I remember mentioning ‘coronavirus’ to my family in January. Before my mom went to Florida in mid-January, I again prattled on about the need to be prepared. As the media focused on the democratic primary debates, I was preoccupied with the reports coming out of China. I had a feeling the biggest election issue is going to be the one none of them are talking about—Coronavirus or COVID-19.

On February 8th I attended a baby shower where a friend and I were discussing the possible repercussions of this virus. Someone mentioned it was suspicious because of a clause in a lettuce contract. Everyone seemed to think this was a China problem (or it was planned to disrupt an election, a hoax, it’s just like the seasonal flu, or the media is making it out to be worse than it is).

In February, I sent a few emails wondering if we could experience shortages of supplies and medicines. Our “just in time” supply chain is dependent on China for many different parts of the supply chain. China mandated factory shutdowns in January to stop the spread of the virus. We will begin to feel the supply chain effects in March.

Consider the community spread of COVID-19 in Westchester, New York. A 50yo lawyer tested positive as well as his wife and two children, and the neighbor that drove him to the hospital. At least 1,000 people are in self-quarantine because they may have come in contact with him. Because of his condition in the hospital, officials are not able to interview the lawyer to determine how he got the virus.

I’m not an epidemiologist and I did not sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I’m sure this virus is just getting started in the USA. I am also very concerned about the ability of the current administration to effectively manage an epidemic to do the least amount of damage. One of the best non-fiction books I can recommend is “The Great Influenza” by John M. Barry. It’s about the Spanish Flu in 1918 and how it led to the creation of our healthcare system.

For a variety of news options, I follow multiple sources:

  • Twitter: @DrEricDing (public health scientist/epidemiologist)
  • Twitter: @BNODESK
  • John Hopkins Virus Tracking Site
  • The Guardian, The Washington Post, BBC America
  • Dr. John Campbell on YouTube
  • Reddit (r/Coronavirus is still the fastest growing board at present)

I stocked up on the items I use on a regular basis, bought extra pet food, and refilled prescriptions. I’m not a “prepper” but I am a planner, and I hope all of this is for naught.