My son is a nurse practitioner. Because he just began working for his employer within the last year, they move him from hospital to hospital to fill in where needed. We works 10 and 12 hour shifts for 7 days, and then takes two weeks off. For the next few days, he will be working at three hospitals that are closer to my house than they are to his, so rather than making the hour and a half drive back to his house, he will be staying with us.
While he was here, we got into a discussion about the corona virus. He says that for the past week, his emergency room has been seeing dozens of people each day who are displaying the symptoms of some sort of cold- what medical people refer to as Flu Like Symptoms (FLS- also known colloquially among those same medical people as “Feels Like Shit”) The problem with FLS is that these symptoms are felt by people with a lot of different illnesses- the flu, Herpes, Hepatitis, and yes, the corona virus. These people, having seen the media stories about nCOV 19, are demanding to be tested for it.
The problem is that not one of them meets the criteria for being tested. The CDC is in charge of that, and they have set very specific criteria for who is to be tested. If a patient doesn’t meet the criteria, they cannot be tested. This is done EXACTLY because if a person doesn’t meet the criteria, they don’t have corona, and the CDC doesn’t want the testing labs to be overwhelmed by people who do not have the virus.
This panic illustrates the real hazard with nCOV 19. The real hazard is fear induced panic, and the people demanding that the government (or the medical field) do something. It doesn’t matter if the something that is being done is actually effective- just that they are doing something. We see this all of the time, which is the reason why we have to suffer through the Kabuki Theater of security everywhere.
So what I decided to do is prepare my household for the possibility of widespread travel bans and quarantines. We went to the big box store today and upped our semi-perishable stores. I added 40 pounds of meat to the freezer, along with other supplies: toilet paper, canned vegetables, cleaning supplies, feminine hygiene products, and more. I now have on hand enough food for three weeks before I have to dip into the freeze dried foods. Other than that, I cannot think of anything I am missing or in need of.