isolated cabin, Guide-to-covid-19-coronavirus
The following is a common-sense guide to prepare your homestead for the current Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic. The author is not a doctor.


“If you think you need the flag pole then cut it down. We’ll take it with us!” the Colonel said.

It was a mild summer day in southern Germany in 1990. I was standing in formation with the rest of the command company for the 12th Engineer Battalion of the United States Army. We were about to deploy to Saudia Arabia for Desert Storm. It was not a drill. In an instant, years of training and pretending to be at war became a hard reality. We were going to war!

What the Colonel (who was a Vietnam veteran) was telling us was this: “Take everything you need, because once we get there we will be on our own.  If we don’t already have it when we hit the ground, we’re going to have to fight without it.”

Fast forward to March 8th, 2020

“The Covid-19 coronavirus has broken containment in the U.S.” was the essential admission of public officials in the U.S. on Sunday, March 8th. In a coordinated effort, the Fed dropped interest rates fifty basis points (after a similar move less than a week earlier). In an uncoordinated move, Asian markets opened with oil falling over 20% (after a fall of over 10%) on the Friday before.

I have spent the last month tracking every nuance of the virus’ spread, from watching South Korean CDC news conferences live, in the middle of the night U.S. time, to scouring the U.S. CDC site and researching the details of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. My family endured my endless monologues about what was going to happen next. Then, to everyone’s surprise, including my own… I was right.

I’ve been a serious homesteading prepper for nearly a dozen years. I prepare for everything from a nuclear war between Pakistan and India to a Solar EMP knocking the power out for months to… a global pandemic. My pandemic preparations went from theoretical to “This is not a drill!” this week. You can still get ahead of the curve if you take seriously what I’m about to say next.

YOU Are in the Midst of a KILLER Global Pandemic Right Now.  This is Not a Drill!

We already know exactly what will happen. The only problem is that people haven’t wrapped their minds around it yet.  Like going to war, a switch has to flip inside the mind that says “This is real. This is happening. This is NOW!” Once that switch flips you know it’s time to cut down the flagpole because you might need it.

Here are the hard facts. The 1918 Spanish Flu had an infection rate in the U.S. of about 26%. The 2009 H1N1 outbreak had an infection rate in the U.S. of about 18%. Covid-19 will fall within those two numbers. It has already proven more virulent than H1N1.  We will assume that modern controls will keep it below 1918’s infection rate. If we split the difference and say it will have a final infection rate of 22% then 80 million Americans are going to get infected by Covid-19 Coronavirus THIS YEAR. This is not a drill. This is not an episode of a TV show. This is real. It’s really happening and it’s really happening right now. FLIP THE SWITCH!

Covid-19 coronavirus has a proven hospitalization rate of 30%. American’s are made from the same “stuff” as everyone else on Earth. We have a body temperature of 98.6. Your lungs are just as pink, moist, and warm as people in China, Iran, North Korea, and Italy. You WILL catch this killer virus unless you take extreme measures.

The first MYTH held by Americans is that we are special, different, better.  What happens to “them” never happens to “us.” Covid-19 has no respect for nationality. “Those Chinese people” did nothing different than you do every single day. They breathed. They talked to their friends. They went to the store. And they got sick and they died. They are not stupid. You are not stupid. Covid-19 is a deadly pathogen that passes from person to person through BEING a person. A human! That’s it!

80 million to 100 million Americans will catch it. YOU, your family, your friends, your parents, your neighbors, your children’s friends, your children will catch it. It has no respect for income, education, race, religion, politics. Your friends are not “cleaner” than other peoples’ friends. You are not “more careful” than other people. People in China were extremely careful and they still caught it. People in Italy are being extremely careful and they are still catching it.

The Second MYTH held by Americans is that our healthcare system is the best in the world. If this is true (which is questionable), it is negated by the sheer volume of cases that Covid-19 is going to create. 30% of infections will require hospitalization.  30% of 80 million is 24 million people who will need intensive hospital care.

When you were last at a hospital did you see a wing marked “Reserved for future use in case of a pandemic”?  No. Our medical system runs “at capacity.” 24 million cases will overwhelm our system. According to the CDC American hospitals have a total of about 60,000 mechanical ventilators. For 10 days of treatment that is a capacity of 200,000 patients per month nationally. Covid-19 is going to produce over 2 million patients per month who will need mechanical ventilation (CDC estimates 56% of Covid-19 hospitalized patients will need mechanical or endotracheal ventilation.)

The sheer volume of cases requiring hospitalization will overwhelm hospitals 10 times over. The sheer volume of critically ill patients who require mechanical ventilation is also 10 times more than the national capacity. When this happens the response will be “stay home, we will get to you when we can.” The result will be that they will never get to you. It’s a horrific, tragic, unavoidable math problem.

I want to repeat the reality. Covid-19 is MORE virulent than H1N1 in 2009 which infected 60 million Americans. So, 80 million is a very realistic number. If 30% of cases require hospitalization (which is the norm for this virus), then 24 million Americans will need to be put in intensive (or near intensive) care. This is not “quarantine.” This is serious, medical, life-saving treatment.

The final number is the fatality rate. For Covid-19 it is at least 1%. The CDC estimates closer to 3%, That means between 800,000 and 1.2 million Americans are going to die in the next 9-12 months from Covid-19.

This is going to happen. The virus doesn’t care if we are Americans. The patients will overwhelm all parts of the medical system. And Covid-19 kills 1-3% of the people it infects.

The final MYTH held by Americans is that “The Fed” can keep economic disasters at bay. I am not going to focus on this too much for this article except to say that the 2008 Financial Collapse was a $3 trillion problem caused by ONLY America, in ONLY our financial system. Covid-19 is a worldwide disaster that is Medical, Financial, Distribution, Manufacturing, and Governmental all at the same time. To estimate that it is a $30 trillion dollar problem will probably prove to be a major underestimate.

The devastating worldwide economic impacts of this virus will be persistent and pervasive. Talking heads who declare a quick “V” shaped recovery once people “stop overreacting” are delusional (in my opinion). The world will not just shake off this $30 trillion disaster.

The Time to Act is Now!

“The Government” has already proven ineffective against this virus. That impotence will only be exacerbated as the virus spreads. It is YOUR responsibility to protect yourself and your family. It is YOUR responsibility to prepare for the realities that lie ahead. As a long-time prepping homesteader please allow me to highlight some key areas of preparation.

1. Buy What You Need Now

If you tried to buy hand sanitizer after the panic then you experienced the feeling of being trapped without what you need. This situation will escalate as the consequences of the virus roll out. Go immediately and do what you need to do to purchase what you will need for your family to survive. I will give a list later.

2. Prepare For Serious Economic Disruption

This virus is going to cause the worst parts of social disruption with a crippling supply-side depression and the collapse of a consumer-based economy that has no production capacity. All the things your weird uncle ranted about at the holiday dinners are coming to pass. Unless you work for the government, education, or medicine, the chances of losing your income are significant.

3. Take Extreme Measures to Protect Yourself

Victims in China, North Korea, and Italy weren’t walking around licking each other’s eyeballs. Once the virus was known people started wearing masks, washing their hands, and taking “normal” precautions. It didn’t stop the spread. If you want to really protect yourself and your family you will need to take extreme precautions up to and including self-quarantine.

Buy What You Need

The basics you absolutely need are: Sanitizer, Disinfectant, Soap, and Food. The first two are getting harder to find. I have found that Walmarts in small towns or low-population areas are more likely to have hard-to-find items than stores in the centers of densely populated areas. So, a drive to the country may be in order.

Medicines and Health Products: If you can find masks then you should buy them. Even if you don’t feel like you will use one in public, if someone you know gets sick they should wear one to limit the spread of the virus. The seasonal flu medicines tend to focus on mucus and drainage more than Covid-19 really needs. According to all reports, Covid-19 centers around fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

There is no cure for Covid-19, so all you can do is treat the symptoms. That means cough suppressants, fever reducers, and breathing support, such as a humidifier. If you have children then remember to get age-appropriate medications for them as well.

One special thing to buy is a Finger Oxygen Sensor. They cost about $19 and are currently readily available.  This may change, so I recommend buying one now. As will be discussed further in the article, you will probably need to self-treat in your own home unless you (or your loved one) have serious respiratory disruption. How can you tell if that’s the case? The answer is a Finger Oxygen Sensor. This will tell you if your blood oxygen level has dropped below 90%. If it has, then your lungs need respiratory support and you should contact your local hospital for directions.

Food will be very important. The old adage “Feed a cold, starve a fever” is applicable to Covid-19.  In this case, Covid is a “cold.” Maintaining calorie input is very important. Since breathing can become very labored you may need help in this goal.  One of my friends is pre-cooking two weeks’ worth of meals and freezing them in individual plastic containers. That way he can easily cook a meal in the microwave even if he has limited strength. Soup is fine, but try to maintain some high-calorie intake as well with Ensure or other high-calorie drinks and foods.

Good, bad, or indifferent, that’s about all you can do for this virus, according to all reports. Since the number of cases will overload the medical system, you may very likely be required to self-treat. Be sure you already have what you need on hand. This includes disposable dishes so food can be passed to the infected person and then discarded. There is no reason to use actual dishes that can carry the virus back into the uninfected space.


Since I, personally, believe that Covid-19 is going to cause major financial and trade disruptions I am preparing to go for up to six months without any income at all. That means, stockpiling enough food that I won’t need to buy much if any additional food during that period. My job is to train dogs. I don’t think people will be interested in getting dogs trained during a major pandemic. I also believe that cities might be locked down (“red zones”) in order to keep the virus from spreading. I train in Austin and Dallas. If these cities get locked down my income goes to zero. For that reason, I am super-stocking food.

As a prepper, I already had over 600 pounds of dry goods in storage. I am supplementing that with 350 pounds of meat in the freezer, and additional supplies to be able to feed everyone on the homestead for that entire time. Many people cannot or will not go to such extremes, but I believe that my family’s well-being could be dependant on it.

Prepare for Serious Social Disruption

The tendency of many people in an emergency or crisis is to become introverted, to shut down, or to avoid the situation. With this pandemic, those tendencies will be exacerbated. People will be scared, and they will become scared of other people. This will shut down social functions like church, sports, schools, shopping, gathering together, and traveling. This will have a serious impact on American life.

In Italy, they have quarantined entire cities. U.S. government officials have already said that this sort of response is not out of the question. They have only said it wouldn’t be as “draconian” as some other places. That is a vague answer to a very serious response. What will you do if you are cut off from the city where you work or where your family members live?  Now is the time to have those discussions and create a plan.

Talk to your neighbors about their plans. I spent much of the day recently sharing my expectations on what might happen with my two closest neighbors. They are each now stockpiling food for their families. We have a shared security plan for the dirt road that we live on. And one neighbor has changed his plans on selling some cattle, preferring to keep them in case he needs them next fall or winter.

The people closest to you—neighbors, friends, and family—will be the people who need your help most and who will give you help if you need it.  Talking and planning can only make that better.

Take Extreme Measures to Protect Yourself from Covid-19 Coronavirus

This virus is a killer to almost every age group. While it affects older people and people with pre-existing conditions more readily, it also kills healthy people. The Chinese doctor who first made the sickness public died from the virus. He was in his 30’s, healthy, and received the best health care. In the end, he still succumbed. Even surviving has consequences. The shortness of breath isn’t a mild symptom for many. It’s painful and terrifying. Even 20-30% of those who survive need hospital care and breathing support. This illness can be expensive, very disruptive, painful, and life-threatening. It’s not something that anyone wants to contract.

Based on similar outbreaks like H1N1 and Spanish Flu, the contraction rates will be over 20%. That means 1 in 5 of everyone in America will catch it. Avoiding it without avoiding other people is a risky gamble. The best defense is physical isolation. Stay home.  REALLY, stay home.

Here is a likely scenario. A common reason to go out is to get something to eat. Waitresses, fast-food workers, cooks, and other staff are generally young. This means they are more likely to carry the virus without severe symptoms. They rarely have healthcare, and if they do they often can’t pay the deductible and copay required to visit a doctor. That means they are the least likely to even be diagnosed with Covid-19 when they have it.  Finally, they cannot afford to miss work. They aren’t office workers who might be able to work from home. If they don’t go to work then they don’t get paid. So they are the most likely to work even if sick. Is this the person you want touching your Caramel Macchiato, menus, debit cards, and drink cups?

Stay home. Don’t take visitors. Don’t visit others. The visit to see if Grandma is okay might be the visit that delivers Covid-19 to her nursing home or to her in her private home. The one group that everyone agrees is terribly in danger is those over 65.

When the virus starts spreading widely I plan on suspending my business and keeping my entire family on the homestead for months on end until the danger has passed. I’m hoping this will only take 6-8 months (from September through February or March of next year). We are all committed to protecting each other by isolating ourselves. It’s that important to us.

What if Someone in Your Family Catches Covid-19 Coronavirus?

Based on what is happening elsewhere, and past outbreaks, there is a very high chance that you will receive little to no help whatsoever. You will be told to “call the hospital.” The hospital will ask a lot of questions, but if Covid-19 is generally spread then they have no interest in testing or confirming what they already know. Mainly they need to gather information ABOUT you and your family so they can report properly.  That’s not a bad thing. They will give you instructions on how to isolate, maintain quarantine, and what to do.

Short of a serious breathing emergency, you may very likely be on your own. Before anyone gets infected, you should already have a plan. The infected person must be quarantined in a room with a private bathroom if possible. No one should enter or leave the room unless absolutely necessary.  Leave food at the door. Communicate by cell phone. The sick person doesn’t want to get you sick as well. If the infected person is a small child, then their caregiver is probably going to have to spend significant time with them, and they are very likely to become infected as well.  Choose someone who has the highest ability to survive the exposure.  In other words, Grandma is not a good choice to take care of the sick baby no matter how much she insists.

When with the patient, wear a face mask, eye protection, long-sleeve shirt and pants (or a cover garment like a smock). I would use spray disinfectant to suppress the airborne virus upon entering. Finish your business as quickly as possible. Do not touch anything unnecessarily and do not touch your face at all.  Upon leaving disinfect yourself: hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol (even if you are wearing gloves) FIRST. Then remove your glasses and mask. Then clean your glasses and sanitize your hands again. I would remove my clothing, sanitize my hands and face again, and wash the clothes.

If you don’t follow these extreme measures then you are just going to spread the virus.

Financial Fallout from Covid-19 Coronavirus

This is the great unknown. I, personally, believe that this virus is going to be a $30 trillion disaster that will reset western capitalism and take years to overcome. However, in 1918, the Spanish Flu didn’t cause much financial disruption at all. So, I could be wrong.

My suggestion is to think for yourself, protect your money and investments at all costs, and prepare as if you may lose your job. If you over-prepare then you will be safer and it will cost little—perhaps some lost opportunity. If you under-prepare it could cost you everything.

My family is pre-paying all of our utilities so that we are 6 months ahead. We are pre-purchasing groceries so that we have as close to 6 months food on hand as well. We are preparing as if we will have zero income for that time. This way, any income we do get is a bonus. If we are wrong then all we’ve done is created a bit of forced savings that we can take advantage of once the danger has passed.

Good Luck

I wrote this article because it is often in the government’s best interest to keep people from panicking. While that may be in society’s best interest, it may not be in yours. Downplaying the risks, underestimating the dangers, and minimizing the costs both to you and to society could turn a very dangerous virus into a life-ending (or life-destroying) calamity. I have tried to not make unsubstantiated (fear-mongering) claims while demonstrating that this virus is deadly dangerous physically and financially to both you and the nation.

To summarize:

  • You, personally, and the people you know are highly likely to get infected. It doesn’t just affect “them.”
  • If you don’t prepare immediately then you may not be able to prepare at all.
  • The government and health systems will be overwhelmed. Remember millions of people will need services that have the capacity for only 200,000, such as ventilators. The hospitals do not have space for what is about to occur.
  • Life requires BOTH food and money. Stockpile and prepare now. You may not get a 2nd chance. Preparation may cost a little bit of money, but your life and future are worth it.
  • If you saved for a rainy day… It’s raining!

This is not a drill. Remember what the Colonel said… “If you don’t take it with you then you won’t have it to fight.” Gather everything you need to fight this pandemic, even the flagpole!


  1. Disappointed in this article. Instilling this level of fear in people and also the selfishness…… no wonder there’s nothing left on the shelves. If everyone stockpiles like you insist there is nothing for the next guy. Do you realize how many people have walked around with colds and the flu every day of our lives!!!!! You are catastrophising and causing panic……..

    1. You have a valid opinion, and it is more selfish to stockpile then it is to just buy one of something – particularly in this exact moment. A few points that make my opinion also valid are:

      – I have been writing about stockpiling for years. The goal is to stockpile BEFORE the panic. Sometimes people end up doing it during the panic, which is worse for all, and especially bad for stockpiling because of limited availability.
      – This article was originally written on March 9th, so there was no real panic yet. The National Emergency Declaration plus the reality of cancelled sporting events have made SOME people see this as a panic situation. But many are still indifferent to the dangers.
      – The upcoming shortages (according to patterns that are happening elsewhere) will make access to food more and more complicated as we move forward.

      Imagine the following:

      – Covid-19 gets into Walmart and other grocery stores. What will happen? They will probably shut the stores to foot traffic and make the stores pickup only. In metro areas that could make pickup times more than a week.
      – Covid-19 gets into Amazon warehouses. How will that effect deliveries from Amazon?
      – 10% of Amazon delivery personnel are sick or quarantined so deliveries either don’t happen or are heavily delayed.

      I think right now the remaining “why is everyone over-reacting” crowd is the white, middle class “I can just order from Amazon and HEB pickup” crowd. Once those channels become congested that group will panic as well.

      In France today that closed all non-essential businesses nationwide. In Spain they started severely restricting private citizen travel. This is with the cases in the thousands… not the millions. I think we are headed to millions of cases.

      That being said… I could be wrong… Your point is valid in a “societal” context. That’s what different people have different opinions and I respect yours.

      1. Thank you for this lesson to know always be prepare at all like you said.I respect what you said but for people who live in the big cities it’s hard to prepare for such a panic. I will follow some of the adverts that I have read and continue on doing what you said I’m not a Homesteader but I will do the best I can for myself and my daughter who lives with me. Thanks once again.

  2. I was especially proud that we were publishing this piece. I think it’s an honest and comprehensive look at the situation. Here at our undisclosed location, O and I simply buy larger quantities of food and household items as a matter of daily life. For the record, she was in town yesterday and found a plentiful supply of whatever we needed. I suspect that as Tony says, rural stores are not depleted like those in higher population areas. It appears to me that, in the cities, the panicking has already taken place. In the country, we don’t go to the store every day, or necessarily every week.
    Last week, Trump dismissed the coronavirus as being comparable to a cold. Nothing to worry about. This week, he declared it a National Emergency. If we’re in a National Emergency, then I’d say extreme vigilance is in order, and I think that telling the truth about the situation would be part of that vigilance.

  3. I’m happy To reply to comments or questions about this article since I wrote it. My first comment is that this is not the only article on the subject. There are lots of opinions and lots of different ways to write about this subject. This is a prepper article in response to not only what is happening but what I believe will continue to happen. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion including not liking this article.

  4. Latest from CDC presentation obtained by NYTimes:
    “Between 160 million and 214 million people in the United States could be infected over the course of the epidemic, according to a projection that encompasses the range of the four scenarios. That could last months or even over a year, with infections concentrated in shorter periods, staggered across time in different communities, experts said. As many as 200,000 to 1.7 million people could die.”

    These number reflect lower hospitalization and critical care numbers than are reflected in the article above
    “And, the calculations based on the C.D.C.’s scenarios suggested, 2.4 million to 21 million people in the United States could require hospitalization, potentially crushing the nation’s medical system, which has only about 925,000 staffed hospital beds. Fewer than a tenth of those are for people who are critically ill.”

    “The four scenarios have different parameters, which is why the projections range so widely. They variously assume that each person with the coronavirus would infect either two or three people; that the hospitalization rate would be either 3 percent or 12; and that either 1 percent or a quarter of a percent of people experiencing symptoms would die. Those assumptions are based on what is known so far about how the virus has behaved in other contexts, including in China.”

    Outside experts have project similar numbers.
    “Dr. Lawler recently presented his own “best guess” projections to American hospital and health system executives at a private webinar convened by the American Hospital Association. He estimated that some 96 million people in the United States would be infected. Five out of every hundred would need hospitalization, which would mean close to five million hospital admissions, nearly two million of those patients requiring intensive care and about half of those needing the support of ventilators.

    Dr. Lawler’s calculations suggested 480,000 deaths, which he said was conservative. ”


  5. I appreciate this timely, insightful and well written piece. Thank you Tony Okrongly for sharing your knowledge and tips. I am a grandmother who will be watching the children so I am powering up the mission. Love and Light to all.

  6. Today an article came out that said the French found that Ibuprofen makes recovery worse. Take acetaminophen instead. This just came out so you can still get it on Amazon. I ordered 1000 pills at 325 mg each for $12 and they shipped immediately. Once this story gets wide spread it will sell out everywhere. It’s good to have the right pain/fever reducer for when you or someone you know gets it.

    My dog business has gone to ZERO. We are in full lockdown mode. Will be living on stored food and paying bills with saved money for at least 3 months. We are prepared to go for 6 without any inputs. Hopefully we can pick up a random client from time to time to supplement the cash situation. I am changing my website to say “We are Covid-19 safe… isolated…. we follow all biological protocols… the big city trainers are more dangerous… use us instead.” Hopefully that will get the few people who might still need boarding and training to call us.

  7. What were the CDC predictions for H1N1 compared to real numbers? Infections/deaths etc. I continue to strive toward everything is over blown. I do have plenty of food and reserves, but feel it is all being exaggerated.

    1. If you look up NY Governor Cuomo’s news conference on March 23rd on Youtube and watch it you can get a scope of what is occurring. New York has 16 million people. If you look at his chart for hospitalizations over the next 12 months, they expect 1.6 million hospitalizations (one point six million). That 10% of the population of the state.

      I came to this number by counting the number of beds they project they will need each month and assuming a 10 day resolution, so 3 patients per bed per month. Numbers out of Italy show average death from symptoms is 8 days, average time in the hospital before dying is 5 days. Most won’t die, but there is a certain critical time period that requires ventilation of less than 10 days according to what I’m seeing.

      Will it be that high or half of that? There is no reason for him to stoke fear… his briefing is stark, clear and defines the problem perfectly. They have 7,000 ventilators (with the best hospitals in the world) and they need 30,000 ventilators in 14 days.

      I live in a county of 60,000 with one hospital that isn’t really used as a hospital. It’s used as an emergency room with day surgeries. They birth a few babies there. I don’t even know if they can handle in-patient care. They say they have 150 beds, but what does that mean regarding staff (not nearly enough) or equipment (not nearly enough). If 6,000 people are going to need hospitalization in my county and scores if not hundreds are going to need ventilators at the same time then many many more people are going to die than should have. Ventilators aren’t optional. If 100 people need them an only 10 get them, then it’s very likely that the other 90 will die.

      New York is a good model to follow to determine if it’s being exaggerated (which is a word I can never spell correctly, so thanks for spelling it first.)

  8. March 27th NY City briefing told us that about 18.8% of cases in NY require hospitalization and over 16% of those requiring hospitalization require ICU Ventilator support. The most telling number (for me) is that less than 0.2% of New York residents have caught the virus. That’s Zero Point Two percent, one fifth of one percent, and the hospitals are almost overloaded. At just 0.2% they are running out of personal protective equipment, they are running out of supplies, certain medicines like Propofol which is used to anesthetist patience who have to be on a ventilator. While this is a horrifying story. The lesson is to look at your local population and multiply it by .002 to see at what infection rate your local medical systems might start to get overloaded. For my county that number is 120 cases. That’s why I am working almost daily with the city’s Emergency Preparedness Department to make sure our city and county enacts more stringent social distancing controls faster than anyone else in the state. The counties around us are starting to get cases. Our goal is to be an example on how to act powerfully and effectively to keep infections to ZERO. That’s our goal.

    I just watched a 2 part youtube video that shows a detailed explanation by a doctor of exactly what is happening at each stage of Covid-19 down to the cellular level and every stage of diagnosis and treatment including what settings to use on a mechanical ventilator. After watching these 2 videos (the 2nd on in particular, linked below. I have decided the one thing that will save my life if I have to be hospitalized with this virus…..
    VITAL LIFE SAVING TIP IF YOU NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL… If you get this virus and feel you need to go to the hospital then GO TO A MAJOR CITY HOSPITAL. Do not go to your local RURAL hospital … It could be a death sentence.
    If I get this virus I will pick the largest city University Hospital with the lowest cases… Austin, Dallas or Houston… again based on case load. I will drive there and I will present myself.

    After watching this video you can make up your own mind. How much do you trust your local (rural) hospital staff to really know Covid-19. There are some very specific things they cannot do with the respirator (like set it to high volume) and there are some non-standard things they need to do to it… like set the PEP to 5 or greater. I don’t trust the doctors who didn’t have the gumption to make it in a major city hospital to do this. I’m going to where the experts are.

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  11. Whether due to the extreme social distancing or the possibly that the virus isn’t as deadly as initially thought, it appears as if the hospitalization and death rates won’t go to the extreme. In 1918 there was no vaccine and the Spanish Flu burned itself out after the country developed “herd immunity.” It will happen here as well. It looks like new cases have stabilized at 30,000 per day. There was a large testing for antibodies in California that seems to indicate that 50x more people have antibodies than the official “infected” numbers suggest. If that’s true then it would mean that already over 40 million Americans have the antibodies., which gets us a lot closer to herd immunity. If we assume that 30,000 reported cases a day means 1.5 million new people with anitbodies every day. At that rate we will get to 25% of the population (herd immunity based on Spanish Flu) in less than 60 more days. That also means that the death rate for this virus is closer to 0.25%. That’s bad but much closer to the flu rate of 0.1%. That’s great news. Now we just have to get over the economic impact.

    That’s a lot of assumptions.

  12. As states start to exit the lock-downs I wanted to post an update to my thinking.

    First, nothing of significance has changed, so the pandemic will still roll out as expected… 80-100 million cases. There looks to be a 10:1 ratio of undiagnosed cases to diagnosed cases. Right now we are at about 1.25 million diagnosed cases… So about 12 million undiagnosed. We are about 1/8th of the way through this pandemic.

    Second, the Summer will offset some of the results of re-opening the economy. So we will feel pretty good about things with only 125,000 deaths by the end of August. People might say how bad it “was” and thank God we can get back to “normal.”

    September – December will be the major outbreak with closer to 300,000 “official” deaths and 6 million “confirmed” cases. (60+ million unconfirmed cases)

    After it’s all over and the undiagnosed cases and unattributed deaths are counted we should be right on track for about 1 million dead and 100 million sick. (1% death rate, as expected).

    Cloth face masks are completely ineffective against Covid-19. It’s 0.12 microns in size. That’s smaller than cigarette smoke. It’s smaller than bacteria. If you can wear a mask and have someone blow cigarette smoke in your face without smelling it, then you have a good mask. Otherwise it’s just a placebo. It might as well be a window screen. (sorry) Isolation is the only protection. Don’t get lulled into a belief that this thing is Over, In Control, or Can Be Stopped with homemade masks.

    Today I bought 80 lbs of beef and pork to add to my chicken (250 lbs left from the original 300 lbs I started with). Next Monday I will go to rice distributor on the Texas Coat (about 3 hours away) and purchase 500 lbs of rice to add to my stockpiles. With food stamps, unemployment payments, and Stimulus checks I may not need it. We will have some shortages of beef and other things when it gets bad, but there will still be food available for purchase. I just like to be prepared for the absolute worst.

    I know this sounds like doomsday advice, but this is a virus. It’s not complicated. The roll-out is very predictable. We have no immunity. It’s just math. What will happen with the economy? Now that’s a doomsday prediction. And it’s way more complicated than the virus.

  13. Mid Summer Update.

    Shutting down the economy and instituting extreme social distancing measures have cut the death estimates in the article above in half. That’s great! Only 400,000 – 600,000 people in the U.S. will die. We are around 130,000 now (late June). We have reached the trough of daily deaths at about 800 per day. That will slowly creep up through the Summer, bringing us close to 180,000 by Sept. Hopefully in the fall it will peak at only 3,000 deaths per day, adding another 270,000. Hopefully we can keep it at 450,000 official deaths. Deaths from “ILI” which is Influenza Like Illness will be way beyond that, but it’s going to be a mixed up mess once the seasonal flu is mixed with Covid. That’s a lot of lives saved over the estimate without extreme measures of 800,000 – 1.2 million It will still be the worst pandemic since 1918, but the distancing made a difference. Mandatory masks will come as the Fall flu/covid season heats back up, but states will be hard pressed to shut the economy down again. The Feds won’t do it because of the election.

    Hospitalization so far have been about 240,000. That’s a lot lower than the estimates. It’s lower than the 30% estimate for diagnosed cases… it’s 10%. And when you figure 4 out of 5 cases go undiagnosed you get a really good hospitalization rate. It’s still a problem, but it’s not the 2 million patient per month disaster scenario. The fact that the hospitals are cleared out of “routine” non-covid cases certainly helps.

    Be prepared for the Fall/Early Winter 2nd round. This time it will be harder to shut everything down and send everyone home. I didn’t speculate on the economic impact because there was no telling what the FED and Congress would do. We have lots of unemployment but the stimulus is keeping the lights on. Let’s get through this next round of infections then we can start the long, slow grind back to a nomralized economy again. As always any disaster is PERSONAL, so plan, prepare, and anticipate how your life will be affected. Good luck through the Fall and Winter. I doubt schools will be open for long. Plan for that if you have kids. Once teachers start getting sick they will shut them back down.

  14. My Covid research on how to stay ahead of the curve continues. Daily deaths in the U.S. have risen to about 1,000 per day. I see no reason why this won’t continue through the Summer, bringing us to 225,000 by mid-September. I’ve been looking into Covid seasonality. The main indicators of any increase in cases for the Fall and Winter have to do with a slight increase in Covid’s ability to stay virulent in colder and drier environments, yet the overwhelming impact of covid has to do with human to human contact and travel. Winter put people inside and in close contact much more than Summer does. If the schools re-open it creates big problems as well. The two big dangers this fall (barring a vaccine that actually works and not a placebo put out for an election bump) are schools reopening and Thanksgiving/Christmas family and religious gatherings.

    Cloth masks, in my opinion, continue to be a placebo. The virus is much smaller than the spaces between the masks and masks do nothing for physically touching things (which is the major cause of spread).. Constant hand sanitizing when touching public objects is crucial, as is the choice to not enter into public spaces at all. Family to family member transmission is the most dangerous and unstoppable cause of spread.

    What to do? My research (linked below) for respirator infections in general show a 50% decrease in infection rates of respiratory illness when people take vitamin D3. This is important for 2 reasons… one, take vitamin D3 supplements to protect against respiratory infections and TWO… when Fall comes if this information becomes public then there will be a run on D3 vitamins so Stock UP NOW.

  15. I know I’m commenting a lot. I’ll try to moderate it but there is a vaccine problem that should be considered. I call it the VACCINE COVID WAVE.

    Once a vaccine is “released” we will have 3 main issues:

    1. Availability. They weren’t and still aren’t capable of making enough tests for even 5% of the population in a reasonable time. How will they produce a vaccine for 80% of the population in less than 6 months time – even if they have a perfect vaccine?

    2. Non-Compliance. Hipsters, Health Nuts, the YOUNG, Flag Waving Political Zealots… they won’t take the vaccine. They just won’t. Take all the people who thinks masks are stupid… add to that the Anti-Vax crowd and anyone who is scared of side effects. Then multiply that with young people, people who don’t want to be hassled into going to get a shot, and people who can’t afford it (even if it’s free). This will create a large number of non-compiants.

    3. Social Distancing Disaster. The minute a vaccine is released social distancing will go out of the window. It will be unenforceable. No one will think they need it. Covid is CURED!!! Let’s move on with our life.

    These three elements will combine to create a Vaccine Wave of Covid-19. So plan on it.

    The flu vaccine (which we have developed and used for decades is anywhere from 20% to 50% effective in any given year). I think everyone should take the covid vaccine… but even well known vaccines for well known illnesses aren’t 100%. So plan on that.

  16. Today it was announced that Donald Trump and his wife have covid, so it’s a good time for an update. It seems like people are getting used to the idea of “chronic covid” at least through the end of the year. Projections are still pretty steady at around 400,000 – 500,000 deaths from covid before we get “over it” with a vaccine. But we have more solid information that can help dispel some of the fear – at least for those who aren’t seniors.
    First 95% of covid deaths are people over the age of 60.
    Over 50% of covid deaths are people over the age of 80.
    That’s not good, but at least there’s some clarity.,other%20chronic%20underlying%20conditions.

    Also, based on how this is spreading it looks like the most likely way to get it is from CLOSE personal contact, not from gas pump handles or the waitress handling your drink glass at a restaurant. So that’s good. Major food distributors have expanded their warehousing of stock, so we shouldn’t have any significant shortages even with a spike in new cases.

    Now it’s just a matter of seeing how bad things get after families get together for the holidays. A Fall buildup to a post holiday surge should get us past this disease for the most part. That will be followed by a vaccine in 2021 and we will move on to the next thing… whatever that may be. (I’ll save you the google search, Trump is 75 years old).

  17. Good News Bad News heading into the Winter of Covid.

    First, the actual hospitalization rate is now much lower than originally predicted. So, with the exception of local issues in large cities like Chicago or localities, the hospitals should be able to keep up with the cases this Winter. The death rate is steady at 2.5% of diagnosed cases… but for every confirmed case there is an estimated minimum of 5 unconfirmed. case. With about 9 million confirmed cases we are closer to 45 million total infections. That’s actually good since we will close this thing out by the Spring due to herd immunity.

    This is very closely tracking the 1918 pattern. That virus burned itself out by the Spring.

    The bad news is that a lot of people will still get sick over the Winter. Lockdowns are no longer politically acceptable, and they are state run. That is better for the economy but worse for individuals who are going to get sick. We are about half way through the deaths and illnesses. So about half a million confirmed covid deaths will occur. We are at about 225,000 confirmed covid deaths now. I suspect the after action reports when this is all over will say between half a million and a million Americans died from “Covid and Covid Related Disorders.” Then, people will believe what they want based on their political opinions.

    As it has been since the beginning… this is a PERSONAL disaster… it will still hinge on what happens to you and your family from both a health and financial standpoint. After the election we will probably see another round of stimulus (if you can hold out that long). Food will be available, but there will be sporadic and item specific shortages just like in the Spring. So stockpile now for the Winter on thing you really need.

    The flu season is still coming, so get your flu medications now. There will be shortages. You can order Tamiflu online from New Zealand if you are the type (like me) who prefers to already have it on hand in case you get flu. There could be local shortages. Access to medical care will be strained even though the ICU’s will be able to keep up with Covid. If you get the flu and it takes 4 days to see the doctor then Tamiflu will do you no good. It has to be taken in the first 72 hours of symptoms.

    Personal protection is paramount this Winter. Masks do SOME good but if you spend time in restaurants, at work and in school masks probably won’t keep you from catching either covid or flu. Flu kills 20,000 – 80,000 Americans each year.

    The news is going to scream that the sky is falling this Winter. Keep your head on straight and know that YOU can protect yourself and your family by staying home. There are processes for contactless grocery pickup, restaurant delivery, etc. Use them. This virus is going to blow up this winter and flu will be added to it. It will feel like the sky is falling. But it is a simple virus that can be protected against by isolation and hand sanitizing. Your kids in school are the highest risk of bringing it home. So good luck with that if your kids are in public school.

    If you are going to order Christmas gifts online do it VERY VERY early. If you wait then you may be opening gifts in January. After Valentine’s Day the worst of it will be over. Spring will come. The sun will shine. Gardens will grow. Protect your finances and your health in the meantime. By the Summer those who made it through will be able to move on with their lives.

  18. This is my last comment on this. As expected covid-19 followed the same infection wave pattern of the 1918 flu pandemic. Spring infection followed by a smaller summer wave and a huge Winter wave when the vast majority of deaths happened. The 1918 pandemic died out by the 2nd summer, never to be seen again. That was without vaccines of any type. Covid appears to be doing the same (with or without a vaccine). This 2 weeks (the end of January and beginning of February) will see the peak of deaths, then it will drop rapidly. This was going to happen regardless of the vaccine or the name of the political head. So… congratulations! We are about to start the rapid down slope to a bright and happy summer. The final death tally will be around 550,000 Americans. When the article above was written there had been less than 40 deaths. I think it was a good article, even if it got the hospitalization rate wrong.

    Keep prepping for the next personal, regional, national or international disaster. Covid was the THIRD major crisis of the 2000’s – 9/11, 2008 financial collapse, Covid-19. That one economic disaster every 7 years. Who knows what the next one will be, how it will happen or how it will affect you, personally. Be prepared.

  19. I just learned that I was wrong about the continuing decrease in cases through the Spring. It’s very possible with the Variant 1.1.7 of Covid that we are heading for a 3rd peak – perhaps as large as the January Peak. The new variant is 40% – 70% more transmittable. It causes more symptomatic illness in young people than the current dominant variant. And it causes worse upper respiratory symptoms than the current variant. There are many variants, but this one is really bad and it’s going to become the dominant variant.

    The big difference between Covid and 1918 flu is that the flu was already endemic in humans. So after the 1918 event it was considered “over” even though people kept getting the flu forever. Covid, on the other hand, is always Covid. So the fact that it is never going to go away will be a real problem.

    The other real problem with Covid is that the first variant… the one that has been dominant for all of this time is Covid’s first experiment in humans. The first is the most shocking but evolution tells us that biological entities IMPROVE over time. Variant 1.1.7 shows 27 gene changes…. that’s a ton of gene changes in less than 1 year of hanging out in a human host. It is stickier, so it’s easier to catch and it’s worse on the upper respiratory system. Summer proved that Covid doesn’t care about heat or humidity.

    We are probably in for a shocking late Spring and early Summer with another full wave of the current reality of covid. The real danger, over the longer term is that Covid creates a much deadlier variant. They are saying that Covid immunity isn’t permanent… It wears off fairly quickly compared to something like Chicken Pox. What was considered a passing emergency may end up being a long-term disaster. Start looking and planning accordingly.

    What happens if there is continuation after continuation of “government relief” and “rent or mortgage abatement” or other financial, governmental and economic measures? How will that affect you? How will this affect long-term hospital and doctor care? When the cases went up the hospitalization rate as a percentage went DOWN, not because there were fewer really sick people but because less were being hospitalized due to lack of room. Don’t just assume that this is over or that it will go away by 4th of July. This may be a long-term problem. Think about how you might make structural changes in your life before others start making them for you.

  20. The new variant fears are bearing out. Many parts of the U.S. are quickly headed back to the Summer of 2020 peak on covid cases. This is WITH 50% of the population being vaccinated. More and more cases of “breakthrough” infections are being reported. These are cases that infect fully vaccinated people. The average hospitalization age has dropped from 65 to 53 and nearly 20% of hospitalizations are people below 35 years old. Nobody wants to face it, particularly politicians in the South and in Texas (where I live). They think Covid is some liberal conspiracy to create a new world order around climate policy (or similar). That’s all fine and good, but we need to protect ourselves. The breakthrough capability of the current variant is real and it can be tragic. If vaccinations don’t stop Delta and the politicians are done with public policy efforts to slow down the spread then we are facing a serious personal, health, economic and sociological problem. A full 2nd year of death. The treatments have gotten better, but the hospitals can still be overwhelmed. It is each of our jobs to protect ourselves and our families.

  21. 18 Month Review of the predictions made in this article.

    Prediction: 80 million Covid Cases in the US,
    Reality: 44 million “reported” cases. So at least 80 million actual cases.

    Prediction: 24 million hospitalizations (this was based on CDC estimates)
    Reality: The CDC was off by a factor of 10. There have been about 3 million hospitalization, and that amount pushed the entire system to the breaking point.

    Prediction: 800,000 – 1.2 million deaths in the U.S. within 9-12 months.
    Reality: Masking and lock-downs “flattened the curve” and saved lives, so we have had 715,000 deaths in 18 months.
    Now we have new treatments, including “antibody treatment centers” which reduce the number of hospitalizations and deaths.

    Prediction: $30 trillion global financial hit that will affect western capitalism for years. People who do not work for the government, healthcare or education will face a high probability of losing their income.
    Reality: 114 million Americans lost their jobs due to Covid and the lock-downs. Unknown trillions were pumped into the economy through stimulus, tax changes, and Ongoing Fed interventions. The FED is still pumping nearly $150 billion per MONTH into the financial markets. The financial results of all of this are yet to be seen in 2022 and beyond.

    Minor Predictions: US cities locked down (for the first time in U.S. History). Check!, Major food disruptions? Not so much. Just limited shortages of certain items. Advice to buy a finger oxygen sensor. Dead on!

    For an article written in March of 2020, before the pandemic really hit the US., I’m pretty proud of what my research and experience led me to write.

    Keep on HOMESTEADING!!

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