The only thing that is for sure about the current Coronavirus outbreak is there is a whole lot of information and misinformation being spread throughout social media by so-called experts who may or may not know what the hell they are talking about.
In the context of what we talk about on OFFGRID Survival, we always recommend being prepared for potential dangers like virus outbreaks and possible pandemics, but we want to preface that with warning our readers not to let fear cloud your judgment. Right now there is a hell of a lot of fear being pushed by both the mainstream media and alternative news networks.
What we know so far about the current Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Outbreak:
The Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Since then it has spread to 14 other countries. According to official numbers, (as of 30 January 2020 at 1:35 p.m. ET) There are currently 7,922 confirmed cases worldwide, including 170 fatalities.
One of the best sources we have that is tracking the official numbers is BNO news, you can find those here. But again, remember that this is only what the government is releasing, and even those numbers may be skewed because of the nature of news coming out of Communist China.
Latest News From the CDC
While CDC considers #2019nCoV a serious situation and is taking preparedness measures, the immediate risk in the U.S. is considered low. Everyone should always take simple daily precautions to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses. https://t.co/qhticS4L77 pic.twitter.com/wXkOxvK3cg— CDC (@CDCgov) January 28, 2020
What about the people who are Screaming about a Pandemic Outbreak
It’s still way to early for any factual analysis on this virus, and most of the reports coming out are still looking at numbers from the first couple dozen infected cases.
The other problem comes from so-called experts talking about things like R0 numbers and how this virus supposedly has a super high R0 number which indicates this virus could turn into a pandemic. Well, the problem here is twofold: First, published estimates have ranged from 1.4 – 5.5 depending on the outlet. In fact, a British-led study initially published a high average value of 3.8 last week before revising the R0 downward to 2.5 as new data emerged. This first estimate caused the so-called Harvard doctor to jump on Twitter and scream “thermonuclear pandemic level bad” in a Tweet. Well, the next day the number was revised and this Doctor then had to backtrack his claims.
The second issue is R0 doesn’t necessarily mean a worse disease or a coming Pandemic. In fact, Seasonal flu has an R0 of around 1.3, but it infects millions of people every year. SARS had an R0 of 2 to 5 but only infected around 8,000 people. The number is nothing more than a measure of potential transmissibility, yet some “doctors” and Twitter experts are using it to scare the hell out of everyone.
Who is most likely to be affected?
According to a recent Lancet Study of 99 early nCoV pneumonia patients, The median age was 55y, >60% over the age of 50y, and over half with a comorbid disease. This is a very important piece of information when considering the death rates since half of these people had an underlying disease!
So will Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) turn into a Pandemic.
It could, but so could a bunch of other yet to be identified viruses. The facts are that at this time we simply don’t know enough to be able to tell and anyone who says otherwise is probably lying or trying to get clicks on an article.
What we do know, is that it’s always wise to prepare. The new virus is a serious threat, and people should start considering what to do if the current containment measures fail. But at a time of great uncertainty, propaganda, and people claiming to be experts, don’t become overwhelmed!
Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Preparedness Recommendations
Our recommendations are the same as any other potential disaster or outbreak; be prepared, but don’t give into fear! We are a preparedness website; and we make the same recommendations that we have been making since we started this site — it’s always wise to be prepared for both short and long-term disasters and crisis.
Here are out Recommendations:
- Prepper 101: Your Survival Guide to Getting Started
- Emergency Preparedness Checklist: This applies to all disasters and threats.
- Have a stockpile of long-term Food Supplies and Water: 56 Long-Term Survival Foods and Supplies at the Grocery Store
If you haven’t given any thought to preparing for disease outbreaks, I advise reading our articles on: