The biggest news story of 2020 is undoubtedly coronavirus. The illness has found its way into the United States, but certainly not at a capacity that’s threatening our livelihood.
That said, the dire images of massive quarantines throughout China have many in the United States feeling unsettled.
Could the United States come under a large-scale quarantine? And what would the ramifications of such be for everyday citizens?
Each morning, our news feeds are rich with coronavirus narratives. The media is now fully unhinged. The masses are fearful and ripe to be governed and ruled. That’s what fear does, it greases the groove for more government control.
Whether it’s death tolls, or the potential coronavirus coverup, or death smogs, or even videos of Communists dragging Chinese citizens from their homes, we are a spooked society.
As a society, many of us moderates are worried that the extreme side of our society may exchange our rights to placate their fears.
On January 28th, the ACLU issued a coronavirus warning regarding how the public and government might overreact to a potential outbreak.
Unfortunately, our history of reactions to infectious disease outbreaks suggests that if this outbreak becomes severe, we’re likely to see strong pressure to the contrary.
Americans now must consider two potential threats:
- A potential pandemic – a threat to life. (less likely)
- A potential martial law/quarantine – a threat to liberty. (more likely)
It’s the second threat that many people find the most unsettling and that’s not the least bit irrational. For the priority threat, a virus, people can prepare by putting together a pandemic survival kit. For the latter, we are probably a society too far gone to counteract complete, opportunistic subjugation.
Organizations/Scientists Speak Out Against Mass Quarantines
On January 26th, the conversation of potential quarantines began with a Tom Inglesby Tweet. Inglesby is the Director, Johns Hopkins SPH Center for Health Security, where he focuses on pandemic survival.
I’ve linked the tweet below, and below that, the meat and potatoes we should all be paying attention to.
The following thread regards how we should be planning for the possibility that nCoV cannot be contained. #2019nCoV (1/x)
— Tom Inglesby (@T_Inglesby) January 26, 2020
Global and national leaders should be looking ahead to what must be done to prepare for the possibility nCoV can’t be contained, even as we continue to work as hard as possible to contain it in China and beyond. (8/x)
The work to prepare for the possibility of failed containment could be called something like: Plan for Global Mobilization to Respond to a nCoV Pandemic. There are a series of highest priorities that should be at the top of that Plan, including: (9/x)
Crash vaccine development. Top of list because would so dramatically change response and outcomes.
@NIAID & @CEPI working on vaccines, as are others. All pharma+biotech companies that could have a vaccine or therapy candidate of relevance should be enlisted in the effort. (10/x)
Multiple vaccine efforts should be pursued in parallel. Money should not be rate-limiting. Timelines should be shortened in whatever ways possible that doesn’t get in the way of a final safe, effective product. Rapid clinical trials prepared. (11/x)
Inglesby is far from the only scientist/official in coronavirus reaction mode. Trevor Bedford, a computational biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, believes that if we don’t contain coronavirus soon, we will be thrust into a full-blown pandemic.
“If it’s not contained shortly,” Bedford said, “I think we’re looking at a pandemic.”
Fair or unfair, the media’s coronavirus hype train left the station weeks ago. Now it’s tumbling, with no brakes and a full load, towards a community station near you. It’s now in the United States and soon, news headlines citing massive coronavirus case amounts will flood your newsfeeds. Costcos are already being raided.
Dr. Elie Saade, an infectious disease specialist at University Hospitals, called blocking entire cities a “nightmare scenario.” She sees a massive United States quarantine as something experienced at home, while watching Netflix.
The psychological and economic costs of mass quarantine are undeniable. In 2001, a report determined that a mass quarantine in the United States could lead to infections in otherwise healthy people.
“There’s just no good evidence, at least in modern times, that (a mass quarantine) has made a big difference,” said Dr. James Kazura, the director of Case Western Reserve University’s Center for Global Health and Diseases.
“If you put people who are quarantined together in close quarters if there’s two people infected, and the other 1,000 aren’t, then it puts those people at risk,” Kazura said.
CDC Quarantine Rights Explained
Legally, the CDC reserves the right to examine people at quarantine stations located at ports-of-entry in 20 U.S. states and territories. A number of states imposed three-week quarantines for medical personnel returning from Africa during the Ebola outbreak. The ACLU called this move medically-unjustified and unconstitutional.
A mass quarantine in the United States could prompt a massive civil uprising. Given the state of our political affairs, it’s hard to believe the government would risk pouring gasoline on burning embers.
“The public health community has learned over time that treating sick people like potential enemies only spurs them to ‘go underground’ and avoid the authorities, which exacerbates the spread of disease,” the ACLU blogged back on Jan. 28.
The fact is, much like gun confiscation, the government risk placing itself in a position to enforce its will. And that means a potential consequence of violent backlash.
But the presiding theme to digest here is that a mass quarantine, while unlikely, becomes less-unlikely with each day the media pushes forth the potential pandemic narrative. Its the media’s job to inform, whether some of you despise that position or not. Pandemics, historically, have been one of mankind’s great threats. We need to know what’s happening in China. But we also need to realize that our fears of coronavirus may turn out misguided. If coronavirus fear leads to more government intrusion and control regarding our lives, that’s the biggest failure.
It’s good to be pandemic prepared, but it’s also intelligent to realize you may need your SHTF plan in order just as well. Because it might not be a pandemic that serves as your biggest enemy today.
Here’s a shortlist of preparation items you might consider grabbing now.
Mass Coronavirus Quarantine Preparation List
When it comes down to it, prepping for a mass quarantine should be looked at in the same way as when you prep for SHTF. It’s the same thing. The store shelves are empty, you can’t get anywhere, and the bedlam of panic is pervasive.
- Rubbing alcohol
- Canned Foods
- N95 Masks (be careful, this may not be as good as advertised, plus a lot of sellers are jacking up prices and orders are largely delayed)
- Full Tank of Gas in Car(s) – THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.
- Generator – Not likely needed, but always a good idea.
- View Full SHTF List.
Now, as it stands, some of these items are gone.
Hand sanitizers are out of stock. But do you really need that? Try to get straight rubbing alcohol instead. Focus on the canned foods over water in the case that water is out. If you have kids, make sure to grab a few family fun board games. In the event that you are unreasonably quarantined, you’ll want to infuse as much normalcy as humanly possible into your home.
Do not tell neighbors that you have any supplies. Most likely, things won’t go that south, but it’s always good form to remain cautious.
Coronavirus Should Serve As Lesson
The mortality rate with coronavirus is low. Most likely, the news will wear everyone out over the matter within the next two weeks. They’ll find a new hook in mass shootings, gun control, abortions, or Trump impeachment scenarios. If that turns out to be the case, you need to begin a new prepping strategy for you and your family.
Whenever you visit a Costco or grocery store in the future, always grab a few items that you plan to store. Pick up a case of cheap water and some canned good. Begin ordering ammo every two months online.
When the next real pandemic breaks out, or a media concocted pandemic takes hold of our naive neighbors, you are mostly ready.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
Please visit the CDC website for the most up-to-date COVID-19 information.
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