Discussions

Hi Stephanie – at what point would it make sense to start tracking COVID stats simply as a “percentage of deaths per identified cases”? It seems a foregone conclusion that COVID will become endemic, and nobody’s still reporting total counts for influenza infection rates and deaths rates since the first reported case of the flu way-back-when. The case counts and death counts will surely just continue to rise – to the point that the numbers no longer represent any useful metric gauging the actual danger posed by the disease. On the other hand, as more cases (proportionally) arise within vaccinated populations and treatments become more effective, the mortality rate of the disease should steadily decrease until it’s on par (or even below, if we’re lucky) that of the flu. But, if we never make the transition away from simply tracking total counts for infections and deaths, we may not even recognize when we’ve reached that point. If the infection rates continue to rise, does it really matter that much if the mortality rate is simultaneously plummeting? If another variant that’s more deadly gets a foothold, mortality rates might climb astronomically even if overall infection rates are declining at that time. Adding a reference to mortality rates into your bi-weekly recap of the stats might prove incredibly useful in either case (tempering fear and/or warning of a novel risk). Just a suggestion. I appreciate the great work you do with these blog posts – they’re the best one-stop-shop for “preparedness awareness” anywhere on the web!

Great thoughts, as usual, Brown Fox.  Some additional suggestions for those living in tornado-prone areas (or earthquake zones, or near airports, etc.): Get some advanced medical training (beyond the Red Cross “apply pressure and call 911” version).  Wilderness Medical Associates is one educational resource that comes to mind – they teach how to treat common traumatic injuries and health crises when professional medical services are more than 2 hours away.  In the wake of a large-scale incident, emergency responders are going to be delayed in their response or unable to respond altogether (due to sheer number of casualties, debris blocking roadways, etc.).  You may be the only person in your family (and one of few on your block) with the skills to help injured people and significantly extend the length of time they can safely wait for professional medical attention. Stock a special “mass casualty kit” in a secure location (somewhere it won’t get blown away if your house is hit by the tornado) with lots of trauma gear:  gauze, tape, sam splints, ace wraps, tourniquets, NPAs, wound wash/bottled water, and mylar blankets, so you can carry it when checking on neighbors after a large scale event.  But it’s not enough to have it on hand – you need to know how to use it effectively. See if your local government offers CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training (https://www.ready.gov/cert).  I’d been prepping for years and considered myself pretty knowledgeable, but I still learned a lot in my local CERT class a couple of years ago.  A lot of the class focuses on bridges the gap between your personal preparedness and how you can help others in your immediate area after an event (including interfacing with and assisting professional first responders).  Definitely worthwhile, even if you already know a lot about self-reliance.

Hey Stephanie – appreciate the fine work in your recap, as always.  I’m subscribed to an analytical email series called “Doomberg”.  I don’t even remember how I came to be signed up for it (it’s entirely likely you suggested it here in the roundup at some point in the past).  They posted an interesting analysis of how tightening of the natural gas/fertilizer supplies had the potential to brick entire fleets of diesel powered trucks (no DEF fluid for their engines, which are intentionally designed to shut down if they don’t have DEF – so, horrible supply chain woes).  Australia seems to be in particular peril, but I’d imagine the scope extends well beyond that.  Here’s a excerpt from today’s post to provide some additional background info.  Might be worth tracking the related developments here in the roundup. (link: https://doomberg.substack.com/p/how-to-brick-an-entire-economy) “Mr. Clark went on to warn of the dire consequences that Australia risks suffering in as soon as a few weeks: ‘I had a member call the other day. They’ve got 250 prime movers. So they’re a big organisation, a lot of their fuel they buy in bulk — they are basically out of AdBlue next week. If this is not solved by then, then we have a major problem. So you’re not got anything getting delivered to supermarkets, you’ve got power not being generated. In South Australia, you’ve got tractors that can’t harvest, you’ve got hospitals that don’t have back-up generators, all this sort of thing. So it’s a major problem, if it doesn’t get solved.’ Until recently, Australia imported nearly 80% of its urea from China. A few weeks ago, China banned the exports of urea to keep homegrown fertilizer prices under control. We’ve previously highlighted ongoing trade tensions between the two countries, and although there’s no evidence China’s urea export ban was specifically targeted at Australia, there’s no denying the critical blow China’s move has delivered to the land Down Under. An updated report published Monday indicates widespread panic buying of DEF is underway, further exacerbating the crisis and accelerating the potential day of reckoning.”

Thanks, Henry.  It might be counterintuitive, but I think the best way to keep a vehicle around for a long time is to start with a really old vehicle.  Anything from the 80s or later was really designed to become obsolete, while the older stuff was made to last.  My Bronco has been a labor of love for many years.  There are times I get a new upgrade kit and I’m excited that I “get” to work on it.  Other times, something might break at an inconvenient time and it can be a real PITA that I “have” to work on it.  But it’s basically put together with such simple components that repairing and replacing parts is just a matter of investing a little time.  It’s very cost-effective if you can do the work yourself – not so much if you need to pay others to do it for you (finding a decent mechanic that still knows how to tune a carburetor can be a real challenge these days). I drop a few hundred dollars into it for a medium-sized repair or upgrade once every year or two and it just keeps chugging along.   Way cheaper than having a car payment for the past 25 years. It doesn’t hurt that there are multiple sources of OEM and aftermarket parts specifically for the Early Broncos (they were essentially unchanged for 10 years of their production run and shared several parts with other Ford vehicles during their run).  So I guess I should have said, “start with a really old vehicle that still has a fan base large enough to ensure parts support”.  🙂 Oh, and I’m not sure how many miles it has on it.  In all the years I’ve had it, the speedometer/odometer has never worked.  😀

I chose to get vaccinated, as did my wife, and we chose to vaccinate both of our children (12 and 14) as well.  That being said, I don’t support vaccine mandates, as I don’t believe the government should have the ability to force anyone to take a foreign substance into their bodies against their will. I’ve been following the vaccine developments with some vigor since the initial introduction of the mRNA vaccines and I haven’t seen anything scientific that would indicate that side effects of an mRNA vaccines would take any longer to appear than side effects from any other vaccine.  So anyone who’s fine 4-6 weeks after the mRNA vaccine is almost certainly never going to experience any ill effects from it.  I don’t believe there’s a secret “gotcha” related to that specific vaccine technology that’s going to surprise people a decade from now.  But I’m not a virologist or vaccine specialist, so mine is only a semi-educated opinion. The open question, in my mind, is whether the rates of adverse effects for COVID vaccines (in any/all forms) are higher than they might be for other vaccines and the government is suppressing that information “for the greater good”.  I certainly believe the government could (and would) suppress that information, if it exists, but I don’t really know if it exists.   I’ve known a couple of people who were negatively affected by the COVID vaccine, but the sample size from my personal acquaintances is certainly limited, so I can’t really draw a scientifically-supported conclusion from their reactions. Like I said, in the end, the balance of all those considerations still swung in the direction of vaccinations for me and my family, but everyone needs to (and should be allowed to) make that call for themselves.

If he’s talking about Robert Malone, this seems like a fairly balanced account of both his involvement in the development of and opinions about the current use of mRNA vaccines: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/08/robert-malone-vaccine-inventor-vaccine-skeptic/619734/ “Malone may keep company with vaccine skeptics, but he insists he is not one himself. His objections to the Pfizer and Moderna shots have to do mostly with their expedited approval process and with the government’s system for tracking adverse reactions. Speaking as a doctor, he would probably recommend their use only for those at highest risk from COVID-19. Everyone else should be wary, he told me, and those under 18 should be excluded entirely. (A June 23 statement from more than a dozen public-health organizations and agencies strongly encouraged all eligible people 12 and older to get vaccinated, because the benefits “far outweigh any harm.”) Malone is also frustrated that, as he sees it, complaints about side effects are being ignored or censored in the nationwide push to increase vaccination rates.” It’s difficult, sometimes, to separate valid scientific opinions from the flawed humans who hold them.  While Malone seems bitter and “difficult to deal with” as an individual, that doesn’t automatically invalidate all of his medical opinions.  In light of the repeated “noble lies” (lying to influence behavior in ways he thinks is ultimately beneficial to his audience) that Fauci has been exposed for telling, it’s not a stretch to believe there would also be suppression of data involving adverse vaccination reactions.  The government only fuels the spread of more conspiracy theories from the other side when they betray trust and lie themselves. There are almost certainly people both lying and telling the truth on either side of these ongoing arguments and only time will tell which ones were which.  The trick is figuring out the best course of action for yourself in the meantime.


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Hi Stephanie – at what point would it make sense to start tracking COVID stats simply as a “percentage of deaths per identified cases”? It seems a foregone conclusion that COVID will become endemic, and nobody’s still reporting total counts for influenza infection rates and deaths rates since the first reported case of the flu way-back-when. The case counts and death counts will surely just continue to rise – to the point that the numbers no longer represent any useful metric gauging the actual danger posed by the disease. On the other hand, as more cases (proportionally) arise within vaccinated populations and treatments become more effective, the mortality rate of the disease should steadily decrease until it’s on par (or even below, if we’re lucky) that of the flu. But, if we never make the transition away from simply tracking total counts for infections and deaths, we may not even recognize when we’ve reached that point. If the infection rates continue to rise, does it really matter that much if the mortality rate is simultaneously plummeting? If another variant that’s more deadly gets a foothold, mortality rates might climb astronomically even if overall infection rates are declining at that time. Adding a reference to mortality rates into your bi-weekly recap of the stats might prove incredibly useful in either case (tempering fear and/or warning of a novel risk). Just a suggestion. I appreciate the great work you do with these blog posts – they’re the best one-stop-shop for “preparedness awareness” anywhere on the web!

Great thoughts, as usual, Brown Fox.  Some additional suggestions for those living in tornado-prone areas (or earthquake zones, or near airports, etc.): Get some advanced medical training (beyond the Red Cross “apply pressure and call 911” version).  Wilderness Medical Associates is one educational resource that comes to mind – they teach how to treat common traumatic injuries and health crises when professional medical services are more than 2 hours away.  In the wake of a large-scale incident, emergency responders are going to be delayed in their response or unable to respond altogether (due to sheer number of casualties, debris blocking roadways, etc.).  You may be the only person in your family (and one of few on your block) with the skills to help injured people and significantly extend the length of time they can safely wait for professional medical attention. Stock a special “mass casualty kit” in a secure location (somewhere it won’t get blown away if your house is hit by the tornado) with lots of trauma gear:  gauze, tape, sam splints, ace wraps, tourniquets, NPAs, wound wash/bottled water, and mylar blankets, so you can carry it when checking on neighbors after a large scale event.  But it’s not enough to have it on hand – you need to know how to use it effectively. See if your local government offers CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training (https://www.ready.gov/cert).  I’d been prepping for years and considered myself pretty knowledgeable, but I still learned a lot in my local CERT class a couple of years ago.  A lot of the class focuses on bridges the gap between your personal preparedness and how you can help others in your immediate area after an event (including interfacing with and assisting professional first responders).  Definitely worthwhile, even if you already know a lot about self-reliance.

Hey Stephanie – appreciate the fine work in your recap, as always.  I’m subscribed to an analytical email series called “Doomberg”.  I don’t even remember how I came to be signed up for it (it’s entirely likely you suggested it here in the roundup at some point in the past).  They posted an interesting analysis of how tightening of the natural gas/fertilizer supplies had the potential to brick entire fleets of diesel powered trucks (no DEF fluid for their engines, which are intentionally designed to shut down if they don’t have DEF – so, horrible supply chain woes).  Australia seems to be in particular peril, but I’d imagine the scope extends well beyond that.  Here’s a excerpt from today’s post to provide some additional background info.  Might be worth tracking the related developments here in the roundup. (link: https://doomberg.substack.com/p/how-to-brick-an-entire-economy) “Mr. Clark went on to warn of the dire consequences that Australia risks suffering in as soon as a few weeks: ‘I had a member call the other day. They’ve got 250 prime movers. So they’re a big organisation, a lot of their fuel they buy in bulk — they are basically out of AdBlue next week. If this is not solved by then, then we have a major problem. So you’re not got anything getting delivered to supermarkets, you’ve got power not being generated. In South Australia, you’ve got tractors that can’t harvest, you’ve got hospitals that don’t have back-up generators, all this sort of thing. So it’s a major problem, if it doesn’t get solved.’ Until recently, Australia imported nearly 80% of its urea from China. A few weeks ago, China banned the exports of urea to keep homegrown fertilizer prices under control. We’ve previously highlighted ongoing trade tensions between the two countries, and although there’s no evidence China’s urea export ban was specifically targeted at Australia, there’s no denying the critical blow China’s move has delivered to the land Down Under. An updated report published Monday indicates widespread panic buying of DEF is underway, further exacerbating the crisis and accelerating the potential day of reckoning.”

Thanks, Henry.  It might be counterintuitive, but I think the best way to keep a vehicle around for a long time is to start with a really old vehicle.  Anything from the 80s or later was really designed to become obsolete, while the older stuff was made to last.  My Bronco has been a labor of love for many years.  There are times I get a new upgrade kit and I’m excited that I “get” to work on it.  Other times, something might break at an inconvenient time and it can be a real PITA that I “have” to work on it.  But it’s basically put together with such simple components that repairing and replacing parts is just a matter of investing a little time.  It’s very cost-effective if you can do the work yourself – not so much if you need to pay others to do it for you (finding a decent mechanic that still knows how to tune a carburetor can be a real challenge these days). I drop a few hundred dollars into it for a medium-sized repair or upgrade once every year or two and it just keeps chugging along.   Way cheaper than having a car payment for the past 25 years. It doesn’t hurt that there are multiple sources of OEM and aftermarket parts specifically for the Early Broncos (they were essentially unchanged for 10 years of their production run and shared several parts with other Ford vehicles during their run).  So I guess I should have said, “start with a really old vehicle that still has a fan base large enough to ensure parts support”.  🙂 Oh, and I’m not sure how many miles it has on it.  In all the years I’ve had it, the speedometer/odometer has never worked.  😀

I chose to get vaccinated, as did my wife, and we chose to vaccinate both of our children (12 and 14) as well.  That being said, I don’t support vaccine mandates, as I don’t believe the government should have the ability to force anyone to take a foreign substance into their bodies against their will. I’ve been following the vaccine developments with some vigor since the initial introduction of the mRNA vaccines and I haven’t seen anything scientific that would indicate that side effects of an mRNA vaccines would take any longer to appear than side effects from any other vaccine.  So anyone who’s fine 4-6 weeks after the mRNA vaccine is almost certainly never going to experience any ill effects from it.  I don’t believe there’s a secret “gotcha” related to that specific vaccine technology that’s going to surprise people a decade from now.  But I’m not a virologist or vaccine specialist, so mine is only a semi-educated opinion. The open question, in my mind, is whether the rates of adverse effects for COVID vaccines (in any/all forms) are higher than they might be for other vaccines and the government is suppressing that information “for the greater good”.  I certainly believe the government could (and would) suppress that information, if it exists, but I don’t really know if it exists.   I’ve known a couple of people who were negatively affected by the COVID vaccine, but the sample size from my personal acquaintances is certainly limited, so I can’t really draw a scientifically-supported conclusion from their reactions. Like I said, in the end, the balance of all those considerations still swung in the direction of vaccinations for me and my family, but everyone needs to (and should be allowed to) make that call for themselves.

If he’s talking about Robert Malone, this seems like a fairly balanced account of both his involvement in the development of and opinions about the current use of mRNA vaccines: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/08/robert-malone-vaccine-inventor-vaccine-skeptic/619734/ “Malone may keep company with vaccine skeptics, but he insists he is not one himself. His objections to the Pfizer and Moderna shots have to do mostly with their expedited approval process and with the government’s system for tracking adverse reactions. Speaking as a doctor, he would probably recommend their use only for those at highest risk from COVID-19. Everyone else should be wary, he told me, and those under 18 should be excluded entirely. (A June 23 statement from more than a dozen public-health organizations and agencies strongly encouraged all eligible people 12 and older to get vaccinated, because the benefits “far outweigh any harm.”) Malone is also frustrated that, as he sees it, complaints about side effects are being ignored or censored in the nationwide push to increase vaccination rates.” It’s difficult, sometimes, to separate valid scientific opinions from the flawed humans who hold them.  While Malone seems bitter and “difficult to deal with” as an individual, that doesn’t automatically invalidate all of his medical opinions.  In light of the repeated “noble lies” (lying to influence behavior in ways he thinks is ultimately beneficial to his audience) that Fauci has been exposed for telling, it’s not a stretch to believe there would also be suppression of data involving adverse vaccination reactions.  The government only fuels the spread of more conspiracy theories from the other side when they betray trust and lie themselves. There are almost certainly people both lying and telling the truth on either side of these ongoing arguments and only time will tell which ones were which.  The trick is figuring out the best course of action for yourself in the meantime.


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