope I am wrong. But I also want to be in reality. Talking to the eye surgeon today—he saw 12 emergency patients yesterday. Did two surgeries. Opened his office this morning by himself to see 5 of us. They only have N-92 masks which are relatively ineffective for catching, but god for not spreading. I thanked him for doing what he’s doing. I distinctly got the impression he’s resigned to being infected sooner rather than later. And that is reality. Almost every one of us, will be exposed to COVID-19 this year.

But that doesn’t mean we should just run around and French kiss. We have to slow the spread as much as possible to give those in the front lines a fighting chance.

Almost all my novels deal with the human brain. The reality is that people literally cannot help the way they think. Their brains are genetically different. The really scary part is they don’t believe others are different than them; they think others choose to be different and thus they are wrong. You can’t argue with someone who falls under the sway of “perception is reality”. Our president wrote that in his Art of the Deal and it is his mantra. And it is killing many people now. That’s simply a fact. But already history is being rewritten. “No one could expected this” is such a ludicrous lie, but people believe it. Someone tweeted a quote from Breitbart that Trump didn’t disband the pandemic team at NSC, he just moved it. Except the head of the team has clearly pointed out they were disbanded and there’s even video of Trump saying he disbanded it.

We are at a crossroad in evolution. Where reason and faith are clashing. Where those who believe facts are being bombarded by those who believe what they want, regardless of facts. I don’t know what made my classmate post on my blog. Why? What was his reason other than anger and fear? And those are the two great dangers creeping up on us. I often “joke” when teaching that we go to war rather than admit we are wrong. But it’s true. Trump will double down and quadruple down. He is utterly incapable of admitting he was every wrong about anything. And many who believe him are the same. That makes them very, very dangerous people.

When I set out to write my latest Green Beret series, the core idea was who are the ones who protect the sheep from the wolves? Not shepherds. Because it’s not just about protection, but its about fighting evil. Fighting the wolves? And, frankly, its another wolf who sees the light. Just something to think about as we deeper into the abyss.

New York Minute.

PLEASE! Take this virus seriously. Stay safe.

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also now in Kindle Unlimited.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

Once more, the NY Times has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19, Coronavirus. Click HERE to go to it. Also, The Economist has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19 and it does a very good job drilling down on various aspects.

Day 16: 2020 Pandemic. Shit Happens aka Murphy’s Law.

I’d mentioned this before. That the unexpected will occur. As we hunker down here, I have an unexpected medical emergency. I never had surgery for 60 years of and today I had my first as my right eye suffered a detached retina. So excuse my typing as I”m working with one eye and still woozy from anesthesia and have to keep my head inclined in a certain position.

However, there were a lot of positives– first, I was able to get this surgery done, not at UT Hospital, which would have been a nightmare but at a new center here in town– The Tennessee Valley Eye Center. Where a few hardy souls were still working on emergency cases. In a sixty bed operating facility there were just two of us this afternoon this afternoon. A detached retina, if not treated, leads to blindness so to say I am thankful is understating it. My father, later in life, went blind and it had a terrible effect on him.

They were surprised I had self-diagnosed it based on symptoms because you can still see sometimes with a detached retina, quite well in fact, I had to put together the light flashes, floaters, and the feeling of a contact folding in my eye. Plus a friend had told me his symptoms and it rang a bell. But the nurse when I called recognized them and allowed me to come in without a referral from my ophthalmologist who is now closed and would reopen on Monday. If I had waited until Monday—–

There are many people out there with medical issues and emergencies not related to COVID-19 and we need to keep them in mind. As the nurse told me– her husband and children are isolated at home but she comes in to work.

And despite all my preparations and survival kit and expertise, this was something beyond my abilities to deal with or fix, other than pursuing a solution to a problem quite vigorously and not waiting until it got worse, which in this case would have been blindness in one eye.

However, as you can see above, while surgery for detached retina is not in my survival guide, I do have a saying in it that covers the situation. Shit happens.

The biggest problem now is having to keep Scout and Cool Gus out of the room for several nights because of the threat of infection. Scout is already barking her discontent.

Stay safe! Stay aware. Be thankful for what you do have. And thank those who are still there for us in emergencies.

PLEASE! Take this virus seriously.

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also now in Kindle Unlimited.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

Once more, the NY Times has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19, Coronavirus. Click HERE to go to it. Also, The Economist has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19 and it does a very good job drilling down on various aspects.

Day 15: 2020 Pandemic. Long Term Planning

There are many who think we’ll be okay in two or three months. Wrong.

Two things to consider:

The fact we have no coordinated federal response to COVID-19 means it will ripple across the country. As New York City flattens its curve, the curve will be shooting upwards in places that are not social distancing right now and where the leaders refuse to take it seriously. We just had a governor claim “we’re not going to be like China” in refusing to not only take action, but trying to prevent local leaders from taking action.

The second factor is that pandemics come in waves like a tsunami. Tsunamis aren’t just a single wave. We’ll see COVID-19 rise up again and again until we have an effective, world-wide vaccine. That will take a while, although that is one bright spot I’m seeing. Several companies are already testing vaccines. However, depending on the type of vaccine, not only will the testing take a while (or else we end up wit I Am Legend), depending on which one it is, the manufacturing could be an issue.

While our globalism helped bring on this pandemic, it is also helping in finding the answers. Scientists around the world are sharing data on open sources. Yes, it’s not peer-reviewed and all that, but it’s data.

I’ve been mentioning long term planning for a while and now that I’m in week 3, it’s time to start talking about it. In The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide, I had a base line of preparation. The window for that is sort of past, as most of the items required are out of stock. However, there are two ways to plan now long range depending on outcome. I see two possibilities with the reality somewhere in between:

We get back to relative normal by the end of the year. Not likely. Not just of the virus but the economic ripple effect in the supply line.

Or. Things go totally to shit as the supply line crashes. You think the toilet paper battles were bad, wait until we get to the food wars.

So, I’m going to approach this with both in mind.

First, some things you can get now that I think you should have regardless of what plays out. These are basic survival items and in stock as of today.

Survival radio: RunningSnail Solar Crank NOAA Weather Radio for Emergency with AM/FM, Flashlight, Reading Lamp and 2000mAh Power Bank

First Aid Kit: (You do not want to end up in the emergency room or urgent care if you can help it right now).

M2 BASICS 300 Piece (40 Unique Items) First Aid Kit | Free First Aid Guide | Emergency Medical Supply | for Home, Office, Outdoors, Car, Survival, Workplace

While I said this was a rare disaster where water isn’t a priority, if you’re out anyway, grab at least two cases for each person in your household and store it some place dry and cool. You should have that all the time.

Preparation and Survival manuals. I’m a fan of four. My own, The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide, not just because it’s mine, but because I took a different approach than the others. I believe mine is the strongest in terms of preparation. Then the SAS Survival Handbook. What is in there that mine doesn’t have is a lot of pictures of things, especially plants. It also goes into more details in certain areas. Plus, I have a lot of respect for the SAS, after joint operations and given their history. And then, When Technology Fails. That one is for extreme scenarios but its also interesting in terms of studying and learning skills our forebears have. If you have children, My Side of the Mountain, is a fun book to read and teaches many basic survival tasks.

I have links to the first four on my nonfiction page if you click on this image or the one below it for My Side of the Mountain.

More to come, including recommendations about gardening and solar power.

PLEASE! Take this virus seriously.

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also now in Kindle Unlimited.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

Once more, the NY Times has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19, Coronavirus. Click HERE to go to it. Also, The Economist has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19 and it does a very good job drilling down on various aspects.

Day 14: 2020 Pandemic. The World Has Changed. We Need To Change to Adapt to the New Reality

Change is incredibly difficult. A little change brings discomfort.  A lot of change brings fear.  There is a very thin line between discomfort and fear. The more you are willing to face and conquer your fears, the further out you push that line and the more change you’ll bring about as you venture further into your Courage Zone, 

Right now we’re all way out of our comfort zones.

There are three steps to change and five emotional stages. When I present my Who Dares Wins concepts to individuals and organizations, I usually cover the three steps first, but for COVID-19, I think its more appropriate to talk about the emotions, because underneath our fear, these five stages are playing a role.

Change requires going through Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s five emotional stages.

DENIAL: there is no problem or need to change.

There are still many people in denial about the realities of COVID-19. As I mentioned yesterday, this is a two headed dragon: the virus itself and fear of it; and fear of the uncertainty of the effect on society. So many people simply don’t want to believe the reality of the situation. If you’re reading this, you are most likely not in denial, because one key symptom of denial is not wanting to learn anything that contradicts our world view. If you know people still in denial that you care about, you can’t confront them directly, because they’ve built their greatest defenses around their greatest weaknesses. Try to get them to see the reality of COVID-19 in a way that goes to one of their strengths. For example, a loving grandparent might be open to a story about how its affecting schools and children.

ANGER: It’s not fair.

No, it’s not. Why is this being visited upon us? It doesn’t matter. It’s a reality. Being angry at China, the president, the disease, the lockdown, the unfairness of all of it is a waste of energy and misdirects us. We have to focus.

BARGAINING: maybe if I can change some small things it will make a big difference.

“Okay, I’ve locked down. I’m just going to sit here and wait it out.” That’s a base level of change, but it’s not effective long term. What can you be accomplishing now for not just getting through this pandemic, but coming out the other end a better person? Not just that, but how am I going to be prepared to face the new world that will come out of this? While many of us missed the opportunity to be properly prepared for this event, we need to make sure we will be prepared for any future emergency, not just a pandemic. We can take this time to do an Area Study and see what other possible threats are in our area. Just think—there are people in the Nashville area who lost their homes to a tornado while this was developing! Do your Area Study. Start thinking long term survival. I’ll post more about that; things you can do. Also, though, here is a free slideshow on how to do an Area Study and it’s covered in more detail in The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Once more, if you’re in a difficult financial situation, email me and I’ll send you a free pdf of the book. I’d ask those that do purchase the book, to please leave a review as they are important. bob@bobmayer.com

Another thing to do is help others. Get out of ourselves. There are a myriad of ways we can all contribute to our communities. Small gestures and actions often make great differences.

DEPRESSION:  There’s too much to change.  I’m overwhelmed.

We all cycle through this every day. I wake up in the middle of the night worried about my son and grandsons. About the future. About my wife. The other day Cool Gus was sick and I was already starting to grieve; of course he get better but he is an old dog. There’s a phrase used in recovery that you need not only for the long term picture of COVID-19, but for these bouts of depression: This too shall pass. This morning the sun is shining for the first time in a week. I’m taking joy in that. I’m also adjusting my newly purchased solar panel, figuring out best angles to mount it. ACTION is a key to getting out of depression! Do something constructive.

ACCEPTANCE:  I will do it.  Which does lead to real change.

Acceptance is not easy. Because it means we are in a different place. Most of what we do in life is habit. We are learning new habits every day. We will come out of this differently.

Let’s make sure we come out of this as better human beings. Treating each other with more respect. This is a pandemic; a horrible thing. But we can make the best of it. We can become better!

PLEASE! Take this virus seriously.

BTW: A lot of this is Who Dares Wins: Special Operations Strategies for Success which I use in consulting with individuals and businesses.

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also now in Kindle Unlimited.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

Once more, the NY Times has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19, Coronavirus. Click HERE to go to it. Also, The Economist has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19 and it does a very good job drilling down on various aspects.

Day 13: 2020 Pandemic. A five minute video worth watching on symptoms and what happens with COVID-19.

Saw this last night and passing it on. Very much worth watching.

PLEASE! Take this virus seriously.

If the government won’t do it, we must save ourselves. Lock down. Live. As importantly, keep others alive. This isn’t about just you or I. We’re all in this together.

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also now in Kindle Unlimited.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

Once more, the NY Times has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19, Coronavirus. Click HERE to go to it. Also, The Economist has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19 and it does a very good job drilling down on various aspects.

Day 12: 2020 Pandemic. We’re STILL Underestimating Everything About COVID-19. Also, How Long Does It Last On Surface.

We canceled our home delivery of the NY Times 2 weeks ago. My morning ritual used to be to walk down to the mailbox with Scout, our rescue dog, and get the paper. Pull of the plastic bag it was in and then scan the front page as I walked back to the house, then I gave it to my wife who read the entire thing, every word. But I’d been tracking this thing people were calling Coronavirus and officially SARS-CoV-2. I viewed getting the paper as one more thing we’re bringing into the house that we don’t have to because we can read it on-line. After that, I checked my standard preparation stocks and refined it a bit based on an Area Study of a Pandemic, which is a bit different that many other disasters. A long isolation in our home was not high on the last of possibilities even though I knew a pandemic was inevitable. No one was quite sure how it would play out.

Now we’re learning first hand.

To the right is an image of the parking garage at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville where they’ve set up beds for what they know is coming. I can’t emphasize this enough. I’m on Day 12 of this blog and I just don’t feel the sense of urgency from most people.

I’m still seeing people comparing it to the flu, talking about how Obama handled H1N1 years ago, etcetera, all of which is a waste of time and also, most dangerously, misleading about the current situation. A survey of social media and watching video of various locales indicates a complete lack of leadership and coordination at the Federal level. States are battling for the same medical supplies instead of having a national, coordinated response. But, insidiously, and as importantly, the wrong attitude is being portrayed and it is, and will continue to, kill people.

I call COVID-19 a two headed beast. The same body, but it will hurt you one of two ways; or both. The virus itself can kill you. At the very least it can put you in the hospital. Besides being sick, how many self-employed with their own health insurance have gone to the ER? It’s $500 just to step in the door. Then the other bills keep coming, one after another. An average four hour visit is easily over $2,000. If you have to be hospitalized in ICU, ventilated and manage to live you might as well file for bankruptcy when you get home regardless of your insurance.

The second head is in that vein: the disruption of the economy. We have a fragile civilization. Ever think how many people are involved in producing, transporting, delivering, and so on the food you have in your pantry? What happens when one of the cogs in the machine degrades? That’s happening right now. Yes, Amazon is still delivering, but my survey shows almost all survival meals and lots of equipment are out of stock. This week I’ll talk about long term things to consider as we are already in this. At least those who are aware are. Now is the time to plan long term, like a month ago was the time to plan for the immediate emergency.

As far as contaminated surfaces—that’s not a problem if you keep washing your hands, but there is a point where you have to handle things. My SOP for deliveries is I move them to the garage, wash my hands, and let the items sit for at least 24 hours.

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also now in Kindle Unlimited.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

Once more, the NY Times has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19, Coronavirus. Click HERE to go to it. Also, The Economist has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19 and it does a very good job drilling down on various aspects.

Day 11: 2020 Pandemic. Why Decisive Leadership is Key; A Tale of Two Adjacent States

Every training environment I was in, and every unit I served with in the Army emphasized leadership. From West Point, to Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced, Ranger, Special Forces Qualification, etcetera. Then in the Infantry and Special Forces as an Infantry platoon leader, Battalion scout platoon leader, Brigade recon platoon leader, Special Forces A-Team leader, and on. The cornerstones of leadership are responsibility and making decisions.

A leader is responsible for everything his/her unit does or fails to do. A leader makes decision. “Do something, Ranger!” Sometimes making a decision was pounded home so hard, they didn’t care if you made the right decision; the key in a dangerous situation, is to make a decision. Not stand around in the kill zone pondering what to do next.

Below is a graph showing the difference between TN and KY. It shows the difference in infection rates for COVID-19 between the two states which share a very long border. I know it’s hard to read the words but let me give you the crux of the matter. The blue is Kentucky. The orange is TN. Where the color is faded that is the number tested. Where’s it’s dark that’s the number positive. Here is a timeline between actions, or lack, by the governors of each state, which is what the boxes say:

6 March: KY declares state of emergency. TN parties on.

7 March: KY prohibits price gouging, starts daily updates, pushes social distancing, and waives copays, deductibles and cost-sharing for private insurers and state employees. TN goes to the Grand Old Opry.

10 March: KY executive orders pharmacies to refill prescriptions for 30; closes prison visitations; restricts long-term care visitation. TN Governor finally acts and says he doesn’t see a need for workplaces to close. AKA stays in the kill zone.

11 March: KY advises schools to close within 72 hours.

12 March: TN finally declares state of emergency.

13 March: TN finally advises that people not gather in large groups and to wash their hands.

14 March: KY hospitals cancel all elective procedures. COVID-19 testing is free to Kentuckians. Forces home isolation for those positive who refuse to self-quarantine. TN is still figuring out hand-washing at the local bar.

16 March: TN advises schools to close by 20 March, almost a week after KY. KY closes in person dining in bars and restaurants. Waives waiting period for unemployment. All in-person instruction must be ceased.

This past week over 1,000 ER doctors from a single county in TN sent a petition to Governor Bill Lee to lock down the State. He said no. Nashville just recorded it’s first COVID-19 death. I was alerted to the petition by my SIL, whose husband is a doctor in Brentwood. Who goes out to work each day.

I think we’ve viewed elections and politicians as something we can argue about and a pain in the ass if we don’t agree or like who is in office, but not factors in whether we live or die.

They matter.

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also now in Kindle Unlimited.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

Once more, the NY Times has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19, Coronavirus. Click HERE to go to it.

Day 10: 2020 Pandemic. Extreme Scenarios, Good and Bad because Stuff Doesn’t Just Happen

I’m not a glass half full; glass half empty guy. I’m a “what’s in the damn glass?” person.

To understand my psyche, realize I’ve written a survival manual and also two books whose original titles were Shit Doesn’t Just Happen: The Gift of Failure. Because of Amazon rules, I amended Shit to Stuff, but it’s still Shit. The premise of those books is to examine seven great disasters in each one and show how it take seven things going wrong for a disaster to happen—I call them cascade events. And if people are involved, one of them, at least, if not all, involve human error.

There’s a lot of information out there about projections for the virus. There are actually people walking around who don’t even know there is a pandemic. Seriously.

Good case: the virus mutates into something less deadly and peters out. Yeah. We wish. Happy with that? As we say in da’ Bronx: fuggehdaboutit.

Bad: There are two ways I’m looking at it: the virus and then the ripple effect on society. While they are connected, they both have to be planned for.

Right now, the focus is the virus. Prevention and treatment. Wash hands, social distancing, lock down. We’ve already bungled it, with states leading the way in what is an international problem, that at the very least requires a coordinated federal response here in the States. We don’t have it. Please, if you feel this is political move on and read someone else. I’m a realist. I’m not going to get into the reasons for that but it’s what is going on; or rather not going on. This is a big reason I’m leaning toward worst case.

Worst casing I’ve seen for COVID-19 is 2.2 million dead in the US. That’s with 40 to 70% infection rate and a mortality rate of 2%. Pretty grim. We’re talking mass graves; which is what is happening in Iran right now. Washington State has just banned funerals.

Hospitals are already getting overwhelmed. Our for-profit healthcare system is going to get a lot of people killed because the most efficient hospitals are actually the least prepared for this pandemic because they don’t keep “unnecessary” gear and equipment on hand based on their operating margins. Gear like masks and gloves; equipment like ventilators. We’ve got people stepping up and having sewing groups that are making masks from surgical cloth. Seriously.

Which brings me to the other aspect: the ripple effect on society. Almost a fifth of the country just lost their jobs in one week. Let that sink in. Even before this, 40% of Americans would struggle to come up with $400 for an unexpected expense. More than half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Mix those things together and it stinks and is a powerkeg.

So far people, overall, are being reasonable. Many communities don’t even feel much of an effect, especially as we go more rural. There are many who think this is an urban problem and those out in the country will be fine. Until someone gets sick and they realize they don’t have a nearby hospital.

Just saw a tweet that someone stole an 18-wheeler containing toilet paper. Seriously. That’s just the beginning. During the 1918 Influenza outbreak, there were thieves sneaking into hospitals and stealing from the sick. People haven’t changed. There are also those sewing masks. People volunteering to deliver food to those who can’t get about.

People are re-watching the move Contagion. When I first saw that, I understood a lot because, I’d written a pandemic thriller a while ago (every thriller writer eventually wrote one): Z: Final Countdown. What I thought the movie got seriously wrong wasn’t the science. It was social reaction. People were way too fucking calm. They tried showing some of it, but in some areas things are going to get very hairy, very soon. But there is a logic to it.

I know everyone is focused on the here and now, but start thinking longer term. I’ll be posting about that logic in the coming week with ideas on what can be done about it.

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Which I’ve managed to reload on Amazon and its in Kindle Unlimited.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

Once more, the NY Times has dropped its paywall for information about COVID-19, Coronavirus. Click HERE to go to it.

I’m noticing a lot more small circles outside of cities. Remember, testing is still very scarce.