News of the Corona virus has certainly spread far and wide in America.  Even the low-information types know that the Corona virus is something one doesn’t want to catch and that the Chinese are having a hard time dealing with it.

Johns Hopkins website with the latest numbers.

And while Illinois may be a nearly bankrupt state with corrupt political leadership, high taxes and less than stellar job growth compared to most of the rest of America’s 57 states, plenty of truly outstanding people still live and work here in the Land of Lincoln.

Among them, the EMS administrator for the Orland Fire Protection District, Lt. Mark Duke. 

He served as our main speaker at the February 23rd Chicagoland Guns Save Life meeting.

Orland Fire Protection District EMS Administrator Lt. Mark Duke.

Lt. Duke outlined some wonderful and free training programs the Orland Fire Protection District offers to the public.  And, notably, there are NO residency requirements to take advantage of these offerings. 

Their programs are saving lives too.  The cardiac event (person falls over with heart attack and someone provides CPR until the pros arrive and transport the patient to the hospital) survival rate in Orland Park is one of the nation’s highest at roughly 65%.  Compare that to single digits for many cities.  Including near zero in some communities not so long ago (cough Detroit cough).  Even ten years ago, Chicago’s cardiac survival rate was all of three percent, although they are improving.

Orland even sponsors a survivor’s dinner to celebrate their community’s cardiac saves and those heroes who saved lives.   Something like 18 survivors attended last year with their families.


When Mark took questions, one person asked him what he was doing or would do for his family to protect them from the Corona Virus outbreak should it start spreading here in America.

He indicated that instead of worrying too much about the Corona Virus, which is mostly in China at this point, we should get people worrying about this year’s flu virus.  It’s killed between 20,000 and 30,000 people already.

His message was to address the immediate threat:  get your flu shot, practice good hand sanitation practices, and get your rest.  If you catch the flu, watch for potential complications and seek medical treatment if you detect complications before it’s too late.


The US Government held a classified briefing for members of Congress this morning about the Corona Virus.  Expect some of the contents of that briefing to leak out, courtesy of loose-lipped Congresscritters who can’t keep a secret to save their lives.  (Intentionally leaving out recriminations of certain pols infected not with the Corona Virus, but Trump Derangement Syndrome.)

Sources in government have told us today, Tuesday, off the record, that packages shipped from China recently should be treated as suspect.  In that the packing materials may be contaminated with shed virus particles from asymptomatic infected workers.  

The Corona Virus can remain active on surfaces for easily a week or two, depending on the surface type and environmental conditions.  UV light kills it, of course, but little UV light penetrates inside packages.

The Corona Virus has an incubation period for those infected of up to 14 days (some say maybe even as long as 27 days).  In that time, these asymptomatic carriers will shed the virus orally and through fecal matter.

US Government officials advise that when opening packages and parcels from China, to use care.  Don’t use your teeth to rip packaging.  Use a razor knife instead.  You probably don’t need to wear gloves when unpacking your latest Amazon score, but don’t touch your face or food before carefully washing your hands.   Hint:  Don’t eat a snack as you tear into your latest Amazon package.

Be especially weary of air-filled plastic bags used for cushioning.  As in don’t rupture them.  Don’t allow your kids to play with them.

Discard ALL packing materials and packaging in your trash then wash your hands vigorously with soap and water afterwards.  Wipe down surfaces where you unpacked it with either soap and water, or a disinfecting wipe.

You don’t have to scrub all the way up to your elbows with soap for two minutes as I learned to do before going onto the NICU unit, but ten to fifteen seconds of hand washing with soap and warm water, followed by a careful rinse should be more than adequate.

There’s no need to panic.  The Corona Virus is not Ebola.  Don’t panic over it. 

At the same time, respect it and practice good personal sanitation and you’ll minize your risk of not only catching the Corona Virus (which is next to nil currently) but more importantly, you’ll avoid this year’s Influenza – which is a real killer.

One thought on “CORONA VIRUS: Risks from Chinese packages; threat mitigation advice from a EMS leader”
  1. DO NOT TAKE THE FLU SHOT it weakens the immune system making you more vulnerable to infection take vitamins/D3/garlic, rigorous hygiene, plenty of rest and water

    YOU SHOULD BE GREATLY CONCERNED about the cronoa virus the flu has a MUCH lower mortality

    Every thing in our stores in made in China and right now nothing is being made in China the whole country is on lock down
    Sooner or later we will start to run out of China crap to stock the shelves!!!

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