(This article, by John McConnell who runs The Peppy Prepper website I link to at the right, is a response to some of the latest news on the Ebola outbreak. Things are changing every day, even every hour. The worst thing about all the changes are that every assurance the government and the Center for Disease Control gives turns out to be demonstrably false within a day or two. John is an old and dear friend. Ever since I have known him, he has led groups of men through the American Baptist Men’s Disaster Relief Organization into the field to voluntarily help survivors of natural disasters. He was there for Katrina, there at Joplin, there at Sandy Hook and many others. He has averaged almost two major relief efforts every year for the last 10 years. He is not a theoretician: he is a man who gets his hands dirty. He does not work for the government; he does not do it for profit; he did not even much broadcast the work he did until recently when he wanted to start helping people prepare for these sorts of difficult situations, seeing that some terrible things were coming our way. I walked by the town of Wiggins, Mississippi on my pilgrimage, where John and his fellow volunteers spent about a month helping survivors of Katrina get their lives back on track.
May God prevent a pandemic here. It is clear that government won’t and can’t. But a host of things are drawing together at the same time. It is good to make what preparations you can. John will be providing updates – and I will reprint them as soon as he does. His site has been the one I have recommended for practical physical preparation since I began this site early this year. – because he has vast experience and he does what he does for love – both of God and neighbor.
In one of the early articles that appeared on me in Spirit Daily back in 2003, I remarked that our technology would fail. I meant what I said in the obvious sense – and also in the sense that we would be confronted with things we could not cope with save through a near-absolute surrender to and reliance on God. What I said then is true now. God does not leave us bereft. We have chosen to make the state our god…and now discover that not only does it have feet of clay, but legs, arms and a head of clay, too. Technology will not rescue us. But God set His rainbow in the sky after the Flood as His covenant with mankind. He has kept His promise even as we have abandoned ours. Take refuge in Him. I know it sounds too simple, but it is in acknowledging God, taking the next right step and being a sign of hope to those around us that we will find security. Live it. For now, a few practical observations from a man who has busied himself taking the next right step in a very fundamental way for a good long while.)
By John McConnell
(Updated) Recently we have witnessed the arrival of the Ebola virus to the United States. Last summer we had some medical missionary’s who were exposed in West Africa and came back for treatment which was successful. More recently we had someone who lives in West Africa come to the US and who ended up being ill with Ebola. After some confusing attempts to get medical help he did get admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital where he received treatment but died. Now we are learning that the healthcare workers had little to no training…the CDC reportedly told them to give them a call for instructions! These brave workers evidently didn’t even have proper haz mat suits for the first couple days.
We were assured by the CDC that they were “monitoring” the 76 healthcare professionals who had been in contact with the ill man. Then we find out that one of the workers became ill with the virus. The CDC claimed that she did not follow protocols, a claim which is being disputed by the Nurses Union. Again, we were assured that this virus is under control and there is nothing to worry about. Today, we learned that another healthcare worker has been confirmed to have the virus. The CDC told us that she had taken a commercial airplane flight Monday from Cleveland back to Dallas. We were assured that she had not shown symptoms until after she got back to Dallas. Nothing to worry about…
Now it has come out that indeed she had a low grade fever and there were another 132 passengers additionally crew on the flight. Not to mention other people she may have exposed at the airports, restaurants, etc. that she traveled through. As you can see this situation is very confused without clear focus on containing the virus in a knowledgeable manner.
I have been doing disaster relief with the American Baptist Men Disaster Relief organization since Katrina. I have been on over 18 missions indeed, most of the major disaster in the US since Katrina. I was surprised to receive an email from Illinois VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters) which is part of a national VOAD organization. The CDC is using VOAD to spread the word to groups like the American Baptist Men Disaster Relief Organization to announce a national telephone conference this coming Saturday. Part of the stated purpose is to be updated on efforts in West Africa. The other purpose was put as stated below:
“Please share this invitation widely with your colleagues and partners.
CDC will provide information about the Ebola outbreak, and updates on what CDC is doing to help stop it. Reverend Miriam J. Burnett of the Resource and Promotion of Health Alliance, Inc. will discuss the potential role of places of worship, community, and family in addressing Ebola concerns of those living in the US. “
Reading between the lines of government doublespeak I became a bit suspicious. The email also asked that if one has questions to email ahead of time as there is likely to be many people on the telephone conference and questions would not be taken live. So, I emailed the following question:
“Will the CDC or some other governmental organization be providing training to help local groups handle possible scenarios in case of Ebola outbreak? If yes, what kind of training, when and where?“
To the point and difficult to dodge. I did not expect to get an answer but was hoping to have it answered at the conference.
About twenty minutes later I received the following answer:
Thanks for your inquiry. We’re looking into what trainings may be available at the local level and will get back to you.
I am very pleased that the CDC is moving quickly to organize at the local level. I also understand the ramifications of the probable meaning of the purpose of this conference.
It is time for those of us inclined to protecting our families to adjust our prepping strategies or rehash our existing strategy for preparing for Ebola risk.
Probably the first and to me the most difficult consideration is the trigger point at which to go full tilt from prepping to action. I have not figured that out fully at this time…I have some general thoughts however that may help you. I don’t think that a magic number of those infected alone is the correct answer. For example, if we hit 10,000 infected that may not a adequate trigger point. The reason being, I am thinking… is that the infected could be relatively limited geographically and perhaps proper restrictions on travel are in place to help stem the spread of the virus, so a simple number may not be a good trigger point.
Of bigger concern for me is the breadth of the infected area…the geographical range, as well as the growth rate of infected. Each of us will have to figure their own trigger point in which to take action.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently estimated that there have been about 1,000 new cases (worldwide) per week for the last four weeks. However, their concern is that there will be somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 new cases per week within two months. Read the report here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-14/who-sees-up-to-10-000-west-africa-ebola-cases-a-week.html
If we see the same kind of geometric increase here we can literally overrun our health care system. We are quite limited presently with only a handful of facilities which are truly rated for adequately handling Ebola. That is why the nurse whom just became known to be infected is being flown to Atlanta. The possibility of over saturation of our capability to handle the disease is most worrisome. That is probably why the CDC is very wisely acting now to activate local groups to help out. There is a learning curve we will have to deal with in order to expand the ability to handle the spread if infections become even moderately widespread.
Consequently, the numbers do not have to be all that high, but for me the dispersion of those infected will in combination with the infected growth rate determine my personal trigger point for action.
What does that mean? That is the point at which I bring my children, parents, and other family and some friends to my farm and we basically shut down. I hope and pray that does not become necessary but so far this whole thing has been handled in such a ironic collection of errors. I was speaking with a young man I have known since he was a toddler. He is in his mid twenty’s and is a farmer. He is very concerned and been paying attention to the news stories as they break. He mentioned to me that it is like watching a B rated horror film where the actors are so stupidly oblivious to the danger that they literally stand and stare at the danger watching as it slowly comes their way leaving the audience screaming “MOVE”. I think that is an apt description for what I see as well. The CDC seems to have a leadership problem although I am confident their hearts are in the right place. But, the collection of crazy errors in judgement, like just learning on the news that the second health care victim who flew on a commercial plane while having a fever had called the CDC before she flew and was told it was okay to fly even with her fever! And they knew she had had exposure to the Ebola virus. It is just crazy.
I had been investigating protective clothing and equipment recently and have learned that for a limited risk as hopefully we will be, we can get by with relatively inexpensive stuff. For example, I have purchased some Tyvek suits complete with hoods. I have also recently bought medical exam gloves, which I will wear under heavier rubber type gloves should I need to suit up. I have military grade gas masks with respirator filter suitable for biological or chemical warfare that goes with my gas masks. I need to pick up some goggles and shoe covers yet. I have stockpiled some bleach and include spray bottles where I store them. I found this site that appears to have good information and products, but I don’t endorse any particular business or products: http://ebolavirus.us/
Bleach kills all viruses and if you find yourself in a situation where you need to suit up for instance I would recommend a complete and very thorough bleach “shower” using the spray bottles you have stored with your bleach. It may hurt your nose and eyes but it will kill the virus. One of the major danger points for infection is when you have to undress from your protective clothing. Hence the exam gloves under the rubber gloves. Extreme care, even after the bleach cleaning, must be taken not to touch the outside of any of the gear which has been exposed to the virus. You bag the Tyvek suits (they are disposable) your gloves, boot covers, etc. and wash the exam gloves with bleach (I would just plain immerse them while on my hands) then finally take them off and carefully place them in the bag, or a neat pile on the ground. Pour gasoline on the bag or pile and burn it completely. Here is what the CDC recommends: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/prevention/index.html
Another consideration that you need to think about to design a good plan is how you will handle those who come to receive help. They may be family, friends, or just some sadly desperate people. If you decide to help them and a widespread infection is in affect for your region then you should quarantine them for at least 21 days. Don’t touch them or things they touch without gloves. You can have them sleep in a tent and do not allow them to come close to you or your living quarters during that quarantine time.
The experts claim that Ebola cannot be transferred by air, except in the case of sneezing,coughing, spitting or something like that…where you actually are receiving some body fluids which have traveled through the air. However, there are some scientists who claim that the virus can live for several hours on a dry surface…like a glass or cup or plate. And longer in moderate temperature liquids. So, be very careful if you find you have close proximity to an infected person. Best to get them to a local medical facility or area as quickly as possible and without putting them in YOUR car. Hopefully, if it gets bad enough there will be military or volunteer help to bring infected individuals to facilities. Here are the CDC thoughts on transmission: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/transmission/index.html I have read and listened to scientists who feel there is probably more propensity for even more casual transmission than the CDC lists.
Other issues like food, power, etc. for survival are in other articles and links on this site. Hopefully you have been familiarizing yourself with prepping strategy and actually prepping yourself. Remember, when disaster strikes your prepping is most likely over and you will be limited to whatever you have stored and prepared for up to that time.
As I get more information I will post more articles that hopefully will help you protect yourself and your family. In them meantime, this is a very good time to open your heart to God and develop a very good relationship with Him. He is all powerful and will protect your soul forever. God bless.