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.