Apocalypse Not #4: What Now?

I was convinced if the Wuhan Corona Virus was as virulent as advertised we would have already seen evidence of it. My theory that  a nasty strain of flu that swept the Rio Grande Valley last December was the S strain of the Wuhan was a SWAG and we can now see I was wrong. I then thought the data driven analysis explained the lack of an outbreak but that too, has been debunked.

New York City has been hit hard, but at least one hospital, Lennox Hill is using HydroxyChloroquin, and they have yet to lose anyone of the 100 plus cases that they are treating. That is encouraging. Although the number of positive tests for COVID-19 will skyrocket there as testing comes on live there has yet to be a flood of pneumonia patients outside of New York City.

That too is encouraging.

One of the most popular videos in my area on the pandemic  is this one from Dr Emily Porter, an Emergency Medicine physician from Austin, Texas.  In her analysis she assumes a low end infection rate of 45% of the population and then does the math to show how large a catastrophe  that would be.  I’m certain the forecasted numbers have decreased since she made her presentation and I don’t think we are going to see those kinds of numbers. But again I base that on the assumption that we would already be seeing a surge in emergency room admissions for pneumonia. Maybe I’m wrong and we will see a surge in hospitalizations in the coming weeks. I sure hope not.

Tokyo,  despite being one of the most densely populated places on earth, has weathered the Wuhan virus well.  The Japanese success at stopping the virus is an excellent argument for taking our shoes off before we enter the house. It’s not a bad habit to adopt these days.

I can no longer traffic in “Do you know anyone with Wuhan?” meme’s because my friend Smari McCarthy, who lives in Iceland, tested positive. He’s going to be OK which is good news. He reminded me about riding out the Swine Flu epidemic in Jalalabad, Afghanistan in 2009. I don’t have the ingredients for the malaria chai though, that needs some #1 hash ghee and a little tincture of opium and those are in short supply in Texas. Helps to have somebody who knows what they’re doing brewing the stuff too.

Without the malaria chai we are left to do little else but stay off the streets, help our neighbors as need and wait to see what happens.  The President was quoted as saying he will reassess where we are in two weeks and maybe lift the bans as appropriate.

I still suspect we should have isolated the venerable while protecting our economy but future events may well prove me wrong. I’m just encouraged by each new day that arrives without another cluster overwhelming a local hospital system. As long as that continues we’ll be OK, and if it doesn’t continue I think we’ll see Americans, at the community level, coming together to work through the crisis at hand.

For now the only thing to do is stay at home, look after your neighbors and check up on the elderly folks who are not getting out much to see if they need anything.

3 Replies to “Apocalypse Not #4: What Now?”

  1. Mr. Lynch, I am a new reader of your blog. I gotta hand it to you, it is excellent. ‘Nam posts and wolves and sheepdogs got my attention, and I have been thinking about what you said in regards to sheepdogs getting medical training. Nowadays, with the medical personnel of the whole Western world overrun, it rings as true as ever.

    Do you think the authorities will call for volunteers to undergo training right now? Is it possible to speed-learn for this crisis, or is it too late? Nevertheless, when this whole mess is over I plan to start basic first-aid, and continue on from there.

    1. Welcome to the blog Francisco and it is encouraging you spent the time to go through the old posts. Most people go way back and look at the pictures from Afghanistan so I’m thrilled you enjoyed the written content. I am not sure if the federal government can or will offer up medical training. That is more the responsibility of local government officials and there are programs run by the Red Cross you can access for free. They are basic but better than nothing. I got may trauma training in the volunteer Rescue Squad program in Montgomery County Maryland. The volunteer rescue squads in that area were started by WW II vets and became an institution in the area.

      I would encourage you to seek out a volunteer Rescue Squad or Fire Department and take advantage of the training. The only thing in life more intense then a good firefight is responding to a multi alarm fire. Absent those organizations you need to seek out training opportunities.

      I carry a pistol because it is a tool I have mastered and in the unlikely chance I find myself needing that tool not having it is problematic. Behind the drivers seat of my truck is a tactical seat cover with pouches full of medical gear. I put the medical there because they too are tools I know how to work with. It is inevitable that I will run into a situation where having that gear is critical. That already happened when I pulled up on a nasty motorcycle incident involving multiple bikes a few years back. A State Trooper had arrive seconds ahead of me and I asked him if he needed a medic. He asked if I had any gear, I did not, he politely asked me to move on. That will never happen to me again.

      1. Thank you for your advice, Mr. Lynch, but I’m not a US citizen. In fact, I am an Argentinian, so owning a firearm of any kind is nearly impossible for me as a ‘civ’, and even if I could ammo is severely restricted. That’s why your appeal to become useful through medical training appealed so much to me.

        I am aware of the existence of a volunteer Fire Department in my area, so when all of this mess ends I’ll ask there. The Red Cross was another good idea too.

        I shudder at the thought of being in a situation where adequate preparation could be vital, and not be able to help (whether for lack of training or equipment). I also work as a teacher and frequently go with kids to campings and outdoor situations.

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