Plague Year, 02

Most retail sources are out of anything even remotely useful to a bio-weapon / plague outbreak. Protective masks and tyvek suits, replacement filters, sanitizers and “roll-your-own” ingredients such as alcohol, etc., are sold out. Scalpers / arbitrage agents who bought a huge quantity hoping to resell it at a major markup are being (rightly or wrongly) shut down and pilloried in the media.

The only source for reasonable quantities of rubbing alcohol (i.e., not a 15 gallon drum of chemical industry grade 99% for $700 + $200 shipping) is https://www.firstaidsuppliesonline.com , but they limit it to a single bottle and shipping isn’t free. But if you need some….

Long term biohazard  and repeated bulk sterilization of protective gear beyond a mask was possibly the one eventuality that I don’t have extensive preps fore, beyond bugging out to a remote camping site. I mean, I’ve got the masks (“You have masks?… of course you do,” said the senior offspring unit), but how to deal with the regular return home with possibly contaminated clothing?  Goggle-up and UV flashlight over everything,  wipe the mask down with alcohol or H2O2, toss everything in the dryer on high and take a hot shower? There isn’t a lot of official guidance on good field expedient measures to decon when you can’t get the “officially approved” method via FedEx from Amazon Prime.

(Students, please take note: having a smart-phone and a credit card doesn’t mean you are prepared for ANYTHING except a fruitless call for help so we can locate your body later. Preparation means HAVING SHIT ON HAND when you need it, and the knowledge of how to use it before TSHTF.)

On a related note: One of the issues is ramp-up time for manufacturing to actually be able to produce what we need for the current surge demand. One way to produce enough alcohol for sanitizing things would be easily done, taking nothing more than simple legislation, and could be shipping millions of gallons in a week or two. Ethanol. Change the regs on ethanol use in gasoline (which, you will note, currently has greatly lower consumption rates) and sell it in 70% (140 proof) gallon jugs labeled “for external use only.” Costco alone could likely sell a million 4-packs in a week. Current US ethanol production is roughly a million BARRELS a day, equal to more than 40,000,000 gallons daily. Yeah, technically it needs the high “sin-tax” on liquor, but if you suspend it (or modify it to a lower rate because of the volume needed) for this then we could afford to cheaply sanitize a huge number of square feet. Would we lose a few morons to alcohol poisoning? Sure, but we lose them anyway, every day.

UPDATE1:Looks like Gov Inslee has ordered bars and restaurants closed, to do take-out only, to limit crowds and transmission. That will add strain on the already stressed retail grocery distribution channel, as discussed here.

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