Monday, February 11, 2019

Life Lesson: For You Who Live Sheltered Lives

For the Perpetually Offended:
This is not a black man, nor a Caucasian in "black face".
It's a man with "homeless tan", i.e. what happens when lack of primary hygiene
 tattoos 60 years of dirt into your skin. This is also what the typical homeless
person of +/- 35 y.o. looks like. Drugs, alcohol, and crazy are not your friends.

Riffing off Mosby's recent repost of his 2014 thoughts on field sanitation and hygiene, I offer the following experience, far too recent.

I have elsewhere documented a previous encounter with a member of the Street Diversity.
Suffice it so, I recently had occasion to deal with several more, including Mr. Brown. (Go read the linked story, above. Not right before nor after a meal.) Mr. Brown was worse than Mrs. Brown. Same basic premise (living in car for months to years). Twenty pounds of actual sh*t in his shorts. Except with septic shock, and a literal coral reef of fungus on both legs, inches thick, which didn't spontaneously generate over days nor even weeks. He was outted when the vehicle he was driving struck a parked car in a lot, and PD found him.

Another, probably a cousin of the Brown family tree, was living similarly, with holes in his skin such that I could do anatomy lessons from the exposed musculature visible through his windows, a pair of sodden feet (due to recent rains) inside boots that were a classroom lecture and lab on immersion foot, and a probable case of necrotizing fasciitis, i.e. flesh-eating bacteria.

Both of them with extra riders, i.e. parasitic infestations.

Those guys usually die within a day or two, BTW. We may save one or both, but only just barely.

Who cares, you're not doing my job, right?

Okay, well-played. Except not so much.

And suppose Mr. Brown had hit your car?
Or what if Cousin Brown washed up on your doorstep, or at the end of your lane, in anything from just bad luck to major disaster, let alone SHTF?

If these sorts of Zombie Hordes walk around every day in first-world conditions now (and I'm here to assure you that they do), what are the odds you run across them come a local disaster, let alone civil disruption, or full-on Sportiness when bad things happen to everyone?

My SWAG: about 100%.

What's your plan to deal with that?
(For the smart @$$/dumb @$$ who kneejerk replies "Rule 308", fair enough and all; so, waddarya gonna do with the leftovers afterwards?)

How prepared are you to deal with the unhygienic unwashed stinking pestilential shambling masses anywhere between city hall and the front porch, dead or alive?

Sanitary disposal and Level-A Hazmat decon better be on your radar, long before it's on your front porch.

And you'd better be pretty up-to-date on your vaccinations, as well as being able to deal with every one of 100 medieval pestilential plagues after anything as simple as bad weather.
And game it for when you cannot call 911, and have the county coroner's van show up to dispose of the detritus that was deposited nearby.

No one is coming to save you.

Now see if you can figure why I think being familiar with Ebola, and the field-expedient protection for it, might be a bit more germane than some of the witless wonders think it is.

There's a typhus outbreak, right effing now, in Los Angeles' City Hall. Today.
From sewer rats, who gain access to the buildings via thoughtfully constructed rain gutters that provide a highway from curb rain gutters all the way to the roof, and then into the building through ventilation ducting and such.

What's your contingency plan for typhoid, dysentery, plague, and dozens of other civilization-long killers of man, going back to the deep B.C. era.?

PTA, baby:


Vector control, pest eradication, and public health are suddenly on your plate too, as lord of your own domain, in any sort of disruption, large or small, short-term or generational.
Washing your hands is good, but there's more than that to sanitation.

Fail to plan: Plan to fail.

Fail = slow, lingering death for you and yours, shriveled, crapping your guts out, amidst an uncaring universe.

You will see this material again.
Next time, the pop quiz may be with your life and your tribes' as the ante.

Choose wisely.


Crew said...

And now they want us to feel sorry for the children!

Aesop said...

I do feel sorry for the children, but the first sumbitch gets to an airport, I'd still quarantine the whole damned continent until the outbreak was contained.

Ominous Cowherd said...

Mr. Brown is yet another reason to have a backhoe.

Partisan81 said...

Prevention: inverse square law, crowd avoidance, quarantine, not killing rattlers or coyotes, insect repellant, vector control, brush and grass control, posted signage, concentric perimeter fencing.

Treatment: abx for Gram neg/pos bacteria, antivirals I can legally obtain and afford, topical antiseptics, bleach with sprayers, PPE: NIOSH 100 masks for welding fumes to NIOSH 95s for larger particles, hand gels, nitrile gloves, antiquated M25s. Have no other MOPP gear, I gave it away to some city dwellers years ago.

Abatement: Assuming SHTF/WROL/PAW, depredation hunts, accelerant funeral pyres, proscribed burning.

Old NFO said...

Yep, they ARE out there every day... And it's hell when they end up in jail and have to be decon'ed...

Anonymous said...

Rule .22lr ? Just kidding.

This is an area neglected more than water (if that's possible) in prepper / survivalist lore.

RE: Ebola in Africa & feeling bad for the children. I'm old enough to remember Live Aid. How old are those "children" now? Is Europe & other western nations enjoying the fruits of that generosity now?

I was listening to a podcast about biological hazards & how that relates to a threat to the world (yeah, I know). One part of the story was about small pox & how the slaves Europeans grabbed would have the disease run it's course before they arrived in the new world. Then faster ships came about & the slavers would arrive before the disease had run it's course so that's how the disease made it. I'll gloss over issues I took with that, however the take away is "disease incubation period + super fast transport = Bad times"

Stealth Spaniel said...

God Bless, Aesop; being a nurse is hard, filthy, terrorizing work. And the public bitches about paying for it. I remember that my mom, an RN, would strip every piece of clothing off in the laundry. Then she would head to the shower for a long, hot cleaning. She cut her beautiful red hair short because she needed to scrub head to toes to feel clean. And this was in the honeymoon period of the 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's. The mentally ill were locked up and treated then. We had little homelessness, and no one could imagine typhus in LA City Hall.
I do care in homes right now. I had a patient, 84 or 85, bedridden, living with family. The woman has chosen to be bedridden. She broke her hip, it was successfully operated on, and she healed. But the exercises "made her hurt", so she choses to lay in bed 24/7/365. No shXX Shirley!! She wonders why she gets so depressed. I wanted to say well, your skin is breaking down because you won't turn over, let alone sit up. Her skin is flaking off in chunks. You know the condition of her feet: fungus and bacteria galore cuz it hurts her to clean them, and she doesn't like it done. At 275 pounds,it took me 3 tries to clean her up and diapered. Absolute insanity. The family is very sweet, very kind, but I think they are wearing out. I suggested that they consider a convalescent hospital as her care needs will only double every other month.
Most of my friends and family refuse to believe that any SHTF situation will ever happen. I'm stockpiling gloves, masks, etc. And don't forget some waterproof calf high boots. Just sayin'.

McChuck said...

Shallowly buried mass grave, about a week old, with something like 20 bodies, and a cow thrown on top to "hide" them. We had to dig through the cow with shovels...

And three weeks to the nearest shower. Ah, such memories I made in the Army.

Will said...

When we dug the dirt for our berms at the ranch I made sure that it was far away from the house and any sources of water etc.......large pits, deep....more than enough space and I won't be doing much shovel work when the time comes.

Something to consider while diesel and machine operators are plentiful and reasonably cheap. Have them dig you some outhouse pits while they're at it and maybe a fighting position or two....heavy equipment is a blessing not to be wasted....

Unknown said...

Compost the bodies. We had one of our oldest cows die last summer. Dug hole with the loader, shoved her in. On top, dumped some barn clean out with billions of hungry bacteria. Pushed dirt and a bag or two of lime. 1200 pound animal reduced to bones and hide in 6 months

Matt L. said...

is there a reference book that details the symptoms of all these medieval diseases along with things such as scurvy, beriberi, rickets, etc.? A layman's diagnosis guide of sorts; along with required treatment?

Tucanae Services said...

Ya know, the bullet insertion is the easy part.

* Do you have enough 50# bags of quick lime?
* Do you know the proper application qty per body mass?
* Is your trench properly positioned to drain away from wells and the like?
* Is the earth strata even proper for burial?
* Do you have enough land?

Those are just the immediate concerns. There will be the long legal wrangling later when the graves are discovered years after to prep for. Presuming that some legal system survives.

Partisan80 said...

Heavy equipment is indeed a blessing. However, you will want to cook off the liquid and fat before you manipulate remains as well as burn the ground itself to kill contaminants. One drop or particle of either may contain millions of infectious bacteria or virioids.

Animals in my AO can die of Anthrax, IIRC an endospore forming bacillus. Those spores remain infectious in the soil for years after the remains have decayed. Game ungulates may also be infected with prion-caused Chronic Wasting Disease.

Fire good.


Only half the dogs and cats in Texas are vaccinated against rabies. Mexican freetail bats are a vector, it's zoonotic through them and varmints.

How many pets will be vaccinated against rabies in SHTF? Dewormed?

Fire good, keep Wagaboo away.

ProGunFred said...

We got got whites around here that are black but the hair is the giveaway. Generations of outdoor labor in the southland has made them almost as dark as a negro. The skin tone is different mind you but it's dark dark. From picking cotton to hardscrabble subsistence farming to building hydroelectric systems and railroads to landscaping services over the generations they are a scourge of dirty white privilege.

The Termite said...

What's your plan to deal with that?
(For the smart @$$/dumb @$$ who kneejerk replies "Rule 308", fair enough and all; so, waddarya gonna do with the leftovers afterwards?)

Louisiana has over 2 million alligators. They gotta eat too........

Anonymous said...

Matt, Check on Amazon for the new book: Alton's Antibiotics and Infectious Disease: The Layman's Guide to Available Antibacterials in Austere Settings.

phil carson said...

One has to work at getting grimy and dirty like that. And hard at it too. Its amazing how rugged the human bodies resistance can be under such austere conditions once acclimated to such an environment.

The Gent pictured looks exactly, to a fucking T, like the guys I worked with, and myself, when we came up out into the light of day from working our 10 hour shift underground coal mining.

But its not a pic of a coal miner. He would have had his miners cap on, mandatory "underground stripes", reflective strips sewed on everything, even with out his miners cap, a big fine and or firing safety infraction no no when you are on mining property every place but under "mine safe protective cover", his head would show far less coal dust and where his caps sweatband sat on his forehead.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps someone has a lead on a good reference for old school cures. Herbals and naturals. Hard to know with all the snake oil salesmen running about but think about it - the human race survived pre-pharmaceuticals. Also remember, most anti whatevers and germ theory we take for granted are recent discoveries that became new in our grand or great-grandparents lifetimes. Not really so long ago.

Aesop said...

Old school "cures", weren't.
That's why people stopped trying snake oil.

Yes, you can get acetylsalicylic acid from boiling willow bark, and approximate aspirin.

There are probably sound scientific reason for a few others.

But no one wants to bother to document them, because $$$.
And being shown a fraud breaks their rice bowl.

Most herbal "cures" are on the level of rubbing dogshit into wounds, because an ancient witch doctor told somebody it worked.

As to the human race "surviving" pre-pharmaceuticals, look up the curve on life expectancy with that. It's not encouraging.

Anonymous said...

You'd be surprised at how many "normal" people don't bathe before going to their doctor. Not "I'm half dead with the crud so I'm just washing the nasty bits and wearing sweats to the doc to get a shot or scrip" type dirty. I'm talking going for a physical, a check up or even a gyno or prostate exam and not showering shortly before or even recently. Surprised the hell out of me.

Being in a rural area I have about a 90+ min drive to my primary care doc and 3 hours to a specialist clinic. I leave time to discretely freshen up any sweaty parts and make sure I don't stink after the long drive before I check in. I'd be utterly mortified to stink up the exam room or have sweaty balls or butt crack for a procedure or something.

June J said...

Re: Typhus outbreak - here's a pertinent blog post on the subject. It's not just a problem in Los Angeles.

John Wilder said...

What amazes me is that Ebola hasn't traveled to the United States yet. I'm guessing it can be attributed to "dumb luck," which is okay for driving before my morning coffee but not so much when it comes to "global pandemic."

Orange Julius said...

Wow. I sent your "Mrs. Brown" post to my wife and my daughter, both nurses. Getting my wife back for telling me stories about fistulas over dinner.

Aesop said...

@John Wilder
Ebola's lack of travel here is mainly attributable to the fact that no one worried about it over there has a spare US$800 for air fare to get here, that amount being close to the average annual wage thereabouts.

Twelve home-grown cases in the US, and everyday life is toast here.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget our good old friend quicklime, which is useful for more than just mixing cement. Stock up and beat the rush.

Anonymous said...


Look in any 19th Century book of herbal medicine and check its recommendations against Wikipedia. For example, essential oil of tansy was once touted as a cure for everything from baldness to fungal infections. Read the Wikipedia article, subsection labeled "toxicity." Oil of tansy is a mulligan stew of deadly alkaloid toxins and its only real utility is as a rat poison. Not joking here--it straight up KILLS PEOPLE who try to use it as a cocktail flavoring, or to rid themselves of pinworms, several times a year.

98% of "traditional herbal medicine" is useless at best, and more often deadly. Pharmaceutical companies have spent vast sums investigating that last 2% and all of it is cheaper to synthesize than to extract from the plant, no exceptions.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but how about someone from the DRC already living here who gets a craving for bush meat, hops a flight home, contracts Ebola, and returns on the 2nd half of the ticket he already purchased? It's a lot easier to come up with $1600 here than it is $800 over there.
The reason I bring it up is that Jussie Smollett's story has finally, completely fallen apart and it involves 2 Nigerians who flew home after the bleach party and have since flown back.
Interesting times.

Opie Odd

jaye said...

I believe that typhus showing up at City Hall is a nice start. The more money you throw at the homeless, the more you will see the homeless because people like free stuff. Whenever there's a disaster in the area, the first to show up are the homeless. During such one, they showed up and noro virus broke out along with the flu. The shelter couldn't turn them away because those affected were homeless themselves due to fire. I think in Mr. Brown's case a bonfire with lots of gasoline would be the ticket. Fire is a purification. No one should get sick due to Mr. Brown's choice of lifestyle. Sad as it is, it's the hard reality of life on earth to those who choose drugs and alcohol over quality of life. I doubt people like Mr. Brown can be fixed. Stay out of cities where defecation on the streets is a daily thing. San Francisco is one such place, forget LA, it's done. Newsome is too busy trying to sell his $6 million mansion in Marin County, to give two sheets about typhus, lice, rats and everything that comes with allowing the dregs of humans live as they please on the streets. Knee jerking is too late.

Reziac said...

A guide to old school cures (there's actually been quite a lot of research):

Physician's Desk Reference for Herbal Medicines
usually listed on Amazon, or fairly inexpensive used:

Be sure to read each item's sections for Side Effects and Contraindications... most have negative effects, and not a few are potentially lethal (including some your grandma might have recommended). And don't forget that those with genuine bioactivity are not magic, they are drugs, or more often, poisons. Out of the entire list, IIRC there were only two that lacked all negative aspects.

People generally got well in spite of, not because of, such remedies. As to the rediscovered miracles of ancient Chinese medicine -- ask yourself: why was the average lifespan in pre-modern China so short??