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

Myths, Rumors, Outright Lies, and Some Truths Sprinkled In

Posted by preparedcitizens on November 17, 2008

I have spent the better part of the last three years studying pandemics, the H5N1 virus, infectious diseases, vaccines, online and offline as well. I am far from being an “expert”. I do know enough to not buy into some of the stuff being spread by people who always seem to be asking for donations. Ok, donations aren’t always bad when the money is spent wisely.  On some of these websites I just picture the author

laughing all the way to the bank.

I didn’t want to rely on the internet alone as a source of information because, well, it is the internet and anyone can say anything. It’s a new method of communication and relying on collaborative efforts could mean that we are collectively wrong.

Lately I have been reading a lot of myths and outright hyped fearmongering about influenza, H5N1, and “deliberate” pandemics. Pandemics happen and they have for centuries. Even if deliberately started, which I am not conceding by any stretch of the imagination, but even if – my response does not change. How I act responsibly would not change.

That’s what I do, and I think that it works for me.

I cut to the chase of what this all means to me, my family, my neighborhood, my town and how I, personally, can be of service to them in the difficult days ahead.

I am not in service to my government since I am not employed by it. I have not taken any oaths to uphold the government, but neither am I an anarchist. I believe that we get the government that we deserve. I truly do try to think every day “what would Jesus do” and then I try to do it.

The Roman Empire during the time that Jesus lived was a brutal government. We have some way to go. In some ways, it was because of the Roman Empire that the Gospel got its start, not in spite of it. God’s desire and purpose is never thwarted by anything man can and will do. In season and out of season, God’s will will be done.

In all of the New Testament I do not recall a single verse where Jesus spoke against the rulers of His day. He did speak against what rules our hearts when we are at enmity with God. “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the thing that are God’s”.

While rendering unto Caesar, we work within Caesar’s system in order to influence that system. We are citizens within that system and have the freedom, right and responsibility to try to influence our lawmakers and leaders. We live in a representative democratic republic, which is not the same as an absolute democracy. The people do not rule. In a representative republic, a certain body of electorate – the people – is represented by those we elect. These representatives are responsible to us.

This makes the days ahead very local to me. My local representative needs to understand my needs, my families needs, my towns needs, and he needs to represent our needs to the rest of the government.

I am an American citizen whose primary focus is on the health and well being of others. I can control what I do and my response to what the world throws at me. I can control how I respond to people who want to stir up feelings and emotions causing us to act without reason and responsibility.

It is not that I am in denial of the very precarious place we find ourselves, or the times that we are living in, I know full well most of the implications. I have actively sought to see the black swans amongst the white ones.

We are to be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves”.

I hear what people are saying and I hear the fear that they have. I just don’t share in it, but neither do I want to promote it. When I read websites that are promoting fear, angst, rebellion, and when they seem to be twisting words, I ask how this person could possibly know that what they are saying is true.

Could what they are saying be true, I suppose they could get a few things right but probably not all. And the sheer number of websites popping up after all this time of relative silence simply because more people are now paying attention tells me something. Making a name for yourself so you can make a quick buck in these economic times at the expense of others is shameful.

Learn to discern and rightly divide the truth.

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