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Thursday, October 16, 2014

More Ebola, Hurrican Season Continues, and Processing the Harvest

I was concerned last week when I heard of a nurse who had cared for Thomas Duncan has tested positive for the Ebola virus.  Unfortunately, my concerns were well placed, as we now have learned of a second nurse with Ebola.  I have not yet found any information regarding how she contracted it though...was she also in direct contact with the original patient or did she contract it some other way, such as in a nurses' lounge or a washroom?
Either way, there were some very disturbing errors in her conduct.  It seems that she was smart enough to self examine for symptoms, yet upon developing a slight fever, was NOT smart enough to avoid air travel, exposing 130 pasengers on a flight from Ohio to Texas to the possibility of contracting the virus, not to mention the flight crew, who could soon be developing symptoms while away at work almost anywhere in the world.
Only time will tell where this is going to pop up next.  In fact, after having passed away on Oct. 8th, we may not have heard the end of people contracting the virus from him until about Oct.29th, the 21 day possible incubation period.  But now, that time clock keeps resetting itself.  The latest case means that we won't know the extent of possible infections from her until Nov.3rd.  Every new case discovered resets the time clock to 3 weeks before we know the extent of the consequences.
Now that we know for sure that a patient was infectious while on board a commercial flight, I think it is only a matter of time before we see a case here in Canada.  Now, I'm not trying to sound any alarms just yet, and hopefully I will never have to use this space to report how many thousands of cases been reported on home soil, but I do think that now is the time to review your pandemic preparedness and plans.

With all the crazy goings on in the world, It's easy to lose track of the dangers that do come along on a regular basis.  Right now, many of us have our attention focused on other events, that October 30th, 2014 isn't even a blip in our brains.  What's that date all about you ask?  That is the day that Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the New York, New Jersey area.  Yes, that's right, we are still in Hurricane season, and as I write this, the Canadian Hurricane Center (Ya, we have that) is tracking a category 4 storm named Gonzales, which is set to affect the maritimes sometime Saturday or Sunday.
While this particular storm is NOT expected to hit landfall in a significant way like Sandy, it is a reminder that we can't rule out Hurricanes as many of us are hurriedly getting ready for the snow to fly.

Also, here we are in the height of the fall harvest.  As a matter of fact, instead of writting this post, I myself should be busy processing and preserving the 25lbs of cabbage, 50 lbs of apples, 10 lbs of beets, and untold amounts of pumpkin and squash I have sitting in my cold room.
In the next few days and weeks, many of us will be using up copious amounts of salt, sugar, vinegar, and water in our canners and crocks, placing roots and such in their winter storage cellars, and putting up every last ounce of food that we can.

While we do all of this and keep an eye out for all the bad things that the world has to offer right now, don't forget that winter is coming, so get that car kit winterized, plan for your snow tires to be changed, and get your alternative heating ready to go!

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