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2/14/12

Attack of the Misc!

It's been a while since I've done an Attack of the Misc! post, which is basically a random, disconnected post of stuff that may be interesting but doesn't necessitate a full-fledged post.

First up, I decided it was time to graduate from the .blogspot and purchase a real domain name, teotwawkiblog.net. I'd have preferred the .com, but Papa Bear J.W. Rawles has that. The old URL still works perfectly fine--it's not going anywhere, so no need to update links and bookmarks--but I figured teotwawkiblog.net was a lil' easier to remember. I may just turn it into a redirect back to the .blogspot address...still figuring this out! Update: For the time being, I'm going to run teotwawkiblog.net as a redirect to the regular .blogspot address. Should be working within the next couple of hours.

Second, it's Valentine's Day. Spend some time with your S/O and try to avoid the doom/gloom talk if at all possible.


Doomsday Preppers Tonight
Another episode of Doomsday Preppers is on tonight, called "Back to the Stone Age." The cable synopsis says it features a man preparing his family for an EMP attack and a NY firefighter preparing for the eruption of the Yellowstone super volcano. I'll have an open thread for discussion up tonight. It doesn't look like the usual online sources (Amazon, iTunes) are carrying the show in digital format, so if you don't get NatGeo you're probably out of luck for now.

Contagion
TEOTWAWKI Wife and I just watched Contagion, which we missed during its theater run. A pandemic drama, told mostly from the CDC point of view. Scary but a watered down take on what would happen. They show looting, robbers and some societal breakdown, but it's mostly kept in control--the power's still on, looters aren't armed, etc.  Worth a rental, especially as an "eye opener" for anyone who needs it. Has some Hollywood A-listers in it, too--Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and other recognizable faces.


Things to Check Out
  • A good post on home defense firearms from the guys at Box o' Truth. http://bit.ly/xOoSZb 
  • Act of Valor may not be about the end of the world, but it looks like it will have some great action scenes in it! http://bit.ly/yKLvA3 
  • Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy from DoomandBloom have a new book out, The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook. We've got a copy coming in for review--looks good! http://bit.ly/wzTHrT

8 comments :

  1. Saw contagion also. They played down the violence big time. For example, Matt Damon's character looks out the window of his house and sees several flashes and hears several dull thuds coming from the neighbor's house. Then two men walk out the back door and flee. The scene implies that the intruders killed whoever was in the house, took what they wanted and left, but it is hard to tell and we never found out what happened. Even the looting was rather tame, hell a sports championship triggers 10x the looting that was in this movie.

    I did like the “food for thought” scenes that I had not considered. For example, I found it interesting that both the nurses and truckers refused to work because there were no protocols. Never thought about nurses (and probably doctors) refusing to work because of lack of treatment protocols and high rate of infection. Or that the police departments were experiencing 25+% absenteeism (presumably from illness or fear of infection). And the scene of the hospital admitting area after the epidemic is full blown makes you think staying home is probably far better than trying to seek treatment when the hospital’s staff, resources, supplies and space are overwhelmed and exhausted. That was an eye opener, but it makes complete sense. Also, once the trucks stop rolling food, medical supplies and other resources stop too, which further exacerbates the problems. I think the movie showed a fairly realistic scenario of what could happen if a novel virus catches WHO and the CDC off guard. In a real epidemic, I have no doubt that by the time the WHO and CDC get involved the epidemic will be wide spread. Neither organization strikes me as a “get in front of it early” organization. Of course what can you expect from government organizations?

    The only thing that worked for some time was social distancing (e.g., family bunkers down at home with no one in and no one out.) Social distancing was also used during the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918. Keep in mind when the Spanish Flu epidemic hit the United States it spread from coast to coast in less than 30 days. And that was in 1918. Imagine that same scenario today with high speed, low cost international and domestic air travel, major freeway systems, mass transit systems, expansive rail systems and a highly mobile society. By the time it was viewed as a problem and hits the WHO and CDC’s radar it could be out of control.

    -DB

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  2. Contagion is a good moovie about something that might happen.. But like other moovie, it is still a moovie writen somewhere with some rules.

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  3. "Keep in mind when the Spanish Flu epidemic hit the United States it spread from coast to coast in less than 30 days. And that was in 1918. Imagine that same scenario today with high speed, low cost international and domestic air travel, major freeway systems, mass transit systems, expansive rail systems and a highly mobile society. By the time it was viewed as a problem and hits the WHO and CDC’s radar it could be out of control."


    This is actually sorta backwards.

    Germ theory and modern medicine was just getting going in 1918 and most people that died from the Spanish Flu died before they'd figured out what it was and how best to handle it. Now we know what causes the flu and have vaccines and real time tracking of deceases. When some kid in a hut in Tajikistan gets bird flu the CDC and WHO know about it less than 24 hours later. The Flu's even got it's own Google tracking page. http://www.google.org/flutrends/ And we know to wash our hands and wear a face mask.

    The SARS epidemic and the 1968 flu pandemic are better models to look at
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong_flu#The_1968-1969_pandemic

    Which isn't to say that the world couldn't go to hell in a hand-basket in a hurry, a SARS outbreak coupled with a financial meltdown, and riots in a half dozen major cities around the world would do nicely to take the world apart for a while.

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    1. Michael,

      You seem to be missing the point and reinforcing mine. It is not sorta backwards if you follow the discussion. We are talking about a novel virus that would result in many deaths, "before they'd figured out what it was and how best to handle it.”, to use your words. Your comment here is exactly what I am talking about. In addition, you reinforce my point with the wikipedia link.

      “The first record of the outbreak in Hong Kong appeared on 13 July 1968. By the end of July 1968, extensive outbreaks were reported in Vietnam and Singapore. Despite the fatality of the 1957 Asian Flu in China, little improvement had been made regarding the handling of such epidemics. [The Times newspaper was actually the first source to sound alarm regarding this new possible pandemic.]”

      Based on what is on the site, it was a newspaper (The Times) and not a government agency that was the first to raise the alarm. While I am speaking about a novel virus, you seem to be using a retread (mutation) of a previously known virus in your examples (e.g., comparing apples to oranges).

      While I do not doubt that, “When some kid in a hut in Tajikistan gets bird flu the CDC and WHO know about it less than 24 hours later.” This is ONLY because it is a known, researched and vetted virus with established protocols and treatment. What I said was, “I think the movie showed a fairly realistic scenario of what could happen if a novel virus catches WHO and the CDC off guard. In a real epidemic, I have no doubt that by the time the WHO and CDC get involved the epidemic will be wide spread. Neither organization strikes me as a “get in front of it early” organization.”

      The point is that in a situation where we are faced with a novel (new) virus many people would become infected, misdiagnosed (e.g., encephalitis), treated with protocols and medicines based on the misdiagnosis and die before the WHO or CDC are able to identify it as a novel virus. Sure they might get word that there are large clusters of “encephalitis outbreaks” in different countries but this will only slow their response because they will be relying on doctors’ misdiagnoses and the use of established protocols for that diagnosed virus. The WHO and CDC will probably then monitor these cluster but until the death toll spikes or the geographic clusters spikes or both, these organization will be operating in normal mode thinking they understand the virus and the necessary protocols and treatments. It will not be until these protocols fail, infection spike and the death toll escalate that the WHO or CDC will realize they are dealing with a new and unknown virus. This has been demonstrated in the past when society is faced with a previously unknown virus.

      While I have no doubt that the WHO and CDC will eventually find a cure in the scenario I laid out, this will likely only happen after many many deaths.

      -DB

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    2. You're correct, I did misread your comment! But, SARS was a novel virus and the flu viruses are always mutating. They'll pick it up. I'm sure that we'll have severe outbreaks, but those outbreaks will be limited in scope. It'll be good to have preps if an outbreak hits your area and all the stores are closed for two weeks.

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  4. Hey Mr. Wolf--where can we pick that book up--I'd be very interested in picking that one up!

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    1. I've updated the post with the link--sorry, meant to have it in there!

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