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.

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Posts Tagged ‘Public Health’

A Room Of Dead Children

Posted by preparedcitizens on December 18, 2008

An ugly title for an ugly post, at least at the beginning.

Last night my husband and I enjoyed something that we rarely do, go out to eat at a restaurant.

We picked out a fun, quick, good, local place to eat. And the burgers were great. But my meal was practically ruined by the emotion that came over me.

It started with a sneeze by the mom of the family at the next table. No tissue, no sleeve, no hand sanitizer. A sneeze into a hand that touched the face of her lovely daughter right next to her…and so this is how it will all begin.

As I sat there, my eyes traveled from table to table. Children were everywhere. Happy faces at a special time of year, what can be better in the eyes of a child than Christmas time. The anticipation of great things to come just makes their little faces glow and their eyes sparkle.

As I continued to look at the family at the next table my heart started hammering. It ached.

And I choked up.

Each one of those children, my heart told me, may some day soon be counted among the dead.

At my table I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs ‘protect your children’ to each one of the parents in the restaurant. Not because I hate them, not because I am angry with them, not because I am outraged at them (yet) but because I really do love them and I really do care what may happen to them, why else be a public health activist other than to steer people away from what ultimately is pain of an unimaginable sort.


It is Christmas, a time of families and togetherness. A time of remembering whose birth it is that we are celebrating, Jesus Christ. It is also a time for some of us to think about children and family members who are no longer with us but who have gone on before us. It can be a very hard time for those who have lost loved ones. Every song, every light, can remind them of their loss.

This dichotomy, preparing for and urging others to prepare for a disaster and celebrating the birth of hope and our salvation, is hitting me especially hard this year. Oh, I still know the hope that I have. I still have the peace of Jesus Christ that surpasses all understanding.

Yet, I also still have the knowledge that sometimes the world goes through some very tough times. And those times are coming.

The awful and terrible thing about being a public health activist, is that I really know what havoc a novel strain of influenza can wreak on our bodies, and typically this type of influenza strikes at children and it kills them dead. This type of influenza can kill with such swiftness and ferocity that some have described the deaths of family members as “he was with us, healthy, one moment, and then he was gone. Just like that”. This is what a pandemic can be.

Not every pandemic has been something of nightmare proportions but enough of them have been that we cannot afford to gamble by doing nothing.

So here I am at my favorite time of year with a heavy, heavy, heart because I am looking ahead to more holidays, years down the road, where perhaps we will be looking back in remembrance of those we lost in the pandemic. Oh how this hurts. It hurts so much to know that there are things we can do to minimize the deaths and to minimize what else will come with this. But we can’t do any of it unless the parents listen first.


So if you are reading these heartfelt words today, please, please, search out what has been written by countless experts, medical professionals, moms and dads just like you, and people who just know – a pandemic is coming.

Know that there ARE things that we can do to protect these little ones who mean so much to us. These children who are our live’s, the children who bring us joy and who we are duty bound to protect, are worth every single bit of preparedness effort we can muster.

There is something worse that preparing for a pandemic, not preparing for one and having to bury our dead children.

Your children and grandchildren are counting on you!


As sometimes happens, I have to come back to a post because I thought I was finished and realized that I only wrote half of the message.

As a public health activist, over the years I have been struck by the similarity between what I do every day – talk about health, researching health topics, and urging preparedness, and what I carry in my heart every day – the message that this life is fleeting and there is so much more beyond this life.

So what is a message about preparedness without a message of hope?

As a parent I also realized that I was duty bound and wanted to help my children to realize that they are loved and wanted by their Creator, God. With that message they also heard from us why Jesus came to earth and how, if we open our hearts to Him, He quickly enters and that is where they will find all peace, hope and love.

Of course that is our families way, our belief, our truth.

It is also the other half of the message, the more important half, of preparedness. Preparing for eternity. A wonderful message indeed.

. . yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.


Posted in Children, Parenting | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Tell The People!

Posted by preparedcitizens on March 25, 2008

By the people for the people…..TELL THE PEOPLE so the people can do the by the people for the people thing!

I am sorry but all I want to say when I see these webinars, seminars, conferences, meetings, and events where we all speak to each other round and round and round and round is blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and more blah! Yeah, I know, we are learning and sharing….whoopdeedoo Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Prepare, Public Health | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bridging the Divide??

Posted by preparedcitizens on March 23, 2008

When the government wants information from us great campaigns have been developed.  However, when WE need information from our government where is this great effort? Not that effort has not been expended on our behalf, but effective effort at the level it is needed, that is what I question. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in pandemic, Public Health | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »