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A fevered planet & the rise of fungal pathogens

This information seemed relevant for other preppers to be aware of, and the scientific article linked is fairly new as it was published in April 2021:

A professor of mine recently brought up how in the past, fungal pathogens have not been major health concerns for humans the way viral and bacterial pathogens have been. She spoke about how this was due to the fact that the majority of (although certainly not all) fungal pathogens don’t thrive at the temperature the typical human body is at, because it is much too warm for them. Essentially: “For the vast majority of fungal species, the capacity to grow at elevated temperatures limits their ability to infect and establish in mammals. However, fungi can be trained to evolve thermotolerance” (Nnadi et al).

 

As the planet is essentially fevered and we see global warming (IPCC Report) the freedom we have previously enjoyed from the threat of fungal pathogens may be coming to an end as “gradual adaptation to increasing temperature caused by climate change could lead to an increase of organisms that can cause disease.” (Nnadi et al.) Warming the planet means that fungal pathogens are adapting to survive and thrive at higher temperatures, temperatures that are far closer to a human’s body temperature than we should be comfortable with. “In addition, climate change can increase the geographic range of pathogenic species or their vectors, leading to the emergence of diseases in areas where they have not previously been reported.” (Nnadi et al.)

 

This is a major cause for concern because “fungi can arguably pose equal or even greater threats [than viruses and bacteria]: There are no vaccines available yet for fungal pathogens, the arsenal of antifungal agents is extremely limited, and fungi can live saprotrophically, producing large quantities of infectious spores and do not require host-to-host contact to establish infection. Indeed, fungi seem to be uniquely capable of causing complete host extinction.” (Nnadi et al.)

 

 Figure from Climate change and the emergence of fungal pathogens (Nnandi et al.)

Official Citations of the Linked Sources:

 Nnadi NE, Carter DA (2021) Climate change and the emergence of fungal pathogens. PLOS Pathogens 17(4): e1009503. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1009503

 IPCC, 2021: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S. L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M. I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J.B.R. Matthews, T. K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press. 

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CNN airing short film that’s partly about TP and this community

Just wrote up details on the blog, but wanted to share here too. Premiers on CNN’s TV channel this Saturday Aug 7th. First airing at 9pm ET, second at 9pm PT.

We were excited to participate in this — we got multiple of our families together and spent many days with the crew — because it was pitched as a serious look at how rational people from all walks of life are taking steps to be more self reliant. 

Tune in… at worst, you’ll have plenty of ways to make fun of me and others on the team 🙂

Edit: I just saw the film and it’s much better than the crappy marketing made it seem. I hate that it’s anchored around bunkers. But it starts off focusing on the “community” part of a bunker community. Then I/TP come in to say that bunkers are way down the priority list, how the community is growing and diverse, there are sane steps everyone can take without moving to a rural bunker, etc.

I think CNN’s marketing dept (separate from the actual filmmakers) have this idea that they’ll hook in people with the “bunker porn” and then by the end of the show they’ve expanded their horizons. Not the approach I would take — especially anchoring the narrative around bunkers — but it’s one of the better attempts at this that I’ve seen on mainstream media.

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A report from a non prepper from South Africa

https://unherd.com/2021/07/the-return-of-south-africas-militias/

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Confused about vaccine info (Discussion)

Full disclosure: I’m not a conspiracy nut. I don’t buy into the conspiracies of the vaccine turning your body into a magnetic, injecting tracking metals into you, et cetera. I fully believe in getting vaccinated for diseases that spread easily and/or very negatively affect people, but I’m trying to figure out as much as I can about the COVID-19 vaccines before talking to the rest of my family about getting them (they’re not conspiracy nuts either, just hesitant like me).I’d post stuff like this on other social media platforms, but they’re usually ‘echo chamber’-y (Reddit being the worst example in my opinion).

I’ve been researching a lot about the vaccines, but I’ve been getting all kinds of conflicting information; misinformation, disinformation, lack of information, et cetera. Like, I hear about how the RNA vaccines cause prion diseases (which was proven false a lot, but my mind likes to research further and second guess a lot), or how the mRNA vaccines came out too quickly (even though it’s been said that the idea and concept has been studied for decades).Basically, I don’t exactly know what to believe anymore with what’s out there for public viewing. I’m not sure what’s right, and I’m not sure what’s wrong. I’m not scared or fearful anything like that, just really really confused and trying to make sense of it all.

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incredible story of quick thinking and skill that leads to a saved life

want to read about an incredible story of a father and son who used their intuition and skill to save someone at sea? this story really was inspiring to me to be alert, aware, and tap into what i know in order to better help others. it’s seriously a good read.

https://www.wsls.com/news/local/2021/07/08/roanoke-father-son-duo-rescue-missing-boater-40-miles-off-north-carolina-coast/

if put into that same situation, i’m afraid i wouldn’t have had the split second decision making that these two had and the knowledge and skill that would have been required to find him. it sounds like they did everything perfectly and it paid off. i’m trying to think about what i’m exceptionally good at and how i too might be able to use that someday to save someone’s life. i don’t know too much about first aid, but just having a kit and basic knowledge may save someone someday.

i think forum member bob is a boater in that part of the woods/ocean. maybe he can pitch in his thoughts

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Colonial Pipeline Attack -The rise of cyberware attacks and the future of prepping

Another cyberware attack in the news, affecting fuel. This kind of crime is on the rise for business and personal users. What does this mean for the future of prepping?

None of us can control the methods or security used by business, so how safe are we? What do we need to do as individuals to prevent personal devices from being shut down?

In the early days of computer use in business, I was taught: the computer you are using is nothing more than an electronic filing cabinet. It is not infalliable. Print hard (paper) copy of anything important.

So for anyone relying soley on external drive backup or thumb drive, if all the computers/phones are shut down, how will you read your data? For any important prep info or instructions: hard copy on paper.

Here’s the article:

Colonial Pipeline Cyberware Ransom Attack

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Texas Tax Holiday for Prepping

Texas will be having a sales tax holiday on emergency preparedness supplies from April 24-26. I had never heard of such a thing before, but it’s apparently a thing in Alabama and Florida.

The tax holiday applies to both in-store and online sales, though the state encourages shopping at local retailers. The list of included and excluded items is kind of random. For instance, axes and hatchets are included but chainsaws are not.

We have tax holidays in Tennessee, and I’ve found them to be a mixed blessing. It’s nice not paying our high sales tax, but crowds are usually bad and retailers jack up their prices so you don’t really save money.

However, there are some big-ticket items you could save on. Generators and two-way radios are included in the holiday and those are two items that almost never go on sale, so that might be a good time to invest in those.

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Screenshot from 2021-04-22 09-29-16

Covid-19 variant briefing note in the news

I was going to wait until after the analysis was released this week, but the information is troubling and I wanted to give everyone a heads up. The data isn’t just Canadian. There is real concern by other countries over the severity of the B117 variant. It is affecting younger people as well.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-variants-death-analysis-ontario-1.5964296 
   
Excerpts quoted: 

“A briefing note prepared by table members for the province, which is expected to be made public early next week, is based on an analysis of Ontario hospitalization and death data between December and March.

The analysis is expected to show that variants substantially increase the risk of serious illness when compared to the initial strain of SARS-CoV-2, including:

60 per cent increased risk of hospitalization.
100 per cent increased risk of being admitted to an ICU.
60 per cent increased risk of death.

The data for the above report is expected to be released early this coming week.”

A further quote regarding data:

“The Ontario figures were also pooled with data from Denmark and the U.K., two countries hit hard by B117, several sources explained, with local data falling in line with those earlier international findings. 

“Clearly, these variants are … more transmissible — so you’re more likely to become infected if you’re exposed to the virus — and also, you’re more likely to be admitted to hospital and to potentially die from the infection,” said critical care physician Dr. Kali Barrett, a member of the COVID-19 Modelling Collaborative, a separate group that was not involved in the science table’s upcoming briefing note.

Those health impacts are regardless of your age or pre-existing medical issues, she said of the international research.”

The news out of other countries is also a concern with respect to the death rate, transmission and that it is infecting younger people. Brazil is recording record deaths.

There have been warnings about the third wave being much worse.

The variants are in the throat rather than the lung. There is greater ease of transmission because of this change. Particles leaving the throat and mouth do so with even more facility than virus particles leaving the chest after a cough. 

The virus particles can remain in the air for several hours.

I have also considered the additional droplets of the variant virus that are going to be landing on any and everything. 

What about people not practising good hygiene who put hand to mouth and nose and then touch items? That has been an issue from the beginning, but now it will make matters worse.
 
We had some of our restrictions loosened provincially and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. We already have almost 120 cases of the B117 in my province. Yet, this weekend local people were partying like Covid-19 or its variants didn’t exist. Their driveways were packed with cars, five or more to a home.

Think of your eyes as another way for the virus to enter your body.

When I first learned of the variants and how they were transmissible from the throat, I brought in two types of face shields. Both are full face but one is more fitted around the face and offers more protection.

Many people don’t wear their masks properly. In the current variant situation, that could spell disaster for them and others.

I have also changed our shopping schedule with a view to even further minimize contact. We already do “pick and pay” for any necessary groceries and throughly wipe down any groceries or other items that enter the house.

I am also ramping up certain preps and plan to initiate SIP other than walking dog or working on property (garden). 

Vaccine is happening April 2, but it takes time to develop and is only one of 2 shots. Also, it may lessen the effects caution is still required as one can still catch the virus.

Also, if anyone has considered this: where do the variants end? I am fully expecting that the more people spread this, the more copies of the virus are created and distributed, which in turn increases the chances of more variants. Our luck could run out if we’re not careful. What if one of these variants won’t respond to existing vaccines?

With this in mind, has anyone changed their protocols or added to their preps accordingly?

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Color-changing sutures detects infection

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/high-schooler-invented-color-changing-sutures-detect-infection-180977345/

A high school student invented a suture that changes colors to detect infection. Article has some illustrations.

Current methods to determine infection require a smart phone.  Article explains.

I’m an avid practioner of the KISS doctrine – Keep It Simple, Stupid ! – Many do not have smart phone PLUS in realistic, worst case scenarios, phone service just not be available.

Am hoping she gets the needed patent.

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Humble Bundle books for prepping

Hey folks, I wanted to point out a couple of great Humble Bundle deals on prepping books.

Survive Everything Bundle: Sorry for the short notice, but there’s only a couple of days left to claim this one. There are a lot of great books here on survival, homestead, and even home distilling. $1 gets you a bunch of books, $18 gets everything. DIY Home and Hobby: This one has a lot of “Dummies” books, which are usually pretty good. It’s not as preparedness-focused as the one above, but it includes books on gardening, survival, and home repairs. The $1 tier gets you books on hobby farming, winemaking, woodworking and “repairing everything,” which is a pretty good deal.

BTW, when you check out, they try to tack on some kind of subscription service. Make sure you don’t get signed up for that by accident.

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How y’all doing with the unexpected cold?

Friends in the southern U.S., how are you doing with the cold/snow/power outages?

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COVID Projections – what is going on in Sweden?

So it seems to me that the two most important things to understand when considering my prepping/general actions over the next 6 months are:

1. What is the rate and severity of long-term COVID complications across the age/comorbidity spectrum

2. What path is the virus likely to take in the fall

I’m going to avoid #1 for now because I have yet to find many good sources to contribute to the discussion. For #2 I’ve been thinking about Sweden (and to a lesser extent, New York) lately.

Both Sweden and New York saw very steep growth and very high mortality. Sweden is 5th in the world at 556 deaths per million, and New York is around 790 deaths per million. If I am doing my math right, NYC is nearly 2800 deaths per million.

Sweden: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1104709/coronavirus-deaths-worldwide-per-million-inhabitants/
New York/NYC: https://www.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases

Both Sweden and New York have deaths that dropped off fairly precipitously and have remained low. Sweden’s case counts have bounced around a bit before returning to low levels, while NY has remained low for quite some time.

These cases have been in my mind recently as I have started to see more mainstream articles around cross-immunity and heterogenity driving herd immunity.

Here’s the Atlantic on heterogenity (most susceptible get it first): https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/07/herd-immunity-coronavirus/614035/

And Vox on the different components of Morbidity (linking to numerous other places):
https://www.vox.com/2020/7/22/21324729/getting-covid-19-twice-immunity-antibodies-vaccine-herd-immunity

(sidenote: do we have access to html [url = ][/url] and that sort of thing? That and a preview button would be nice)

Those theories represent a possible explanation for both Sweden and New York’s drop. One problem is that Sweden sero studies have returned prevalence roughly half that of New York – ~10% vs ~20-25%. Sweden is a fairly obese country from what I can tell, so I’m not sure population health covers it either. And obviously Sweden has been hit much harder than its Nordic neighbors.

So I guess my main questions are:
1. Do you think there is anything to Herd Immunity coming at a much lower threshold?
2. Is there another explanation for Sweden’s drop? I have not found good sources for what is happening on the ground regarding voluntary social distancing, mask wearing, closing of indoor dining/bars. Google mobility data seems to indicate movement is back to normal levels?
3. If New York or Sweden are indeed at some high proportion of herd immunity, should that change anything I plan for/do? I think if they are it should not impact me decisions too much in the short term – NYC/Lombardy/Wuhan still got very very bad. It might influence my more long-term decisions on how best to allocate prepping resources though.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

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How will you get notified?

How will you get notified when something happens in your area? How will you stay tuned to updates?

I’m currently signed up for my county alert system, so I hope I’ll get a text if something is going down, but I’m not sure I will hear it if I’m asleep.

I’m also realizing a neighborhood or street text group may be super helpful.

Based on the helpful social media thread recently I’m collecting a list of social media accounts in a notes doc on my phone I can check if something is going down.

How will you a) hear about local emergencies and b) stay tuned to updates?

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iFixit makes world’s largest medical repair database for free

I’m not super familiar with iFixit but thought this was cool. They organized 200 volunteers and gathered 13,000 different repair manuals for equipment that hospitals use, then made it available for free online:

https://www.ifixit.com/News/41440/introducing-the-worlds-largest-medical-repair-database-free-for-everyone

Although these aren’t the most important documents you’d want to have saved for a knowledge library, if you’ve already got the basics covered this could be interesting to add to your collection. Super unlikely, but how cool would it be to be able to fix a ventilator or something in a SHTF environment!

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Prepping for Hurricane Season

NPR’s Life Kit has an article and accompanying podcast episode entitled, “It’s Peak Hurricane Season. You Should Have These Plans Ready” by Debbit Elliott. I’m not in a hurricane prone area, but some of you may be. I’m wondering what other preps you might have.

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Any eyewitnesses on scene in Portland, Louisville, and other hot zones?

I’m just curious if any of our readers have been near the civil unrest in Portland, OR or any of the other hot spots. I’d love to hear first-person accounts of what’s happening in these places because I get the sense that we don’t get the full picture in the mainstream media.

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Turns out an old wives tale about magic soil from an Irish church was real

Found this while looking for positive stories, haha. Since the early 1800s, the people in a town in Northern Ireland called Boho thought the soil from a nearby church had healing powers. They would put some dirt under their pillow when they were sick, and the folklore was that it would heal you.

A scientist tested the soil a few years back and it turns out to have strong antibacterial properties. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-46651702

It got me wondering if there are other examples of survival folklore actually being true?

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