by John Galt
August 18, 2014 22:00 ET
The bell curve pictured above is not a quantitative measurement of current events and only acts a partial estimation of how an outbreak of Ebola within the United States would occur in various phases, some of short duration, others much longer. The estimations below are those of the author after researching the current outbreak and lack of coordinated world wide response to the threat. The color code is to indicate severity of each phase with red obviously indicating the most severe period while the primary and latter stages indicate latency to a true “gray” area where the conclusion of the disaster is indeterminate.
PHASE I. – DISTRACTION AND DISTORTION
The United States government has a horrific track record of concealing life threatening illnesses and outbreaks from the American public thus when the initial confirmation of active cases in America occurs, the government will use its allies in the media to distort the threat and other distractions to prevent focused coverage or investigation as to the severity of what is happening within US borders.
It could be as simple as a few isolated cases across the country, primarily from people who have returned from nations already enduring the pandemic or via contact in concentrated areas of population with infected persons for extended periods of time (i.e., airplanes, public transport, etc.). The process to distort and diminish the threat by maintaining that the American medical community is too sophisticated and prepared for this disease to have any notable impact on the population as a whole.
During this phase the government will quietly begin advising emergency responders, hospitals, and military personnel to initiate protocols for treatment and containment per FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) guidelines. This period will also include large orders of emergency supplies for public healthcare facilities and the military along with a strict censorship policy for doctors and scientists at the CDC and other government agencies to prevent leaks or causing premature panic among the population. No public warnings beyond travel advisories to infected nations will be issued.
PHASE II. – FIRST CASES PUBLICLY ACKNOWLEDGED WITH CONTAINMENT ANNOUNCED BY AUTHORITIES
At this point in time, the US will begin quarantine procedures for infected individuals and restrictions on all travel to nations where the Ebola outbreak is out of control. The government will announce that the domestic cases are contained and attempt to quash all rumors of a widespread problem with not just America, but the North American continent as a whole.
This phase will be of very short duration, perhaps 30 days or less, with rumors and hysteria beginning to set in not just on the internet but among the financial world as money quietly begins to leave the system and converted to cash or physical precious metals while they make travel arrangements to leave to overseas perceived locations of safety (private islands or nations which have tighter immigration controls).
At the tail end of this phase, social media will explode with rumors of mass infections, outbreaks in communities, and of friends and associates falling ill.
PHASE III. – ACCELERATION AND PANIC
After the social media eruption in Phase II. the denials by the government will fall on deaf ears because local news will pick up the story and begin transmitting the truth from medical facilities within their communities. There will be intermingling of individuals who truly have the Ebola virus and individuals who have the common cold or a flu but are misdiagnosed by over worked and over stressed medical professionals. Another new aspect that the US is not prepared for thanks in part to Obamacare are the number of individuals who could not obtain health insurance due to the cost or have extremely high deductibles which forces them off their former primary physician networks and into walk-in clinics, etc. This wave of contagious individuals packed in with non-infected persons who might be suffering from the regular flu or other common ailments which weaken their immune systems will only accelerate the spread.
If a larger number of contagious individuals who are in the 21 day gestation period yet unaware of their exposure continue to behave normally reporting for work, going to football games or other public areas, along with attending family holiday functions the spread would probably accelerate rapidly throughout the population. This fast spreading of Ebola is the nightmare scenario currently underway in West Africa where the disease spreads daily and exponentially as the medical system begins to collapse. The problems dismissed by US authorities would begin to appear in this country with doctors taking prolonged leaves of absence, hospitals turning away patients, and worse, alternative treatments promoted by quacks which instead of curing infected individuals increases the mortality rate and spread of the disease.
The panic portion of this phase will begin as individuals stop showing up for work, vacations and trips are canceled, while firearm plus ammunition sales along with canned and freeze dried foods skyrocket. The JIT (Just In Time) transportation system begins to show signs of failure as truck drivers and train operators start refusing to make deliveries to cities with confirmed cases of infection. The government will then start to deploy the military at border entry points, along open transit points on the border, and in airports to establish quarantine zones for passengers suspected of exposure to the Ebola virus.
PHASE IV. – WIDESPREAD INFECTION AND ECONOMIC COLLAPSE BEGINS
By this point in time, the infection has become widespread with the CDC basically admitting that regional, aka quarantines of cities and even counties by force if necessary, will be the only short term solution to blocking the spread of the pandemic. The economy of the country will begin to fall into complete collapse as absentee rates of 40% plus due to illness and voluntary absenteeism which will shut down not only the transportation system but increase the strain on the medical system.
Military hospitals and isolation or quarantine camps will be established by FEMA to ensure that infected or those suspected of infection are prevented from traveling throughout the region or other parts of the country to spread the disease. Initially at this point in time, some communities will witness 20-30% infection rates with 80-90% of all confirmed cases dying. The government will begin requiring those citizens with infected family members within their household to remain in their homes under threat of arrest or worse and to post government provided quarantine zone signs on their homes. Entire families will end up being wiped out by this action.
Crime will begin to accelerate dramatically as many citizens doubt that the infection is real and elect to steal what they need for their homes and luxuries they could not afford otherwise. The infection begins to spread within America’s major cities with new cases doubling within days. The CDC will announce the “safe zones” within the country that are for verified non-infectious individuals may move about and continue to work freely within those zones.
Other nations will begin banning American citizens from visiting their countries and the US will reply in kind along with cancellation of numerous domestic and international flights to prevent the disease from spreading even more. The stock market will collapse and eventually at the end of this phase closed until further notice. Commerce will come to a grinding halt due to the lack of interstate transportation and the complete failure of the JIT inventory management system. Food shortages will begin to appear in some regions of the country along with price gouging on certain essential foodstuffs and medications.
PHASE V. – EPIDEMIC
Martial law is declared across the Untied States. All US borders will be closed with shoot on sight orders issued for violators. All major American highways and interstates will be closed via military and police checkpoints to prevent travel between cities and states. Energy and food rationing will be enforced via an Executive Order under the auspices of a declaration of National Emergency. A ban on the use of cash and coinage is put into effect along with a bank holiday of undefined duration.
Verified non-infected individuals will be ordered to appear at work in the food production, transportation, and medical industry under penalty of arrest. The facilities in involved in the production and transportation of essential items will be protected by large police, military, or paramilitary (Private Security Contractor or PSC) forces to prevent looting or infected individuals from contaminating the factories or transportation units.
The CDC and Federal Government declare that while a vaccine in testing shows promise, the current course of action worldwide is an isolation and quarantine plan is determined to be the only viable solution until the disease has run its course. Estimates of a 15% total mortality rate in the United States prove to be woefully short of reality. Mass graves and incineration of contaminated bodies are mandated by the government to prevent the spread of the disease via animals consuming rotting corpses.
The economy has completely shut down except for those industries deemed of major strategic importance by the government. All debts, by government, industry, or individual citizens are frozen until further notice. With 1 out of every 3 citizens now infected or suspected of infection, Social Security is suspended to prevent insolvency, Congress meets electronically and all transactions between parties are required to be completed electronically with an electronic judicial review. Crime continues to soar in cities and areas where infection rates run above the 30% level and firearm ownership is restricted. The government now estimates that 10% of all fatalities are not due to Ebola but criminal activity.
PHASE VI. – WANING INFECTION RATES BUT MUTATION THREAT APPEARS
As the infection rates naturally being to decline due to quarantine actions and the efforts of the government to contain the spread, rumors of a mutation of the disease begin to appear on social media and the internet. The government starts dispatching special teams to investigate these claims but no proof is initially found. Meanwhile a vaccine begins to show promise and after several series of tests it appears that the new drug has at least a 50% cure rate; sufficient enough to begin mass production and provide hope for the survivors.
By this time an estimated 83 million citizens and 5 million illegal aliens have been confirmed with the Ebola virus with citizens experiencing a 75% mortality rate, illegals a far more shocking 90% fatality rate due to their refusal to seek mainstream medical treatment.
Curfews are lifted in some cities as the hot zones are now isolated within the communities and freedom of movement in some regions allowed. Infection rates start to decline towards the end of this phase and some industry begins to recover as survivors start to return to work. Martial law is still in effect in many parts of the nation as well as movement between states. Electronic commerce booms and the government authorizes electronic payment systems to connect to bank accounts so transactions can be completed via cell phones and computers. Physical cash usage is still banned until the infection rate declines below 0.5% of the total population.
PHASE VII. – VACCINATION BECOMES MANDATORY ECONOMIC RECOVERY BEGINS
A preventative vaccine in addition to the successful cure are now in widespread production and shared with the world. The preventative vaccine becomes mandatory for all citizens of the United States but some resist suspecting ulterior motives. Those families are quarantined in their homes and subjected to prosecution by the military courts under the National Emergency declaration.
The economy starts to recover with interstate commerce starting again and farmers able to move their goods beyond state borders. Food shortages begin to disappear and limited international trade starts again with nations who agree to put only certified non-infected or vaccinated crews on ships which enter US waters. Some international air traffic resumes but under strict oversight of the Department of Homeland Security. A date for re-opening of banks and financial markets is announced along with parts of the Canadian border re-opened.
An estimated 93.8 million American citizens were infected with 63-64 million fatalities in addition to 8 million illegals with 5.5 million fatalities due to the infection.
PHASE VIII. – A GRAY FUTURE FOR THE COUNTRY
The elections of 2016 will mark a turning point for the country. There will be occasional flare ups of outbreaks but by and large it is under control until it diminishes towards a reported zero infection rate. Some of the possible outcomes of this phase are as follows:
-The use of physical currency will probably be permanently banned along with the filing of manual tax forms.
-The USPS is transitioned and merged within the operations of Federal Express and UPS except for a special division for government mail and packages only, including deliveries to and from the military.
-Income taxes are repealed along with the 16th Amendment but a VAT (Value Added Tax) instant payroll tax (extracted immediately from electronic deposits) and national sales tax of 4% implemented to raise revenues as rapidly as possible.
-The Federal Reserve and US Treasury agree to add and aggregate all contractual obligations such as 30 year mortgages by adding ten years duration to each contract and proportional extensions for automobile loans, credit cards, student loans, etc.
What happens after these obvious changes becomes somewhat gray if not downright terrifying. The systems in place for immigration and international travel will be completely revised to make both extremely difficult to and from some countries. The Mexican border probably remains militarized as the outbreak remains widespread in that country many months beyond the final phases within the US.
The larger question will be revisions proposed to the US Constitution to prevent what will be called 1st Amendment abuses by bloggers and independent reporters, (i.e. Drudge, etc.) who disclose stories about the original outbreak which were supposed to be kept confidential to prevent panic. The large number of fatalities due to criminal activity and self-defense using firearms also creates considerations to restrict or alter the 2nd Amendment also. It is unknown how long America will last with its current form of government in this final phase because the temptation to redesign and restructure the laws of the land to prevent a re-occurrence of this disaster are too tempting to the surviving elites in power.
Let us all hope that common sense and the warnings from current and former doctors and scientists prevail and we never experience anything beyond Phase I. in the scenario above.