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.

    View blog top tags
  • standingfirm

Extending The Culture of Life

Posted by preparedcitizens on September 9, 2008

The Culture of Life

Pope John Paul II stated in 1993 that “The culture of life means respect for nature and protection of God’s work of creation. In a special way, it means respect for human life from the first moment of conception until its natural end.”

In a debate with Al Gore in 2000 during a U.S. Presidential debate our President stated Surely this nation can come together to promote the value of life. Surely we can fight off these laws that will encourage doctors or allow doctors to take the lives of our seniors. Sure, we can work together to create a culture of life so some of these youngsters who feel like they can take a neighbor’s life with a gun will understand that that’s not the way America is meant to be.

If our best approach when facing a pandemic is to prepare how are we NOT promoting the culture of life by not shouting from the rooftops “PREPARE”?

I believe that this “Culture of Life” extends into the issue of pandemic preparedness. To a great extent I hold that this administration has done a great deal to prepare our infrastructure for the storms ahead and I realize that there are weighty considerations when informing the public to prepare for the inevitable pandemic. We do not all take in and react to threats the same and there are people in our society who will take advantage of a threat like this. But how much better to counter these people but to have aware, awake and ready citizens who can stand against a culture of death? Allowing people to remain largely unaware in itself will promote death. I do know that telling the nation in one great big shout could be detrimental to us all, I truly understand the dilemma.

BUT without this shout people will not be ready.

Many of my readers already know that my husband had major surgery. We make a good team, and the doctor did a good job, and he is recovering a bit – this too will be a slog. My point in bringing this up is that I was able to watch a transformation in his thinking. Leading up to his surgery and even now he stopped thinking about the need to prepare for what is in the future. His focus was on his own immediate problem, completely understandable. We all do this, we prioritize the threats and problems. He still is not looking to a future threat. Doctor bills, being out of work, have become the issue of the day. Without a long term future view we will not be prepared. That is why he has me :). When he can’t, I will. I am sure the table will turn at some point – life is so like that and so is a wonderful marriage.

The problem with short-term thinking is that the future eventually becomes the present and constantly looking at what is in the present is not a success oriented approach to life. And a pandemic is not something that can be prepared for or dealt with on a moments notice. The more information that we have available to us because we have thought through it ahead of time, the more food that we have in our pantries ahead of time (rotate that food), the more that we know what our communities have planned and what resources will be available to us, the more that we know how we ourselves can serve our communities, the better off we will be as individuals, families and towns and cities. In other words, we cannot afford to have short term thinking or priorities. I had to gently remind my husband of this even though he is still recuperating. Already having a full plate does not give us a “by” in dealing with what is piled on.

We are not going to escape this, it is in our future and the repercussions will be immense. A lot of suffering can be prevented and we CAN DO much to reduce deaths.

Every day we are bombarded with issues that seem overwhelming personally and as a society – from peak oil to war games in the Caribbean, to war with Iran, to terrorism and economic collapse, to the balance of power shifting in the world, if we are paying attention to all of these things it is easy to begin to think “what can I possibly do to prepare for any of this”. Wars and rumors of wars, disasters in various places, earthquakes, famines, plagues and pestilence, drought and destruction – yes, it will all come. But we do not have to fall into despair or lose hope. We can promote the culture of life through it all and become conquerors of death.

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

We cannot do much to alter the course that we are on except to do all the we can do as individuals to protect ourselves and our own families from a collapse that will come due to any cause – pandemic or otherwise. Pandemics need a bit of special preparedness because we will not have access to care like we do today.

The phrase “The Culture of Life” has many meanings to many people. When we look into the eyes of our children the concept becomes real. In 1995 Pope John Paul II further clarified his statement, “In our present social context, marked by a dramatic struggle between the culture of life and the culture of death, there is need to develop a deep critical sense capable of discerning true values and authentic needs.

true values

authentic needs

When we promote pandemic preparedness we are promoting the culture of life. When we actually prepare and help others to prepare we are promoting the culture of life. When we embrace our hope and shrug off our fear enough to move forward in response we overcome the culture of death. We become more than conquerors when we take an active role in promoting life.

The facts are that we can do so much more.

So while greater minds than mine and those with louder voices and more powerful positions of authority weigh our possible responses and decide whether or not our society can handle the truth I will quietly whisper to all who can hear “do not be afraid to prepare”

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