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.


    View blog top tags
  • standingfirm

Social Equilibristics and the Christian Response

Posted by preparedcitizens on March 3, 2008

Social equilibrium: A working balance among its interdependent parts (Davis & Newstrom, 1985)Each subsystem will adjust to any change in the other subsystems and will continue to do so until equilibrium is retained. The process of achieving equilibrium will only work if the changes happen slowly, but for rapid changes it would throw the social system into chaos, unless and until a new equilibrium can be reached.

Equilibristics, Juggling – balancing or maintaining a moving equilibrium – there will never be an end to our ever-changing needs and new conditions in our society. A balancing act will constantly be acted out in order to ensure our survival.

For the short time of the history of this country, most of our needs have been met without demanding a duty from the majority of us. We have become complacent, we have become fat and satisfied, and we have become stuck in our nation’s “adolescence”.

There has been a balance of a sort achieved – a harmony, but an unhealthy state of equilibrium since we cannot seem to acknowledge the storms of life which loom on our horizon. In our current state have we achieved synchronization between self-interest and our duty to God and country, and to each other? By abandoning parts of this whole, an equilibrium has been realized but has an unhealthy stasis also been achieved, one that may end up not allowing us to endure through troubling times?

We live pleasured lives and the about-face that is inevitable as fortunes change, or even the thought of discomfort or pain, is this much too demanding for us to embrace, so we retreat from it?

In order to accept what inevitably must take place – as history shows us has occured over and over – we must conciously be reminded of how fragile and short lived are the times of “peace and safety”.

Humans are not always motivated to pursue what is good for them particularly when we are rewarded in our pursuit for pleasure for pleasures sake. We are in the age of the individual and likewise we are incapable, stuck in our pleasure seeking, of breaking out of our self-centeredness.

Is there a universal standard from above by which we should govern our affairs or have we been lost forever in our own self-interests? What will remind us that “the whole is more than the sum of its parts?”

What shapes our identity and how is this important to the discussion of pandemic preparedness?

In disaster situations as large as a pandemic a collective disturbance so profound occurs and it shatters the moral fabric on which we have built our societies. Without moral grounding, without moral identity social disruption may tear us apart.

Since we have abandoned our traditional collective identity of moral determination and replaced it with self-interest and the pursuit of pleasure, what will arise when that pleasure vanishes? This is germane to the discussion of pandemic preparedness and our cohesiveness as a society, and in fact our entire “global village”.

In our current state is it even possible to affect meaningful change in behavior? It is possible only if you speak first to those in our society who have not abandoned a moral identity for the pursuit of pleasure. Those seeking a happiness that is dependent upon circumstance will not be able to make the adjustment necessary in their thinking that will allow them to see clearly that life can indeed be quite cruel. That there are no guaranties of “peace and safety”, for no one on this plane of existence can promise such things.

In our collective hedonism we will be stuck thinking that “it” will only happen “over there” and not here until we are slammed by its impact. As a whole we are stuck in the adolescent thought that we are invincible.

We must awaken and refresh the reality that there is a moral law that has been written on our hearts – that is if we are to weather the storm ahead.

We must realistically depict the consequences of the breakdown of morality. We must demonstrate the profound effects of this infectious disease. Our identity as an adolescent nation must be reformed by a new adult consciousness by this stark, and yet realistic view of the future.

There is wisdom when we look beyond our humanity and realize that the sum of the parts is beyond what we see and feel in nature. There are times that we simply need faith and a miracle. And that is what I pray for. There are times that the answer is a resounding “no” from above. It is only on hindsight, if then, that we realize that “no” was for our own good. This is a hard teaching when we live out the effects.

Why does God allow the cruel and horrible to exist? Why do bad things happen to good people? If God is good, merciful and just, why does he allow these things? The answer always will be because we live in a fallen world.

It is time to understand our freedom to be the sentient beings that we were created to be, who live beyond our fears in order to become whole, healthy, aware and responsible adults. We must lead the way into right relationship with our God. The “coming of age” of our spiritual maturity. Then, and only then, will we fully appreciate the grace available to us, not by striving, nor by works, but by faith and belief. And by acceptance of a gift freely offered to man by the Creator through his Son, Jesus Christ, the redeemer who lives.

[first draft to finish copy took forever…my apologies]

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