Influenza Pandemic Declared

Toward the end of April, I posted an entry about the H1N1 influenza virus. Basically I discussed the history of other major flu epidemics and how this flu was eerily similar to the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918. You can read the complete entry here, but since the World Health Organization has now (as of yesterday) officially declared a pandemic of the virus, I thought I’d point out a few of the things that people AREN’T paying attention to that they should.

Think about this for a minute… At the beginning of April, you couldn’t turn on the news without hearing about this new flu strain. Then, after a couple of weeks, there was NOTHING on the news about this. Ask yourself why. It was a horrible new flu strain and it was all over the news and suddenly nothing? Is this because it stopped spreading? No. Is it because there were fewer deaths? No. Fewer verified cases? No.

I meet and talk with a lot of different people, including professionals in different fields and the buzz I’m hearing in the medical community is that the CDC is preparing for a major epidemic of this flu. They are actually limiting the number of face masks hospitals and other medical facilities can purchase. These are being rationed. Military personnel and medical personnel are being measured for protective devices. Tamiflu is being heavily guarded. Is the media sharing these stories??? No.

What about the spread of the virus around the world? Yes, it is spreading. There are over 70 countries affected now and the virus seems to be gaining strength as the human to human transmission increases. Viruses are smart little critters. They know that if they are to survive, they must find a way to stay alive. In order to stay alive, they have to find a host and they have to mutate. That’s exactly what they’re doing.

In April, there were like 100 confirmed cases of the flu in the United States and it was all over the news. Today there are over 17,000, yet the fact that the WHO (World Health Organization) called this a pandemic yesterday (the first pandemic declared in over 40 years) barely warranted a mention in the news.

If people were smart, they’d be stocking up NOW. Go to the store and buy supplies that you would normally have on hand to deal with an episode of the flu or severe cold symptoms – cough medicine, antihistamine, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc. Don’t wait until everyone is sick because then you’re simply exposing yourself to more germs. The shelves have been largely sold out of hand sanitizer, bleach, and other supplies that are linked to disinfecting during an epidemic of illness. Why in the world would these things be sold out at the beginning of summer?!? This isn’t a season for sickness! The reason is because there are some other smart folks out there who are also preparing for the worst.

Now what if this is one of those “the sky is falling” scenarios? Well, the fact is that if you’re stocked up and have your cleaning supplies, medicine, and extra food on hand so that you don’t need to go to the store for several days at a time (a week or more is even better) during the worst of it, then you might end up with a little extra supplies on your shelves. If you don’t stock up and everyone gets sick with the flu, then you’ll have to figure out a way to get the things you need. It will be more difficult if everyone goes to try to purchase these things at the same time. If the pandemic gets really bad, as it did in 1918, then you could have an even worse problem since transportation and delivery processes could break down, meaning that you won’t even have access to medicine and possibly food. Could it really get that bad? Yes. We are so reliant on the government, having others supply our needs, and waiting for someone else to give us what we need/want, that we’ve forgotten how to take care of ourselves, how to plan ahead, how to prepare for disaster and simply be happy if it doesn’t happen.

THAT is what the media is not telling us. It really could get so bad that our own reliance on others could make things ten times worse. They won’t tell you this because that would mean that they would have to say, “Get up! Do something about this now! Prepare ahead!”

If you haven’t prepared, that’s ok. I don’t say these things to make you feel guilty. I am simply suggesting that you may want to take some steps toward making sure you are prepared in the event that the flu comes back around full force this fall/winter. I care about my friends and hope that you will take this seriously.

If I’m wrong, then it’s simply a poke at my pride and you have some extra medicine and food on your shelves.

If I’m right, then it might save your life – or that of your children. If it gets as bad as I think it might this coming fall/winter, then they’ll probably close schools, government offices, businesses, etc. much like they did in Mexico in April to contain the outbreak. If I can do something to help you prepare for that possibility and the ensuing panic and keep you and your family safe at home with what you need, then it’s worth the possibility that I might also be wrong.



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