H7N9 is Over; New Discoveries About the Bird Flu

The H7N9 (Bird Flu) virus is a concern, although none has been reported in the United States.  World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan stated the H7N9 outbreak is over.  No new cases are being reported in China.  Dr. Chan said,

“At the end of March this year, China reported the first-ever human infections with the H7N9 avian influenza virus. Within three weeks, more than 100 additional cases were confirmed. Although the source of human infection with the virus is not yet fully understood, the number of new cases dropped dramatically following the closing of live bird markets,”

Swift action on the part of the Chinese government, and the voluntary actions of the farmers before the government inspectors arrived on scene are to be credited for the short duration of the epidemic.  Farmers were so frightened at the possibility that their flocks might have  H7N9 that they destroyed their flocks without prodding by the government.  As government health officials announced the regions where infections had been found, farmers quickly responded.

Chinese officials are working closely with the World Health Organization and other international experts to attempt to find answers about how this particular outbreak started and ways to prevent future outbreaks.  They are also looking into it’s unique genetic sequence.

Migratory birds blamed for H7N9 Bird Flu

Studies of the virus bring to light additional concerns about H7N9.  Arising out of the H7N9 outbreak is that the virus is resistant to Tamiflu and that the human immune system does not strongly fight the virus.  Also concerning is that 21% – 24% of those infected were fatal cases.  Other findings include the disease is spread by direct contact with the virus and less effectively by breathing the same air as those infected.

Even though the outbreak in China is seemingly over, they believe it was caused by migratory birds.  There is no guarantee that wild birds are not carrying the virus.  Since wild birds migrate from China to the U. S. west coast, the article by Stephanie Gayle is worth a look.

References:

The Asian Scientist

World Health Organization

NBC News

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Weekly Reports)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

 

Homemade Mosquito Trap and Repellent

Mosquito traps and repellents help avoid these nasty little biters.HOMEMADE MOSQUITO TRAP
Items needed:
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 gram of yeast
1 2-liter bottle

HOW:
1. Cut the plastic bottle in half.
2. Mix brown sugar with hot water. Let cool. When cold, pour in the bottom half of the bottle.
3. Add the yeast. No need to mix. It creates carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes.
4. Place the funnel part, upside down, into the other half of the bottle, taping them together if desired.
5. Wrap the bottle with something black, leaving the top uncovered, and place it outside in an area away from your normal gathering area. (Mosquitoes are also drawn to the color black.)

Change the solution every 2 weeks for continuous control.

Natural Repellent

Cut a lime in half and then take cloves and press them into the open half of the fruit. Placee them around your table or patio.

I can’t take credit for these ideas, I saw them on facebook. But they work and are worth passing along.

Prepare Your Heart – Part 2

Writing about preparing your heart for hard times ahead can bring disagreement between Christian groups as well as unbelievers. Some of us think self-defense and preparation will be necessary. Others trust God will provide all our needs. The first group believes we must defend ourselves and many in the latter group promote peace at all cost even unto death.

I have confidence Jesus expects us to prepare for these dark days. The following are examples of God warning his people and telling them to get ready.

  1. God had Noah build the ark in preparation of the flood.
  2. He sent Joseph to Egypt. When the forewarning of a famine came, Joseph stored food for seven years so there would be enough.  When the drought came upon the land Joseph’s family was saved as well as all of Egypt.
  3. Revelation was written to warn of evil times ahead and the call to return to God. I do not know if we are actually getting close to the end. But evil is growing.

I am in ‘the prepare your heart’ group. I believe Jesus gives us the right and obligation to defend ourselves and our families because the time will come we will be persecuted.

Luke 22:35-38 (NKJV)
35 And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?” So they said, “Nothing.” 36 Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. 37 For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.” 38 So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.” John 15:20 (NKJV) 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

 Jesus makes it clear…people persecuted Him and considered him an outlaw. He implies the same will happen to his followers. So, He tells his disciples, if you don’t own a sword, go buy one. I interpret this to mean we have the right and obligation to defend ourselves and above all our children.

In our society, negative feelings about faith and Christianity in particular are common. There is a deliberate effort to remove any mention of God, Jesus or faith from our government, schools and workplaces. In our universities, people of faith are ridiculed and belittled by zealous professors and students. Young children cannot wear any clothing to school that speaks of Christian faith without being asked to remove it. Any time we disagree with the prevailing opinion of the media or politically correct, we are mocked.

My heart aches even considering what is ahead, what could happen. I’m certain many struggle with this. However, it’s important to settle what you’ll do and how you’ll react now. Here are some questions to consider.

  1.  What do you believe and going to do when faced with situations out of your control?  Food and fuel shortages, possible bank closures…you get the picture.
  2. Would you pull the trigger and shoot someone who tries to steal from you or kill you for your supplies. (If any of this happens, people will become distressed. Desperate people will steal, hurt or killing others to provide for themselves and their families.)
  3. Do you have like-minded friends or family you can band together with in hard times? People who are willing to defend you if need be?
  4. Have you resolved your potential actions with your faith?

When asked ‘What would Jesus do?’ by a sister in the Lord, I had to search my own heart. I accept: Jesus loves us and died for us (for everyone). He wants us to live long and happy lives free from worry. He taught we should be giving and share with others. We are the light of the world. Yet, He also warned us the days would become evil and dark. He warned us we would be persecuted. He told us parents would turn against children and children against parents. Nothing could be more heart breaking. And He told us to buy protection.

This brings us back to the beginning. Is your heart prepared to protect and defend your family? Do you have the food and shelter needed to survive if chaos reigns? Jesus died for me…protecting me from eternal death. Should I do any less to protect and defend my family? Should you?

None of this is easy to contemplate. No one wants to consider how far our nation will have to fall to bring us to this kind of chaos. The fact is I’m not sure I could pull the trigger and shoot someone. This is why I’m writing about this now. I’m preparing my own heart.

Donna Benson

Cancer Risk Reduction Required for Preppers

Vitamins C and D are just two keys to preventing and fighting cancer.Given the nature of a negative world changing event, preppers need to do everything possible to reduce their risk of getting cancer.  With the recent studies released indicating the HPV not only causes cervical cancer, but also brain and lung cancer, it is now possible for people to prevent that particular cause of cancer.

While it’s possible, it won’t actually happen.  HPV is one STD that is so common that the only way to be sure not to get it is to never have sex with anyone who has had sex with someone else.  In other words, remain a virgin until marriage and then be faithful to that spouse for the rest of your life.  If it were only that easy.  It is transmitted by mouth, too.

To avoid the risks caused by HPV, limit alcohol and tobacco intake.  It would seem the less you use those products, the less likely you will get those cancers.  Coincidentally, bladder cancer can be caused by cigarette smoking.  Smoking and chewing tobaccos also cause lung, stomach, and throat cancers.

A second way to prevent some other cancers is by making sure you get enough vitamin D.  It seems being vitamin D deficient causes changes in your DNA, and over time, this allows cancers and autoimmune disorders to develop.

Vitamin D is not the only cancer fighting nutrient.  Take a look at vitamin C and its role in preventing and fighting disease.  Nutrition isn’t just for some people.  It’s required for all preppers because there might not be great cancer treatments available during a negative world changing event.

Is Your Heart Ready for the Unthinkable to Happen?

Are you prepared?We can prepare all we want, but it is just as important (or more) to think through how you will react when the unthinkable happens.  People who are preparing usually have all the bases covered.  Food, seeds, gardening tools, canning jars, lids, medical supplies, you name it and we’re collecting it.  Many have gone back to basics, becoming or are self-reliant.  But I would venture to say, not many have thought about actually defending themselves or their family.  I’m sure most of you have guns and ammo, but having them and using them are very different things.

In all your preparations for difficult times ahead, how much have you prepared your heart?  What happens when your neighbor comes to take what he can at gun point?  Or a stranger?  How do you deal with the idea of shooting someone to prevent them from killing you and taking your food stocks?  If they ask nicely would it make a difference?  What about the family members you warned numerous times?  The ones who thought you were crazy.  What do you do about them?

What if all the stores close down?  Now you are dependent on what you have stored along with what you can grow.  Will you share?  What are you going to do to protect yourself and your family?  Can you protect them?

Do you have a circle of family or friends who are like-minded and can band together with you?  If you do, can you trust them with your life?

No one wants to think about these things. In a recent conversation, my husband was put on the spot when another man asked him if he would actually shoot someone who came to steal from him.  His answer was yes.  The other man was shocked.  This was his response:

“The Bible tells me I’m responsible for my family first. So if I have excess, I will share. However, if what I have is all I’ll be able to get, I’d have to say no. If they wouldn’t take no for an answer, I’d have to defend myself and my family.”

I have written Flee to the Mountain a fictional story of a community of people who see difficult times ahead and prepare for them. They establish a small ranch completely self-sufficient and off grid. When chaos reigns and terrorist strike, they must pull together to survive.

Right now, this seems extreme, but it wouldn’t take much for it to become reality.  All of the questions raised above need to be settled in your heart (and your spouse’s) before the situation arises.  It is especially important where family is involved.  These are life and death decisions.  Your survival, and that of your family, might come down to the determinations you make right now.  You are preparing because you believe something is on the horizon.  I urge you to at least consider your options and discuss them with your loved ones.  Don’t wait until a split second decision might put you or a loved one in grave danger.

 

Procrastination or Deliberate Stalling Strategy?

Want to stall someone? Invite them to a meeting.Have you ever noticed people, employers, and governments seem to procrastinate instead of act?  For instance, Iran is still far away from coming to an agreement about nuclear weapons, but they keep entering into negotiations.  North Korea has, for sixty years, threatened to attack, continues to make a bit of noise, but still is attempting to negotiate for a unified Korea.  Saddam Hussein stalled and procrastinated for 10 years before something was done about it.

Regardless of what you think about the three situations, one thing is clear.  They all employed stalling measures so they could find a way to get what they wanted.  For Iran, it is to hurry up and come up with a nuclear weapon.  For North Korea, it makes the noise so the South Koreans don’t forget about the North and to promote fear in the south.  For Saddam, it was about gaining control of a larger region.

What do all of these things have in common?   What appears to be procrastination may well be strategic stalling.  Stalling buys time.  Time is an asset everyone wants on his side.   Both Iran and North Korea think time is on their side.  They both believe no one is going to attack them.  No one will, as long as they don’t attack anyone else.  But, the stalling provides time to gather resources, make plans, and prepare for the aftermath of what ever evil deed they plan.

The normal person would not think stalling strategies would not be used much outside the international political arena.  They would be wrong.  Employers use it to avoid paying higher wages and benefits or to decrease number of employees and assets.   A case in point:  Some years ago Starbucks announced that due to the recession and serious economic losses they were closing some of its stores and laying off those employees.  They did this at the same time they opened new stores and hired new employees in other cities.

They waited for the cover of a recession to implement their plan.  No one questioned them about it.  Heck, many other companies were engaging in this same practice.  Simply put, in our opinion, Starbuck’s used the stalling strategy to wait for a time to close less profitable stores.  Large companies which lay off employees take a hit in the public eye.  If their only motive is to make more money when the company as a whole is doing fine, that doesn’t sit well.  The fact that they opened a new store just down the road immediately after closing the other stores speaks volumes.

Everyday people employ the stalling strategy too.  You see it in every day interpersonal relationships.  The boyfriend who procrastinates about getting married.  The woman who stalls getting pregnant.  The high school student who goes to school but does not do his work, thereby stalling his graduation.

Tomorrow:  Interacting with people who use stalling strategies and how it effects preppers.

Preppers Knowledge Bank: Prepping and Raising Children

Have you ever met, or are you, someone who grew up during the Great Depression?  Did you happen to notice their personal habits?  Do they tend to Raising Children and Preppingbe more frugal?  Less willing to waste anything?  Do they hesitate to throw things away because they might need them someday?

How about people who grew up in the Cold War and Viet-Nam War?  Have you noticed any particular traits that could be attributed to their experiences practicing for nuclear blasts?  This is where they split into two camps.  The first being people who say to live for the moment.  “Life is short, live now” is one of their frequent sayings.  They advise you should enjoy life while you can because you don’t know how long you will live.  They focus more on themselves than did previous generations.  The other camp says to be prepared for anything because you never know what will happen.

Both generations raised children.  Consider comments made by people who grew up in the Cold War.  It affected them deeply.  Hiding under desks during drills, worrying about the Russians attacking us in our homes, and a plethora of war movies in theaters and on the television were effective in further making people afraid of war.  Eight year old children being taught to get water from the toilet tank drove home the idea that people were not going to have enough food and water after an explosion.  Some children bore a fear they would not survive to adulthood.   For many children, it gave children a sense of being powerless to control their lives.  And, in many cases, why try?  We were all going to die anyway, right?  Indeed, some researchers claim growing up in these situations led to the self-centered generations of hippies, LSD and generations X and Y.

So what does all this have to do with prepping today?  Simple.  It says be careful about the message you send your children.  At what age should they experience loss of a life not yet lived?  It begs asking the question, “Do you always have to talk about impending doom when talking about prepping?”  Make sure your children are old enough to understand.  Make sure your children know why you prepare.  They should not feel like they prepare out of some fear of this or that.  It should be because being prepared is the wise thing to do.  Being prepared should be part of a well balanced lifestyle that includes age appropriate activities such as scouting, soccer and ball games.  There should be family fun and community activities.  It should reinforce that preppers don’t prep out of fear or to avoid fear, they prep because history demonstrates being prepared is wise.

References:

Understanding Society

American Thinker

The New Existentialists

Preppers Knowledge Bank: Winter Blues, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or Sunlight Deprivation

Sunshine Fights DepressionAll humans, and most animals, need a certain amount of sunlight to survive.  If you are a prepper who plans to use a bunker or be a cave-dweller , it is important to take this into consideration.  Spending large amounts of time in dimly lit areas can bring about situations scary movies are made of.

The human body needs one hour of sunlight a day to survive.  That’s survive.  That doesn’t include a condition better than mere survival mode.  It has long been known Vitamin D prevents many diseases, but beyond that most people don’t know the “list”.  Indeed,the list is quite long.  It includes such things as improvements in asthma to bone health and can kill bad bacteria and improve heart health.

Whether you want to call it “seasonal affective disorder” or “winter blues” it can be depression brought on by lack of sunshine.  For some people, just being outside will quickly improve their mood.  The need to be outside is natural as evidenced by the number of outdoor fun activities people engage in daily.

But, what does being outside mean?  If I cover myself from head to toe with no part of my body exposed to the sun, I might as well stay indoors.  The same is true if I cover myself with harmful sunscreen products.  The benefit of the sun are blocked along with the negligible hazards.  Consider that 65,000 people world wide die of skin cancer.  Now consider that globally almost 1.24 million people die in traffic accidents.

No matter what, make certain every member of your family gets enough sunshine when the getting is good.  What if the sun isn’t available due to shortened days or being indoors most of (or all) of the time?  There are vitamin D supplements to prevent diseases by providing  vitamin D in the blood to allow the immune system to function.  Without Vitamin D your immune system can not function.

Installing full spectrum light bulbs are useful in replacing some of what you are missing and are certainly better than nothing.   Simply turn it on and enjoy a book, or better yet, this website.  Full spectrum lights are available at Lowe’s and Home Depot as well as other hardware and home improvement stores.  When preparing for a SHTF event, also consider adding a “sunrise” light to to wake up naturally.  It will improve and encourage a natural sleep pattern.  Combining the full spectrum light with the natural sunrise light, you’ll have your days and nights covered.

 

References:

Mayo Clinic

MindBodyGreen

U. S. News