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

Follow the Leader

Posted by preparedcitizens on August 3, 2008

The truth is that we all follow the leader at some point in our lives.

Combine this with the truth that we all long for acceptance within the group, whichever group we happen to be in, and we have a dangerous combination of complex drives which leave us open to behaving in ways that we never thought possible or blinded to behavior that we never thought that we would accept.

Cult leaders (despots and tyrants) know this intuitively and they use this to their advantage. Some become dangerous when followers begin to see through the carefully constructed charade and some are allowed to wreak havoc on lives while we blithely go on with our lives.

We even sometimes become players in their drama and once complicit we have even more difficulty seeing the error that we are living. Because then we are also at fault. Since we do not want to share in this we refuse to look at what is being done. And we don’t want to think that we have chosen to follow wrongly.

And most of the time these twisters of lives and minds are very subtle. They have their craft down. They have had time throughout their lives to master their manipulative behavior.

It is so easy, too easy, to follow the leader. Good looks and charisma, a finely tuned tongue and masterful speaker, a smiler, a toucher, a seemingly sympathetic ear are all qualities that we are drawn to. A person who understands our hurts and promises to heal our wounds or has the answer to our biggest questions – we are enamored with someone like this. But this type of person is pretty obvious, there are more subtle manipulators who begin on the right course, draw people in, and then enjoy watching their followers do their bidding.

Another truth is that we are all capable of manipulating others. We learn the behavior as babies. We cry and get a response. We smile and get another. We learn how to get along in the world even without knowing how to walk or speak. For some an intense enjoyment in having power over others develops. Perhaps their basic needs were not met as children and this caused them to move on to more dramatic behavior. I can almost say that the reason doesn’t matter but it does because there is a lesson for how we raise our children today. But I could get off on a whole other tangent. When these megalomaniacs actually do have power watch out because hurt will surely follow. Some make truth seem like a lie and lies seem like the truth. They are devious, conniving, and some even believe the lies they tell.

There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

 Proverbs 14:12

The antidote to this way of death is prayer and discernment. When we set up hierarchies dangerous territory is ahead.

We are all created equal but we are all unique. We all have different gifts and talents that can be helpful and useful within our social circle, our churches, our workplace. No should be more valued than another.

It has taken me eight long years to write this post. It took eight long years of watching a situation develop where all I could do was keep silent and pray. It took eight long years of self doubt to see in the end that I was being taught something profound.

I have learned to:

  • Know the reasons why someone wants to lead others. Listen and learn their motivations. Look at their “track record”. Is it consistent with their stated reason and motivations?
  • Know what their detractors say about them and listen acutely to why they say what they do.
  • Look at leaders as people chosen for a task. They have no more intrinsic worth than those doing the most menial and lowly jobs in our society. They are just gifted differently. Beware and keep in check any leader who begins to expand his scope of influence. Having a mouth willing to speak and the attention of the media does not necessarily indicate that someone is the right person for a leadership position. Some of our best leaders have been the most reluctant to lead.
  • Stay clear of anyone who devalues another human being for any reason.
  • Seek out leaders who will not ask anyone to do something that they are not willing to do themselves.

I am sure that others could add their own lessons learned. As I said, this has been a post that has been rattling around in my brain since my very first “Forever Standing Firm” blog so many years ago. It is good to finally find the words….I am sure the lessons will keep coming out of this.

…oh, and in writing this I was not thinking at all about our current administration.

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