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Bird Flu Could Set off Mass Panic & Cripple the U.S. Economy

By Mike Adams
April 27 2006

Bird flu poll reveals U.S. economic collapse likely in the event of a human

There's a new poll about bird flu in the United States that gives us a
somewhat alarming look at what might happen to the U.S. economy if the bird
flu becomes infectious to humans. The Harvard School of Public Health
conducted a telephone survey of 1,043 adults with a series of "what if"
questions. The results of this poll show that 60 percent of the citizens in
the United States are concerned about bird flu, indicating that there is
very high awareness. Almost everyone has heard of the bird flu, and nearly
two-thirds of the population is concerned about it.

However, at the same time, almost no one has done anything to prepare for
bird flu. Only 2 percent of people polled said they had actually talked to a
doctor about Tamiflu or other antiviral medications. This lack of
preparedness across the board is what I've been warning you about, folks.
For those of you who have been paying attention to the coming bird flu
pandemic, it is time to prepare now, before this becomes a human disease,
and before the other 98 percent of the country wakes up and suddenly
realizes that they'd better do something about it.

You can rest assured that, when this 98 percent wakes up and tries to take
action, whatever it is that they're attempting to buy will not be available.
Antiviral herbs, medications and preparedness products will all be wiped out
if that large a percentage of the population decides to do something at the
same time.

A bird flu pandemic would stall the U.S. economy

That's not even the most alarming part of this study; here are more results
that are actually even more shocking. First of all, on the minor side of
things, 46 percent of poll respondents who eat chicken said they would stop
eating chicken. Right there, we're going to see major effects on the poultry
industry. A lot of those people might turn to turkey, but turkey farms might
be infected very quickly, too. People might then turn to pork, beef or
seafood, which might be good for those industries, but it would certainly
drive up prices for those products, even while the poultry industry
experienced severe losses.

Seventy-five percent said that if human outbreaks occurred, they would
reduce or avoid travel. That number right there would bankrupt every airline
in the country. That would set off severe economic consequences, going far
beyond what we saw in the United States following the Sept. 11 attacks in
2001. If you recall, after Sept. 11, the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) grounded air traffic for a period of several days, which produced
enormous economic consequences for the country. Trade shows were canceled,
businesses couldn't conduct business, people couldn't visit their loved
ones, travelers were stranded... it was a giant mess. Now, imagine that
effect multiplied by six months or a year. That's what we could see in this
country if human outbreaks of bird flu occur.

Seventy-one percent of poll respondents said they would skip public events.
That's a very smart strategy. It means that people understand how infectious
disease spreads. During an outbreak, it's smart to stay home, stay away from
other people and try to ride out the pandemic in relative isolation.
On the other hand, I don't think these people have really thought it
through. Sure, they can avoid an outdoor concert, a picnic or a movie, but
how are they going to buy food? Are they going to avoid grocery stores? How
are they going to get basic supplies? How are they going to work? How are
they going to get paid? What's really going to happen to these people when
they start thinking about other interactions they have with potentially
infected people? You see, these poll results indicate that 71 percent, seven
out of 10 people, are going to try to avoid contact with other human beings.
The economic consequences of this will be far-reaching and enormous.

Essential services would fail in the event of a bird flu pandemic
Sixty-eight percent of poll respondents -- that is, over two-thirds -- said
they would stay home and keep their children at home while the outbreak
lasted. This is huge. If this many people actually do this, the U.S. economy
will all but collapse.

Think about this very carefully: If two-thirds of the people stay home,
don't go to work, don't go out and spend money, don't go and produce
something, this country will experience severe economic consequences. Not
just a recession, not just a depression -- but a sharp, and hopefully only
temporary, collapse of basic economic activities.

That's what we're looking at, and let me translate this into real terms for
you. This means two-thirds of the people who run the oil refineries won't go
to work. Two-thirds of the people who run the power plants and the water
plants, who drive trucks and deliver all the goods and food across this
country, won't go to work. Two-thirds of the schoolteachers; two-thirds of
government workers; two-thirds of your local police officers, firemen and
ambulance workers; two-thirds of the hospital workers -- the doctors, the
nurses, the anesthesiologists; two-thirds of bridge maintenance workers and
street repairman -- none of these people will go to work.

You get the idea here. What happens if two-thirds of the workers in all
these basic infrastructure services are suddenly missing because they're
staying home, attempting to save their families from the bird flu outbreak?
I'll tell you what happens: We will experience a shutdown of essential
services in this country. And following that, have no illusions, we will see
a declaration of martial law because the military will have to be called in
to run some of these basic services and establish order. If two-thirds of
the police officers are not on the street, then somebody has to be brought
in to prevent mass uprisings, mass protests and mass chaos.

You saw what happened with Hurricane Katrina. Caught in the chaos without
any real help from FEMA, many New Orleans police officers said, "This isn't
worth a paycheck!" They turned in their badges and left town. If I remember
correctly, over a hundred police officers quit. What do you think is going
to happen when a low-level police officer -- who makes $25,000, maybe
$35,000 a year -- has to choose between staying on the job and facing
potentially armed rioters vs. staying at home and protecting his family?
What do you think he is going to choose? He's going to quit his job and stay
home to protect his family, and this is going to happen across the board.
It's a no-brainer.

This is not to say anything bad about police officers. I have great respect
for the law enforcement professionals who help keep the peace today, but you
cannot expect them to sacrifice the safety of their families for what is
essentially a job. It's an unreasonable expectation. In fact, anyone who
wants to reduce his or her risk of contracting the disease will stay home,
regardless of what they do for a living.

Where does this leave you as the end user of these services? It means that
you'd better be prepared for a situation in which you may not get these
basic services for an extended period of time. You might not get these
services for a week, a month, six months or perhaps even a year, because
that's how long this epidemic could last.

How will you live without water service for six months? How will you live
without electricity, heat or gasoline? Without a bountiful supply of food
delivered to your local grocery store every single day? How will life be
without all the stuff you buy at Wal-Mart, Kmart and other convenience
stores? How will you wash your clothes? How will you keep yourself bathed?
How will you keep yourself and your family fed? How will you protect your
household and your community?

Lulled into a false sense of security
These are important questions, and again, most people are not even thinking
about them because they think it can't happen here. They think it can't
possibly happen, and society will always work the way it has worked. They go
on with their lives believing that nothing bad could ever happen in the
United States because, well, we are a first world country. They believe it
couldn't happen here because this is the richest nation in the world.

The fact is, it can happen here and right now. It's happening to the chicken
industry in France, which is now severely infected with bird flu. France is
a first world nation, too. France is about to experience a major collapse of
its chicken industry. There is already a 30 percent drop in chicken
consumption in France as of this writing, and now bird flu has been found in
the U.K. as well.

It can happen here and, as this poll is telling us, if it does happen here,
the public is going to react in a way that will inevitably cause the
interruption, or possibly even the temporary collapse of, essential public
services such as law enforcement, electricity, fuel, energy, food, emergency
services and so on.

This is why, for two years now, I have been urging people to prepare. I am a
strong believer in preparedness. I actually live my life with a philosophy
of preparedness, regardless of external events, so I am not concerned about
a hurricane, tsunami, earthquake, tornado or pandemic. I can survive them
all, can you?

That's a question you had better be asking yourself as this viral threat
approaches, because it is getting worse. This virus is very aggressive. This
pandemic is spreading from country to country in a way that we have never
before witnessed in the history of modern civilization. Nothing like this
has ever been recorded -- not even in 1918, when a similar virus ultimately
killed 50 million people worldwide.

The virus we are seeing in the birds today is far more virulent and far more
dangerous, and if it does jump to humans, you'd better be prepared, because
this poll is shouting right in your face, telling you exactly what's going
to happen: Two-thirds of the population will stay home and basic
infrastructure will collapse. Do the math on this one. It isn't rocket

My book, "How to Beat the Bird Flu," talks in great detail about
preparedness. I review products, offer a preparedness checklist and show you
exactly how to get ready for infrastructure failures. I even explain how to
beat the bird flu virus, so you can greatly reduce your risk of infection
and increase your chances of surviving an infection if you do get one.
It's a very timely book that is already in extremely high demand. As of this
writing, we are expecting to run out of printed copies within a matter of
days. Of course, we'll print more, but there's always a delay in that. Our
friends in Europe are buying these books up like crazy right now.

Even if you don't buy "How to Beat the Bird Flu", I urge you to start
preparing on your own, right now. Set aside some stored water. Think about
how you're going to live, potentially without electricity or natural gas,
for some period of time. Think about preparing for a big storm or hurricane,
but one that could last several months. Think about stored food, and what
you need to do in terms of basic medical supplies and basic personal
hygiene. Because if you are prepared, you will not be a victim of this.
Of course, if the best case unfolds and this doesn't become a human
pandemic, then guess what? You are already prepared for anything else that
could come your way: Power grid failures such as those that hit the East
Coast a few years back, terrorist actions, storms, hurricanes, earthquakes,
riots -- you are prepared for it all. Preparedness is the key. Start now and
make it a lifelong habit.

Remember, if the bird flu virus becomes a human pandemic, there will be
three kinds of people after it's all over:
    1.    People who prepared and survived.
    2.    People who didn't prepare and are dead.
    3.    People who didn't prepare, gambled with their lives, and were
lucky enough to survive by sheer chance.

Which group do you want to belong to? Ninety-eight percent of the U.S.
population is currently in group #3. Some unknown percentage of those people
may ultimately end up in group #2. The smart people will deliberately put
themselves in group #1. I hope you'll join me in group #1.

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