Would We Still Have Power and Water If We Had a Massive Coronavirus Quarantine in the US?

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by Selco Begovic and Daisy Luther

How long do you think a pandemic quarantine could go on with power, running water, the internet, and trash pick-up continuing to run as normal?

If Covid-19 (also known as the Wuhan coronavirus or nCoV-2019) were to spread where you live as it has in China, it’s possible that extreme measures could be taken. Possibly even a China-style lockdown, where people are told to stay in their homes and where businesses are closed. I’m referring to something much more extreme than just a handful of us self-isolating. 

While I certainly hope such a situation is unlikely, it’s something we should all consider a possibility and get  prepared for, just in case. Considering whether or not this would be an off-grid scenario would play an extremely important part in your preparations.

Selco and I had a very interesting chat about this after I’d raised the point in a group discussion. I thought you might be interested in our thoughts. Of course, there’s no way to know exactly how this might go down, so it’s pure speculation on our part based on the research of similar situations, knowledge of our systems, and personal experiences.

Would we have utilities and services during a quarantine scenario?

Daisy’s Thoughts

A lot of things are automated, which makes me believe we could potentially have a month or two of relative normalcy with regard to utilities, even if folks aren’t going to work. Garbage pickup would be another matter.

First things first, electrical power, natural gas, water, and the internet could run a long time automatically or with just a bit of input from someone on a computer. A pandemic isn’t going to fry our circuitry like an EMP would, for example. There’s nothing general-infrastructure-wise that would immediately compromise these utilities.

But this assumes that everything besides the pandemic is smooth sailing – that we won’t have any tornadoes, any hurricanes, any blizzards, any earthquakes, unfortunate bolts of lightning, or accidents. And it also omits manmade problems like riots that damage the infrastructure or even deliberate sabotage.

In a full-on pandemic, there’s likely going to be nobody to go out there and repair potential damage. And it’s possible that even if people were willing, they might not have access to the necessary supplies or equipment if these are items that they get on a “just-in-time” basis.

As for water, it could run for a long time but it might not be safe to drink. We’d need to be alert that there’s nobody there testing the tap water and adding chemicals. I don’t love chemicals like fluoride in my water but I do love essential chemicals better than I like amoebic dysentery and shigellosis and cholera. That being said, even if the water wasn’t drinkable right from the tap, it would certainly make life easier if folks not on septic systems could still flush their toilets, and water could be purified in a multitude of different ways.

The government would want utilities to remain functional.

Also, the government is going to WANT people to have utilities in the event of any kind of quarantine. People who can zone out in front of the television or play video games are going to be a lot tamer and easier to manage than people who are detoxing from their cell phones and Facebook and 24-7 television. If there’s a way to keep the lights on, I feel fairly confident the government would prefer that.

Karl Marx once said religion was the opiate of the masses. These days, I think television and Netflix wear that crown.

It also makes it easier for them to whisper sweet nothings of propaganda into our homes. “Don’t worrrryyyyy. It’s going to be okaaayyyyy. We’re here to heeelllppp.”

Governments love stuff like that.

Garbage pick-up

Garbage pick-up is another matter, and a very worrisome one. If we’re all confined to our homes, who is going to pick up the trash? Will garbage collectors be issued protective suits? It’s even possible that the military would be called in to perform tasks like this due to the risk of trash that could spread disease.

I’d imagine that out of all things, garbage would be one of the most likely to contain infectious materials – tissues from runny noses, paper plates folks have eaten from, all the stuff possible infected people had touched.

In videos from China, I haven’t seen a lot of trash piling up, so there, it appears that particular system is still running.

However, trash pick-up is what I would expect to be the first thing to go.

Will it come to this?

This is not a question that anyone could definitively answer.

It’s just like the utilities. What are the concurrent factors? What would have to happen for this to blow up and explode across the US as it has in China? What would have to happen to stop it from doing that? What are the wild card events that could hasten the spread? (Mutation, the holidays, another illness spreading that weakens immune systems, a disaster that compromises us to the point we can’t shelter in place?)

Because of the potential for this, we should focus on being prepared. (This book is an excellent resource specific to the Wuhan coronavirus.)

Could it happen? Yes.

Will it happen? Nobody knows.

Would we have utilities and services during a quarantine scenario?

Selco’s Thoughts

A good question is what would happen with electric power and all other utilities once the SHTF.

And yes answer is not simple. It is based on type of event and severity of the event, but I think we can have some good guesses about it.

Utilities

Power, running water, communications (internet, cell phones…) and similar utilities up to waste management in all modern societies are brought to an advanced level of functioning.

All that is so “modernized” in a way that most of us usually do not notice or actually do not care how it is being delivered to us. People don’t care how these things work.

I also do not know in depth how all that works, but I know that most of the utilities today are being brought to us in a very automated and interconnected way.

So, as a result, it works good, until it does not.

I think the price for that is the fact that when ONE thing goes out soon another thing will go out too. Even if something goes out FAR from you, it may still mean it easily may go out at your home.

Maintenance

Do not forget, things (services) no matter how modernized need to be maintained, so, if there are no people around to do maintenance, services will not work.

It depends on how bad the event is, and the control the government has over the event, and the society in which the event happening. It is a question of are people gonna be there to maintain services.

As an example, if some serious event is happening, are people willing to go maintain services or they are more willing to go home and protect their loved ones? They are all just humans, do not forget.

People

Also, if there is still a system functioning, the government or some kind of system, does it have enough power to FORCE people to maintain services? People will want to go home to their families.

The important fact is: if the event happening here is serious enough to bring problems to utility services, it is probably serious enough to make other services like the police force or medical services no longer working. So, as a result, the security situation will be deteriorated, so that is another obvious reason why people would want to be more with their families instead of at their job.

A deteriorating situation with utilities will usually go with a deteriorating situation in behavior between people, so it is not like our only problem will be city services and everything else will be fine at home (and safe).

Now, this all may be different in different scenarios, I am talking about a complete or partial collapse of system.

The system

In what kind of system you are living?

Is that system going to implement very harsh measures in order to maintain “things going on”?

You can not compare a probable situation in your country with a situation happening in another country if the systems are completely different.

If you are living in a system where you were raised to trust blindly in it, without too many freedoms (or any), with very hard punishments for not obeying, it may result in a very disciplined response in hard situations, both because of mentality of people and also because of fear from punishment. China has that kind of system.

In the end, I  do not have a clue how long utilities would last in your case wherever you are. I know in my case, the system and utilities would fall apart in a matter of a few weeks, and people would simply go home to their families because through experience, they know our system is fragile. They know it does not care for people, and it can turn against us very fast. And also people are kinda ready to survive without the help of the system. Or at least they are ready to try.

You alone can figure that how things would work in your case.

What do you think?

Join the conversation. How would you expect things to go where you live if the Covid-19 pandemic spread to the point that mandatory quarantines occurred? How long do you think basic utilities would continue to function? Are there factors we overlooked in our conversation? Are you prepared for the possibilities? Let’s discuss it in the comments.

Would We Still Have Power and Water If We Had a Massive Coronavirus Quarantine in the US?
Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • In regard to power production, coal and nuclear power plants require near constant maintenance to operate. That’s not preventative maintenance, that’s daily maintenance such as coolant pump failures and boiler tubes bursting. Nuclear plants could run longer with reduced human input than coal plants.

    Further, a coal fired unit requires an heavy equipment operators just to get the coal onto the conveyor. Of course a train has to deliver the coal first. Both nuclear, coal, and natural gas units require water for boilers. This water has to be treated to keep the boiler tubes clean and this requires human input. Most natural gas power plants are peaker units and not designed to run continuously and would require fairly frequent shut downs to maintain (IIRC, I really should have fact checked that).

    Nuclear plants can’t just be shut down, it is a process,not a switch you flip. Since the consequences of a nuclear plant failing are so grave, my best guess is that if things got bad they would shut them down rather than have a melt down.

    Even when a reactor is completely shut down, generators are required to circulate coolant water to the radioactive fuel rods. If these diesel generators fail, best case is the rods warp and become unservicable. Worst case scenarios include hydrogen gas explosions, fuel rod debris, and a plume of radioactive fallout.

    • Although you are technically correct on the Nuke plants, The NRC after Fukushima, required all nuke plants to be able to operate without outside power or fuel based generators.
      So they all developed alternative cooling systems to comply with that order. Mostly passive cooling systems.
      So the scenarios you listed, are almost totally eliminated,( nothing is ever 100% however). So basically, Doom off.

      But the Military engineers would be brought in if necessary, to run power plants to keep them up and running, to keep essential services going. It would be far easier to do that, than to try to supply power and/ or fuel to the police, fire dept, hospitals, etc.
      As you might have noticed that in China, the ” Quarantine” is for regular citizens, not for government employees or medical personnel.

    • Yes, there are passive cooling systems for spent fuel assemblies that can run 120 to 150 days without additional water. I’m not 100% sure those have been implemented everywhere, though.

      One of the root causes of the TMI failure was that the operators were experienced with Naval ship reactors and did not adequately grasp the differences in a scaled up power reactor. Commercial power systems require in depth training. Military people can step in an replace civilian operators, but it’s not practical or even feasible short term.

      More likely is the loss of a coolant pump or boiler tube in any of these systems. If you lose feed water or a tube, that boiler is down; and, at that point, even you might have all the coal or fissable material in the world, you don’t have power.

      The power grid is a perplexing mixture of robustness and frailty and it is anything but simple and requires constant maintenance.

  • It would really depend upon the length of the Quarantine and it’s scope.( ie local, statewide or national.)
    The military or National Guard would probably be called in to keep essential services running.

    Trash collection might be paused, so that incinerators could be set up to ensure that no infected material gets spread around. That to would also fall under essential services.

    Since it only took them 3 days after receiving the viruses profile (here in the US), to develop a vaccine, it is unlikely it would reach a stage such as that.
    So as far as this “threat” is concerned, it is much ado about nothing.

    • Wow! They really developed a vaccine for this Corona virus in only 3 days? Are you sure about that? Do you suppose they’ll develop a correct vaccine for this year’s influenza strain currently circulating in the USA anytime this year–before NEXT year’s strain hits?

      • Exactly. Doesn’t sound like there’s much thought given to testing said vaccines. These things usually take months to insure that they are safe. Even then, we don’t have all the facts about how this virus really got it’s start. All the information that we do have about this virus is that it behaves like a cytokine war with the immune system over attacking healthy tissues. This often happens with test animals when the vaccines are not fully developed — which is why we give these things plenty of time. Rush jobs are sure to be counter productive. Think about it.

    • The “vaccine developed in three days” I believe is true. It is based on the DNA of the virus. They previously developed a generalized way to create a vaccine, given the DNA of the virus, and applied it to this case.

      The bad news is that you can’t give a vaccine to the general public without proper testing, which at the very least, will take months. Since this approach for creating vaccines has itself not been extensively tested, there are significant risks.

  • It’s money driven so it will run a while for sure. This virus isn’t deadly to everyone and the percentages are low.

  • Some of the news items that have covered coronavirus effects in the last few days give us some ideas of the beginning effects of such a pandemic. From such sources as scmp.com (South China Morning Post), NaturalNews.com, and ZeroHedge.com, we’ve learned that lots of businesses in China (that haven’t shut down) are insisting on as much work-from-home efforts as possible. Hong Kong stores have been cleaned out of food and water — just as preppers would anticipate — and even toilet paper is being stolen. China is even cleaning their physical CASH before releasing it back into circulation because the virus is capable of surviving for a few days on physical surfaces. Public school education in brick and mortar buildings has been shut down — and replaced by online learning:

    https://www.technologyreview.com/f/615240/chinas-students-will-now-study-online-because-coronavirus-has-shut-schools/

    There are reports that China is having to offer the equivalent of $143/hour to get workers to handle the disposal of the piles of dead human bodies.

    There are even reports that since recovering from the virus does not create immunity from getting infected again, second-time infections are reportedly creating bad heart attack effects. That’s a scary thought since quarantined people are being released after only 14 days despite reports that in some cases 24 days is needed.

    In this country the CDC is warning that the virus could be a huge problem here through and beyond all of 2020. The US military reportedly has a contingency plan for medical martial law.

    It looks as though we’ll have trouble even imagining how bad the disruption to infrastructure here could be.

    –Lewis

  • There was also a discussion on the forum about how to pay your bills during a lock down.
    https://forum.theorganicprepper.com/topic/paying-bills-while-in-self-quarantine-lock-down/

    You certainly don’t want your utilities turned off because you didn’t pay. Don’t want to lose your house to the mortgage company or to the property tax collector either.

    Also not mentioned was the drug store. Some of use older folks take regular meds every day. Yeah, I’ve got 3 or 4 months of some of my meds, but not all. The newer meds can cost hundred of dollars a month and I wouldn’t be able to afford them without medicare. Buying these in advance is a non-starter for me. Drug stores all use just-in-time delivery so what if the trucks stop? Some of my meds are made overseas too.

    • Most Americans are insanely overmedicated. You might ask your self these questions:

      Do I really need these meds?

      Are there safer alternatives?

      Now, I am not trying to come between you and your doctor, nor am I giving online medical advice.

      However, my Grandparents generation took very few meds. Now 7 in 10 Americans take prescriptions.

      I am 71 and don’t take meds.

      Something is very wrong with our society.

      • 1. What does “DOM” stan for?
        2. In your grandparent’s generation people with depression often killed themselves. Schizophrenics filled huge mental hospitals. Now many people with these conditions can live normal lives due to medications.
        3. In your grandparents generation people with high blood pressure had strokes or heart attacks and died. Some people were cardiac cripples. Medications keep people alive and active much longer. Sure, a few people do not need them and live a long time anyway. Not everyone has such great genes.

        • Susan Peterson sez:

          “What does DOM stand for?”

          License Doctor of Oriental Medicine. 35 years in the trenches.

          I know what I am talking about, and everything you said in your post is absurd.

          Intentionally or unintentionally, you are beyond clueless.

            • Traditional Oriental Medicine: Pseudoscience. Having show little or no factual or scientific evidence of effectiveness.
              These are the same “doctors” that would prescribe powdered rhinoceroses horn, tiger gall bladder, or hot bat soup as a cure.

              • “TCM pseudo science.”

                Lol. There is no bigger pseudo science than western medicine.

                Do you know that Western medical error is the #3 killer in America?

                Of course you didn’t. You don’t bother to educate yourself.

                Chinese medicine has been proven in study after study. It has lasted for over 4,000 years.

                I am finding that there are some very uninformed, and rigid people on this forum, and clearly I am wasting my time.

                I have found peppers to be as blind as anyone else.

                I never spent any time on this forum for that very reason.

                I am only here now, because I am trying to save a person or two from the Wuhan virus. My time here is coming to an end.

                Next time you wish to address me…….just don’t.

                I am tired of hearing the nonsense.

                • According to many scientists, and medical professionals, your pseudoscience is just that.

                  Based off your posts, you prove that.

                  Thank you.

                  The only thing you are a a “doctor” of is BS.

                • Jarhead sez:

                  “you are a doctor of BS.”

                  My profession is honorable. My license (I am licensed in 3 States) says that I am a professional health care provider.

                  If Chinese medicine was a joke, then why has every State licensed it as a medical profession?

                  You need to look at your anger and rigidity.

                  Perhaps you are angry because you finally realize you have been used as cannon fodder for the Globalists. Old men send young men and women to die for NOTHING.

                  As fighters and warriors, the American military is a farce.

                  They lost the war in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Korea.

                  The US has not won a war since WW2.

                  And….. the only reason the Germans were defeated was because of the Russians. Without the Russians you would probably be speaking German now.

                • I sir do appreciate your perspective.. I believe in a combination of eastern AND western medicine.. please stick around.. its difficult for some to re evaluate long held beliefs.

                • Bill Sez:

                  “Please stick around, it is difficult for some to reevaluate long held beliefs.”

                  Thank you Bill.

                  You, Daisy Luther, and Ani are the only ones who have made me feel welcome.

                  Many others have been in a freaking uproar after being emotionally triggered. They act like they are at a Bernie Sanders rally.

                  Rigid paradigms, and false beliefs accepted as true, will get people killed going forward.

                  The future belongs to the flexible and the initiative.

                  And yes, you are exactly right about western medicine and Chinese medicine……..both have their place in a treatment approach.

                  Again , thank you Bill.

                • I have little respect for western medicine. It is about money. Alternative medicine goes to the cause, not the symptoms. Give me the natural cures.

            • “Genetics.”

              Yes, western medicine wants to blame everything on genetics.

              And……..that is a lie. Lifestyle has a much greater effect on health or the absence of health than genetics.

              People love genetics, because it turns people into victims.

              As my hypnosis teacher Mr. Gil Boyne, the founder of modern hypnotherapy, once said to me: “People love their diagnosis. It allows them to avoid responsibility.

              “Lose the attitude.”

              I have a right to attitude, I have earned it by serving humanity for 35 years in the medical trenches.

              What did you do with your life when I was busy serving humanity?

              I don’t enjoy interacting with people who cannot see beyond their conditioning by propaganda.

              If you don’t like what I say, don’t read it.

              • You have not served in the trenches with anyone doing anything.

                Stop pretending to be a “doctor” of anything.

                At best you are a hack.
                At worst, a witch doctor.

                • Jar head sez:

                  “Stop pretending to be a doctor, you are a quack and a witch doctor ”

                  I am a licensed doctor of Oriental Medicine/Acupuncture Physician.

                  That makes me a primary care physician.

                  You may not like this fact, but facts are facts.

                  What makes you so angry?

                  And thank you for proving the point that women have no place in the military in any fighting capacity. . They are too damn emotional, and the standards have been lowered to accommodate political correctness.

                  Of course, I am assuming you are a woman, you certainly speak like one. Then again you might be the new generation of soy boy fighters.

                  If you want to see a real military look to Russia.

                • Why are you so bitter? This column is about losing services, so without electricity we have no medical services. We might ALL end up with backyard voodoo herbal hopeful-syrup and wish fervently this DOM was our neighbor! I sincerely hope you are a strong and medically independent veteran with no regrets. As I care for my 93 year old mother, I consider western medicine’s focus of keeping people alive, regardless of their personal wishes or quality of life, just another immoral scam for $. There are worse things than death. You, sir, should know that.

                • HOS sez:

                  “Why so bitter?”

                  Evidently you think truth is bitter.

                  Truth is good medicine. It hurts, but it sets you free.

                  “Without electricity there are no medical services.”

                  Partly true, western medicine depends on high tech machines, and the availability of meds. Some surgery can still be preformed under extreme condition but it would difficult.

      • “Do I really need these meds?” All my serious health issues are genetic that my parents or grandparents had. If I want to live, then yes.

        “Are there safer alternatives?” Probably some diet changes would help, not so easy to implement. One of my ailments can be treated by surgery. Had that 3 years ago, better but not fixed. Plan to have it again in April, if hospitals safe. One I have has no treatment or meds.

        “However, my Grandparents generation took very few meds. Now 7 in 10 Americans take prescriptions.” Mine too, mostly because there were few or any effective meds available in those days and much less medical knowledge!

        “I am 71 and don’t take meds.” Good for you! But people are different. Some people are good athletes and some aren’t. Some have good genes and some have genetic health issues, like me.

        I prep for my family because I know that when my meds run out, I am dead.

        “Something is very wrong with our society.” Very many things are very wrong in our society. Evil, geed and stupidity is everywhere.

        • Genetics is false causality. It turns patients into victims.

          Genetics is only a factor, not a prime cause.

          “Surgery.”

          Yes, once they cut you they never stop. Most surgery is unnecessary, and has serious consequences.

          The problem is that western doctors only know drugs and surgery. Their arsenal is very limited, and much of their medical approaches are worse than the initial condition.

          People need to be their own medical advocate, and take back the responsibility of their health from the medical profession.

          Doctor’s oath once said: “Do no harm.” Now ,medical error is the #3 killer in America.

  • Obviously, no one, including the CDC and Homeland, knows what will happen. They are probably doing table-top exercises and coordinating with State Public Health, CERT, volunteer first responders, LEOs/Sheriffs, etc., as best they can.

    BUT – there aren’t that many of them. There are only about 2M military personnel, fewer National Guardsmen, and only a comparative handful of law enforcement and civil service types. And 320-330 M of the rest of us. And at least 100+ M of us are armed. Many will oppose forced confinement or evacuation, esp if they are not ill.

    If this goes full Spanish Flu type pandemic, quarantine of neighborhoods, even NYC which has limited access, will be extremely difficult, if not impossible. IMO, the only quarantine will be for the seriously ill in some kind of hospital setting.

    As far as utilities and other services go, the military will focus on the state/national govts, the Shadow Govt, the military facilities, big city hospitals. National Guard units/LEOs, etc., may/may not follow orders. Much would depend on their individual family situations. Few folks in my small town expect the LEOs to remain on the job. We don’t hold it against them either. Most every one here would take care of their own first.

    Maintenance and resupply of utilities will become problematic just as soon as supplies from overseas starts to shut down (BTW – now). And will definitely be an issue when the truck drivers decide to quit and stay home. The military is not manned to be able to pick up all the slack.

    Get what you need now. Figure out how you are going to deal with water and sanitation issues, and revisit your Bug Out Plans if you have no feasible alternatives.

    We are in God’s Time. Use it wisely.

  • I live 15 miles from a nuke plant so lots of concern.
    If the only people who know how to run it to shut it down are dead
    I would have to leave
    Which would probably be prevented.
    But.
    If you can out live everyone. Then who knows.

  • Most likely system to fail is medical system from overload. Get a heart attack may be too bad. Another problem is getting to hospital. EMS overload. Medicines will be short supply, oxygen comes by truck.
    Already short of masks, ? gowns? soap? If deaths, morgues, crematoriums, refrigerators, death details
    Problem in Haiti and other earthquake areas.

    • I believe you are mistaken. Quarantine = Cordon, without search. Search would spread disease.

      I am considering putting a standard red bag with standard medical waste bio-hazard markings. filled with old threadbare clothing, by my front door. Assuming that a complete lock-down comes to my community. No one would enter my home without bio-hazard suits, which will be in short supply.

  • I’ve thought long and hard on this question, and here’s what I’ve found.

    There’s a nuclear plant not far from where I live. As long as there’s no physical damage to the plant, it could be isolated from the national grid and continue to service the local area. In other words, we could be back up in a few hours. Even so, I want to set up a small 12 volt system for emergency lighting and communications.

    Water is my biggest worry. If the electricity stays on, the wells will keep running. If the electricity stops, then we’ll have to bug out. But we have enough stored water that we can wait until the initial panic has passed.

    Garbage collection is pretty much mechanized. All the operator does is drive the truck, he doesn’t need to get out of the cab as the claws reach out and empty the garbage cans. As long as there is fuel, and drivers willing to drive, garbage will be picked up.

    These all assume that there’s not a societal breakdown, with rival factions fighting for territory and desperate mobs marauding the countryside.

    Or what about war with an invasion of the U.S.? Will the invaders be able to keep necessary utilities running?

    Above all, it looks like one will need to stay flexible, with different responses depending on the situation.

    • Question: If there is a societal breakdown, how are the desperate mobs marauding the countryside?
      I mean in a societal breakdown, it is not like the fuel trucks are still going to be delivering gas to the gas stations. It is not like the gas station is going to remain open lights on, with disgruntled employees operating the pumps, ringing people out for energy drinks, beer, coffee, chips and dip.
      The average American gets winded walking from their Lay-z-Boy to the fridge and back.
      Without the fuel, I dont see them doing any kind of marauding of any kind. Especially if it is over rough terrain or in the Northern latitudes. Snow plows not running due to the lack of fuel, no one is going anywhere any appreciable distance. Or in negative temps. We had -19 the other morning.

    • Follow up: If the US is having a virus epidemic, would anyone risk invading? Would they risk their own troops getting the same, and maybe even bringing that very virus back to their own home country?

      If anything, isolationism seems to be the best solution for this thing.

    • You description of those garbage trucks amazes me. There is no municipal garbage here. We run our garbage to the dump in our pick up, but there are private companies, and guys with big pick ups, who will do it ( When we used one of those we left cash for him in an envelope taped to the bags. No one ever stole it.).
      I think here we were just talking about the effects of Covid 19. It is all speculation right now. I am a retired nurse, and I think I would feel morally obligated to volunteer if our local hospitals were swamped. My husband would not want me to, I suppose, but I would not feel right not doing what I could. I have one daughter a nurse and one a doctor; the thought of their exposure bothers me much more than my own.

      • Susan, you may feel morally obligated to put yourself in front of the Covid bullet, but please don’t. Your first obligation is to your family, husband, kids and grandkids…maybe neighbors. If you get sick, or worse yet, bring the infection home, you have violated your First Duty. Don’t sacrifice yourself just so you don’t feel bad — take care of your own. THAT is your moral obligation!

  • Didn’t think about the garbage problem? When we see the deserted streets in China… how are they dealing with garbage?
    The streets are pristine. After a couple days , our cities look like dumps. Maybe we could learn from them.

    • I visited both Shanghai and Beijing (and the Great Wall) in 2017. The government employees people to sweep the streets. They are responsible for 2 -3 blocks in a high traffic areas to 5 blocks.
      And their Social Credit system will punish citizens for so much as spitting on the street.
      While the latter might be a bit extreme, the former some of our cities could learn from, as you stated.

    • As for garbage…we stopped garbage pick up 15 years ago, as a way to reduce trash. It’s amazing…when you have to take it to the landfill yourself, you get good at not generating waste. Start considering how to reduce garbage waste. Come up with a plan for what you would do with your own garbage, because in an emergency, it will be a huge health hazard.

      • Yes, just use a burn barrel, we have one in the backyard. Just pile up the plastic’s until this passes, then take that to recycle. It’s not a huge issue. Start living like it was 1869.

  • I’d suggest the government may try to find a way to limit the resources so as to force people out of their homes and into quarantine (sterilization/extermination) centers. Remember why this staged/engineered virus was released in the first place and think of the big picture.

    • You really think there is enough, big enough quarantine centers to accommodate 350 million people?

      The US government cannot even locate and deport 11-15million illegal immigrants.

      The big picture is this thing is loose in the general population. At this point, no one is really, truly immune or you have to risk getting it, to prove one way or another. It is creating havoc on not only the Chinese economy but the global economy as well. This thing could become a “the new normal” event that has a number of people asking the question if the end of globalism and a new semi-isolation stance is not a better bet.
      That is a big shift in the current paradigm.

  • Maybe in a third world or communist country, this would happen but not in America except a hardcore Demoncrap State, possibly.

    There is a reason why we are the greatest country in the world, ya know???

    • Wrong verb. We WERE the greatest country in the world. And even that notion is flawed. We WERE the wealthiest country in the world, though even that is rapidly changing. There are European countries that are far greater then we are, even though not as wealthy per capita. Their wealth is more evenly distributed, and they provide far, far better care for their citizens. Way better health care, shorter work hours, better food, fairer justice systems, etc. Ours is a system which worked pretty well for a while, but is now only benefiting a smaller and smaller group of unjustifiably, immeasurably wealthy folks at the expense of everyone else. That, in turn (along with all the other failings), is allowing our economic rivals to move up ahead of us financially (okay, admittedly delayed by the present virus) since, among other things, when you impoverish most of any country, the ability to spend plummets, and the national economy contracts. That’s where we are, where we’re headed. And we did it to ourselves by allowing those self-serving rich folks to do abysmal stuff, just as they did in the later 1800’s., when things went to hell. For all of his failings, FDR managed to do great things for the country by doing great things for ALL individuals in our country.
      Of course we now rant about illegal immigration. That’s after decades of Republigoons encouraging such behavior to staff factories at below-minimum-wage pay, thus further enriching the least moral within our society. Now that all that work is being sent abroad, those same goons want to round up the folks they lured here and send them home. This country was founded on two principles: immigration (almost everyone comes from migrant families); and mass murder (we devoted ourselves to killing the native population, other immigrant populations, neighboring populations, distant populations… we’d kill Martians except that we haven’t found them yet.)
      All told, there is way too much self-deception. We are not a great country any more. In some important respects we never were. And the metrics we used are misleading. Take the life expectancy of our population as a simple example. It’s DECLINING. Yet the cost of health care per capita is multiples of that cost in other nations with greater life expectancy and with nobody struggling to figure out how to afford that care.
      We lie to ourselves and each other about all of this. No wonder the rich get richer and everyone else lauds them. Stupidity is more contagious than the Cornona Virus. And far more deadly.

  • There’s still time to prepare. The waters good today, tomorrow and probably in a month. Think of how many containers you can store in a month.
    Tax refund might be a generator.
    Can of gas here, sale on canned vegetables there. Candles from dollar tree. Picking up the branches in the yard and storing them for a cook fire. Old toilet paper rolls to hold the dryer lint as fire starter.
    Bout time to start a tomato plant in a bucket.
    Drawing up that plan in isolation on paper and discussions with the clan.
    Lots to do other than stress.

  • At my local water utility, there are MREs n cots for the workers to get through a period of disruption. But, it ultimately comes down to chemical supply, delivered by truck. Guesstimating here, but there might be a week’s worth of chems available. Then what, do they just put raw water down the pipes ? I hope so…i can do a lot with raw water. What about sewer though? When their chems run out, do they just shut off their inlet valves? Or, just run it straight through to the river? Or, does it backup into everyones houses? Ugh…severe problems within a week.

    • If they are anything like my company the MREs are expired or they didn’t store them right and they are spoiled…Also do you really think people are going to leave their families and come in to work if there is a pandemic going on…I wouldn’t bet my life on it…

    • My biggest worry is that the sewer will back up into our homes. No one at the sewer company will answer this question, which tells me they either don’t know… or they know it will be bad. I’m looking into a valve on the sewer line that will automatically close to prevent back up. They are required in places that have frequent flooding.

    • I have a couple of 5 gallon plastic buckets, a toilet seat made to put on top, and plastic bags to fit in the buckets , as well as some containers to hold water, and a 100 gallon plastic sack ( that I bought on amazon that is made to fit in a bath tub to use if the water supply stops. ( Sorry for the run-on sentence.)

  • I get a kick out of people that think the grid would stay up and running if a pandemic hit…You see I actually work on the grid and know how fragile it really is and what it takes to maintain it…If people stop coming in to work the grid fails not long after and would take a long time to get back up and running even if those that survived knew what they were doing and it would depend on how much infrastructure was destroyed in the process… That’s why anything you count on to survive you need to have control over…

    • I’d bet if this becomes a full blown pandemic services are not. Real likely to stay up for all of us.
      Where I live water is drawn from a well. Septic service is a 1500 gallon tank and leach line. The most of my groceries are home grown or home raised. At 81 and 73 life is not as easy as it once was and because of age it looks like we’d likey be gone if the virus came our way. We have food, garden, critters and could live quite awhile if left alone. I have many months of my one necessary prescription. Husband takes things that help life but are more optional if not available. We have water a n d two wells. One well is on commercial power. The other is capped with plans for a winch.
      We’re pretty Independant but the truth is everyone needs help sometimes. In a quarantine we’d have no help unless the residents of the redences on my land are free to interact here. Outsiders can say out. I understand limiting interaction but what happens to the unprepared? What happens to someone needing an oxygen concentrator, or diabetics needing refrigerated insulin?
      We could be looking at a very hard time. I pray folks are preparing.

    • It is both fragile and robust. Idiots driving cars or backhoes are the biggest failure points after weather.

      Since you work on the bulk electric system you know there are locations that are marked as critical services. You also probably know your areas “cranking path” for black start scenarios. All considered “must run” or “critical assets”.

      People will come to work as long as they want a job. People will want a job as long as they want money. People will want money as long as they can use it to buy stuff they need. If they don’t think they’ll ever need to have money to buy stuff they need then that is when the problem starts.

      I was working in a hardened facility when H1N1 happened. The facility could run two weeks on a pair (redundant) of diesel generators with a positive pressure air filtration system better than most hazmat labs. All shared surfaces were wiped between every shift back to back by the outgoing and incoming and everyone was issued their own phone handsets, keyboards, mice, and chair. Still happening this way today.

      There was a person whose spouse got H1N1. That person was put on paid leave and didn’t come to work for 5 weeks. Neither them nor their kids got it. Another person wouldn’t come to work for fear of getting H1N1. After the third day of no-show they were terminated for cause. I never saw them again.

      It took them over a year to find a new job. How does it look when someone was terminated from a very well paid and highly skilled job? Would anyone want to hire you if you appear to be a fairweather employee?

      So yes, I dare anyone to try not to show up to work as scheduled and I’m sure it will work out well for you.

      • Well the H1N1 wasn’t a pandemic now was it so basing your premises off of that might get you into trouble…Also the point of the article was if people are quarantined would the power and water stay on…

        • The point was that if people want a job they will show up to work. Who does the quarantining? Robots?

          The lights and water will stay on until it can’t. Quarantining won’t make essential services stop.

          • You just keep in with your normalcy bias as for me and my house we have alternate ways of producing our power and we have 4 ways of getting water without any electrical devices…

  • Prepare for the worst and pray for the best. All I can say is I grew up on a diversified farm and my folks always prepared; we always had plenty of food, clean water, shelter and heat (we never did get any air conditioning) Though my wife grew up in a city, her father was a heavy duty gardener and mother canned extensively as well as preserving food in other ways. When we married the first thing we started was setting up our own preparation which included savings, planned purchases, limiting debt and a big garden. WE are in our 70s now and still prepping. It has never been easy but always satisfying. My best advise to people who are worried about a pandemic is to keep themselves healthy with a good basic diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, if you eat meat know your source, learn to purify your water and drink plenty each day rather than pop and such. Water and more clean water is always a big concern. Help you neighbors understand what we may be up against but remember your personal op sec. If your neighbors are prepared they are less likely to need what you need.

  • Where i live we also haul our trash to a transfere station. We’d have to start burning trash. It has to be disposed of. As long as i can fill the toilet tank with water I can flush it. If I couldn’t then we’d use trash bags in a 5 gal bucket and burry them. City folks wouldn’t have good alternatives. Even if they cleaned up their neighborhoods the trash must go someplace. No easy good answers.

  • On trash pickup. Everywhere around here, no one touches a trash can except the owner to roll the cart to the street and back to the house. Driver pulls up in a big truck, set of hydraulic arms reach out, grab the can and dump it in the truck, set it back on the curb edge. The driver could be in a full hazmat suit.

    The old days of 1-2 guys riding the back of the truck physically handling cans dumping in a open end truck are long gone most places.

    • “The old days of 1-2 guys riding the back of the truck physically handling cans dumping in a open end truck are long gone most places.”

      Never seen such trucks. Still “1-2 guys riding the back of the truck physically handling cans dumping in a open end truck” in my state.

  • During the flu of 1918 quarantines did not work. Even in areas where the people where highly motivated to stop the spread of flu. Towns is Utah had 24 hour road blocks to turn away all traffic. If you left the town you couldn’t return. The trains would stop to pick up passengers but no one could get off the train. People still found various ways to violate the quarantine. Humans are very social…people wanted to check on family members and friends, and young lovers have always violated rules and curfews, etc. No quarantine is highly effective. It only takes one sick person to infect a whole town.

  • Here in the Pacific Northwest, our power is Hydro-electric. Since these dams are mostly located in rural areas, they may not be as affected by a quarantine, and too, they are mostly computerized. On that point, many of the dams were built before the computer age; if the power grid goes off they could possibly be returned to their prior operating , unless the power transformers go off line due to EMP or Spaceweather.

    An interesting interview with Clif High yesterday Feb. 18, 2020 on youtube [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3N4G1MCz94 ] Their thinking was that our first challenges are that China provides 70% of our medicine ingredients and 50% of the supplement ingredients. W.H.O. said that it could cause up to 4.4 million deaths in North America with medicines being unavailable. We are noticing shortages now, will certainly will see some after March 6, into June, July, August as shipments from China will have stopped. Targets, Walmart, Krogers may start shutting down. Food shortages already happening in China. The dark web in China is gone, Clif had friends there and has not heard from them. There is more on that interview to ponder!

    There are 712 people in Washington state being monitored for Corona Virus Symptoms, per state officials. No one is clear on how long their isolation is in effect, and /or what the real numbers are.

    Checking on-line for supplies, such as N95 masks, silver-colloidal, Liposomal Vitamin C, and chaga mushrooms is that the folks that “know” about natural remedies are already ahead of the game, and many supplies are already out of stock. People need to self-care in a big way!

    Thank You Daisy for sharing your articles, and for others in links! ONWARD!

    • The Pacific Northwest has several working nuclear power plants. If one or more failed due to a lack of maintenance there would of huge loss of life.

  • As far as distribution of electricity, as long as they are generating electricity we will distribute said electricity as a distribution cooperative. now if generation tanks, then hopefully you have a generator and fuel. But electric utilities are digging into their pandemic plans of critical personnel and infrastructure. If everyone else is quarantined, the electric linemen of this nation will be there as they always are, at 2 in the morning when it is 10 below and snowing. but, I suppose we will see how this all plays out.

    • Ok Joe since you know best since of course a quarantined has happened so many times in this country…No one and I mean no one can tell what is going to happen all they can tell you is possibilities and those that tell you all will be fine don’t have your best interests in mind…I’m a lineman and if pandemic happens here I’m going to worry about my family first and then my Community so I wouldn’t count on Lineman coming in to work just to keep the lights on for those who didn’t prepare…You act like power is a right and they have to keep it on for you and that’s just not the case ..It’s a service that you pay for and can be shut off at a moment’s notice and there is not a darn thing you can do about it…Sure we go out in all kinds of weather but the motto for every company I’ve ever worked for is safety first and if you can’t do your job safely then don’t do it…The point of all of this is if your truly a prepper then power if you want it has to be under your control and not anyone else’s…That means solar, gas, wind, hydro, geothermal…

  • A big factor in continuity of any service would likely depend on our ability to pay our monthly bills. If banks close, even if they’re just shuttered to the public, I don’t know how long we should expect things to function unpaid for.

  • I apologize if this question has been answered, I have not even seen a similar query… But,
    I have seen the information that people do not develop immunity to this virus as is the case with other bugs.
    If that is true, then there cannot be a ‘vaccine’ because the body cannot develop immunity to the virus. That is how a ‘vaccine’ works – it is a weakened form of the virus so that the system can successfully fight it and develop immunity.
    Do any of you know of further information on this?

  • The issue of repair and maintenance of critical utilities is of primary concern. The mortality rate of the virus is statiscally calculated across a population. Thus, while the overall average mortality rate might be 2%, the mortality rate among maintenance/repair workers in your local electric utility might be 50%. And the workers not yet dead might be too sick to work. But it does not need to be the utility crews. It could be the truck drivers who deliver the part needed for the repair. Or it might be the workers at the factory that makes the part. Or the part could come from China and the factory over there is shut down. Or the part might be stuck in US customs for a 7 to 10 day quarantine for imported goods coming from China.

    The odds of any one of these things happening is quite low. But it only takes one thing to leave you without a critical utility for a while.

  • This kind of speculation is always so interesting. I just had a friend kind of laugh at me for buying some extra water because “you’ll still have running water though…”. I said, “At first, but not if people stop going to work.” He wasn’t convinced.

    I think the points here are very interesting…I didn’t realize so much is automated, so that’s somewhat reassuring, but, like Selco said, it’s great till it isn’t. A concerning question is, when do you need to worry about the safety of your water? I suppose you really only need to treat the water you are consuming and it should be safe for other uses like sanitation.

    Hopefully these worst case senarios won’t play out, but just in case, thanks to a timely bonus at work I now own the solar generator I’ve had my eye on for some time 😉

  • If this particular virus attacked all ages roughly equally, then I believe we would likely lose utilities. But folks in their 20s and 30s rarely experience more than the symptoms of a cold. So I am guessing that utilities will stay on most of the time in most communities.

  • WOW – Daisy, you guys really started people thinking and thats good. Living in the sticks we do things different. We have a huge burn pile and love to burn everything: sofas, old bedding, garbage, whatever we have to. Living on wells requires electricity to pump the water and a gas powered generator can be run to fill the water tank. Then our old water tank is 15 – 20 feet high and gravity feeds the water into the house. Need more water? We live within walking distance to a spring fed river, have a swimming pool with lots of chlorine tabs and keep 10 gallon water bottles at the ready. If power goes off we’ll use the generator to keep the freezers functioning or start grilling a lot of meat! Wake up at first light and go to bed when it gets dark is pretty much how we live now. Helping my college kids with their online schooling, but no big deal since I spent 3 years homeschooling them when they where young. I’ll miss Netflix and the internet the most, but life goes on & broke out the board games. Asked the hubby to power up the two way radios, hardened our home security, trimmed the fruit trees, pulled out my seeds stored in glass jars. These don’t take “services”. Most of us in the country have gravity fed gas tanks for vehicles, guns for protection and had the grace of God to be prepared. I pray for those that didn’t.

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