First, I’d like to say I’ve had a successful experiment. Last July, I dehydrated some mushrooms. Now9 months later, I’m happy to report there is no mold or rot anywhere on the mushrooms. Hubby was even impressed. (score one for cottontop!) Every little is encouragement.

On the Fluwiki, we’ve been discussing “Why won’t SIP/JAH work?”

Well, it seems the Dark Doctor has made his point to cottontop, and made it very well. Upon reading all he has to say about why SIP won’t work, I must admit it left me depressed. SIP is the ONE tool my family is relying on as we do not have anywhere to bug out, neighbors are elderly, my family is in Texas, Hubby’s family will include one brother on disability, and another brother down the road with wife and 2 grown children still at home, and a teenage son.

The Dark Doctor insists that the only way SIP will work, or stand a remote chance of working, is if people SIP community style. I’m not going to argue this point. I can see the benifits in doing so. But lets look at some problems with trying to do community style SIP vs home alone SIP style. At this point, I’m caught in the middle of what will be the best situation for my family.

Community Style SIP

1. Pooling resources together. Workloads can be shared.

2. Care of elderly and young children


These are the main advantages to SIP with other people. These are the disadvantages to SIP with people.

Disadvantages to SIP with people

1. Must have adquate resources to keep taking in people. The medical and food/water resources alone will be huge. You will reach a point to where you will have to start turing people away.

2. Bringing in new people will bring in disease(s), infections will break out (I’m not talking about the pandemic virus at this point. Just general infectious diseases that plauge humans.)

3. Sanitation will become a major probelm. Trash will multiply quicker.

4. Fights, arguments will break out. The desperate need for privacy, quiet.

5. The stress of dealing with people were you could be in demand for every little thing.

6. It will become harder and harder to feed the number of people and that’s if you take no more in. If you take more in, well…

7. You’ll need a way to quarantine new comers. If you have 3 or 4 people arrive at the community, you must house and be able to keep them sepearted from others for at least 7 days.


These are just some points for the pros and cons of community SIP style. In order for the SIP community to function properly and survive, people must come with some resources ie., food/water, blankets. If people show up on your doorstep with nothing but the clothes on their backs, they will become a drain on the community, and futher deplete the chance of survival for the people.

It’s my opinion, that if community style SIP is going to work, this plan must be put into action now. You can’t decide when pandemic hits, to group everyone together and be a survival community. I certainly hope that isn’t what people think. One person must designate his home as the “communial” SIP, and prepare it accordingly to the needs a community will have. Every little detail must be addressed, and that includes taking in more people, adressing the number of people you can safely and comfortably house. I wish the Dark Doctor would have went into this explanation. I precieved his opinion as being, “when pandemic hits, get the people together for community SIP, and you’ll have a better chance of survival.” If this is not his midset, I’m relieved. It did notice, that no one asked how one would go about setting up a community SIP.

Don’t get me wrong. I do think this type of SIP can work, only if preparations are done before hand, and the people you plan on including knows that they have to contribute to the community, ie., they must bring supplies. Taking on others will create a drain on the resources. It is my opinion, that if you believe this type of SIP will work, set the number of people you plan on taking care of(if your plan is for 6 people, figure in up to 10 people.) You can only take care of so many people.

SIP alone at home
1.Only established family members will be in the house.
2. No worry of people bringing in diseases(of any kind) 
3.Resources will cover established family(for awhile)
4.No over crowding, bickering limited to established family members
5.Can have some privacy, quiet. Can have some type of “normal family routine.”
6.Stress level will be lower than that of a house full of strangers and family.

Disadvantages to SIP home alone


1. Limited resources.

2. Isolation becomes an issue.

I’m sure there is more cons, but I find these two the biggest challange to home alone SIP.

The bottom line is, with Community SIP, you’ll have people coming in. With home alone SIP, you’ll have people wanting to go out. Deplete resources will force us all out at some point in time, the Dark Doctor is right about that. However, we must decide now, how we want to protect our families and deal with pandemic: Community SIP or home alone SIP?

I’ll leave you with two quotes:The Dark Doctor posting on Fluiwiki

Working together within small groups is my ideal way to survive


Again, with the greatest respect and good intentions for all of you who have planned to SIP for the duration, this approach will not work. This NPI as well as all the others proposed by public health officials are not designed to prevent you from becoming infected by flu. The purpose of these measures is to try and slow down the transmission rate of the virus. We in healthcare and those in public health know that NPI are an temporizing strategy not an effective one for preventing infection ultimately.

No one in medicine and public health every contemplated citizens SIPing for more than a few weeks or months at most. We know it is not a viable strategy. The notion that this can be carried on for a prolonged time is simply not credible. I have provided you with some of the reasons that address the problems of remaining isolated for a long time. Those with good preps here on the flu boards are a very small percentage of the population as is well known.

Most unprepared folks have a few weeks of food and water at most. It is in the interests of the public as a whole that the NPI are recommended and these recommendations take into consideration the projected resources the average family will have on hand to SIP with not the Mega pandemic prepared that post in flubloggia. So, please understand, the recommendations made for NPI especially SIP, social distancing and even quarantines are all seen as short term measures to slow down the viral spread. The US DHHS projects that if the public as a whole follows their NPI guidelines well, a big if IMO, then the virus can be slowed down by about two months. This is a pretty optimistic projection but there you have it.

You will not be able to keep the virus out of your house or compound. It is a much more crafty creature than most folks think. It will come in where you least expect it and get to you whether you like it or not. This is my professional opinion as an experienced internist and student of influenza.

So, what should you do if what I say is correct, abandon NPIs? No, I will wear my N-95 mask and latex gloves and try to prevent getting infected as I care for the ill. I will change clothes and wash them in bleach and dry them on the line in the sunshine. We will wash down our ad hoc clinic with a 1:10 bleach and water solution to get rid of infectious agents. I will advise people to avoid crowds and that as soon as the flu reaches the US to take their kids out of school and college not waiting for the government to act. All these things I will advocate because they will all save some lives and take strain off a collapsing healthcare system as well as my ad hoc flu clinic. It will help to prevent secondary bacterial infections in flu survivors with weakened health.

That said, I know I will get the flu and so will almost everyone else. The CAR is much smaller than the actual attack rate in seasonal flu and I expect that the same will occur during pandemic flu. It is my firm belief that the vast majority of people will survive their infection but that will be only the first part of surviving the catastrophe.

This second part is going to be even more challenging than the first half and it is then that you will need to be gathered together with your friends and neighbors to help each other make it through. It is my view that this part of the emergency will be a good old one of man against man and man against nature. It will require a lot of skills that most modern people have forgotten and are unprepared to perform. Human history teaches us that forming into small groups or tribes for the general good of all its members is a good survival strategy and superior to being hold up for months or years with one or two other folks. SIPing in isolation is akin to being a hunter gatherer except you plan to stay put rather than move around.

Our ancestors act of moving from hunter gatherers to tribes was an advance in civilized behavior and gave them a survival advantage over the hunter gatherer. This is why those who clung to the HG model became extinct while those that embraced tribal dominated humankind for thousands of years until the agrarian revolution with its millions of slaves overwhelmed the tribal social structure.

Anyway, think about forming your own group of people who will agree to work together. In the beginning, your tribe will be dealing with a medical crisis but in the end you will be dealing with the pressure of maintaining self-sufficiency in everything from food production, children’s education, and most assuredly group/community defense and security. So, this chapter will be a whole lot different than the first one and will require a whole different set of skills and requirements than SIP in isolation to avoid infection.

You are going to need your neighbors and friends. You are going to need to take in as many refugees as you can manage. These thoughts may surprise you but they are what I think will make the difference in the times to come after the medical emergency has past and you will be faced with a whole new set of conditions that require a whole new set of responses.

Whatever you plan to do and in fact do, I wish you all the best of luck and hope that your plan will succeed,

The Dark Doctor

Why won’t SIP/JAH work?

And Doctor Dave posting on PFI

I’m reminded of “A Brief History of Time” and an episode of “The Simpsons”. As we approach the event horizon of a black hole (pandemic), how will we know when we are at the point of no return? Personally, I think we are well past it. O.K., so we have not yet suffered from Hawking’s “spaghettification”, but reality within the hole and reality outside the hole are different. Outside the hole, time seems normal. Inside the hole, time seems protracted. We are inside the hole, and it seems to be taking a very long time until we are crushed by the condensing mass. Nevertheless, there is no going back. The virus is too deeply entrenched in too many places.

Dr. Dave on PFI personal pucker factor

I sometimes think we don’t stand a chance in hell!

until next time,