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The Pandemic

At any given point in time there are multiple influenza viruses roaming the planet, each with a unique signature, each with deadly potential. As evidence, it is estimated that globally, 250,000 to 500,000 people die from seasonal influenza. Even with the extraordinary efforts to immunize, tens of thousands die each year, in The United States. As the virus spreads, and the mad dash to build a vaccine continues, the risk remains.

In virtually any natural disaster, there is loss of power, you lose communications, maybe you don’t have clean water, and maybe you lose property. For those that endured a natural disaster like a hurricane or wild fire or flood, the experience is valuable but that is just a starting point. Maybe you were prepared, and evacuated the area and came back after the worst had passed. This is a typical response to a pending event.

The response to severe influenza or pandemic is far more difficult. Currently, as outlined in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Pandemic Influenza Plan, one of the primary methods of stopping the spread of the virus is quarantine for up to one month. Everyone stays indoors, schools close, and there are bans on public gatherings. While extreme, it has proven to work and may likely be found to be a major factor in slowing the spread in Mexico.

Quarantine would be painful. But only a starting point.

Ask yourself a few basic questions:

  • Who will stock my grocery if I run out of bread or milk?

Good question. No One really knows. Truckers have been given an exempted status to continue to operate but will they show up>

  • Will I be able to get fuel?

If you lived in the South E astern United States at the time of any of the Hurricanes, you understand the pain. Think of that on a global scale.
Who will be running the refineries? Will the rigs keep operating?

  • Do I have enough food to survive one month?

I would guess most of us do not. This checklist will help prepare.

  • Will I be able to go to work?

Likely not to your office, your employer needs to allow telecommuting.

Now, think up a level.

  • No one spending money, no consumption, thus no need for manufacturing of goods. Manufacturing crushed.
  • No one spending money, stores close and/or out of business
  • No manufacturing means no deliveries thus transportation/delivery industry further crippled.

This is a quick simple linear view of a very complex problem. Is the picture coming into focus? This would be an economic disaster on a global scale. And much larger than what we have seen over the past 18 months.

Is it avoidable? Time will tell.