Unpreparedness for a Pandemic

It is now coming to light how unprepared the U.S. is for a response to a pandemic. The President touted a report which showed that we were “more” prepared for it than any other country.

But, we have seen breakdowns in every category of need at this time.

It is almost beyond comprehension to me that the advice to the public is to wash our hands, stay home if we’re sick, cough in our sleeve (or tissue). What does this say about the state of public hygiene, that people have to be told to do the things that they should have learned in childhood?

But, more importantly, why weren’t doctors and lawyers, people with clout, not watching things like the nation’s stockpile of medical supplies and watching what was going on in the world, namely the outbreak of contagious disease?

I recall seeing a special or two about this subject on TV about the possibility of these things, but I’m talking about the day to day vigilence of what is happening in the world. It seems to have been reported that U.S. intelligence agencies actually were noting what was going on, but that information was kept under wraps, suppressed from the American people – certainly by our President not wanting to cause panic in the economy, seemingly overlooking the danger to the public which would soon be upon us.

Again, where were the doctors and lawyers who should have been raising the alarm about the potential pandemic that is now upon us? It’s called Emergency Preparedness. Where was it?

You can’t prepare for every eventuality. We did what was prudent that wasn’t overly burdensome.

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Even if we were prepared things always change as it happens and become worse than expectations. NOW with this happening once things are completely back to normal HOPEFULLY our government won’t sit on their behinds and will get all of the things made necessary to have on hand for when (not if) this happens again.

That’s one way of looking at it. The other is to reassure people that one of the most effective ways of fighting this is with those most basic, simple steps that even a young child can handle.

Don’t smoke.
Don’t drink too much alcohol.
Stay active.
Get sunshine and fresh air.
Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.
Wash your hands.

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Washing your hands is the single best action you can take against the spread of any disease/communicable illness.

No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy. You can’t prepare for every disaster.

Further, I would argue that the US response is hardly inappropriate. Would you rather the Chinese response of lie about everything; hide everything you know; basically put all the infected into concentration camps on threat of death;
Then lie some more to blame the US? Because that’s basically what the Chinese response was.

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I was reading something that Obama’s head of FEMA apparently said on the subject. I’m going to paraphrase and provide some of my own thoughts.

He said that unlike popular opinion, it’s not practical for the Federal Govt to take the lead during natural emergencies.

He said, it’s really the role of the individual states to control epidemics, pandemics, natural disasters, etc. He said the states, counties and cities are more flexible to handle the situations in their local areas.

He stated that the role of Federal Govt in these situations should be to simply supply support (i.e. CDC) and resources

  • i.e. money, military resources (if needed), shutting down international air travel & closing borders (which the Federal govt did right away in regards to shutting down flights from China - and received “racist” criticism instead of applauding the swift action)

He said the Federal Govt should stay out of the way & just open the checkbook where needed.

Additionally, I would add that the Federal govt also plays a role in promoting the private sector to help and coordinating any international response that may be required.

I personally think where we have been failing is due to a fundamental lack of understanding the Constitutional roles of State vs Federal govts. In my opinion some local govts have been waiting for the feds to respond instead or taking charge locally (or at least the news is making it seem that way).

Another place we were caught unprepared was in our laws. We have many laws on the books that made response to such a pandemic difficult. One perfect example is regarding public schools. Many of them have rules that have been preventing the use of technology to provide virtual learning. So many kids are going on their 2nd week of no structured school because an virtual learning environment was outlawed for the private schools.

The US Constitution grants all powers not specified in the Constitution to individual States. Because Pandemic Preparedness & response is not specified, it technically belongs to the States.

America’s unique system of Govt (a federation where the power defaults to the regional - aka State - govts vs the central govt) is often a blessing. However, it in this instance, if the local govts are not ready for such a pandemic, the response is going to be lacking.

But regardless, because of the way our govts are organized, it is impossible for the Federal Govt to lead such a response.

But overall (knock on wood) we have been doing pretty well in the US.

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A new study out today by Johns Hopkins concludes that the US was better prepared for this outbreak than any other nation. It’s reported at foxnews

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Agreed.

Considering the number of large cities we have, the number of international ports (land, air & sea), the geographic size of our nation, our decentralized nature, and the number of people – we were very prepared.

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Bill Gates warned us years ago.

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Perfection is only possible in hindsight.

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I hate to see the president thrown under the bus over this. It’s the attitude of people who won’t listen to guidelines that is doing so much damage to spread this thing. I know people who are sick, with a fever, who show up to work. Their kids went in to school. People who are laid off and sick, say it’s no big deal, and they are enjoying their ‘time off’ going to shop, restaurants, parks, hair saloons. It’s like their brains haven’t turned on. So yes, expect that your health system is going to be overwhelmed, but the biggest issue is clueless people who can’t seem to grasp that what they do matter.

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Yeap… like all the people who were at the beaches, bars, etc.

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and any decisions that reduce your freedom should be as local as possible to increase compliance.

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And then get on a plane and head home to their parents and grandparents, who likely picked them up at the airport too. If you wanted to spread something as far and wide as possible, this is exactly how to do it.

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tell me about it!

I just heard that my 2nd Cousin just had plastic surgery in Bogota, Columbia and then had 3 connecting flights back home (Bogota to Atlanta, and then 2 more domestic flights)!!!

She got home yesterday or this weekend!!! :flushed:

Doctors have been continually attempting to stress the seriousness of this pandemic. What role do you see lawyers having in any unpreparedness?
China seems the most prepared, and managed to build 2 hospitals in lightening speed in response.
Countries with on the ground experience with SARS and MERS have come out as the best prepared. Those who put in fairly strict measures very early on.

The rhetoric in the west ‘its like flu, flu kills more, it only affects old people , mild means akin to a sore toe’ , has not helped.
A mild case can still make a person quite unwell.

Of course the returning people are out getting their groceries and going to every store to find toilet paper.

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Why hasn’t the federal government prepared for a polar magnetic shift.

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That’s an easy one… Because they have been preparing for an alien invasion from outer space.

Don’t you follow the tabloids!?!?! :sweat_smile:

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Every emergency brings out the best in us and the worst in us. The blame game is counter-productive.

Our response, via personal responsibility and our re-dedication to prayer is what really matters.

Mankind is not in the charge of the world, but can appeal to the One who is.

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