The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”. Our goal is to educate our readers, to help them to recognize emerging threats and to be better prepared for both disasters and negative societal trends. You can’t mitigate a risk if you haven’t first identified a risk. Today, we look at coronavirus quarantines.

All U.S. Hospital Beds to be Filled in May?

A bit of confirmation for one of my assertions, over at Zero Hedge: All Hospital Beds In The US Will Be Filled With Patients ‘By About May 8th’ Due To Coronavirus: Analysis. Here is a snippet:

“We can expect that we’ll continue to see a doubling of cases every 6 days (this is a typical doubling time across several epidemiological studies). Here I mean *actual* cases. Confirmed cases may appear to rise faster in the short term due to new test kit rollouts.

We’re looking at about 1M US cases by the end of April, 2M by ~May 5, 4M by ~May 11, and so on. Exponentials are hard to grasp, but this is how they go.

What You Can (and Can’t) Feed Your Dog

Reader C.B. suggested this, over at Fox NewsFeeding your dog from the table: What you can and can’t do, according to veterinarian

Does Joe Biden Have Dementia?

Linked over at the news aggregation site: Does Joe Biden have dementia?. A quote:

“Memory loss and difficulty finding words, the two top hallmarks of dementia, are present in just about all of his speeches and debates. His campaign and the DNC have downplayed the memory loss as no big deal and they attribute his difficulty finding words with his history of stuttering as a child. But again, we’ve seen Biden in action. When he was finishing up his second term as Vice President, he was very active as many were pushing for him to run for president. But even after he declined and started supporting Hillary Clinton, he demonstrated clarity with his cognitive abilities.”

Facial Hairstyles and Filtering Facepiece Respirators

Reader A.W. sent this: Facial Hairstyles and Filtering Facepiece Respirators

A New Prepper Real Estate Company in Arizona

I just heard that Todd Savage of BlackrIfle Real Estate has spun off a new survival retreat real estate brokerage in Arizona: 556 Realty. If you are thinking about moving to Arizona, or if you already live in Arizona and want to find a truly retreat-worthy rural property, then check them out!  Oh, and they are also hiring Arizona-licensed agents.

Another Google Crime-Fighting Gaffe

Reader DSV sent us this: Google tracked his bike ride past a burglarized home. That made him a suspect.

Italy Locks Down Venice and Milan

Italian leader orders lockdown of Venice and Milan as coronavirus spreads. An excerpt:

“Italy’s prime minister on Sunday ordered the complete lockdown of some 16 million people in the country’s coronavirus-plagued north — including the cities of Venice and Milan — in a draconian health measure expected to be approved by legislators later in the day.

The quarantine ordered by Giuseppe Conte effects ten million living in the Lombardy region another 6 million living in 14 provinces; it bars anyone from entering or leaving except for “undeferrable work needs or emergency situations” until at least April 3.

Anyone breaking the quarantine will face three months in jail, The Guardian reported.

Cinemas, theaters, dance schools, bingo halls and pubs will also be closed — but restaurants will stay open if they can provide seating that keeps a distance of one meter, or a little over a yard, between customers.”

Coronavirus: Police Quarantine California Neighborhood

Reader H.L. sent us this: Police Quarantine California Neighborhood After Coronavirus Death</span

COVID19: This Is Why You’re All Going To Die

Our Editor-At-Large Michael Z. Williamson chimes in, over at his personal blog: COVID19: This Is Why You’re All Going To Die

Coronavirus: Universities Close Classrooms

Major universities close classrooms amid coronavirus outbreak

You can send your news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) Thanks!



  1. RE: exponential growth. For anyone who doesn’t understand this, how I always explained it to my students was that you needed to know the doubling time of whatever you were looking at. So if you were looking at the growth of algae on a pond and the doubling time was one day, if the pond was half covered with algae on day 29, it would be completely covered on day 30. That’s always a fun trick question to ask people ;-).

    1. I’d welcome a check on my math here. Using simple numbers from articles and not actual calculations, I get:

      330,000,000 population of US
      60% total infection rate for a cold virus with no natural immunity
      2% death rate for infected with adequate medical care

      330,000,000 x .60 = 198,000,000 expected to contract disease

      198,000,000 x .02 = 3,960,000 deaths

      Now, as I stated above, those aren’t real numbers, just estimates. Second point, remember that a large part of that number will be people who weren’t healthy or likely to survive to begin with. For example, the CDC estimates that 647,000 people die each year in the US from heart disease. This next year that number will be lower, because people who would have been on the verge of dying of heart disease, kidney failure, lung cancer, etc., will be taken out by the virus first. Cause of death is a zero-sum exercise.

      So, all said and done, we are looking at losing 2-3 million people that would otherwise be alive. On the one hand, that is less than 1 in 100 people. On the other, other hand, that’s still 2-3 million deaths. If you’re wondering why Seattle closed down, that’s why.

      My $0.02 (silver) is that this is serious, but it’s not the Black Plague.

      1. “but it’s not the Black Plague.”

        True! But do you have parents or grandparents? If they die from this are you still going to say this is no big deal?

        1. My literal, exact quote was that this is serious… not “it’s no big deal”

          And two, my personal tragedy would not change the total number of deaths. That’s not how reality works.

      2. China has 1-Billion more people than the USA (1,330,000,000) and have 100,000 + cases of the Corona Virus. They have 3000 + deaths due to the outbreak which started in late December. Our outbreak was later in time.

        I don’t believe your numbers are accurate !!!

        1. China has taken absolutely draconian steps to stop people from moving around and spreading the virus. They’ve even welded the doors shut on houses and apartment buildings. With the relatively free flow of people in the U.S., I don’t think that attempts at quarantine will be successful. Given its high transmission rate, this bug is going to spread at an exponential rate. (Just look at Italy’s numbers for the past three weeks. There, it has been doubling every four days.)

  2. If the markets keep heading down, and in all probability they will, (currently down 20.4% this year, looking to open today at 24% down for the year) look for gold and silver to do a repeat of 2008 and drop down pretty low as investors are selling everything in sight trying to raise cash. It should be a good time to stock up like it was in 2008 when Ag briefly got below $9.00. The cheaper it gets, the less physical silver is available. At one point in 2008 the only physical Ag available was 1,000 ounce bars. The gold to silver ratio is also near record highs at 1:100 so silver is looking great.

    1. Watching the markets, looks like this may likely be the deflation wave right before we start our Hyper-Inflation cycle. All the trigger elements are in play now, and if we start going in to mandatory quarantines widespread, the velocity of money will go to a snail’s pace, which will stall the economy almost immediately. Since domestic quarantines are now being enforced, looks like we are about to cross the rubicon. All the conditions are being met one by one; the big repo fail at the fed, the Chinese import stall, travel ban to/from Europe, oil market nose dives, assets being liquidated wholesale to generate cash flow, domestic transportation stalling out as corps start cancelling travel plans for employees etc. It’s like watching someone felling a tree, just as it starts to go. I am calling “Timber” if this sustains itself through next week.

  3. ON TV this morning they reported that Italy is so overwhelmed that the hospitals have stopped admitting any sick old people. They are literally sent home to die. They ironically called it “triage” as though they were prioritizing the sick for treatment. A proper term would have been “death panel”. Where have we heard that phrase before???

    1. Triage is a system implemented during mass casualty events, even here in USA. The idea is not to lose time treating people who probably won’t make it. In a nutshell, you prioritize patients into categories, like those who will live regardless and can wait, those that will die without immediate intervention, and those that are likely to die regardless of intervention.

      I forget exactly when triage went mainstream, probably WW1, but it was used in WW2. It’s not pretty but it’s not sinister.

      1. Perhaps you didn’t understand what I said. They are telling old people arbitrarily that because of their age they will not treat them. That isn’t triage. Many of those old people would live with treatment. Many will need to be put on ventilators to survive this. They won’t get ventilators at home.

        Now, maybe, just maybe this is the right thing to do, as you say. Send them home to die while we save the younger people. Maybe that is what this has come to. But let’s be honest, THAT is a death panel and a sure indication that this disease is out of control. What if they decide to stop treating any non-citizens because they don’t have the resources for everyone? What if they decide to only provide care for children? At what point do you admit this is way different from what we thought our health care system was designed to do.

        1. My intention was to provide a definition for readers that don’t have experience in healthcare, no offense intended.

          Triage isn’t health care, it’s public health. It’s triggered when there aren’t enough healthcare workers, resources, equipment, or time to meet demand. That’s pretty much the situation we’re in.

      2. Also, by triaging the elderly and people with other compromising factors to die they prop up Social Security and Medicare for a while longer – if the younger generations can be enticed to come out of mommy’s basement and actually get jobs that produce tax revenue.

  4. Does anyone know where to buy a blue light for sanitizing? They are all sold out. Those of us who are older or immune compromised by chemo are not taking this lightly especially if you live in a small town hours away from a large hospital. Just think about grocery items even from online ordering and what might be lurking on each item. I just read that using gloves to wash down each item with soap and water before bringing it to your kitchen. For those of us who are older and not in great health we could face allocation of services to our detriment. Perhaps we could all call someone in this high risk category and ask if they need help with food or medicines and then help them. I realize the left’s politicization of this and upping the hype and spreading panic, but for those who are in the high risk category, the extra care to stay safe is extremely important. We might not be able to visit with our grandchildren in person for a while, and that social distancing (isolation) is hard, it is necessary. Praying for God to intervene and save us from this.

    1. Tons left on ebay.
      search for “UV Sanitizing bulb”
      Some of the best ones are the ones that fit into strange bases – they are essentially florescent bulb bases – you will need to buy a base that fits one. Or – search for one like this with a more common base:

      Please don’t rely upon the little hand held battery powered gizmos – they cannot be trusted to provide enough power, or the correct wavelength when your life depends upon it.

      God bless – keep the faith!

  5. @ St. Funogas and Benjamin

    I agree with both of you. Read something 2 days ago about gold going down 20% in 2008. Today gold was down $64.00 last time I looked. Silver bad, too. And for the same reasons you have given.

    Till coronavirus started showing exponential numbers by February, I assumed there was a 50-50 chance of a recession in the US. Now I think we are going to have a very bad recession. I fear that we are going to have serious deflation which is not going to bounce back quickly and which no amount of helicopter money will help.

    The government has handled this pandemic poorly. Was at my healthcare folks yesterday, asked, and was told by nurse they don’t currently have enough PPE for staff. Now. Even before hospitals become overwhelmed.

    Also was thinking about the 1918 pandemic. It came in three waves. The first wave was kind of mild and the second was a real killer. Many people died within 12 hours of the first symptoms.

    This coronavirus spreads easily but is mild for most people. Perhaps the good news could be that as more people come down with it, they could have some built-up immunity before the second wave. But that’s just me speculating.

    I am far more hopeful that scientists will come up with a vaccine to help us than I am that our government will ever learn to become prudent in their fiscal and monetary policies. The chickens are truly coming home to roost.

    1. There are quite large national stockpiles of supplies that can be distributed, not even counting the military/ national guard, that were created for this very reason. Whether said stockpiles will be mobilized effectively remains to be seen.

      1. Agreed, look at Puerto Rico and the warehouses of emergency supplies that were never distributed in the aftermath of the hurricanes. Don’t know if it was government hoarding or politicians and bureaucrats planning to make a financial killing later on. It looks like willful incompetence to me.

        We may already being seeing the same blunders taking place.

        This does prove that Trump was right all along. America needs to bring a lot of our manufacturing home, where it belongs.

      2. We can all thank Obama for destroying the Strategic Grain Reserve.
        Now the government stocks in the form of MRE’s…. a few meals for some of the people in the country… that is it.

  6. RE: Joe Biden. Putting politics aside something is definitely wrong with the man. He may have had his mental faculties in place four years ago when he began supporting Hillary Clinton but I’ve observed progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia before and a lot can happen in four years. Any impact of cognitive decline will be very apparent in debates. He is a tiger when backed into a corner and can come out fighting, but I believe Trump’s team wil do everything possible to expose this weakness. Even my acquaintances who are democrats recognize that Biden’s chosen VP will likely end up as president should he be elected.

  7. I have this picture in my head of Chuck & Nancy digging through the strategic stockpiles on their way out of DC to go back home and “Quarantine” themselves

  8. Make no mistake about it. We are in the early stages of full-blown TEOTWAWKI. Even if a cure is found tomorrow, the hit to the American economy is not correctable.

  9. Some Coronarithmetic:
    Maybe the pandemic blows over and the worst that happens is the return counters get overloaded with everybody returning their bottles of bleach and toilet paper, but…
    If 50% of the population becomes infected, that’s about 160 million. At the current fatality rate of about 3%, that would be about 5 million. There are less than 1 million hospital beds available in this country. Using the fatality rate as an approximation of how many people would need hospitalization, and assuming that 10% of those would need hospitalization at the same time, that will be a demand for 500,000 hospital beds. The daily occupancy rate for hospital beds in the United States in 2009 was about 67%. Assuming it’s still about the same, that means about 330,000 beds available for the 500,000.
    I saw a report that Washington state is buying old hotels. I didn’t put any effort into verifying that.
    The data above is just what I could find doing some Internet searches, and some of the assumptions I just scraped off the bottom of my shoe. But knowing how to care for people with serious flus, might be a good idea. The attached seems pretty good. Might want to print a copy and keep it in your “better to have it and not need it“ file.

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