NPR's no-nonsense guide to preparing your home for Covid-19

Originally published at:


Good advice from a reliable source. Heartily endorse!


“Listen to this podcast to learn about the coming pandemic” is not a sentence I ever wanted to read.

Important information should be in accessible (ie TEXT) formats.


And it is. In fact, as someone who doesn’t listen to podcasts because of an auditory processing issue, I learned what NPR recommended by reading it…right here at BoingBoing.


This doesn’t sound anything like the “Spanish flu.”

That killed people in their prime, sometimes within a day of getting ill.

20% serious illness, 2% death rate (with most of that in old folks) is bad, but not Spanish Flu bad.

That said, all these preparations sound good.

I bought a couple of bottles of hand sanitizer yesterday, to keep in the car. Also an eight-pack of those little facial tissue packets. Handy in case you end up in a restroom that doesn’t have paper towels to open doors / turn faucets with. And just to have on hand for nose blowing, coughing, etc.

I’d like to add to that list:

Skin moisturizer. If you’re going to be washing frequently and thoroughly, you’re going to get dry skin.


These are my every day plans. I’ve seen world war z.


@stefanjones I think the Spanish Flu comparison might be around speed and spread of contamination. That’s how I read it anyway.


1918 flu pandemic: 2.5% mortality, with the medical care of the day.
COVID-19: ~2.2% mortality with modern medical care.

It has not reached the number of cases yet, but it is not even"the end of the beginning" yet. With no vaccine, no effective treatment and no apparent ability to control spread short of shutting down an entire economy, the potential is there. I think the comparison may be apt. COVID is not there yet, but it is certainly trying.


Has anyone ever estimated what the mortality rate of the 1918 flu pandemic would have been with modern medical care and response systems? I would hope that it would be significantly less than 2.5%.


It’s pretty much exactly Spanish Flu bad:

2% death rate and infectious enough to spread globally is almost exactly on the money. And if it spreads uncontrollably, a 1.7% global death rate gives you 132 million deaths.


If you have pets, get extra pet food. It’s usually very shelf-stable and if supply lines get hit, it might not be as easy as running down to the store. Also, if you have to self-quarantine, your pet will be able to eat.


I would imagine so, still supportive care but our ability to ventilate sick-as-shit lungs has gotten much better, not to mention some kind-of effective antiviral options and treatment for secondary infections has improved leaps and bounds (1918 was still pre-antibiotic era.) Never seen a study of that, though, so just spit-balling.


But President Trump just reassured me that it is contained and won’t be a problem!

While modern medicine can help in some ways, we really don’t have much that can fight a generic virus. In some ways we’re in the same place we were back in 1918. The big advantage is not so much in our medical knowledge, it is in our communication systems. The ability to distribute facts and suggestions so quickly to the entire populace can make a huge difference in preventing this from becoming a full on pandemic.


You should have read the book :wink:


Brother, I admire your sense stoicism if you consider a 2% mortality rate less than a big deal. That would be at least several million deaths in the US alone, the shutdown of schools, transportation, and business, (who the hell knows what happens to the election? I sure don’t), and an incalculable economic blow.


The first point is a good one - if only that message would get through to my insurance company who won’t let me renew a prescription until 3 days before the last one runs out.

Fortunately I am allowed to get a 3 month supply, but if this gets bad as that runs out …


This is a complete text transcript on the linked page.


And if you didn’t buy enough canned goods for yourself, you get to see how bad kibbles n’ bits taste!


Call your insurance company and ask for an exception. I did and they let me refill early.


And most people got through Spanish Flu, and previous pandemics. And we are going to have to here now. I am concerned as fuck, but take solace in knowing we as a people have gotten through this before, several times, under much worse conditions that here and now.

I still disagree about the 2.3% fatality rate, that is for an over taxed health system, at the epicenter of unchecked spreading in Hubei.

Outside of there, with not overloaded medical services, it is 0.4% fatality rate, but that is still a lot of graves with 40 - 70% catching it.


Do you know how much it would take to overload our health system? In most of our hospitals there are not spare ICU beds and ventilators waiting around. There are not even many empty floor beds available. 0.4% fatality implies a number probably several times that who don’t die because of ICU-level intervention. When there are no more ICU beds, those become fatalities right quick. Why is the mortality rate 2.3% in Hubei? Because the medical resources are tapped out. We are a small percentage point away form being there if this gets to widespread infection. I said in another thread, when the frontline medical personnel are gearing up for war, you should take it seriously. We are. This is bad shit and has the potential to fuck up our country in the same way it has done to China and working its way up to in Korea.