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
    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


    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


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


    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

    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

A Sunday Sermon this is not — An appeal to the heart it is.

Posted by preparedcitizens on March 2, 2008

A message to my brothers and sisters……wherever they are.

Saying “please” and “thank you” I have always appreciated these kindnesses.

Not speaking about religion or politics – I think that is an etiquette long forgotten – and probably for the better. Passion in discourse defines who one is and what they believe. I do still appreciate the niceties, things that seem so far gone sometimes when I focus on headlines and top playing news stories. I appreciate the inclined ear, the soft touch, the compassionate heart.

These are not etiquettes, these are kindnesses that come from deep wells within a person and when the deep wells are dry, it is obvious.

Social relationships do not come easy for me. I have hidden myself off because of my strangeness. I am odd and out of step. Let’s press on.

I find myself in the company of scientists, politicians, movers and shakers. How odd for someone who has hidden themselves from the world to be suddenly sitting at the table with such esteemed dignitaries. I am all at once humbled and yet the experience is quite heady. So many dichotomies, so many ironies, that my head spins. So much to question, think and pray about. When people at the table look in my direction and say kind words, I am in shock. Who am I? I am just this woman from a tiny town in Massachusetts who is self taught and rusty.

My backwardness, my social anxiety, my depression—-certainly I just do not fit I tell myself….but the problem is that I have withdrawn myself, of course I would feel strange. Have I believed a lie or have I been called to this place of deep introspection for a reason? I have had a long dark night of the soul — lasting for years.

I ask myself time and time again—why am I sitting here at this table? I look around and wonder how I arrived and why I was let in — and then I start to think that I must have gotten the address wrong and I am at the wrong function. But now that I am here it would be so obvious if I take my leave out the back door, doing so would be misunderstood. I do not want those who have been so kind to think me rude or unappreciative of their kindness. This happens a lot to those of us with social anxiety. We debate the whys and wherefores of our behavior to a point of frustration and anxiety. I think the trouble is in our ego….after all, no one is really looking. People are in their own state of anxiety. Yet, I do have another that I deeply care for and I do not want to misrepresent.

I only know of one way to overcome things…..and that is forge ahead even when you don’t know what will happen next.

So I stay and listen and learn. And then I become quite comfortable in sharing my heart with these wonderful people who care passionately about what the world will face. We have a bond.

In the sharing of ideas and thoughts the uniqueness of the individuals at the table shines forth and I begin to love the people that I am sharing with. Why was I so anxious? I do not always agree with all methods or ideas or approaches but the purpose of what brought them to this function and to sit at the table, we have something in common. We care and there is a purpose, there is a reason, there is a meaning to what we struggle with. The greater effort is to show the world that there are things that we can do to reduce the death and destruction that a pandemic may cause. I say may because we still do not know the severity or it and will not until it is in the form that strikes many down. The grief and agony that this will cause is unimaginable. My question has been how to apply a healing touch, be a shoulder, and be a friend in need.

So now I am in my element and there is a common struggle I see. We, at this table, challenge each other to new and greater ideas of how to reach others.

Switching gears

My social anxiety and depression through my long dark night never touched my passion for my Savior Jesus. I could see the similarity of speaking about something that others do not want to hear. Bearing a message that incites and inflames. A message that demands an action if it is embraced by the listener most times gets rejected at first hearing. When imparted this type of message even, at times, causes hatred toward the message bearer. I have encountered this before. I was encountering it again, although to a much lesser degree. Apathy and lukewarm-ness is at the heart of this effort. Sure enough, as I began to move forward I was encountering it again.

One way to share brought this on more than another. When I approached this by saying “you need this” or “you need that” or “I have this and you need it” or “I know something that you don’t know” the answer was met with anger and it was ultimately rejected…most likely until someone with a kinder, gentler, way would come along after me. When I did not compel or force or demand, people listened and appreciated. I simply cared. There is no methodology to describe. No way to rubber stamp the approach and mass produce it. I simply cared. My grief and the burden that was on my heart showed through.

Ah, but to do this has a cost! Once must feel it deeply in order to show this, and they must feel deeply moved about the message that they are imparting. The life-giving words that people must hear tear away a little piece of you each time you speak or act if you are to be an effective communicator. We need all types of communicators for sure. The ones that demonstrate, the ones who teach and the ones who awaken—we are all different.
The people that I met with were presented with information and a message bearer who cared about their children, and the elderly and the ones who will be most affected and they appreciated the kindness, the heart behind it. Did they act? I may not ever know. The point is, if I had not spoken they may not have heard. Hearing has to come first. Someone else may come along in time I suppose and I hope and pray that this is true. I work toward that end.

So I marched forward. I had found something that worked and it was my heart and my heart hurts. I have a burden yes, but not without reason and not out of line with the reality that we will face. We cannot be afraid of these emotions, not us the ones to communicate the awareness. There is a terrible burden in knowing that the world is in for a time of trouble. The pressure to speak should be almost unbearable if we are approach life and love with all of our heart, mind and soul. Not to love life itself but to love God. He tells us to love on another—to not wall ourselves off. The desire to stay silent is so tempting but fear is what keeps us silent. Now, I know too much about the pain and suffering that pandemics bring. I know too much about the grief that we will bear. I know too much and I will not be silent about what I know. I know that I have to love the ill, the hungry, the broken hearted….because I have been loved by my God.

When I hand out brochures and tips, I hand them out with a silent prayer. I pray that people will hear the entire message and take heed to the wisdom on the pages — and the part of me that gives it out.

Is it odd that I, a believer, stand and hand out life-giving information? Or is it? So now I come full circle. Why I am at this table and at this function. Why I am in this world. I find meaning in the similarity of the messages that weigh so heavily on my heart. Today I call out to those who say that they believe in a God who loves. As a Holy Spirit filled believer and follower of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ I have a message for the church. We are called to be His ambassadors. We are told to not be lukewarm but rather to be hot or cold. We are to live as Jesus lived.

Time and time again, I have prayed about how Jesus would have moved about in this world that we have today. Was His time on earth so markedly different? Did He have an easier time in which to live? Do we have it so much harder that we cower in our homes failing to reach out in our towns and be who we must be even when it seems an end may be coming? The answer to that is most assuredly NO! Pandemics bring an end to those who perish. And a pandemic is not our only concern. There are far reaching effects. Once an end comes it is too late to speak. And there is such silence about this – though there are a few.

Are we so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good?
Are we so afraid of what is to come that we have forgotten our first love?
Have we become lukewarm?

It takes an overcomer to get out and do, to get out and love as Jesus loves in a world full of hate, death and destruction. It takes people  who know what they believe and who will walk forward holding on to that belief, who will have faith, even when the waters are turbulent because they are focused on the love that they have been given…much will be asked. The asking is now. Much needs to be done. Share the heart. Love as He loved — uncompromisingly for sure — but with the heart and soul that our Master and Messiah taught us.

I do not fear what any man believes…I fear my God. I fear quenching the Holy Spirit. I fear a faith that will not act. I fear not being able to love so much that I cling to this life. I fear not having crowns to cast at my Saviors feet because I lived my fear rather than my love. I fear what and who I will become if I close off my humanity and disregard the pain and suffering of others. I fear standing alone….and yet I will stand. I stand now. Not alone for long.

Do not be afraid of doing a kind act, a loving act – be afraid of the fear that paralyzes for that leads to a lukewarm heart.

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