Saturday, February 29, 2020


A scare like COVID-19 has an immediate positive effect, in that I update my emergency preparedness.  I have good intentions about such things and go out and get the necessary items, but then they are depleted by occasional use, or are no longer optimal, such as water in plastic storage. Serious preppers are prepared to weather an EMP, with seeds for the next year and gold to trade, but our most likely emergency is a power outage of a few days.  Quarantining for two weeks requires more food that that, so I stocked up a bit, though I'm not sure I've got 14 days worth. Oatmeal.  I should get oatmeal.

It doesn't hurt to go get the things you will use eventually.  We did eventually burn all our Y2K firewood by about 2011.

Interestingly, my podcasts and reading both include heavy doses of discussion of plagues at this point.  I'll be posting a bit on those.  Short version: if you travel in time, stay away from 536 AD and thereabouts. (I assume all good time machines have a dial that shows you what year you are in, like Mr. Peabody used to have.  Though these days it would be a digital display.)


RichardJohnson said...

Our decision-makers have been asleep at the wheel. From Instapundit: “THE U.S. CAN NO LONGER MAKE PENICILLIN. . . . THE U.S. CAN NO LONGER MAKE GENERIC ANTIBIOTICS.” What Washington Doesn’t Know About U.S. China Drug Dependence Can Literally Kill Us.

Last US penicillin production in 2004.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

We will learn some lessons from this, hopefully not at high cost.

james said...

I read long ago that the military sometimes did "not-quite-war" gaming with scenarios in which various supply lines were cut off.
And I thought one of the CIA's reasons for existing was keeping track of what was going on in places we got strategic materials from. (Maybe chemicals aren't considered strategic?)

On the other hand, I thought that destroyers kept lookouts on duty when moving through crowded channels, so I could be wrong.

Texan99 said...

Remember what happened in the Mediterranean around 1200 B.C. It's not clear how it happened--many theories--but somehow an extensive interconnected supply system was disrupted, leading to a remarkable collapse. Widespread complex webs are vulnerable. Nevertheless, I have no doubt of our ability to muddle through.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Our ability to muddle through even terrible circumstances I have confidence in. I do not have that confidence for many other societies. Even though human beings have persisted these many centuries, some tribes have simply disappeared. The effect of disease on the inhabitants of the New World is an example. Entire tribes disappeared, and natives in general did not thrive after contact with Old World diseases. Stay tuned.

Texan99 said...

I was assuming that the direct health effects of the virus wouldn't turn out to be too awful, and was referring only to the disruption in global supply lines. But it's true that even if the health effects aren't too awful here, they could be beyond awful for some more isolated societies, as the 1918 flu was. The flip side is that they, at least, probably won't be as affected by the disruption in supply lines.