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January 30, 2006

Individuals and Communities must Prepare to Cope on their OwnAvian Flu Watch

Crfullmoon posted a new topic:

Check the plans in your own location.

Example from the Massachusetts State Influenza Pandemic Plan, pg 56: ..."Persons may be confined to their homes by choice, out of fear of being exposed and becoming ill or
by direction of State or local health officials in order to reduce transmission in the community.

The provision of food, medical and other essential support
for persons confined to their homes
will be the responsibility of local communities."

Don't expect help from other levels of government, because if pandemic occurs, (and airplane travel means the virus may be in many nations and cities and villages by the time pandemic is noticed)
all other regions will be having the same problems at the same time.

Do the math for where you live in the world, if say, 25% of your population fell very ill in the same week.
If the H5N1 virus remains much as it is now, hospitals will collaspe.
It does not have to change much now to go pandemic, or, another virus may, some other year, but our infrastructure can't handle such surges.

The difficult things about global natural disasters, like an influenza pandemic, are

that they give no start date,

people would like to just hope nothing will happen or,

hope that they can do something effective to save themselves and their families *after* it is in progress, (by then it is too late)

and, that in human history, we have never done this before;
had warning of and been able to stop an influenza pandemic. Influenza is much more contagious and can kill much faster than HIV, yet people and governments did not take personal responsibility to stop the spread of the AIDS virus, and it is known how this could be prevented. Can they prevent a pandemic?

Already the vaunted "modern medical and communication systems we have now" have been daunted by closed governments, rural poverty, lack of good public health infrastructure even in developed nations, and, human nature and politics and economic concerns.

It does not seem that local officials want to give all available information and proper advice to all the public, out of fear of "panic" which seems to mean "any economic change at all".
We get panic behaviors when people do not know what is safe and what is not, they panic when authorities won't answer their questions, or come and help contain an outbreak when people don't have the protective equipment or staff to do so. They panic when they do the wrong things out of ignorance, trying to keep themselves safe.

The H5N1 virus is in many countries, infecting many species, and people are still falling ill.

Human-to-human transmission does seem to have occurred, in limited fashion. (The rules for officially proving this to WHO standards are strict and easily unmet.)

The World Health Organization has admitted it cannot update its pandemic alert level, which has been left at 3 and not updated since Nov. because of political pressure from countries not wanting other nations to implement their action plans that may include travel bans, trade cessation, ect, if the level is raised to 4.
Because of the pressure from nations trying to postpone economic and political consequences, the alert level has become useless and should be uncoupled from all pandemic plans as an action signal.

The WHO now does the response and containment measures as needed, and, if they think they have a chance to work.


Is your household prepared? Having a stocked- up household of items that keep without electricity, and, basic medical supplies also is useful if people have weather-related power-outtages, have to evacuate for local disasters, or, even if there is a sudden job loss or medical proceedure to recover from.

Stocking up is like having insurance policies, except you can see and touch what you have.
Look at what you spent money on last week or last month.
Anything frivolous you could do without for a couple of weeks, and instead start to buy things you might need if so many people got sick that the supply chain collaspes, or, if quarantine shuts things down?

Your local government, taxes or no, cannot care for everyone.
Make sure you take care of yourselves.

Posted by dymaxion at January 30, 2006 09:12 PM

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