Sunday, March 9, 2014

Preparedness and Disease

If you have followed my blog for long, you know that 2 important factors for me are nutrient-dense (healthy) foods, and being prepared for what may come our way.

I usually have a good stock in my pantry of home-canned foods but with being hospitalized 7 times last year I really cut into the larder without the energy to replace items.

Normally I have enough stored (canned) veggies and meats for as much as a year, enough water filters for several months, a pile of dry firewood in case I have to cook over an open fire or on my wood stove when it's cold, but that has diminished over the last year. I hope this year will be better, and my garden productive.

However, one thing I'm not prepared for is a pandemic. I just have 2 banker's boxes of medical stuff like bandages and antiseptics and 2 good first-aid books with drawings even an idiot should be able to understand.

I watched a show on the history channel last week about the Bubonic Plague and I just cannot wrap my mind around losing half the population... about 100 MILLION people in Europe at the time. Often there were so many deaths in a single day that they could not keep up with burials.

Think about your extended family, add in some friends and neighbors, and then imagine half of them dead in short order of a disease without control. That's scary.

The CDC says there are STILL pockets of the Plague around the world... that's also scary. Plus, the more they adulterate our food supply, the more we become vulnerable to ANY disease that comes along... and the diseases have grown more resistant to our "modern medicines" thanks to feeding antibiotics to the animals grown for us to eat, and the air-carried pollen of GMO's.

I wish I had some suggestions for those kind of preparations but I don't. I DO think eating as healthy as we can is a first line of defense but that may not be enough to avoid a disaster.

If any of you have any good suggestions, I'd love to hear them.


  1. How odd! I just wrote a short story in which the plague was a key element. It still needs some polishing, but I'll send a link once I get it posted.

  2. Having looked at the pandemic scenarios, much of the preparedness is based on infrastructure shut-down, quarantine, & medical services being overwhelmed. Knowing good sick room protocol, a stash of antibiotics (before penicillin many people died from fairly straight-forward wound infections...cut your finger badly=uh-oh!), antiseptics & disinfectants.

    I've got N95 masks. Research has shown masks don't seem to prevent disease thru preventing the inhalation of viruses, bacteria, but rather thru blocking the exhalation of such, so most effective if the sick person wears them.

    As I understand it, the Black Death may not have been bubonic plague, but a variant of Ebola.

    Currently, there is a CDC warning issued for the virus chikungunya, endemic to Africa but has recently shown up in the West Indies & the concern is students on Spring Break may bring it into the mainland. It is spread by the mosquito Aedes aegypti. The chikungunya virus causes fever, headaches, nausea, rashes, intense muscle & joint pain for weeks & sometimes years.

    There is also a variant of the fungus Cryptococcus gattii that has spread to the Pacific NW that is now infecting people. Fungal diseases are extremely difficult to treat & the treatment often has very harsh side-effects, as fungi share about 98% of our genome, so whatever affects them will affect us as well. It is speculated the spread of this disease is facilitated by global climate change, as is the spread of malaria into new areas.

    1. Thanks for the info, esp. since I rarely keep up with world news!

  3. Interesting article in the April Discover Magazine about what to have in your med kit. They interviewed a med person who treats people in wild outlying areas, like the Gobi desert.

    1. Pam, is there a link to that article online?

    2. I'm not sure if you can read all of it:


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