On This Day Pre-Y2K

Confused by any of the jargon you see below? Check the Y2K Glossary!

January 27, 1999 Permalink

Well, I haven’t written lately because I had some bug, and I’m still a bit tired as a result. It was not bad enough to be the flu, but worse than just a cold. We’ve been pretty healthy this year, so I should knock on wood. But doesn’t it just figure that I would get sick on a weekend?

But it does raise the question of what we will do when sick or ill during a TEOTWAWKI situation, whether it is Y2K or something else. I have “Where There is no Doctor” and “Where there is no Dentist,” as well as several more traditional medical books, but I have to admit that I have not yet had the time to fully read either one. This is the downside of having a family and other responsibilities. Plus, I keep hoping our friend the doctor will be with us in Y2K.

I do have a pretty good first aid kit we have made up ourselves. I find it much cheaper to buy normal quantities of things than to buy a pre-packaged kit that has only a few of everything. We stocked up on hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, topical antiseptics, lotions, anti-fungal and anti-itch creams, bandages of all shapes and sizes, ace bandages, athletic tape (this stuff is very useful), rubber gloves a surplus medical surgery kit which includes all sorts of instruments and even sutures, and a whole list of other items. (Please don’t e-mail Dave with suggestions for me -- this is not an all-inclusive list, it’s what I remember.) We also have a whole range of over-the-counter medications, from aspirin to cold medications to wart removal stuff. And we have a small cache of antibiotics. It’s been almost a years since I’ve had to be on antibiotics, and I like to minimize the frequency of which I take them.

OK, so when I was sick, I didn’t go to the doctor, and some Alka-Seltzer gel caps was all I required. But I did spend a lot of time in bed. And in a survival situation, that might not be possible. I might be needed to stand guard, to carry wood in for the fireplace, to hunt or check traps, etc., etc. Now the rest of my family can do this, but it is an added burden on them. To me, this is another argument for having more people in your home, or retreat, when Y2K hits. You need redundancy.

Y2K presents a medical challenge. If airplanes are down, and hospitals operating at partial strength, if there is a shortage of medical supplies, then you are probably better off being treated at home for anything other than the most severe medical emergency. If the streets aren’t safe, stay home rather than risking others. And that’s a choice no one wants to make.

Anyhow, if it gets that bad, we can hope that whatever flu bug is out there, won’t be ale to spread as easily. There will be no classrooms of kids, airplanes full of people or offices of sniffling coworkers to spread germs. Of course, without proper hygiene, we have a whole host of other problems waiting for us. Especially in the city.

—Jack, Diary of a Survivalist, 01/27/99

I agree that Paul Milne is correct when he writes that the technical aspects of y2k are now almost superficial to the analysis. The subject is now multidisciplinary. The technical aspect becomes less important every day. Economics, psychology, religion, logistics, leadership (real), courage, and other topics now rule the show.

At this point we’d face a massive problem even if every line of code on earth were remediated. There is a confidence problem now. It could develop into a crisis at some point in the next 11 months. Corporate and government upper management fomented this predicament through short-sighted decision making. First, they insisted on the abbreviated date, and then they waited until the last minute to attempt solutions. Only those most slavishly dedicated to idiocy would now be placing their money on management’s “plan” to extricate us from this problem.

In a sense, you and I are merely spectators to a battle of Titans. The UN and the GAO and industry leaders hold their closed-door meetings and the PR flaks can spout their unsupported nonsense all they want, but you can rest assured that the Top Brass in industry and government have a good idea of where remediation stands. If Top Brass fails to prove to this nation that the problem is going to be very contained, then I don’t see how crisis can be averted. Indeed, if Top Brass is not convinced of the solution, then the Titans will lead the exodus. We can only watch and make humble preparations for our future.

—Puddintame, Time Bomb 2000 Forum (LUSENET), 01/27/99

Paul Milne often reminds us of the huge numbers of people throughout the world who depend on internationally imported food for their survival. Don’t just think of food aid for famine stricken countries, but commercial imports to highly populated countries from neighboring countries and those on other continents. Most of us think America fist when we think of food exports to hungry people, but there are a lot of links in developing world food chain that Y2K is going to severe.

To get an idea, learn of all the countries in the world that import Argentine wheat. It takes communications, transportation and fuel for transport and processing to get that wheat to the hungry person in Brazil, doesn’t it? Same for the overpopulated masses of Cairo, Egypt and the farmers in South Africa. South Africa to Cairo isn’t possible on the ground except by the most fuel-inefficient method; trucks.

Live in Asia and want wheat? G’Day mate, Australia is the closest source. Excluding the US and Canada, Australia is the leader of this second wave of food exporters. And it’s it’s own island-continent which means that communications and transportation are tremendously critical. Almost as critical as the commercial links of its larger customers, the Middle East oil countries.

Just because the population of Nigeria doesn’t all own PCs, VCRs, microwaves and the other technology-afflicted items we do doesn’t mean they get off free from Y2K. Loss of critical basic systems and energy sources used in food distribution will pound them as hard or harder as it does us here. We have food stockpiles that will need to be transported within our country. They haven’t the transport or the stockpiles today.

If you think a fully blacked-out and transport-strangled NYC is going to be bad come 01/07/2000, then think of Cairo, Egypt or Rio de Janairo, Brazil. The developing world suffers from the exact same urban overcrowding and dependence on utilities and transport as North American and European cities. In fact, the overcrowding is unquestionably worse.

And the answer for Y2K is the same those places as it is here. Go rural and prepare to farm the way your parents’ generation did as kids. At least for a two or three year short-term situation as the worst of the problems are sorted out.

—Wildweasel, Time Bomb 2000 Forum (LUSENET), 01/27/99

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