Letter Re: A New Pandemic Threat On the Horizon: H7N9

Dear Editor,
I am an emergency physician practicing in Southern Californistan. I share TXNurse’s concern about influenza in general, and especially new variants of Avian Influenza, like H7N9.   Her information is current and valuable.  I would urge standard OPSEC on this information if you are a nurse or physician or other health worker.

Many of my colleagues pooh-pooh my concerns about Influenza.  They just don’t believe it.  And these are educated physicians!  Given many of them are liberal and believe FEMA will protect them and all that, but even so you would expect a nod from other physicians about the threat, given the history of the Great Pandemic of 1916-1918.   

Our family knows the value of OPSEC.  We just don’t discuss our preparations, especially as to Influenza.  My wife, a Nurse by the way, and I already monitor world influenza cases, and have email alerts regarding influenza.  

One thing we have done that others may find helpful is to have pre-determined sentinel events for keeping our children home from school and implementing quarantine.  Our quarantine triggers involve cases in adjoining states, a pattern of progressive number of cases, and so on.  Our triggers may not fit yours, so research the data as to your local situation and prayerfully make a decision.

One more note regarding OPSEC.  Two months ago our doorbell rang about 9PM.  Odd.  While I went to the door, our son stood by at the ready.  It was a previous ER patient who wanted me to loan him money for rent.  I expressed my concern, but told him I couldn’t loan him money and suggested some alternatives.  I don’t know how he made my address, but nowadays your address is all over the Web.   This rattled me, and I told one of my few Prepper ER doc friends about it.  He reminded me to drive home by different routes when I get off shift.  

FWIW, I am not an epidemiologist.  I’m just an ER Doc.  – Doc C.J.

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