Kits (11)
Writing (134)
How we know the future of COVID-19 is a roller coaster of lockdowns and spikes

When it comes to knowing what's next with the pandemic, I've found the following two methods have yet to let me down: I keep close tabs on what infectious disease experts are saying, and I regularly mask up and go outside to look around. For the first method --- listening to experts --- part of my secret sauce is checking in on Michael Osterholm's CIDRAP podcast from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.  Osterholm has been consistently o

2 comments
Unpacking the logic behind “slow the testing down, please”

A lot has been made of the President's claim that we should "slow the testing down," a claim that he doubled down on in subsequent remarks to reporters. Most commentators state that he's under the mistaken impression that if we just don't look at the problem, it'll go away. But I follow a bunch of virus skeptics on Twitter and in other venues, and based on what I see from them I think I understand the reasoning behind the president's remark. The evidence leads experts to believe he's wrong, b

19 comments
How to understand ICU occupancy numbers and tell when your area is in the danger zone

ICUs in some areas of the United States are about to go into overflow mode, as you’ve probably seen. You may have even shared a story about this on a social media site. And if you shared one of those "ICU occupancy is surging" stories, odds are good that someone responded to by suggesting that you calm down and do a bit of simple math: Current number of occupied ICU beds / Total population in the area = Teeny tiny numbers. Take Houston, TX, for instance --- an emerging hotspot not far from

6 comments
Video review: the Work Sharp Benchstone Knife Sharpener

I'm not a big fan of gadgets and "sharpening systems" that lock you into a specific way of putting an edge on a blade. I advocate learning to free-hand an edge on a strop or a diamond stone, because once you learn that skill, it's easily transferrable to many different kinds of sharpening media. As I demonstrate in this video review, the $45 Work Sharp Benchstone Knife Sharpener is a great tool for learning to develop your sharpening technique, because it gives you a set of training wheels fo

0 comments
Review: the GORUCK face mask

Here in Texas, we're still having a hard time getting reusable cloth masks of decent quality. My wife ordered some fancy-looking masks from Canada over a month ago, and they've yet to ship. I recently waited three weeks for some overpriced masks that fell apart on first use. Luckily, more clothing makers and brands are introducing their own mask lines. GORUCK is the latest to throw its hat into the ring, with a new line of masks that are actually (as of this writing) in stock. I've spent a

5 comments

Load more...
Discussions

I thought about covering this in the article, but I didn’t want to bloat it out. The answer on hospitalization increases is straightforward: these folks constantly circulate anecdata to the effect that anyone who walks in the door of the hospital for any reason is tested for COVID, and since a bunch of them have it (asymptomatically, of course), they are then classified as “COVID hospitalizations. So if you believe that a very large percentage of the population has totally asymptomatic COVID, then this makes a certain amount of sense. Everyone is infected, and the people who come in get a test and then show up in the hospitalization stats. As for what these folks do with the ICU numbers, that is a little more difficult for them to finesse. But what I’m currently seeing is that they deny that there is a surge in ICU load. The claim is that the load is actually pretty normal (even lower than normal!), and there is plenty of ICU capacity, and nothing is amiss. The way they get there is by gathering ICU load stats from a wide enough area. COVID produces pretty localized ICU surges, so if Houston is surging then all you do is take your stats from the entire state of TX. And over the entire state of TX, ICU capacity is currently plentiful and there is not a statewide issue. Obviously, their ICU strategy has a shelf life. As the aggregate statewide ICU load ramps up, they won’t be able to deny it. But then what I expect they’ll say is, “well, the only reason the statewide stats are up is because of these three areas, but if you look at the rest of the state it’s all normal or down!”

These are all great points, and we talk through some of these issues in this article: https://theprepared.com/gear/guides/how-to-choose-bladed-tools/ My main thought on your particular case is that first and foremost you have to do what works for you. If you have experience with a hatchet plus multitool combo, and that works for you, then that’s probably your best bet. I personally have been trying out that combo and I love it. All of that said, I think optimizing for a wilderness survival scenario is a mistake. Even though I live outside of town on some land, I consider myself far more likely to end up in a suburban or urban survival scenario than a wilderness one. And in an urban survival scenario, a good field knife is also a lever that can be used for prying, digging, hammering, etc. As an example, on my last family camping trip to Big Bend, I used my field knife to get enough leverage to open up the stuck cap on a diesel transfer flow tank (it’s hard to describe, but it was designed such that you could lay a bar across the top and crank), and then I went inside and broke up an ice bag with that same knife. I’ve also used knives for access — window breaking and getting a door open. So if I’m imagining myself trying to get into or out of a man-made structure, or trying to create access holes in such a structure (for airflow, visibility, listening, etc.) then I want something that will get the job done. And a multitool or a wood-handled hatchet aren’t the answer. You can do all the “field knife” stuff I mentioned above with a good tactical tomahawk, so if you love the hatchet then maybe multitool plus tactical ‘hawk is a winner. I’m sort of headed that direction, myself, with my own preps.

Weird pandemic coping mechanisms?
10
11

Load more...

I thought about covering this in the article, but I didn’t want to bloat it out. The answer on hospitalization increases is straightforward: these folks constantly circulate anecdata to the effect that anyone who walks in the door of the hospital for any reason is tested for COVID, and since a bunch of them have it (asymptomatically, of course), they are then classified as “COVID hospitalizations. So if you believe that a very large percentage of the population has totally asymptomatic COVID, then this makes a certain amount of sense. Everyone is infected, and the people who come in get a test and then show up in the hospitalization stats. As for what these folks do with the ICU numbers, that is a little more difficult for them to finesse. But what I’m currently seeing is that they deny that there is a surge in ICU load. The claim is that the load is actually pretty normal (even lower than normal!), and there is plenty of ICU capacity, and nothing is amiss. The way they get there is by gathering ICU load stats from a wide enough area. COVID produces pretty localized ICU surges, so if Houston is surging then all you do is take your stats from the entire state of TX. And over the entire state of TX, ICU capacity is currently plentiful and there is not a statewide issue. Obviously, their ICU strategy has a shelf life. As the aggregate statewide ICU load ramps up, they won’t be able to deny it. But then what I expect they’ll say is, “well, the only reason the statewide stats are up is because of these three areas, but if you look at the rest of the state it’s all normal or down!”

These are all great points, and we talk through some of these issues in this article: https://theprepared.com/gear/guides/how-to-choose-bladed-tools/ My main thought on your particular case is that first and foremost you have to do what works for you. If you have experience with a hatchet plus multitool combo, and that works for you, then that’s probably your best bet. I personally have been trying out that combo and I love it. All of that said, I think optimizing for a wilderness survival scenario is a mistake. Even though I live outside of town on some land, I consider myself far more likely to end up in a suburban or urban survival scenario than a wilderness one. And in an urban survival scenario, a good field knife is also a lever that can be used for prying, digging, hammering, etc. As an example, on my last family camping trip to Big Bend, I used my field knife to get enough leverage to open up the stuck cap on a diesel transfer flow tank (it’s hard to describe, but it was designed such that you could lay a bar across the top and crank), and then I went inside and broke up an ice bag with that same knife. I’ve also used knives for access — window breaking and getting a door open. So if I’m imagining myself trying to get into or out of a man-made structure, or trying to create access holes in such a structure (for airflow, visibility, listening, etc.) then I want something that will get the job done. And a multitool or a wood-handled hatchet aren’t the answer. You can do all the “field knife” stuff I mentioned above with a good tactical tomahawk, so if you love the hatchet then maybe multitool plus tactical ‘hawk is a winner. I’m sort of headed that direction, myself, with my own preps.


Load more...