Sunday, April 26, 2009

Swine Flu

Hi Ferfal

I've been reading your blog for quite a while now and its been incredibly helpful, so thanks very much for that. I have a question about the swine flu outbreak in Mexico and USA - are you prepared for such a situation? If so, how? I understand that there is a vaccine available - Tamiflu - that can in some circumstances be bought over the counter. Would you consider this or rely on the government to provide a vaccination through the WHO (World Health Organisation)?

Many Thanks and keep up the good work.


Oh, I’ve learned long ago not to rely on the government, specially the Argentine one.
I think there’s not a single Argentine left that trusts our “leaders” any more.
If some international organizations truly gives away medicine for free, our government and some down their chain will simply steal it and sell it to the people.
If things get bad, I think I’d just leave the country fast and move to Spain where I can go immediately and would have a place to crash.
I bought Tamilfu a couple years ago. I suppose it already expired. Maybe I’ll buy a couple more boxes just in case.
It’s cheap insurance when you consider the alternative.
Regarding locations, take for example what’s happening here with the Dengue.
The disease has spread a lot, thankfully autumn is coming and the mosquito slowing down it’s activity.
But what did the government do after people protested for the lack of official action?
They started fumigating, but where? In the city, where there’s the greatest amount of population, and, maybe more important, where people notice the government action the most.
So, in the city they get rid of the bug, while in the outskirts and other smaller provinces they are still getting people infected for lack of government action.
Of course this is one particular case, other diseases work differently and in other cases you want to be as far away from populated places as you can. But with a mosquito spreading a disease, or rats, pests that can be controlled if the authorities do a bit of effort, being in the capital city helps a lot, since it’s the last place they allow to go down.
About flu, sorry don’t have much advice there. Get Tamiflu ( I think it’s expensive in USA) .
If the disease spreads in your area, you might want to start wearing one of those 3M cloth masks rated N95.
I carry one in my bag all day, mostly for smoke and debris, but it would help avoid (read help, not avoid completely) flu as well.
Maybe people are afraid of looking like dorks. If the disease is spreading in your area, forget shyness and dorkiness, those have no place in a survival minded person.
People with immune system diseases use those masks all day, so they are not that uncommon.
Avoid crowded and dirty places like public transportation, go shopping to the supermarket when there’s the lesser amount of people, preferably early during week days.
If things get really bad, you just better move somewhere else. Here’s where the Plan B and C we’ve talked about before comes into play, just one more example of when it can come in handy.
Take care.



skymetalsmith said...

I am reading your book now...about half way through. I noticed that you talk about hand washing early in the book. I know you didn't forget the importance of that. I am living in the Capital City of Columbus Ohio USA. I imagine that my Grandmothers saying "cleanliness is next to Godliness" might be something to keep in our hearts. Didn't you recommend an alcohol based non water cleanser for WSHTF?

FerFAL said...

Alcohol gel is what they use at hospitals here. There’s also hand sanitizers.
I use alcohol gel mostly. But for ordinary everyday use just soap and water.
Yes, its terribly important to keep hands clean when the society turns poor and diseases spread because of lack of hygiene.
The problem comes when there’s no water. Water may be very precious and a lot is wasted when washing hands, so hand sanitizer or alcohol gel and a paper towel works very well.
Other people like baby wipes, even use them for cleaning up when they can’t take a shower. It’s all cheap enough so people can store up a bit of each, try it out and see what works best for each one.


Carrick said...

I don't doubt the govt's motive there, but to be fair, fumigating in high population density areas is the smartest, and best bang for your buck (less nesting places, greater likelihood of person-to-person transmission and catastrophic cascading effect.)

Don Williams said...

1) As I noted in an earlier comment, my doctor thinks a flu virus would quickly mutate to develop resistance to Tamiflu -- i.e, that it might be very valuable in the earlier stages of a pandemic, but then be worth less as time goes on.

2) I also think the US government is trying to restrict the availability of Tamiflu in order to prevent casual use by non-medical personnel which would breed resistant strains. Because if the government can't protect the military, the politicians, senior business leaders and the doctors from the disease then it well and truly screwed.

3) Or at least that is how it sees it. If you look at government emergency plans, they talk a lot about identifying and protecting "key essential personnel". You and I probably don't qualify.

4) However, some news reports indicate that Tamiflu resistance may already be developing. See

Don Williams said...

If Ferfal is going to jump to Spain, he may want to do so quick. The World Health Organization may recommend border closures and travel bans if this flu turns out to be as deadly elsewhere as in Mexico. Some countries are already quarantining arriving air passengers who are running a fever or showing flu symptoms.

Also, Spain is currently monitoring seven cases of flu within its own borders. It may be too lack to stop the worldwide spread of this flu --there may be thousands of people in Europe already carrying the virus --we won't know for weeks.


vdavisson said...

Ferfal, I just read an important report on the value of Vitamin D in flu resistance. Please read it and get on megadoses of vitamin D immediately: