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.


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  • standingfirm

There Is Hope, Even When Death May Be Around Every Corner

Posted by preparedcitizens on November 16, 2008

[it is Sunday, it’s my blog – so I am going to tell it like it is]

Striving to save lives. That doesn’t adequately describe why I do what I do. Prepare this, prepare that, for what reason do we do this. And why focus so much on it when certainly there are more important things to be doing. Why urge people on? I ask myself this often.

I am not doing this so that lives may be saved. Though I suppose lives may be temporarily saved as a by-product of what I do. This life is a passing gift.

I am not doing this so that when the day of trouble comes we can all be a lot more comfortable and happy, although I suppose that may be a by-product of what I do. But that too is a temporary fix.

I am not doing this so that we can advance world peace or even a spirit of cooperation, who am I but a woman at a keyboard, that all seems so lofty, though I suppose it could be a by-product of what I do. But when the wind blows, that will change as it will.

I am not doing this so that people can read my words and find salvation, although that may be a result I suppose, though certainly not because of me or what I say or do. I can save no one.

I think that there is a danger in focusing so much on the value of human life that it becomes an idol. We have a reverence for human life that sometimes seems to be elevated above our reverence for God. We focus on ending misery by alleviating suffering all over the world. We focus on ending starvation, poverty, abuse, all noble deeds, unless we have lost the reason for why we do these things.

Of course, I cannot answer for anyone else. I can only explain the motives of my own heart in a clear way. I say this knowing even that it angers some.

We are all sinners who deserve hell. Every single one of us. Rich, poor, none of us even deserve life let alone a good and pleasant life. Not one of us is righteous. Not one of us deserves to be forgiven. And so many of us are not even bothered by this. This is an insult to God and so many today do not care about this at all. I say this because I know where anger towards me comes from, it comes from enmity with God. I am small, who should care what I think or say? If there truly is no God, why does He stir up so much in the human heart?

What is the primary care and concern today is our happiness. Too often what motivates us is the thought, “How can I be happy even though the rest are suffering.” We try to look noble in our motives. And I have met quite a few good folks who truly want to help others. With some I would want to ask is it because not helping others makes them feel miserable?

Too often over the years I have heard people express the thought is “how can I hide my ‘treasure’ so that thieves cannot come and steal it from me.” Too often the thought came up, “I will kill whoever tries to take what is mine.”

What we are not seeing in this is our utter selfishness, our self centeredness, our hedonism, is what is killing us now. For surely our soul is dying a little bit more with every step that we take away from the source of all goodness, God. We are insulting the Creator, our Heavenly Father, and so many just do not care. This old fashioned thinking of mine seems to make them feel bad about themselves and who wants that in this pleasure seeking, ego driven, society?

So many are not bothered by their insult toward God.

Remember God?

I remember God.

So what I do, I do, because I love God.

I blog about the pandemic, plague, pestilence, whatever you want to call it because I want to bring glory to God, through service. By serving God, a by-product may be that I end up serving my fellow man, as God pleases.

Whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.

Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:24

I know not to let my life be a stumbling block to others.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. ~1 Corinthians 10:31-33

I know the miracle that I have experienced in my life. Because I know this miracle, that has changed my life, bringing glory God means everything to me.

As far as the pandemic is concerned.

There is nothing man-made, man planned, man designed, that can save us from what is ahead.

And sometimes a pandemic seems such a small part of what the next few years will bring.

Do I think that some of our plans and efforts will help people, will relieve suffering, will make us better individuals, stronger families, stronger communities, I hope so.

I suspect that for the most part many have spent the better part of 5 years planning for a pandemic in order to keep our society, our world, functioning with as little a hitch as possible not because of good stewardship but because our pleasure in this world is threatened. We are afraid to suffer.

The truth is…

We are planning to throw antivirals, antibiotics, vaccines, and all manner of things at this and it is all like spitting into the wind if we have a severe pandemic.

A severe pandemic some say is too big for government to handle, they say “you are on your own”, and of course they are right. No government could take care of the needs of everyone during a pandemic.

A severe pandemic will be too big for local government to handle, and of course they are right too.

A severe pandemic is also too much for businesses to handle, and the truth of our massive incapacity to overcome this as human beings is frustrating so many people.

So what is the point?

I think the point is to get to the point where we are no longer bargaining or trying to make a deal with God (or death).

I think that the point is to get to the moment of decision.

Who do you serve, God or man?

Do you serve God or Mammon?

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other You cannot serve God and wealth. ~Matthew 6:19-24

I think that the point is to get to the point where every one of us decides what the meaning of their life is. And the point is to reach this moment of decision before their life ends and there is no turning back. To me, this is the reason for this season.

The only way for God to get glory is for us to be willing to give up our life by obedience to God. I embrace the cross of Christ not because of what I get out of it, I embrace the cross of Christ and suffer the anger and hatred of those who hate my words because I know that in giving up my life, and it does feel like that sometimes, I know that Jesus Christ is glorified. He has pardoned me. He is my advocate and my judge. To me this is the greatest joy on earth.

So even with knowing that a pandemic is snapping our jaws at our heals, I have found hope, joy and peace. But I found it when I was willing to give it the only pleasure that I knew, human pleasure for delighting in God.

That is the point.

There is hope, even when death may be around every corner.

Our hope is found in God.

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