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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

COVID-19. FACTS MATTER, NOW MORE THAN EVER.

More than ever before, at least the last several years, facts matter.  They matter on a global scale and even more directly they matter at the level of you and your family. Covid-19 is a real emergency,  though exactly how big of an emergency, we don't fully know. I live in the Canadian prairie in a medium size city. For us, as far as we are aware, at this moment, there is minimal risk. The cases in Canada are currently on the west coast and our main population center in and around Toronto. Theses are literally in the thousands of kilometers away from me.

Do I need to be concerned? Yes.

Do I need to prepare? Yes.

Do I need stockpile supplies? Yes, well sort of.

Do I need isolate from the world? Maybe?

Answering these questions and making decisions requires accurate information and FACTS. We can act based on the opinions of recognized experts, but even there, the opinions they give us need to be informed based on the best FACTS. Fringe politics uses lies and propaganda to convince followers of vast conspiracies. Autocratic leaders mix truth and outright fiction to muddy the reality and keep people in line and the Trump administration appears to be employing these tactics around Covid-19 to cover up their mistakes, misjudgments and outright incompetence on a number of fronts.

Let's look at those earlier questions along with some links to the experts so you can access the information without having to rely on a guy from the Canadian prairies whom you have never met.

Do I need to be concerned?

Yes, we all do, but concern is not panic. Concern m
eans there is an issue or event that can affect you in a negative way and you are aware of it. Being aware and concerned gives you the motivation to take required actions to prepare you and your family.

www.hc-sc.gc.ca Health Canada
www.cdc.gov U.S. Center for Disease Control

Do I really need to prepare?

Yes we need to prepare, and prepping is not only smart it is patriotic as well. Being prepared is calming as well. When you have a plan and resources ready, it is far easier to take a breath and assess what is going on around you.

When we take the time and expense to prepare for a situation that we know is possible, if not certain, we reduce the load on the support systems. These support and response systems are very likely to be pushed to and often passed the breaking point. Not having to respond to issues that could have been prevented with citizen preparedness will be huge in managing a developing crisis. Don't forget, the rest of the natural world is not stepping aside to give COVID-19 the disaster monopoly.  There is still going to be floods, fires, earthquakes and storms along with other disaster events. So PLEASE prepare in a reasoned and responsible way.

Do I need to stockpile supplies?

Yes, but stockpiling is not hoarding. You need, primarily, to be able to know you can comfortably last in your house or apartment for two weeks,  without going out, if you are required to self-isolate. That is literally two weeks inside the wa─║ls of your place without leaving. Food, water, cleaning, toiletries, pet supplies, medication, snacks, hobbies, beverages etc.

Hand sanitizer and products like household bleach are valuable in controlling viruses and bacteria in your home. Authorities are trying to get across an important message. STOP BUYING MASKS! The type of cloth, "surgical" mask at most stores is not effective for this purpose. Save your money, don't drain the supply for professionals who can make effective use of these masks.

You will also need to pack the right attitude. If this is the request made of you it is not punishment,  it is the protection of you and your community. Being prepared makes this possibility easier to deal with.  I said easier, not easy. It will put significant strain on you and your family, but it is vital to manage the impact of COVID-19 in our communities.

www.hc-sc.gc.ca Health Canada
www.cdc.gov U.S. Center for Disease Control

Do I need to isolate from the world?

Maybe, but not forever,  and not walking dead style.  As mentioned above you may be requested or even required to self-isolate. That is up to your local health authorities. They will base this on the situation on the ground where you are.

FACTS MATTER, you can't expect to make good decisions without good information. Check with your local health and emergency preparedness departments for your local situation.  More broadly check with national health and disease prevention authorities. There is a ton of bad information swirling around, make sure you are getting the good stuff. If anything you have read on here conflicts with your local health authorities, for God's sake listen to them.

www.hc-sc.gc.ca Health Canada
www.cdc.gov U.S. Center for Disease Control

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