Letter Re: A Surgeon’s Observations on Survivalism

I read with interest the data on food inflation recently on your blog. This confirms my own recent observations about food and hardware store items. Additionally, I have observed a drastic shift in the behavior of the people around me.

When you think of survivalists you don’t generally picture of a bunch of guys and gals in surgeons scrubs discussing weapons. But they do, now. I have been a surgeon for over twenty years, and in the last two years much has changed. Conversations that used to begin with, “Have you ever seen a case of…?” now begin with, “Gold is up $40 per ounce today”, or “I just bought the new Ruger .38 Special…”. It is telling of the times that instead of medicine we do talk survival–both personal and professional.

I am not an economist, but sleep better nights having converted most of my savings to gold and recently platinum. I would make your readers aware of the options of storing precious metals overseas at reasonable costs through Delaware Depository, or through a simple Canadian lock box. It is not considered a foreign account because technically it is just storage. I heard gold economist Ian McAvity say that it is wise to be like a dog and bury a bone in many back yards because you never know in which backyard you might end up…and one bonepile should be outside the legal confines of the US. I would also point out that platinum is not a metal the feds will likely confiscate, it will never lose all value, and takes less room to store than gold. At present the price is very much below the 200 day moving average, and is quite a bargain, If you believe in some sort of industrial future, which I do. In general, and I find this interesting, my physician friends and I, when discussing diversification of assets no longer talk about stocks or bonds but about silver vs gold vs platinum or palladium.

I do not see much info on medical preparedness in your blog, but I am insuring that I have three months supply minimum of our prescription drugs, and I am stocking up on Cipro, Doxycycline and Erythromycin–those cover most big infectious diseases as well as germ warfare diseases. I am also buying topical neosporin, Vitamin D (10,000 IU daily dose), Vitamin C 500 mg, Iodine 12.5 mg tabs (iodoral), and anti-inflammatories. I have a supply of bandages, mercury thermometers, Clorox and splints. As a surgeon, I am saving “out of date” but perfectly good, surgical supplies, and other medical items in case I find myself making house calls out of a black bag for barter. I began doing this after reading about the collapse of the Argentinean economy as experienced by a white collar engineer. Even if you are not a medical practitioner, if you have the supplies, someone else can supply the expertise–like distributing combat medical gear to the combatants. Based on the history of monetary collapse elsewhere, it was three months of chaos before some basis for buying and selling could be restored. It is critical that people plan for medical necessities because the supply of medical items will be as affected as food–if not worse. Pharmacies and hospitals have grown accustomed to daily resupply of their stocks. Diabetics and anyone who needs life saving medications especially must think ahead. Insurance plans may not pay for ahead of time medications, but you can often get cash discounts, and can simply purchase the meds outside of any insurance plan. (You may discover it is cheaper than your co-pay!) Where shelf life is not the issue, stock up. Shelf life is greatly underestimated for most drugs, and with refrigeration and rotation of stocks you can keep things longer if needed. – H.L., MD

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