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

Why care about pandemic influenza in Monson MA

Posted by preparedcitizens on October 3, 2008

There is a world of difference between what we know today as seasonal influenza and what we will know in the time ahead as pandemic influenza.

The severity of the illness is drastically greater with regards to pandemic influenza. The complications are also more severe. Bacterial pneumonia will be prevalent and so are a host of other complications. The length of the illness and how ill we will become is greater and deaths from the pandemic variety of influenza will be widespread even among those groups not as effected by the seasonal variety — children and young adults with robust immune systems. A pandemic is caused by a novel strain of a virus that humans have not encountered before. We have no antibodies in our system to fend off the virus and it quickly overwhelms our immune systems.

There is no vaccine and there will not be one for many months into a pandemic.

Antivirals may not be of much use to us because some of the strains that are circulating now are becoming resistant to some antivirals. Skilled medical care is needed and it may not be available to us during a pandemic for a variety of reasons.

For our purposes at the local level a pandemic is a series of local epidemics. A pandemic is a collection of epidemics. While it is a global illness, a global superstorm that will strike virtually simultaneously in our much travelled world we have to think very locally if we want to be able to recover.

Spikes of illness in our area that occur with regularity over 18 to 24 months. Because of the severity of the illness and the long term illness that it causes the world as we know it will change for a time. Schools will close. Businesses will close. Services like water, electricity, trash pickup, will all be effected due to  absenteeism. People who have needs for care now may not receive that care during a pandemic. The elderly will not receive some of the services that they have grown reliant on.

Without understanding the illness and the ways that we can avoid becoming ill ourselves we will fear those who are ill, those who will need care. We can avoid this by understanding how the virus is transmitted and how long people are contagious and shedding the virus. We can also know that we can protect ourselves and still care for the sick and those who are grieving the loss of loved ones.

During a pandemic store shelves may sporadically empty not to be filled as regularly as we appreciate now. This is due to the way that we have structured our delivery system. We are set up for what is called “just in time” delivery. Our system is efficient when we are all basically healthy. This system will break down during a pandemic. That is why we are being urged to prepare now. Our shelves need to become those store shelves now. This is crucial to realize. Truckers become ill, warehouse workers will become ill, store employees will become ill, we will become ill, and none of us will be able to venture out only to find empty shelves.

During a pandemic the services that we appreciate now may not be repaired as quickly or easily during a pandemic. With worker absenteeism high, downed power lines due to an accident or a storm for instance, may take weeks to repair  when there are few available workers.

With the amount of people who will be seriously impacted by this increasing our hospitals and medical clinics (link opens powerpoint presentation) will not be able to handle the surge of patients. With “just in time” delivery, supplies will not be restocked and even if that was not an issue, the sheer amount of patients needing ventilators will overwhelm the system as it is today. We will have to care for our loved ones as best we can at home. When we consider how severe pandemic influenza is and how much care is needed it overwhelms the senses to think of caring for loved ones at home even when we ourselves may be ill.

And then we must think of those who already have medical needs which require a high level of care now. With just in time delivery, will needed medications make it to pharmacy shelves, and will there be a pharmacist to dispense the needed medications?

Pandemics are wicked problems.

And there are no easy solutions.

We need to work at this problem as individuals and collectively in our towns in order to save as many lives as we can possibly save. The government will NOT BAIL US OUT and they have said as much.

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.”

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