We have all seen these types of pandemic headlines in the news:
EBOLA OUTBREAK – CONGO ON HIGH ALERT!
DISEASE X COULD CAUSE A GLOBAL PANDEMIC
ZIKA VIRUS AT ‘PANDEMIC’ LEVEL
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION GET READY FOR ‘DISEASE X’
ARE WE READY FOR THE NEXT GLOBAL OUTBREAK?
… the list goes on …
While sensationalist headlines are entertaining and produce revenue generating ratings for the news networks, it is hard to sift through the Facts to determine what the Real Risk is.
After discussing past outbreaks with friends, I decided to avoid the hype and started my own independent research.
… AND WHAT I FOUND IS TERRIFYING!
Before going into the details, let’s cover a few things first.
Teaser: Real quick, if you want to skip some (or all) of the explanation, take a look at what the real problem is, and discover great ways to prepare for a pandemic, checkout the following cheat guide for the next few segments.
- Endemic vs Epidemic vs. Pandemic
- What caused pandemics in the past, and what diseases are capable of causing major pandemics today?
- Problem – The new age of scientific bio hacking and what diseases may look like in the future.
- How to plan for the worst and hope for the best
- Pandemic gear and resources you need to prepare in advance.
What is the difference between ‘epidemic’, ‘pandemic’, and ‘endemic’?
The exact classification of an endemic vs. epidemic, or pandemic vs. epidemic, is often times a grey line that involves extensive expert review to determine how each event is categorized.
While there are similarities between the words and meaning of endemic, epidemic, and pandemic, there are also distinct differences that help bring a level of clarity to the classification process R.
- Endemic: a disease that exists in a specific part of the world or population with a predictable infection rate.
- Epidemic: When a disease spreads to multiple people or communities beyond reasonable expectations.
- Pandemic: When an epidemic penetrates containment and the infectious disease spreads to multiple people throughout the globe. The is ‘the really bad one’.
What type of diseases have caused endemics, epidemics, and pandemics in the past?
First, let’s start off with ‘endemics‘. Examples of endemic diseases include malaria in parts of Africa, or chicken pox in the United States.
Even STDs such as Hepatitis B or Syphilis (in the past) are, or were, considered endemics.
While nobody appreciates a horrible fever or rash, it is safe to say these types of illnesses are not running rampant within developed countries.
Next, let’s take a look at ‘epidemics‘ as this is where things can spin out of control quickly. There are seasonal epidemics such as influenza, also known as the flu (e.g. H1N1). Seasonal epidemics can cause deaths, typically affecting the elderly or those with pre-existing health conditions, but this is usually in small numbers.
Examples of epidemic diseases (that are not seasonal) include the Plague, Ebola, and even HIV / AIDS which have since become a low grade pandemic.
I think we are all familiar with HIV, so let’s take a high-level look at ‘The Plague‘ and ‘Ebola‘ considering recent events.
What to skip the ‘boring stuff’? Click Here ←
Bubonic Plague – What is it and when was the plague?
I am sure a lot of people believe (as I did) that the Bubonic Plague was ‘The Black Death’, you know, the one that happened hundreds of years ago and killed millions of people.
However, at a much small rate the bubonic plague still exists today.
The plague is rarely seen in the US, but is still active in parts of Africa, South America, and Asia.
Madagascar is an island of the coast of Africa. In 2017, it experienced an epidemic where the plague infected +2,100 people resulting in over 170 deaths R.
Now considering the population of Madagascar at that time was 25.6 million people, that is a mere 0.000006% of their population.
Does not seem as bad right?
That number drops even further for the US. In 2016, there were 16 cases and only a few deaths R.
With that said, the chances of contracting the plague in the US plummets to “4.9474335188620902906617192331478e-8” ← that means there were too many 0’s after the decimal for my simple calculator to handle.
The reality is, the chances of contracting the plague today and likely in the future is slim to absolutely none. Moving on to Ebola.
Ebola – What is it and what are the symptoms?
What is Ebola you might ask? It is bad, really really bad. The Ebola virus literally makes you bleed out of your eyes and turns your nose, toes, and other body parts black – it also does a great job shutting down your organs.
The good news is, since 1990 there have only been 8 cases including 1 death in the US R.
This means the right controls are in place to prevent rapid spread, and hospitals and local resources are able to quickly contain it in the event of an outbreak.
The chances of you contracting Ebola in the US is even less than the plague, meaning there is basically no chance.
Pandemics in recent times
Examples of modern day pandemics would be HIV (killed 35 million) R and Tuberculosis (ongoing, 10 million infected each year and nearly 2 million die) R, and older pandemics such as Smallpox (300-500 million) R.
Older folks will remember smallpox, and we are all familiar with HIV. They are destructive and have caused millions of deaths, but they are not a huge concern these days and most people would probably agree they have become an afterthought.
So what are the real chances of a pandemic today?
Again, the numbers do not lie and the simple facts is, the chances of you contracting a ‘traditional pandemic-level disease’ is zero, zip, zilch, nada… unless you are the 1 in 10-million exception.
So if traditional pandemics are not really anything to worry about, then who gives a crap right?
Well, here is truth.
In my opinion, the future risk of pandemics at a scale we have never seen before is extremely high.
You see, in the next segment you will come to realize there are a number of unfortunate circumstances and recent technological breakthroughs that have the potential to cause absolute chaos.
THE PROBLEM: What will the next pandemic in the new digital age look like?
Let’s review two problems first and then move on to threats. Think of these as pre-existing conditions that make us all more susceptible candidates for the next pandemic.
- Active World: In past pandemics, people were not as mobile considering modern day transportation was still in its infancy. Today, that has changed. People commute hours to work in crowded subways, taxis, buses, railways, and other forms of public transportation. They travel to other countries for business and pleasure. Americans fly halfway across the country to watch their favorite team. We visit relatives in other states… there are a lot of opportunities for people to come in contact with other people that do not live in their direct community. By the way, some of these diseases can incubate for a week or more before first signs of symptoms appear.
- Antibiotic Apocalypse: When we get sick, we take antibiotics and the excessive use over the years has created antibiotic resistant diseases; this means antibiotics will not be as effective or eventually stop working altogether R. When antibiotics do not work, people stay sicker longer and have more opportunity to infect others. The additional exposure leads to an increase in infections, and the vicious cycle starts to spin out of control.
Problems aside, what are the real future pandemic threats?
Simply put, the threat is real and is not a ‘conspiracy’. Let me paint a picture…
It only takes one person with enough knowledge to engineer a super bug that is designed to spread quickly and reject antibiotics.
The rapid spread of disease could counter or exceed any containment efforts made by the government and local agencies.
It is at this point that a full blown pandemic has broken out, and the increased spread could result in a ‘hyper pandemic’ with the potential to kill millions upon millions of people across the globe.
If I were to make future pandemic predictions, I would say (in my opinion):
- Rise of New Age Bioterrorism: We are in the early stages of the modern bioterrorism frontier. New technologies like CRISPR have made it possible to completely modify a person’s DNA and overall genetic makeup. CRISPR in basic terms provides the ability to add, edit, or delete the genes of any organism (that means us humans). In the past, editing DNA was a labor intensive and expensive process that only lab geeks could accomplish… not so much anymore. CRISPR kits are cheap and easy to order online. This technology can be used for good, but will surely make its way into the wrong hands and be used for very bad things as well.
Just think – wouldn’t a terrorist love to create the ‘Perfect Disease’, one that could bypass and destroy the immune system, reject antibiotics, shut down bodily functions, and spread quickly?
Don’t just take my word for it.
There is a reason why James Clapper (US National Intelligence Director) added gene editing to a list of threats posed by “weapons of mass destruction and proliferation” R.
Here is another crazy idea.
What if a wannabe DIY CRISPR hacker screws up?
Or, what if somebody that knows what they are doing decides to pull a lethal prank?
See this quick CRISPR explainer video and let your mind wander through the possibilities …
… and checkout how this crazy ‘garage bio hacker’ has introduced the ability for anyone to play mad scientist by offering super cheap DIY CRISPR Kits to the masses online.
- Organic Endemics and Pandemics: SARS, MERS, Zika, Tuberculosis, Ebola, Malaria, Cholera, Plague, HIV, Influenza… these all came from ‘somewhere’ and still exist today. Personally, I have never considered Malaria a risk. The truth is, Malaria impacts over 200 million people across the globe each year of which a child dies every minute in Africa alone R.
- Disease X: This is the ‘Unknown Disease’ that our governments are not prepared for and it is capable of causing a serious international epidemic. Leading scientists are moving quickly to develop ‘custom vaccines’ that are capable of targeting and ultimately eliminating a specific virus R, but the question still stands… what if the custom vaccine cannot be developed quickly enough to contain the spread?
Again, these deadly diseases originated from somewhere and it is silly to think we are immune to the mutation of existing diseases, or the birth of completely new diseases.
Think of the flu alone. There are multiple variations in the Influenza family including H1N1, H2N2, H3N2, H1N2, etc. R.
When will the next pandemic be?
Nobody has a lens into the future. Mankind could always stay one step ahead and defeat a chance of a pandemic (unlikely).
Or, you could by walking across a busy street and bump into ‘Patient Zero’ tomorrow.
Even science experts issued a letter to a US President on the potential emergence of new age bioterrorism R.
You may think this is unlikely, but the truth is telling.
- The same day I wrote this article, reports of Legionnaires, a disease that causes severe pheumonia and flu-like symptoms R, killed 1 person and infected 11 others in New Hampshire R.
- Earlier in the year, a lucky person in the UK was the first to contract a new Gonorrhea Super-Bug strain that is resistant to two of the most commonly used treatment drugs R.
Hope things work out.
- A hypervirulent, drug-resistant, and highly transmissible strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae (superbug that fights antibiotics and wins) broke out in a Chinese hospital R.
We can all see the trend here.
New forms of diseases are appearing in modern times while the antibiotics and ‘cures’ we have available today are becoming less effective.
At the same time, super cheap tech is available to literally hack the human genome which will likely cause unforeseen complications.
Considering a major pandemic at some point in the near future is a legitimate threat, I suggest we all do our best to prepare ahead of time.
How to prepare for a pandemic
With the high probability we will all see a pandemic in our lifetime, what should we do to increase our chances of worldwide pandemic survival?
- Knowledge: Read, a lot. Educate yourself on existing threats and what capabilities new age threats like CRISPR pose.
- Have A Plan: Prepare in advance so you are not caught off guard. Literally type out a plan for your family and friends to follow if a pandemic were to break out. No, if something were to happen you will not pull out the plan and follow it step-by-step. The idea is to implant the general flow in your mental memory so you do not have to waste precious time thinking during an emergency.
- Prepping Is Smart, Not Crazy: According to the CDC R, you should always have a 2 week supply of food and water on hand. Ensure you have prescription drugs and other health supplies readily available, including vitamins. Consider purchasing both offensive and defensive gear like face masks and disinfectants. Also, keep your health records organized and accessible.
Pandemic Products and Resources
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do after a pandemic breaks out, especially if you have not planned and prepared in advance.
Yes, you can do simple things like avoiding people that are sick and washing your hands, but these may not be as effective if the disease is an airborne variant.
In short. KNOW what you are dealing with, have a PLAN, and PREPARE in advance!
- Disease Outbreak News by the WHO (World Health Organization) is a great resource for the latest list of diseases affecting people across the world.
- Checkout Ready.gov, FEMA, KnowWhat2Do.com, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and other online resources – spend a few hours getting lost (the good way) searching for pandemic info on Google. You should also obtain general knowledge of pathogens and how they work.
- If you would want to stay informed about CRISPR, there are tons of enthusiast DIY CRISPR websites. I would also suggest following Josiah Zayner from the-odin.com as well – this guy is the real deal and has even performed various biohacking experiments on himself including injecting CRISPR.
- If you are interested in a true story about how Ebola made its way into Virginia, checkout a popular book on Amazon called the Hot Zone. The graphic details about how ebola effects animals and people will make your stomach churn. This book is highly rated and is truly an eye opener.
Sit down and really think through what would happen if a disease or other form of disaster were to occur in your community. Take note of the heavily populated areas, tourism, popular social sites, and forms of mass transportation like railways, buses, and subways. These are all places where high volumes of people come in contact with others.
After running through every last detail, type out a brief ‘hope for the best, plan for the worst’ guide of what to do in each scenario.
For example, if there is a minor outbreak of Influenza, you would probably do nothing and just monitor the situation.
But, how would you react if that strain of flu was antibiotic resistant and infected tens of thousands in your area?
Would you stay put or leave?
Make sure you ask yourself the hard questions in advance and have a plan in place to address each concern.
Questions like these – if a disease spread through my community:
- Which high traffic areas should I avoid?
- How would I obtain food, water, and supplies without being exposed?
- Do I have the necessary supplies and equipment to protect from infection?
- What should I do if a family member becomes ill and hospitals are full?
- Do I have any type of mask or other gear to help prevent infection?
The most important part of your plan is to purchase the necessary food, supplies, and gear ahead of time.
During a widespread pandemic, living conditions and the entire supply chain will be drastically impacted.
This means there may be a shortage of people that normally stock store shelves, care for the sick, etc.
People will rush to stores to stock up on essential items, depleting all sources needed for survival.
Those that prepare in advance will definitely have an advantage.
Food, Water, and Supplies
Make sure you have a two week supply of quality non-perishable food and cases of bottled water. Keep it wholesome by avoiding highly processed foods and those loaded with sugar, and ensure you are properly storing everything to prevent your stockpile from spoiling.
- Most store bought items will have a shelf life of a few years. If you want something that you do not have to keep replenishing, try this set of 120 large dehydrated meals with a 25 year shelf life.
- If you want to get real crazy, this bulk survival food package comes with over 4,300 meals (click to see price). This would provide a family of 4 three meals per day for a year and is not a bad idea considering the other threats we all face… war, terrorism, resource shortages, electrical grid blackouts, and natural disasters.
It is also suggested to have mobile meals and water that you can easily throw into a backpack when you are on the go.
- These high calorie survival food tabs are small in size but pack a punch. They are non-GMO and have the perfect blend of vitamins, minerals, protein, and other life sustaining nutrients.
- Sealed emergency water pouches are perfect to quickly hydrate when clean water is not available.
- Lifestraws live up to their names. This straw-style personal water filter lets you turn up to 1,000 liters of contaminated water into safe drinking water.
- It is not a bad idea to have a bag prepared in advance with life sustaining supplies. Survivalist typically have a bug out bag (aka survival bag), so they can leave in a hurry at any time without notice.
In the event of a pandemic, you definitely want to do everything in your power to prevent and aggressively confront any chances of contracting a disease.
Below is a list of both defensive and offensive pandemic gear to help you get through even the worst scenarios.
- Supplements help keep your immune system in top shape. Immune boosters like Emergen-C and Airborne will help, but they are not the highest quality. You really should consider buying a quality supply of plant based, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, and vegan approved vitamins like those from MyKind Organics or Naturelo.
The International Journal of Infectious Diseases R concluded that, when used properly, face masks are highly effective in preventing the spread of viral infections.
It is not necessarily the tiny virus itself you are trying to block, but the particulates that can carry the virus.
- This basic mask from 3M accepts various filter types including the P-100.
- If you are looking for something with more protection, this military grade full face mask provides robust protection and also helps keep fluids from reaching your eyes (cough cough).
- There are also various influenza flu kits, family pandemic kits, and full blown contagion protecting coverall suits to provide the highest level of preparedness and protection against pathogens.
Preventative measures should also be considered to kill bacteria and viruses in the air and on surfaces you come into contact with.
I usually lean towards products that are organic and do not involve synthetic chemicals, but if you are in the middle of a pandemic, those rules go out the window and the only goal is to kill every virus or harmful pathogen in sight.
- These Micro-Kill bleach germicidal wipes are heavy duty and great for quickly wiping down surfaces
- Virex is a hospital strength disinfectant cleaner that kills 99.9% of germs. Within 3 minutes, this cleaner can take out Norovirus, VRE, MRSA, and it can decontaminate blood and bodily fluids.
- The air you breath should also be free of contaminates. Filtrete makes AC filters for viruses and bacteria. Regular HEPA air filters will help, but IQAir makes a HyperHEPA air filtration system that can filter out even the smallest ultra fine particles, including bacteria and viruses.
- Hospitals use ozone generators to kill airborne pathogens, so why can’t we? You can buy a commercial ozone generator fairly cheap. Just make sure to leave the area for a couple hours after the ozone generator has turned off – direct exposure can lead to respiratory problems.
Remember – Stay Organized
Keep health records organized and accessible and ensure all of your gear remains clean and dry.
- The My Body Passport is a great tool to keep your medical, health, and emergency related information together.
- There are also various waterproof cases (aka dry boxes) to keep your gear, supplies, and paper records protected.
A new global pandemic is something we will likely experience in the coming years.
Considering we are ‘overdue’ and technology like CRISPR makes it easy for both amateurs and terrorists alike to stir up trouble, it is simply an unfortunate evil.
While not much can be done after a pandemic has broken out, there are steps you can take now to plan ahead.
KNOW what you are dealing with, have a PLAN, and PREPARE in advance.
Again, those that prepare for a future pandemic will ultimately have an advantage over those that don’t.
The question really comes down to…
Do you want to increase your chances of surviving a major pandemic?
Will you be caught unprepared with the masses?