Friday, January 8, 2021

First Aid: Food Storage and Food Poisoning


Prepmeister sensei Commander Zero relates a recent experience (or rather, refusal to experience same) with a ten-years-past-its-"Best By"-date can of chicken soup. You should RTWT.

And now you get this post, by way of follow-up, and piling on.

Historical background: Canning food in tin cans was the genius idea of Nicolas Appert, arrived at in pursuit of a Napoleonic prize, to invent rations that an emperor's army could tote to their campaigns throughout Europe, indefinitely, securely, and without having them all go bad. (Refutation #4,000,087 on the Hit Parade of answers to the historically retarded idiots who spout "War never solves anything.") Which spoilage happened to casks of salted beef and pork with a tedious regularity. Not just for soldiers, but for everyone. Starving soldiers won't fight, because, as the same emperor noted, "An army marches on its stomach". Not literally, of course, that would be silly. But this is why amateurs discuss tactics, and professionals discuss logistics. No beans, no battles. True for Napoleonic legions, true for Roman legions, true in Iraq and Afghanistan, and true for you and your little tribe, same-same.

The early processes have, obviously, changed over the years. How isn't as important as what it means for you, if you're deep-stocking to get you and yours through...Whatever Happens.

So first, a few pointers.

1) Canned foods have a "Best By" date. If this is news to you, you're already too far behind the curve to be in this class. Log off, and come back when you're caught up.

2) "Best By -" dates, exactly like most expiration dates on medicine, are a scam. Exactly like the iconic "Lather. Rinse. Repeat." They were placed there primarily for PR and marketing purposes, because printing "Please consume all of this, even waste some of it in overuse, and then rush back to the store and buy more of Our Stuff" was considered a bit too spot-on. Part of it is also CYA legal boilerplate, because some jackhole will put his canned goods in a corrugated tin shack in the sun in the tropics, paint the whole thing black, located below the water table in a  swamp, and then bitch to high heaven when all his stuff explodes, is rusted and rotted, and smells like a Kardashian's nether bits (we hear). And then sue the company for his own jackassery.

3) For people who understand the concept of "Store in a cool, dry place.", it's a handy guideline for optimum freshness, appearance, smell, taste, and nutritional value. Not to mention safety. It is not, however, the last word, and many products will be just fine long beyond those dates. Who determines what those actual dates are? By the following formula:

4) Caveat emptor. (Common Core grads: google it.)

5) Certain foods (tomatoes, citrus items) have shorter lifespans. Acid: it's a physics and chemistry thing.

6) Oxygen is not your friend. Neither is a lack of it for shoddy or improper canning. There are both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. This is why bulging cans get tossed. Always. Your ancestors who didn't do that? They're probably not your ancestors, but in any case they usually died for ignoring that rule.

7) As we told you, they don't can foods presently the way it was done in 1970, 1940, or 1870.

The cans and lids are not tin anymore, they're steel and aluminum, lighter now than they were a few decades hence, and they frequently utilize a plastic membrane. See for yourself. 

(Someone with high-functioning Asperger's can share the exact chemical composition of the liner; IDGAF.) The point is, this is why it's unsafe, and untasty, to heat foods in those new-fangled plastic-lined cans, unlike we could do when I was growing up, and most TV came in both black, and white. Because to do so will either ruin the food, and/or expose you to a chemical stew that doesn't go well in your insides. The first aid for that, is to not be a jackass, by not doing it. Put it in a proper cooking container, and rock on.

(That's also why, before you make Hobo Stoves and such, you'd better burn or scrape out that liner, unless you enjoy the aroma of burnt plastic with your meals.)

8) If you open something that doesn't look right, smell right, or taste right, wave goodbye, and toss it. Problem solved. You have five senses for a reason: heed them.

But somebody was too stupid to do that? Now what?

A) Botulism.

Botulism is nasty stuff. Like your cat, somebody who gets a dose of this is either going to crawl under the porch and die, or not. All you're going to do for them is supportive care, and treating the symptoms, and hope for the best.

It's caused by spores, and the kind that remain viable despite sunlight, like anthrax spores, for centuries, and which are highly resistant to most forms of sterilization. The toxin the spores produce (which is the problem) can be inactivated by heating at 185 F. for 5 minutes. IOW, boiling or hotter. But the spores that made the toxin are still in the food. Hence, throw it out if there's any suspicion.

We quote:

Food-borne botulism: The classic form of botulism is caused by the ingestion of preformed toxin in contaminated food. Symptoms include double vision, drooping eyelids (ptosis), slurred speech, difficulty swallowing and muscle weakness that is symmetric and descends through the body (first shoulders are affected, then upper arms, lower arms, thighs, calves, etc.). Death is usually due to respiratory failure and may occur as soon as 24 hours after onset of symptoms.

"Supportive care" may include months of treatment, and multiple courses of appropriate antibiotics. IF you have those. 

Quoting again:Foodborne botulism: Within 1 hour of ingestion of suspected food, the recommended course of action is a gastric lavage, or enemas, and the administration of a cathartic (sorbitol). In some cases intravenous administration of AB or ABE botulinum antitoxin is required, and assisted ventilation if respiratory failure occurs. Treatment may be required for weeks or months.

FTR, you ain't got and aren't getting AB or ABE antitoxin, unless you're far more advanced than the scope of this essay. And you probably don't have any sorbitol either. So that means ingestion will almost certainly prove fatal. We repeat, any suspicion of toxin, throw the food out. This isn't something you risk under any circumstances (unless you're a moron).

B) Everything else.

Most (99.99999%, for a SWAG) "food poisoning" is no such thing. People who are poisoned get sick, and depending on the toxin administered, die. What you've probably got is simply gastroenteritis (GE).

GE is usually caused by spoiled food, and/or lousy sanitation/preparation/food handling.

In most cases, it's caused either by air or insect vectors depositing bacterium on your food (like leaving your aunt's potato salad uncovered on a fly-infested hot day at the family picnic or BBQ), or the cook/server failing to lave los manos before, during, and after preparing, cooking, or serving you your food, including on dirty dishes, or after visiting the porcelain thinking room. It can also be caused by poor water purification, unfamiliar pathogens, etc., but frequently this is the same route, just with a bad water supply in between someone's fecal, and your oral. It is, thus, usually a fecal-oral transmission pathway, meaning someone got their chocolate in your peanut butter. In short, you ate shit.

There are two general stages to GE.

In Stage I, you think you're going to die.

In Stage II, you're afraid you won't.

This is because your body, whether you consider it a miracle of creation, or evolution, has a brilliantly simple feedback loop for letting you know you have unauthorized houseguests in your digestive tract.

It launches all torpedoes, fore and aft, from both ends of your alimentary canal, to repel all boarders.


You will now spend at least the next 12-24 hours with one end, or the other, pointed at the porcelain thinking chair, as you pass from Stage I to Stage II. You may, at times, require a bucket, when both ends are actively offloading. In between, having a few crackers and some ginger ale or lemon-lime soda handy for tiny nibbles and sips may help keep you alive, in between laying on that oh-so-cool tile floor, because it feels so good.

If you can, by hook or crook, lay in a supply of Rx Zofran ODT, you should do so. (Usual caveats about allergies, medical conditions, etc. apply. I.e. : Don 't be stupid.) Zofran is one of the currently best anti-vomiting/nausea meds available, Rx only, and ODT means "orally dissolving tablet" meaning if you can but shove the tiny tab under your parched tongue, and let it dissolve there, it will automagically absorb sublingually, to curb the load-launch-fire sequence from your forward torpedo hatch. By not having to swallow it, you can't barf it out before it kicks in.

For your other end, there's Immodium. Read and follow all label directions; it's an OTC. It's function is to turn your aft torpedo tube load-launch-fire circuit into rush hour traffic on the 405 freeway; i.e. total standstill. Use per directions until respite is achieved, then re-hydrate. You should have stocks of this laid in by, you should pardon the pun, the metric buttload. It should travel with you any and everywhere, when you travel away from home. Period.

Vomiting and diarrhea isn't serious for a few hours, until it is. It both dehydrates you, and jacks up your body's electrolytes, and if you have other conditions, you can't take your meds nor process them, so cardiac conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems, and all sorts of other complications can take this from bad to worse if untreated.

In extreme cases (dysentery, cholera, etc.) you will literally crap your guts out.

Thus fulfilling the second half of "eat shit and die". It's actually a thing.

If you have the ability to properly administer intravenous (IV) fluids, do so. It bypasses the alimentary canal, and can rehydrate someone rapidly and effectively, if you know what you're doing, and can do so correctly. Bone up extensively; this is not a skill or therapy to attempt on the fly, in the moment. You can exacerbate a number of life-threatening conditions if you overdo it without knowing WTF you're about, and you can cause infection and death in a host of ways if you attempt it half-assed. Killing your patient with CHF or hepatitis instead of dehydration is a poor way to say you care, and a waste of resources if you don't know what you're up to. I cannot stress this enough for the untrained. If you don't KNOW WTF you're doing, leave this for those who do. 

But if you have Zofran and immodium, and a bare minimum of common sense, you can begin cautious hydration and nutrition.

Start simple: clear liquids. Clear means CLEAR. Water. Juice. Gatorade. Clear soups. Jello. Avoid all alcohols and caffeine-containing drinks; they're diuretics, and they'll only further dehydrate your patient. If you can't see through it, it isn't clear. Clear?

Then soft foods, easily tolerated. Parents should know this as the BRAT diet: Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast.

Then regular foods. As tolerated.

If symptoms return, or any level is not tolerated, return to the previous level, and advance as able.

And nobody who's nauseous gets ANYTHING else to eat or drink. EVER.

You feed or water that person, and you're just loading the catapult for the next launch, and you're the one who's going to get a faceful. Don't Do It! 

A couple, by which I mean TWO, pieces of small crushed ice, to wet the mouth that's bone-dry, won't matter. A bowlful of ice and a spoon, however, is asking for trouble.

Throughout the process: 

Monitor vital signs. Pulses should be below 100/min, or they're still dehydrated. Check temperature, to make sure there isn't a fever, and hence this is infection/viral, not GE.

Hydration, elimination, nutrition, in that order.

How much fluid are they taking in?

How much have they put out as pee? (and vomit?)

Bowel movements: watery, runny, loose, solid? How many? How frequent?

And then, nutrition? Diet, and toleration, then quantity, and back to output.

If they don't have a normal pulse, no fever (101F. or greater) and they aren't peeing clear and copious urine, they're not done yet.

GE comes on fast. But it goes away fast too. One to two days, tops.

If this lasts longer, there is something else at play here. Consult your medical people at that point. Your doctor, in normal times. Whatever you've got if you haven't got access to normal care (wilderness, disaster, worse).

Most GE goes away quickly, and leaves nothing but sore abdominal and rectal muscles behind (you should pardon the pun) afterwards. You can minimize it, but generally, the person has to literally gut it out. You can, however, mitigate the symptom duration and severity with proper treatment.

{And if you f**k up proper treatment, you can spread it around to yourself and everyone else. Wash your hands, clean the patient, clean and sanitize linen, bedding, clothing, dishes and utensils, et cetera, or after you die, Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton will kick your ass around the block for eternity for being a dumbshit.}

And if it isn't going away, you've got a bigger problem.

The best way to prevent GE is prevention: proper personal sanitation and cleanliness, proper food storage, handling, preparation, cooking, and serving, followed by proper clean-up afterwards, from dishwashing to sewage and garbage disposal. 

Proper public health measures save more people worldwide than medicines, antibiotics, and surgery combined, since ever. By the billions. The reverse is also true.

See to as much of that as you can, and your experience with it will generally not be firsthand, up-close.

Thus endeth the lesson.


Buckshot said...

That's some awesome info right there bro. Great job n thanks.

Unknown said...

I got some bad chicken once.

Sitting on the can with a plastic trashcan in my lap was not a pleasant experience.

And, it took about 12 hours to pass. No pun intended.

Michael said...

A good read on a shitty subject Aesop! Can you make field sanitation as in don't shit in your drinking water and properly dispose of your waste (to include waste dish-bathing water) INTERESTING. As not to create this situation PLUS nasty biting bugs right out of Apocalyptic literature all around your camp? 3rd world runny eye, skin sores and swollen bellies full of worms delight.

I've not your talent as I bore gun bunnies' to death discussing how being a stupid jackass will give you and yours (not to mention folks down stream of you) a REAL WORLD version of medieval diseases that proper sanitation WILL PREVENT. Unless of course like Hurricane Sandy jackholes are shitting in their apartment buildings common areas after the toilet stops working.

The wonders of modern life ALLOWED us in the USA to grow from the pre-electricity outhouses population of 1860's or so of 33 million to the current (not including uncounted illegals) of 330 million plus.

Once the shit literally hits the fan and grid is down expect that our population will again fall rapidly to that 1860's or worse. Remember it's 3 DAYS until no or bad water kills you OR makes you WISH you were already dead.

Disease *STILL* kills more than bullets

Lilvern1 said...

"'Best By -' dates, exactly like most expiration dates on medicine, are a scam."

Good post with lots of useful info, baby. I have a quibble with comparing medicine expiration dates to food best buy dates, and it just plain incorrect to say medicine expiration dates are a scam.

I know what you are getting at when you say this... you're saying that most medicines are perfectly safe to consume past their expiration dates, and so in that sense the expiration date is meaningless. This is true, but that fact doesn't mean medicine expiration dates are a "scam" (also, I understand that, as a raconteur, you sometimes use hyperbolic language for humor and the use of "scam" in this context may be to that effect.

Can you tell yet that I am a nerdy scientist?

In fact, I am a nerdy scientist! I am a Ph.D. level biochemist who has worked in the biomedical industry for 25 years, specifically in the field of drug development including running the studies which are used to determine expiration dates.

That last part above about "running the studies" is important. Food best buy dates are, as you correctly state, a future date selected for reasons which mostly have nothing to do with the quality or safety of the food within the container.

This is not the case for medicine expiration dates. For drugs, experimental studies (actual experiments!) are used to determine their expiration dates. Medicine expiration dates are based on actual data for which experiments have been performed, raw data has been generated, then analyzed, a report written and sent to the FDA for review and regulatory approval.

If you have medicine in your medicine cabinet at home with an expiration date of 09/01/2021 then you can be assured that there is data which proves that this drug is both safe and effective when used prior to this date.

It may well be safe and effective after that date as well... the drug company just hasn't done the testing to prove that. Interesting side bar - the military keeps strategic stockpiles of drugs (the US military, the world's biggest prepper). It got to to be expensive for the military to keep replacing drugs every few years cause they went past their expiration date. So the DoD and FDA got together and created this:

You may notice I used the term "safe and effective" a few times above. Its true most (not all, but a very high %) of drugs are safe well past their expiration date. However, there is more here than just safety.

Entropy is a bitch and of course all things deteriorate over time. Drugs degrade and lose potency. A drug prior its expiration has been experimentally proven to be potent. After that date, you just don't know. If the drug is 3 years past its expiration date it could have lost 50% of its potency. To have it work you would have to take twice as much.

This is an issue for us preppers. Example: So its SHTF, you get sick, so you dip into you preps and start taking a drug. The drug is 4 years past its expiration date but you its most likely safe anyway so you begin taking it. Three days later and no improvement. So now its like:

"Hmm, drug not working. I'm not a doctor. Maybe its not working because my self-diagnosis was incorrect and this drug doesn't work against whatever it is I really have. Or maybe it has degraded and lost potency so I need to take more than the reccommended dose? But how much more? I have no idea how much potency has been lost and I know if I take too much that can be harmful too."

Really makes you think, baby!

Divemedic said...

Norovirus also affects the gastrointestinal tract, but is caused by contaminated food and water, GE can be caused by other things.

Remember that diarrhea and vomiting cause people to lose electrolytes. Gatoraid and Pedialyte are good choices for replacing fluids after those sorts of issues for exactly that reason.

Aesop said...

@Lilvern 1,

The line was "exactly like most expiration dates on medicine are a scam"
which is entirely and exactly accurate.

FedGov got a great rate on medicines for CD and the .Mil, in return for going along with the scam.

When a host of multi-decades-old and long-past-their-expiration-dates Civil Defense antibiotic stocks were tested, nearly all of them tested at 90% or better potency and effectiveness. Only the -cyclines had problems (like becoming toxic), and those formulations have been retired or improved on since then.

A scam is a scam when it deliberately doesn't reflect reality, at your expense.

Obviously, if you leave brand new medicine in your car trunk in FL or AZ all summer, it won't make it 6 months, let alone to it's "best by" date.

Hence, "caveat emptor".

And I don't use hyperbole with scientific or medical facts.

The article was correct as written.

Like food companies, Pharma is only concerned about getting sued, and selling product.
They're never going to test to document how long beyond 3 years drugs (nor food) are safe, nor potent. That information coming out would hurt their bottom line.
They've arbitrarily chosen 3 years (for pharmaceuticals) post manufacture as their go-to, because it gets them more money from sales.
That it's pure hokum doesn't enter into their calculations.

Bear Claw Chris Lapp said...

All great stuff Aesop throughout my history of reading your blog. My question sort of related to above. Ok throw it out. If I put it in the trash it goes to the dump. Am I not contaminating the ground and other things between my trash can and deposit location. In SHTF scenario don't piss in your drinking water I get that and think about what I would need to do. What is the SHTF toss it location? Burry it like the Duke says, Fire, prairie UV rays like my aerobic septic system or other?

Hawkin'Gal said...

Fantastic post! And personally very relevant as my tiny house does not have a flush toilet nor running water and I need to be reminded what happens if I get lazy with the basics. Also, best not wait until the pond thaws to get practicing with my newly bought Berkey.

Thanks Aesop!

Aesop said...


Personally, I'd burn it, and bury the ashes, all far from any water source.

Survivormann99 said...


This post is one of your best on medical matter, and it will help dispel many false notions many readers may have.

You said, in essence, "If the integrity of the can appears to be uncompromised in any way, if the contents look good, smell good, and taste good, the contents are edible."

Yet, if the storage pantry is extensive, there are likely to be canned products that are very old, but which still meet the criteria above. With something like canned soup, would trying, say, a spoonful and waiting a few hours be one relatively safe way to test the contents, in that if the soup is dangerous, the negative results visited on the taster would be relatively mild? Or would the results be something like being a "little bit pregnant," in that the negative results would simply take longer to fully manifest themselves?

"First in, first out" in food storage is excellent advice, but there is no way an average couple can fully implement that policy if they are storing enough food for, say, six family members to join them in bad times, so after some point, a great deal of canned goods will be past their "Best by" date. Curing that problem by reverting to pinto beans, rice, bread, etc., is a very unattractive prospect for most.

Slick said...

Your thoughts on baking soda mixed with water and sipped between the hurling process? Had not thought about the liner in tin cans as I used to like raviolis in the can and set in the fire back in the fifties.

BigCountryExpat said...

Good Poast! In Baghdad we used to call it the "Crud" or the "Rocket"... as in check your backblast area, bend over and whoopsie! Looked like a yellow rocket out the front with a brown backblast. Usually took 3-4 days of being bedridden until you got over it. Mostly due to bad water. The local water sources were 'treated' but NOT to delicate United States GI Tracts levels. "Good enough for Government Work" Indeed

Now, the meds: I can't find it, but there's a website out there... DotMil based. Has all the ongoing Aging Tests that Uncle has been doing for like -forever-. Cold War post-nuke kind of study... "Low long does 'X' last under 'Y' conditions?" Can't seem to locate it. It was great and kept me from throwing away critical use script only antibiotics that have considerable use (i.e. like the ones you listed a ways back in the 'How to deal with boolit woonds'.)

Gonna re-poast to redirect if'n you don't mind... we may not see eye-to-eye on the Beijing Booger Bug but hey... good intel is meant to be shared

AaMcavoy said...

I use Oral Rehydration Salts after running in the sun. I read it's twice as effective as pedialyte, but I haven't compared. ORS were developed for cholera patients. I would like to ask the author if he thinks they have a place in GE recovery.

Reltney McFee said...

Aesop: ref diarrhea:. Those of us not already lactose intolerant, may find that, for something approaching a week after our last watery stool, we now *are* lactose intolerant. Which may manifest as (ta-daa!) Diarrhea.

neilm said...

They used to teach us to use distilled water, salt and sugar to re-hydrate
Is that still good advise?

DaddyRabbit said...

Zofran - Generic seems to be Ondansetron. My research shows an RX is required.

Suggestion of what to lay in as an OTC substitute? My experience with Dramamine is not encouraging and Emetrol is a liquid subject to vomiting back out.

Unknownsailor said...

Last time I had GE it was from a noro virus. I was mid deployment on a carrier, and about a third of the crew had had it by the time I got it. Longest 24 hours of my life, lived most of it in the head, standing by to spew from one end or the other.

Treatment was to send infected crew SIQ for 24 hours of bed rest, and then they could actually go to work and sit miserably in the office for another day or so waiting on their overworked muscles to heal some.

We colloquially called it the Double Dragon.

Unknown said...

FWIW, In my continuing rotation of foodstocks, I just finished a case of canned chicken with a best by date of 06/2016: it was as good as the day it was canned. It had been, I should note, kept cool and dry under ideal shelf stable conditions,for the duration.

Peter B said...

At least according to the CDC, don't use loperamide for bloody diarrhea.

Ditto on what @Reltney McFee says, but I've seen it take longer than a week.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Second what Lilvern1 said on drugs. I work in the biopharmaceutical industry (have for 20+ years) and stability studies are performed to demonstrate the drug meets the minimum of safety, efficacy, identify, strength, and quality that it purports to have. More than likely most companies have data where the product has been pushed to failure; most of the expiration dates are well within that range (trust me, you do not want to use a drug that has broken down a significant amount).

Also a useful note is that you can make an effective electrolyte solution at home with sugar, water and salt. There are plenty of instructions on the InterWeb.

Doc said...

To the PhD:

When I first became a paramedic in the early 80's, our drugs typically had expiration dates 5-6 years out. Why do they now have dates less than a year for the same drugs?

Aesop said...

1) Oral rehydration Solution (ORS) absolutely has a place in any rehydration therapy.
FTR, the official medically recommended formula is as follows:

Per 1L of clean water:
2 TABLEspoons of plain sugar or honey
1/4 TEAspoon of table salt (NaCl)
1/4 TEAspoon of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

(Emphasis because a Tablespoon is 3x the size of a Teaspoon, i.e. 15 ml vs 5 ml.
Recipes are recipes for a reason.)

That will help rebalance electorlytes dumped en masse from vomiting and/or diarrhea

2) Pharma tests to make sure their drugs are safe and potent within the time frame they specify, assuming optimal storage (typically 3 years).
What they ARE NOT, EVER doing is testing to see how long medicine remains safe, potent, etc, to the end of its useful lifespan.
They don't want to know this, and they don't want you to know this info, both for boilerplate legal reasons, and because you'll then but less product. Once the cat is out of the bag, and you ignore those "Best by" dates, you'll do exactly what we'd expect: you keep that bottle of aspirin, Tylenol, or Motrin for years, because you'll know it can't tell time, and doesn't know that it's expired, instead of scaring you into tossing it out 3 years later. And that cuts into their bottom line. Are medicines stored optimally good for 3 years? Hell yes! How long are they good for? Pharma thinks that info is none of your business. So they don't test for that, and even if they did, you'd be the last person they'd tell. QED.

3) Any blood-tinged stool isn't plain old diarrhea. Check yourself before you wreck yourself if you have blood issuing from your tailpipe in any quantity, unless you're rubbed a hemorrhoid raw. Diarrhea accompanied by vomiting, acutely, right after you tried that new fish taco place, is what we're talking about here.

4) Norovirus is simply a viral illness. It can give you similar symptoms as GE, but it's more rarely encountered for average folks. Ships that travel the world obviously run into a lot of varied crud the world over. And they're built the opposite of how you'd make something if contagious isolation were a priority. Berthing areas 3-5 high, with 50 guys in the space of an average living room and elbow-to-elbow mess decks, are tailor-made to spread any crud ship-wide, even on a carrier, inside a couple of days to a week.

For us lubbers, most cases of The Trots are basically GE, and just a variation of the Food Court Two Step.

Aesop said...


CZ's non-taste test involved noting, much like law enforcement, JDLR: the chicken soup "Just Don't Look Right" and he tossed it without further ado.
Had it looked like chicken soup oughta, one presumes he would've heated it and eaten it, and that would've been that, unless there was a problem.
If you're worried about something after you open it, you've probably already answered the "Should I?" Test appropriately: no.
OTOH, that's why I store dry-pack Cup-A-Soup chicken soup along with canned chicken soup. The dried stuff lasts a LOT longer.

I doubt we disagree about Kung Flu, it's just that the effects where you are aren't what we're experiencing hereabouts.
I think it has a 97%+ survival rate.
I think it's still something you don't want to catch.
I also think, given that the Stupid 10% are driving this (or any) epidemic/pandemic, lockdowns beyond a month are probably a total waste of time.
Hand washing, masking, and distancing have kept me from catching it for 11+ months, and counting. And I'm typing this, literally, while sitting in a cohort room with three absolutely COVID+ patients. The only extra precaution at the moment is a plastic baggie suit over my scrubs, which will come off when I exit the room.
So the fact that it's ripping through the country like wildfire should tell you how abso-fucking-lutely bag-of-hammers stupid people are being about taking proper precautions. I.E., they've got their heads up their asses, pretty much 24/7/365. Or at least, enough of them to keep passing it along, and at least 50% of those have no effing idea they're even carrying it, which is why it's spreading so well.
If it was Ebola, and in 10-15 days, blood was shooting out your ass and piehole, you'd know you were sick.
But 50% of everyone who gets Kung Flu doesn't even know they have it.
So all we can do is keep it from exploding faster than we can care for.

Baddog said...

We’re one to acquire Rx Zofran ODT or equivalent, what would be the standard dose for a male? Or female?
Asking for a friend... lol

texasdawn said...

Believe it or not, Benadryl is chemically related to phenergan and can be used as an anti-nausea drug. Both will make you sleepy though.

Aesop said...

Zofran (ondansetron) is normally a 4 mg dose.

Reltney McFee said...

Some OTC varieties of motion sickness remedy are meclizine (often prescribed as "Antivert", for vertigo. Helpful (although likely not to Zofean/ondansetron standards) to dial back vomiting.

Will McKeon said...

This is only tangentially related to your post, but I was curious about your thoughts on the tuna packets that come in those sleeves/pouches. Do you think that they have the same shelf life as the cans?

Unknown said...

open your mind

jwoop66 said...

Just ate some canned pork tonight dated 4/20/20. It was just as nasty as the day they put it in the can. I ate it. it was fine. I mixed it with some old manwich barbeque sauce. The reason they were in the cabinet so long is I don't like to eat canned food, but it is necessary to have. I like to eat real food. Either way, its been two or three hours and I'm fine. I wasn't worried about anything other than I'm eating canned crap in the first place. Ha!

Aesop said...

The retort pouches used for tuna are exactly what's been used for the dot-mil's Meals Rejected By Everyone since the mid-80s.
Properly stored, 10+ years, long past any listed "Best By" date on commercial product.
The book on MREs is available online, and their standard useful life, optimum conditions of storage, is 120 months, i.e. 10 years.
After that, trust your eyes and nose. It's fully cooked, vacuum sealed tuna.
How long it's good depends on a lot of variables, but "as long as cans" should be possible, in a cool, dark, dry place.