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What a difference a couple of weeks make.  The coronavirus is all over the news.  This is just one more reminder that we should always be ready and that our daily lives can be quickly interrupted out of the blue.  Just look at the thousands of folks stranded on cruise ships in the Pacific.

However, this and other quarantine situations highlights the power government has in its ability to suddenly restrict travel and the most basic things of daily life.  I won’t debate the seriousness of the current condition (lives are being lost, so its a sobering thing), but according to the CDC, this virus has yet to come close to other major incidents such as SARS, MERS or Swine Flu.  In fact, in its weekly report ending February 1st, the CDC reports more than 210,000 Influenza A & B (“flu”) hospitalization cases this season with more than 12,000 fatalities here in the United States alone (read that report here).  Yet we don’t hear anything about that, only about the coronavirus.  Just today, the CDC released a statement that the 13th case of coronavirus has been detected here in the US  (read that report here).  That’s 13 cases of coronavirus compared to more than 210,000 cases of Influenza A and B this season.  Is this an “apples to apples” or an “apples to oranges” comparison?  I can’t say with any authority.

I suppose we are so accustomed to the annual Influenza pattern that we don’t get too excited.  We expect it.  But coronavirus, like SARS, MERS and others (which had enormously higher infection and mortality rates) is an unknown and gets the headlines.  The result this time around is government’s rapid and overwhelming attempt to prevent its spread; and that has implications on our personal freedom of movement and ability to conduct business.  I certainly hope this peaks soon and no more lives are lost.  My regular readers know I have close ties to Japan and have friends over there, so I have concern over them.  But at the same time, its a reminder for us to be prepared for the unexpected.  Having a bugout property or homestead in these North Carolina mountains could provide you a lot better place to ride out the storm than a cruise ship with nowhere to dock.  Let us hear from you if you’re contemplating acquiring a hideaway up here in the mountains.  We’d love to help you locate it.