Preppers and the Ostrich Fallacy
Kevin Felts 02.05.18
A few days ago I was talking with some individuals when the topic of a global pandemic came up. During the conversation I referenced an article that was posted here on All Outdoor: Experts: Global Pandemic Will Happen.
One of the guys made a comment that left me a little bewildered. The comment was along the lines of, “I do not buy into fearmongering.”
My reply was, “People in 1347 probably said the same thing.” What is the importance of 1347? Between 1348-1350 around 1/3 of Europe died from the Black Death. We can look back and know what happened during certain time periods. The bad news is that, we do not have the luxury of looking forward.
For the sake of discussion, the term “plague” will be used as a generic description regardless of infectious disease type.
A few examples:
- Plague of Justinian, 541–542, estimated 25 million dead.
- Black Death, 1347 to 1351, estimated 1/3 of Europe dead.
- Great Plague of London, 1665 – 1666, estimated 100,000 dead.
- Smallpox, eradicated in the 1970s, estimated 300 million – 500 million dead.
- Spanish flu, 1918 – 1920, estimated estimated 50 million – 100 million dead.
- HIV / Aids, ? – present, estimated one million dead.
Humanity has been subjected to various plagues since our ancestors developed communities and started living in close proximity to each other.
When I wrote the article saying experts think it is just a matter of time before we have another plague, I took it to heart. History has proven time and time again disease will find a way to thrive and flourish.
So preppers, burying your head in the sand and hoping the next plague magically goes away is not going to help anything.
The best weapon in our prepping arsenal is not an AK-47 or AR-15, it is knowledge. When health experts say, “This is a threat”, we can take those comments and expand off of them. For example, we know the Black Death first infected shipping ports and trade routes, and expanded from there. That tells us cities with international airports will be the first to be hit.
One of the difficult things to accept is, you are not the smartest person in the room. When someone who is trained and educated on something, such as a disease surveillance specialist, says something is a threat, maybe we should take their advice seriously?