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

Fear of Disease

Posted by preparedcitizens on August 8, 2008

Fear of contracting illness during a pandemic is a really good and healthy thing!!! I am stating the obvious here, I know.

If I remember back to when I have had a major illness the tendency among friends and acquaintances was to pull away. Even with a disease that is not contagious people tend to try to protect themselves by withdrawing from the person who is ill most especially when the disease process itself is not fully understood. For the most part we shun illness and those who are ill. Those of us who are not in the healthcare field go into self-protection mode. 

Even spiritually, we have a tendency to pull away from those who are stumbling. We all protect our spirit, emotions, and physical well being when we view something or someone as a threat. Subconscious though this may be, if we look hard enough we may (or may not) see this tendency in ourselves. I do it. I have done it. And each time I have done it I have kicked myself afterward for it.

But we can go to terrible extremes when fear is allowed to take control. When reason flies out the window sometimes our compassion goes with it. I have found it helpful to understand how disease is transmitted and how I can safeguard myself so fear does not steal my compassion away. I hope and pray that I can stand firm in this. When infectious disease is threatening our lives it will be the hardest thing of all to overcome. I am trying to strike that balance between rational reaction which allows for certain safeguards to be in place through my healthful avoidance and not turning away from those who become ill and in need of a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on and a prayer partner during a difficult time, even the end of a life.

On darker days I can see how fear of the infected and ill and basic unpreparedness could lead our society into some pretty horrendous times. And if I do not think things through ahead of time I know that I may react in ways that I will regret when a cooler head prevails. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but better is the sight that will allow me to avoid stumbling blocks altogether.

The truth is that at some time or another we will all be exposed to these various illnesses that are and will be in “the news”. All sorts of rumors will take hold. In my attempt at keeping a healthy spirit, mind and body I learned this important mitigation tool. Eating and sleeping well, getting physical exercise, fresh air and sunshine – and living moderate lives, and taking those meds if we have them ;) all will help us get through what is ahead. But these measures alone are certainly not enough. When illness is in our area using masks, washing our hands, staying in if we have been exposed, and giving those with symptoms a wide berth will lessen our viral load and help us to fight off what threatens to take hold. Closing schools and shutting businesses for however long it takes will go a long way to help too. Inconvenient, you bet! That is why we must be prepared for the long haul in ALL aspects of our beings. Still I am not nearly enough prepared. With rising prices this is such a struggle.

The important point is that we must not lose our compassion for those who have become ill or are in need whenever that time comes. I pray daily for a softer heart. One that can recognize and be sensitive to the needs of others and one courageous enough to attempt to help in any way that I can.

So my plan of action: A neighbor getting supplies so a family may stay in their home and not expose others will be helpful to us all. I just won’t go in for tea and cookies :) . I will check to see what the family needs and leave the supplies outside so that after I clear the area they can come and retrieve them safely. A phone tree or call chain in a neighborhood would work wonders for this. Making sure that children are not left unattended due to illness or death in the family will be important.

Fear is a useful tool but compassion must become a way of life. I must not fear beyond what my compassion can bear.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Philippians 4:13

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