Prepared Citizens

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

  • Previous Posts

  • Michael Osterholm Quotes:

    “What we need to be doing now is the basic planning of how we get our communities through 12 to 18 months of a pandemic.”

    “Ninety-five out of 100 will live. But with the nation in crisis, will we have food and water? Are we going to have police and security? Will people come to work at all?”

    “It's the perfect setup. Then you put air travel in and it could be around the world overnight.”

    “We can predict now 12 to 18 months of stress of watching loved ones die, of wondering if you are going to have food on the table the next day. Those are all things that are going to mean that we are going to have to plan -- unlike any other crisis that we have had in literally the last 80-some years in this country.”

  • US Health and Human Services

    Secretary Michael Leavitt

    "If there is one message on pandemic preparedness that I could leave today that you would remember, it would be this:

    Any community that fails to prepare with the expectation that the federal government or for that matter the state government will be able to step forward and come to their rescue at the final hour will be tragically wrong,

    not because government will lack a will, not because we lack a collective wallet, but because there is no way that you can respond to every hometown in America at the same time."
  • Joseph C. Napoli, MD of Resiliency LLC

    "I think a new meaning is evolving for resiliency and resilience.

    In some contexts the words are being used to mean the strength to resist being impacted by an adverse event rather than either the “capacity to rebound” or “act of rebounding” from adversity.

    Therefore, resiliency and resilience appear to be assuming the meaning of fortitude, that is, “the strength or firmness of mind that enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage or to bear pain or adversity without despondency” as defined in the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.

    If so, we are coming full circle with science accepting a religious moral virtue – fortitude – as written in the Bible’s Book of Wisdom"




  • Faith Based Resources

    John Piper
    Jonathan Edwards
    Reformation
    Pink-Saving Faith
    Pink-Christian Ethics

    "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves"
    (2 Corinthians 13:5).

    Why Faith Groups Must Care

    When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper

    Stand

    Be Not Afraid
    Overcoming the fear of Death
    by Johann Christoph Arnold







    While I am not a professional journalist, I do embrace the code of ethics put forth by the Society of Professional Journalists and the statement of purpose by the Association of Health Care Journalists and above all else I strive to "do no harm".


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  • Definitions

    from Wikipedia



    Pandemic Influenza


    An influenza pandemic is an epidemic of the influenza virus that spreads on a worldwide scale and infects a large proportion of the human population.

    In contrast to the regular seasonal epidemics of influenza, these pandemics occur irregularly, with the 1918 Spanish flu the most serious pandemic in recent history.

    Pandemics can cause high levels of mortality, with the Spanish influenza being responsible for the deaths of over 50 million people.

    There have been about 3 influenza pandemics in each century for the last 300 years. The most recent ones were the Asian Flu in 1957 and the Hong Kong Flu in 1968.



    Seasonal Influenza


    Flu season is the portion of the year in which there is a regular outbreak in flu cases.

    It occurs during the cold half of the year in each hemisphere.

    Flu activity can sometimes be predicted and even tracked geographically. While the beginning of major flu activity in each season varies by location, in any specific location these minor epidemics usually take about 3 weeks to peak and another 3 weeks to significantly diminish.

    Individual cases of the flu however, usually only last a few days. In some countries such as Japan and China, infected persons sometimes wear a surgical mask out of respect for others.



    Avian (Bird) Flu
    Avian influenza,

    sometimes Avian flu, and commonly Bird flu refers to "influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds."


    "Bird flu" is a phrase similar to "Swine flu", "Dog flu", "Horse flu", or "Human flu" in that it refers to an illness caused by any of many different strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host.

    All known viruses that cause influenza in birds belong to the species: Influenza A virus.

    All subtypes (but not all strains of all subtypes) of Influenza A virus are adapted to birds, which is why for many purposes avian flu virus is the Influenza A virus (note that the "A" does not stand for "avian").
    Adaptation is non-exclusive.

    Being adapted towards a particular species does not preclude adaptations, or partial adaptations, towards infecting different species.

    In this way strains of influenza viruses are adapted to multiple species, though may be preferential towards a particular host.

    For example, viruses responsible for influenza pandemics are adapted to both humans and birds.

    Recent influenza research into the genes of the Spanish Flu virus shows it to have genes adapted to both birds and humans; with more of its genes from birds than less deadly later pandemic strains.

    H5N1 Strain


    Influenza A virus subtype H5N1, also known as A(H5N1) or simply H5N1, is a subtype of the Influenza A virus which can cause illness in humans and many other animal species.

    A bird-adapted strain of H5N1, called HPAI A(H5N1) for "highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of type A of subtype H5N1", is the causative agent of H5N1 flu, commonly known as "avian influenza" or "bird flu".

    It is enzootic in many bird populations, especially in Southeast Asia. One strain of HPAI A(H5N1) is spreading globally after first appearing in Asia.

    It is epizootic (an epidemic in nonhumans) and panzootic (affecting animals of many species, especially over a wide area), killing tens of millions of birds and spurring the culling of hundreds of millions of others to stem its spread.

    Most references to "bird flu" and H5N1 in the popular media refer to this strain.



    As of the July 25, 2008 FAO Avian Influenza Disease Emergency Situation Update, H5N1 pathogenicity is continuing to gradually rise in wild birds in endemic areas but the avian influenza disease situation in farmed birds is being held in check by vaccination.

    Eleven outbreaks of H5N1 were reported worldwide in June 2008 in five countries (China, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam) compared to 65 outbreaks in June 2006 and 55 in June 2007.

    The "global HPAI situation can be said to have improved markedly in the first half of 2008 [but] cases of HPAI are still underestimated and underreported in many countries because of limitations in country disease surveillance systems".





    Pandemic Severity Index


    The Pandemic Severity Index (PSI) is a proposed classification scale for reporting the severity of influenza pandemics in the United States.

    The PSI was accompanied by a set of guidelines intended to help communicate appropriate actions for communities to follow in potential pandemic situations. [1]

    Released by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on February 1, 2007, the PSI was designed to resemble the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale





    From the Massachusetts Health and Human Services



    Isolation


    refers to separating people who are ill from other people to prevent the spread of a communicable disease.



    Quarantine


    refers to separating and restricting the movement of people who have been exposed to a communicable disease and are not yet ill.
  • Additional Information

    Creative Commons License
    Prepared Citizens by Catherine "Jackie" Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
    Based on a work at http://www.preparedcitizens.org.




    The posts on this site are subject to change. Mostly due to errors in spelling or grammar. I never said I am a professional journalist. I have new appreciation for the job that they do. Also, not all comments made by others will make it onto this site. Comments that advertise a commercial product do not get posted most of the time.


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  • standingfirm

The ethics? of Pande(monium)

Posted by preparedcitizens on December 12, 2007

What a contradiction? Are there ethical issues in warning people to the point that pandemonium ensues…you bet? This has always been the sticking point for me. How and when do we inform the public, how harsh should our words be and, in fact, who will tell the community at large? My measuring rod has always been the length of time that it takes to prepare for the average citizen. What I see is a basic underestimation, in some circles, of the ability of *the public* to understand the intricacies of who, why, and how.

Fostering a culture of preparedness does not need to release pandemonium. This will only happen if there is a conflicting message at a crucial point in time.

How do we become a prepared and resilient while keeping our heads? It is too easy to read the latest infectious disease headlines and become overly focused on something that almost becomes a countering force to what we need to DO. For instance and in other words…we still do not have enough information to KNOW with any certainty, as of this minute, if we are witnessing cases of bird to human or a clustering of human to human H5N1 cases. More importantly, we (the average citizen) still do not know how long it will take to get from human to human clustering to full blown sustained human to human spread….days, weeks, months. Staying focused on the need to prepare keeps us from freezing up and yet we have to communicate the WHY part. Without clear information from the government to the people, from mainstream media to the listening public, we are losing an important piece of the mitigation strategy.

We still are not even certain that THIS should be the specific pandemic that we need to be preparing for. Adenovirus14 , a novel strain of influenza, or a bioterror plague are all great reasons to be preparing right now.

This has always been the enemy…confusion.  It keeps us from acting with purpose. At this point in time the inconsistency of the messages that we hear has a detrimental effect on our culture. Yes, we do not want to be wrong and lose credibility. But what do we lose, what does the public lose, by remaining silent in our approach to why this is all necessary? We lose time. It takes a long time for most folks to stock at least 6 weeks of food, water, and medicines.  

Yet, what do we know for sure at any given time. How do we trigger reaction and yet also communicate the interminable lack of surety to the information coming from far away places?

 These are all really tough issues to balance.

 What do we KNOW today that is any different than, say, a week ago. The presence of *suspected* human to human clustering in various places is enough for me to sound the warning cry to those in my town simply because it takes so long for most of us to prepare our homes. So they shoot the messenger…but more messengers are needed and they better be credible since what we do not know is still quite a bit.

So while the experts sort out all the data and figure out just where we are in relation to having an novel influenza strain or anything else make it’s global appearance, then I would merely say to all is before you spend all of your hard earned cash on presents that will end up in the after Christmas broken toy heap, consider some things if lasting family value.

Hand-Crank radios, hand crank cell phone chargers, camping supplies….these are pretty basic items that will come in handy in an emergency but yet can also be used in “good times” as well.

When thinking of the potential grid failure in a large disaster, such as a pandemic or national health emergency where absenteeism will be high, we need to think of what each of us would need for an extended power outage. We do not want to have to go to a community shelter during a time of a infectious disease outbreak. We want to care for our loved ones at home while there are no health care workers to find and our hospitals are closed to us. We want to have enough food and an alternate supply of heat—we want to rely on ourselves and not need someone to come to our aid….right?

Remember: No one can prepare for you. But we must remember those who cannot.

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