What Preppers Need To Know Right Now About The Coronavirus
Preppers, like everyone else, have by now heard something about the Coronavirus (officially the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)). As with so much in the news, there are plenty of stories but not much information.
WHAT IS IT?
First, what is the Coronavirus? According to the US CDC, it is:
“[A] virus … identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Early on, many of the patients in the outbreak in Wuhan, China reportedly had some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, a growing number of patients reportedly have not had exposure to animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread is occurring. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people.”
It’s real and it has spread internationally. KNOW THE SYMPTOMS:
“For confirmed 2019-nCoV infections, reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Symptoms can include:
Shortness of breath
CDC believes at this time that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS viruses.”
Other than avoiding travel to Wuhan, China, what can preppers do to prevent contamination? The answers are common-sense measures that you should practice anyway:
- Wash your hands with soap and water and/or use a hand sanitizer.
- Limit the touching of your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid healthy people if you are sick.
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Frequently clean and disinfect your home, office, or other areas.
There is, as of my writing, no cure or vaccine for this virus. However, that doesn’t mean it cannot be defeated. The human immune system is amazing and was literally created to deal with bugs like the Coronavirus. To help things along, treat any potential infection as you would a cold or flu (which is what the nCoV really is). Rest, hydration, and relief of pain and congestion will go a long way. In dire circumstances, consult with a trusted doctor or seek assistance at the local emergency room. Also, monitor the news for further developments about this (or other) particular illness. If you do report to a doctor, and he diagnoses nCoV, then expect a visit from the CDC or other public health officials, with the potential of quarantine.
And, the Q-word is all the rage in Wuhan and other affected cities. Right now, more than 50 Million Chinese are essentially locked down. Others, in a wide variety of countries – including the US, are also temporarily interred for treatment and isolation.
THE World Health Organization and the CDC created a real-time tracking map for known cases of infection. VIEW IT HERE.
(WHO – screenshot from 1/27/2020, 11 AM)
THE MATH OF A PANDEMIC
This analysis is not intended to downplay the potential harm this virus may cause; nor is it geared towards stoking panic. When in doubt, always run the math. Here and now, I’m using the figures from the above picture. China has a population of approximately 1.428 Billion (around 20% of the world’s people). Accordingly, as bad as the outbreak is, right now it only afflicts .000002% of the Chinese people. And, only .00000005% of the Chinese (or .03% of the infected Chinese). As of right now, while certainly deadly and nothing to play around with, the virus simply is not a significant threat. Further, as with many other epidemics, this virus predominantly sickens and/or kills those with compromised immune systems (the old, the young, and the sick). Watch it, but don’t hyperventilate about it. (Also: the numbers outside of China are so low as to be statistically insignificant [at this time]).
BUT THE EFFECT$ ARE FELT
In addition to having 50 Million+ people on lockdown, businesses are closed and life is disrupted – we’ll get to how this may affect preppers in a second. International stock markets are feeling the burn. As of this morning, and my drafting, the DOW is down some 400 points.
“China is the biggest driver of global growth so this couldn’t have started in a worse place,” said Alec Young, managing director of global markets research at FTSE Russell. “Markets hate uncertainty, and the coronavirus is the ultimate uncertainty in that no one knows how badly it will impact the global economy.”
The virus is also already predicted to have significant ramifications for China’s 2020 economy:
“‘The economic impact for China – and potentially elsewhere – will be significant if the virus continues to spread,’ The Economist Intelligence Unit stated in a report.
Before the outbreak, the EIU’s projected rate was 5.9%. But it warned that overall growth in the country could be trimmed by up to 1% to 4.9% if the epidemic reaches the level of SARS.”
Paul Craig Roberts is the only economist that I know of who has linked the potential spread of nCoV to the new global economy. Why aren’t more people in leadership positions asking hard questions about the movement of people and diseases across borders? Are cheaper electronic components worth the risk of a pandemic? For some, sadly the answer may be “yes.” Some have even suggested – with moderately convincing evidence – that this bug may have escaped from a lab, that it may have been genetically engineered (possibly as a weapon). I have found no hard facts to support those theories and, as such, will leave them aside. For us, today, regardless of what the leaders do, the answers look a lot like ordinary preparedness.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO NOW
In as short a statement as possible: keep prepping.
- Follow those above hygiene tips.
- Scan the news.
- Reconsider travel, especially to known areas of infection or by mass transit.
- In the event of a panic or quarantine, be prepared to run or ride it out:
- Keep a substantial supply of food and drinking water.
- Be prepared to be isolated, at home or on the road.
- Consider what to do with young children, the elderly, or persons who become infected.
- Consider how a pandemic might augment other calamities (civil unrest, storms, etc.) – these things often happen at the worst times possible.
- Think Security.
- Think alternative power, heating, and lighting, if necessary.
- Think about limited transportation and communication.
- Assume that the WHO and the CDC cannot or will not always be there to “help.”
Please continue to monitor trusted news outlets for updates on the virus. Also, consult the many web-based prepper resources for more information on pandemic preparedness and general health tips: for instance, Daisy Luther has already provided some information (and skepticism) about the virus. Or, type “pandemic” in FP’s search bar, to the right. We will update the site and/or this article should any major developments happen. Also, look forward to another new article on the state of the Second Amendment in general, and in Virginia specifically, ASAP.