Author Spotlight: Sean T. Smith

The Perseid Collapse Series Kindle World

Author Spotlight: Sean T. Smith

patriots-promoAuthor of the Wrath Series, a post-apocalyptic series set in the aftermath of a collapsed United States, Sean’s Kindle Worlds novella takes readers south to the Florida Keys, at a time when thousands of college students should be descending on the islands for spring break. Obviously, things are a little different several months after the “event.” Unrecognizable might be a better term. 

I’m deep into reading Sean’s novella, which explores the complex and tenuous relationship between the Federal Government’s disaster relief program and the rights of individuals in the Perseid Collapse World. Sean’s experience tackling this topic in his novels shines in The Sunshine Patriots. Sorry, I couldn’t resist the play on words.

Check out Sean’s blog, and be on the lookout February 3rd for his novella.

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Author Spotlight and Cover Reveal: Tom Abrahams

The Perseid Collapse Series Kindle World

Author Spotlight:  Tom Abrahams

Tom was the first author to take me up on the offer to write in The Perseid Collapse Series Kindle World, and I couldn’t be happier to have him onboard. I’ve read all of Tom’s work, and can attest to the talent and enthusiasm he’ll bring to the World. Tom’s political thrillers are tightly written, well paced novels, rich in details and cleverly peppered with unexpected twists and turns. Readers are in for a treat on February 3rd, when two of Tom’s three novellas launch with the World.

Here’s a sneak peek at Tom’s stories. I read them back to back, enjoying every second of the ride. In the first novella, you get a few surprise visits from the original Perseid Collapse cast. I won’t say who or how, but it’s a clever tie-in.

abrahams-crossingCROSSING: 

“James Rockwell is on vacation in Maine with his family, when an earth-changing explosion sends them on a race for their lives.

Their first step is escaping an island in the midst of a tsunami, and it only gets more dangerous from there.

Can they find their way home as civilization crumbles around them?

Set in the post-apocalyptic world of Steven Konkoly’s best-selling Perseid Collapse series, CROSSING follows the same timeline of cataclysmic events from one family’s perspective. It’s a bullet-train of a thriller riding on the edge of the rails to the last page.

CROSSING is a novella and is part one of The Pilgrimage Series.”

abrahams-refugeREFUGE:

What happens when a safe harbor isn’t so safe?

The Rockwells have survived the first leg of the journey home against the wake of a reality-bending disaster.

But patriarch James is violently ill.

His wife finds help in a detour to rural Pennsylvania.

As James recovers in a seemingly secure compound, the outside world is plotting violently against them and the well-prepared survivalists who’ve given them refuge.

Set in the post-apocalyptic world of Steven Konkoly’s best-selling Perseid Collapse series, REFUGE follows the same timeline of cataclysmic events from the perspective of new, meticulously hewn characters who fit seamlessly into Konkoly’s work. It’s a page-turning tumble into a dangerous rabbit-hole, where survival comes at a cost.

REFUGE is a novella and is part two of the The Pilgrimage Series

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Author Spotlight and Cover Reveal: A.R. Shaw

The Perseid Collapse Series Kindle World

Author Spotlight and Cover Reveal: A.R. Shaw

DRD4 (2)Creator of Graham’s Resolution, a three novel series about survivors navigating the post-apocalyptic aftermath of a super-flu, A.R. Shaw brings a unique voice to the World. In her novella, readers will return to Durham Road, to follow Jaime McDaniels story of resilience and survival. See the novella description below!

I’m particularly excited about this novel, since Durham Road played such a formative role in the lives of The Perseid Collapse Series main characters. The Fletchers, Walkers and Thorntons endured the horrors of The Jakarta Pandemic, emerging as an inseparable team in its aftermath.  

Visit her website to learn more about the Graham’s Resolution series and upcoming work.

“Jamie McDaniels already lost one husband to the tragedy of the Jakarta pandemic six years ago; leaving her a widow with two daughters. She’d remarried to fill the void Matt’s death left in their lives. Unfortunately, Jeff Michaud bore no resemblance to Matt’s good character, to the point where he even abused her and the her daughters. Realizing her mistake too late, Jamie sees an opportunity to rid herself of him when tragedy strikes her neighborhood once again.

When Alex Fletcher sees her ploy to gain information about his plans, he knows Jeff has put her up to no good. She tries to hint in her response, but Alex isn’t cunning enough to see her attempt to gain his trust. In the end, he does her a favor by eliminating the mistake she regrets the most. With this second chance in life, even when the world is at its worst, Jamie returns the favor and stands her ground, never again to fill a void where her sovereign heart now lies.”

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Author Spotlight and Cover Reveal: Russell Blake

The Perseid Collapse Series Kindle World

Author Spotlight and Cover Reveal: Russell Blake

DeadlyCalm_FINALNext up is a man who needs little introduction, but he’s going to get it anyway! Prolific writer, firebrand blogger, New York Times Bestseller and tequila connoisseur…did I mention he co-writes with Clive Cussler? I didn’t? Small thing, everyday kind of stuff when you run in Russell’s circles.

Accolades aside, I was stoked to learn that Russell would contribute a novella (maybe two…just saying) to The Perseid Collapse Series World. We’ve been friends since the spring of 2011, after I read his first two novels, The Geronimo Breach and Fatal Exchange…still two of my favorite Blake books to this day. Nearly 30 novels later, Russell Blake is a brand name and a force to be reckoned with.

I’m humbled and thrilled to have him onboard. His story is set in Mexico, on the eve of two storms, one far more devastating than anyone suspects. I guarantee you’ll enjoy his thrilling debut in the post-apocalyptic realm. Mexico will never be the same!

Check out his latest at www.russellblake.com

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Book Review of A.R. Shaw’s Graham’s Resolution Series

I haven’t done one of these in a while, particularly due to time constraints, but I couldn’t help showcasing the writing talents of a featured author in The Perseid Collapse Series Kindle World. I was very excited to hear that A.R. Shaw would contribute a novella…here’s why. Forgive me if this review is a little rusty.

China PandemicThe China Pandemic (Book 1) and The Cascade Preppers (Book 2) spring from the post-apocalyptic tale of Graham Morgan, a sturdy, even-keeled survivor of a lethal, quick-killing pandemic that sweeps 98% of the world’s population off the map in the span of weeks. Graham has just buried his wife and father, finding himself without purpose, until a gift is bestowed upon him—the unexpected stewardship of a young child. With the promise to guard the child “like his own” recently forged, Graham departs on a journey to reach his family’s empty lake house in the rural Northwest, and the perceived safe haven of a secluded locale.

Needless to say, his journey and the following trials are not for the faint of heart. A.R. Shaw strikes a nice balance between menace and the post-apocalyptic environment that would ensue after 98% of the people essentially disappeared. Supplies are still available, to include food, medicine, and essential materials, and there’s an unnerving quiet blanketing the landscape. Very unsettling, because getting to those supplies often proves dangerous, and as a reader, you will cringe any time Graham’s crew sets out to scavenge. Shaw adds an unexpected, and often overlooked threat in this story…I won’t spoil it for you.

Shaw also embeds a high degree of survivalist realism. Emergency first-aid is featured prominently (not for the squeamish), while home remedies and extensive survival craft is solidly locked  around the framework of an exciting, fast paced story. Fast paced, but not exhausting. A.R. Shaw gives you plenty of breathers, filled with raw human emotion and well crafted dialogue. Graham’s expanded crew spends a balanced amount of time cramped into tight quarters, and Shaw fleshes this out perfectly. But don’t get comfortable in the warm confines of the cabin, because just when you let your guard down…let’s just say that the author is not afraid to put her characters in harm’s way.

CascadeCascade Preppers (Book 2) picks up shortly after the shocking conclusion to Book 1, sharing the series focus with a prepper-colony located across the lake. I don’t want to say more about the interaction between Graham’s group and the Cascade Preppers, but I will say that Shaw has created a fascinatingly unique prepper-camp, complete with detailed description of their operation, rules, society…it’s truly a blast to read about the camp. “Reading” doesn’t do it justice. Though the characters, the reader gets to live and breathe camp life. Shaw has put a ton of thought into their setup. This isn’t your typical bug-out location or compound. The Cascade Preppers have been hard at work for years preparing for a disaster like The China Pandemic. This camp provides an ideal backdrop for the series.

Once you dig into these novels, you’ll see why I’m excited to have A.R. Shaw onboard. Head over to her blog to learn more about what she has planned for The Perseid Collapse World, and book 3 in her series, The Last Infidels

AND DON”T BE FOOLED BY HER PLEASANT COVERS! Trust me, there’s plenty of mayhem inside.

 

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The Perseid Collapse Series Kindle World

1161 Steve Konkoly PERSEID banner

After months of keeping this a quasi-secret, I’m excited and humbled to announce that I have signed a deal to bring The Perseid Collapse Series to Amazon’s Kindle Worlds on February 3, 2015. The deal represents Kindle Worlds’s first prepper-themed, post-apocalyptic thriller World, and a radical shift in thinking about reader/writer supported fan-fiction. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of Kindle Worlds, take a quick trip to ABOUT KINDLE WORLDS to learn more.

What does this mean for fans of The Perseid Collapse Series?

The series continues with a diverse range of quality stories—both spin-offs and expansions, based on the characters, settings and familiar elements of the original series. I’m working closely with several talented authors (they’re doing all of the work) to launch TEN novella length stories on or near February 3, 2015.

Here’s the initial list: Tom Abrahams, Bobby Akart, Russell Blake, David Forsyth, Ian Graham, G. Michael Hopf (hopefully!), Paul Antony Jones, Murray McDonald, Randall Powers, A.R. Shaw, Sean T. Smith, Richard Stephenson, Tim Queeney and John Vance. For details about the launch authors, visit THE AUTHORS.

A chance to contribute—I’m not kidding. I know the list of launch authors is intimidating, but Kindle Worlds is designed so that ANYONE can take their favorite series or World and build on it. You don’t have to be the next Steinbeck or Stephen King. Trust me, I was more on the level of Dr. Seuss when I started…maybe a little better. Maybe.

The Perseid Collapse World is huge, and I told most of it from Alex Fletcher’s perspective. There’s so much room to expand. I even make it easy for you with a LIST OF STORY IDEAS. Of course, by no stretch are you constrained to this list. This is the ultimate WHAT WOULD I DO WORLD? That could be your story. You wake up August 19, 2019: The power is out, most cars don’t work and you can’t find a working radio station to get any information. WHAT WOULD YOU DO to secure your family, self and/or loved ones? This story can be set ANYWHERE.

Visit FOR WRITERS to see the level of support available to you. If you click on the link, you are a WRITER in my mind.

Just want to read great stories? I understand. Be sure to visit THE NOVELLAS on February 3, 2015, to download the stories. I’ve read a few of them already, and I’m blown away by the level of talent and effort that went into crafting these novellas for you.

shutterstock_238602061

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Diversification in the new Indie landscape

2015Without borrowing too many of the themes expertly highlighted by my esteemed colleague, Russell Blake, in his recent flurry of end of the year, must-read posts (The New Landscape and 2015 Predictions), I want to take a few moments to explore a critical strategy for navigating the new Indie publishing landscape. Diversification.

There’s little doubt that the e-book landscape has changed. From the weakening impact of popular promotional services (if you can even get selected for one of the major services) to a softening of the traditional Indie pricing advantage, most Indies (big and small) have reported a decline in e-book sales and revenue. The launch of Kindle Unlimited remains a key suspect in 2nd half 2014 declines, ironically affecting authors that had taken steps to shield their book portfolios from Amazon by taking their books out of Kindle Select. This is the kind of irony that leaves nobody laughing.

For ebooks, 2014 yielded a seismic shift in the Indie landscape, with after shocks that will be felt long into 2015. 

What can an Indie author do to prepare for 2015? As I sit down to create my 2015 business goals, I look back at 2014, and wonder how I can replicate the year’s sales numbers? Financially, 2014 represented my best year as a writer, and it had little to do with ebooks. That’s not exactly true. It had less to do with ebooks, and more to do with treating the novels as fully exploitable property. It also had to do with seeking completely different opportunities, some of which represented a bit of a risk. 

Before I talk strategies, here’s a brief recap of the basic numbers, which you might find surprising. I certainly did:

Ebook unit sales were down 28.7% in 2014, over 2013—With the addition of 4 relatively successful titles!

Income across all sources was up 51% in 2014 from 2013.

This may have you squinting, because it came as a surprise to me. I knew e-book sales were down, but I hadn’t assembled the full financial picture. This is clearly a business performance I would like to repeat. What did I do differently in 2014, and how will I proceed in 2015?

– I raised the prices of all of my titles, and saw an immediate impact on revenue without a drop in units. I had always hovered in the $3.99 range, with $4.99 the going price for a new release. I bumped that up a dollar in each category. Nothing earth shattering, but it made a difference. I don’t know if these prices will be sustainable in 2015, with the advent of subscription reader services and lower priced “big name” offerings. See Russell Blake’s New Landscape post for an in-depth look. I’ll be watching this aspect closely.

– I started a real mailing list. Prior to going full-time as a writer in the fall of 2013, I handled this task miserably, collecting emails myself. I had “calls to action” at the end of my novels, but they were about as compelling as a cold hamburger. I signed up for MailChimp  and tripled my mailing list using basic strategies found in various Indie help guides. This allowed me to sell a lot of books surrounding each new release, at a good price. When you see over a thousand people on your mailing list click your pre-order link, that’s a good feeling. I sorely wish I had taken this more seriously from the beginning. I’m constantly looking for ways to improve sign-ups. In 2015, I will be giving away free books for readers that sign up.

– Switched Genres. Actually, I went back to my original genre—post apocalyptic. My first novel, The Jakarta Pandemic, launched my early writing career. I wrote four books after Jakarta, all in the covert operations thriller genre. The books fared extremely well from 2012-2013, allowing me to quit my day job, but 2013 marked the beginning of huge resurgence in post-apocalyptic books, particularly prepper-themed books like The Jakarta Pandemic. I started writing The Perseid Collapse Series in late 2013, publishing 3 books in the series in 2014. Trust me when I say, GENRE MATTERS. As a small example, my paper sales are up 210%—all in the post-apocalyptic realm—and the numbers represent 6% of my overall sales. As you can probably guess, I will not stray far from the post-apocalyptic genre in 2015.

– Audiobooks saved 2014. I sold more than 9,000 audiobooks in 2014, most of them in the post-apocalyptic genre, and most of them through pay-per-production deals through ACX. I can’t understate the importance of analyzing your genre and seeing if audiobooks are profitable. My thriller audiobooks (Black Flagged Series) are on a 14 month investment recuperation schedule. I can live with that. My goal is to create viable, long-term income streams. However, my post-apocalyptic (PA) audiobooks earn out within a month, sometimes less than that. Another strong argument for sticking with the post-apocalyptic genre. I won’t hesitate to produce all of my books in 2015.

– Loans through KU/KOLL up 107% over 2013. Not just from Kindle Unlimited. Loans early in the year were strong, though the total numbers were clearly bumped by KU. To date this year, I’ve seen more than 10,000 loans, 60% under KU. Kindle Select has been a benefit for 2014, however, I’m constantly analyzing the landscape, and here’s what I’ve seen and done.

Loans for my Black Flagged series have always lagged behind my PA work, and after a brief Kindle Unlimited boost, they dropped significantly with overall e-book sales in October. My PA work held steady. That gave me enough of a push to take the series out of Select and widen distribution. I’ve heard nothing but good things about iBooks and Kobo, and these rumors proved true. The numbers haven’t reached the break-even point compared to Select, but the trends are positive, and I don’t think this will be a decision I regret. With that said, my post-apocalyptic books will stay in Select for now.

– Kindle Worlds. This has been the biggest surprise of the year in many ways. I started out writing one novella for Blake Crouch’s Wayward Pines world. Blake reached out to me in February 2104, asking if I’d be interested in writing in his world—how do you refuse one of your favorite authors? You don’t, especially if you love the Wayward series as much as I do, and found yourself in between projects. I took two weeks to write a 23K world novella, discovering a story arc for a three novella series. I wrote the next two installments in August, once again taking a break between novels. In October, I was contacted by Kindle Worlds and asked to combine the three into an omnibus, which they’ve featured prominently on the Kindle Worlds page.

Shortly after that, I was asked to write a novella for A.G. Riddle’s Atlantis World, which I published in early December. To date, I’ve sold close to 5,000 novellas through Kindle Worlds, establishing a new, unexpected income stream. Sales have been steady, tied to the success of the original series. Not a bad deal at all when your novella shows up on the first or second page of “also boughts” of books consistently ranked in the top hundred paid Kindle titles.

This is my ultimate diversification story. Not only do I receive numerous emails from Blake Crouch’s fans, who have found my work through the novellas, but I’ve managed to strike an incredible deal. Through working extensively with the excellent folks at KW (one gentlemen in particular), I successfully pitched my series as one of their worlds.

On February 3, 2015, The Perseid Collapse Series launches as one of their Kindle Worlds. This would never have happened if I hadn’t decided to take a chance on Kindle Worlds. I’m not telling everyone to run out and write in Kindle Worlds, but I took a chance on this, and it paid off in a way I never expected when the journey began. It’s hard to beat that, but I’ll offer a few more areas to explore.

Foreign Translations. I’ve dabbled unsuccessfully in this for a few years, but finally managed to attract the attention of Amazon’s foreign translation unit, Amazon Crossing. My first novel will launch in Germany on January 6, 2015, and I hope this represents a new frontier for my books. I’m waiting to see how this novel fares in the German market, and will evaluate the possibility of paying for the translation of follow-on novels. It’s an expensive venture, one I’d prefer to leave in Amazon Crossing’s hands, so I hope Die Jakarta Pandemie does well enough to attract another offer in 2015.  

- Live Connections. I attended two conferences this year. BEA in New York City and Bouchercon 2014 in Long Beach. At BEA, I met several fantastically helpful authors—all several stratospheres more successful than Steven Konkoly. They’ve all helped me in 2014, one of them in particular. I don’t want to name names, but TR gave me the idea to pitch my series as a Kindle World, and she’s been instrumental in pursuing the foreign translation market. Not only did I meet authors, I had the pleasure of hanging out with the talented crew behind the scenes at KDP, Createspace, Audible, Kindle Worlds and Amazon publishing imprints. I fully intend to repeat this circuit. 

New Series in 2015. Can you guess which genre? I plan to write a three book series in 2015, leaving room for other projects. I don’t know what these projects might be, but that’s half the fun. I’m good for about 450K words in a year, so that leaves me some wiggle room, if not an entire fourth novel.

WHAT AM I MISSING? What are you planning to do differently in 2015, or the same? 

 

 

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Post-apocalyptic 99 CENT Holiday Sale

Spread the End of the World cheer with deeply discounted titles by yours truly!

***Make sure to keep reading to claim your own special gift***

From December 15th thru the 21st, all of my post-apocalyptic, prepper-themed titles will be on sale at Amazon for 99 CENTS each

Consider giving them as gifts to friends, family OR neighbors you want to scare away during the next major disaster. When you click the links, look in the upper right corner for “Give as a Gift.” You can even select the delivery date to fill the favorite reader in your life with exciting reads on Christmas Day or any of the days of Hanukkah.

Remember, the victims…I mean recipients, can read these on pretty much any device out there (tablets, phones, computers, Kindles)…and they won’t know you only paid 99 CENTS! They’ll check out the books on Christmas morning and say, wow, [INSERT NAME} sent me five books valued at $25, and all I got them was a $5 Starbucks card. Guess who will get a $10 Starbucks card next year?

I wouldn’t ask you to buy my books as gifts unless I was willing to do something for you in return. Please join my mailing list, and you will receive a gift (significant Christmas discount) announcement in the sign up confirmation email. Hint: Dispatches from The Perseid Collapse (Book 4) will be released in early February. JOIN MY MAILING LIST

THANK YOU and Happy Holidays!

BUY SOME GIFTS:

1057 Steve Konkoly ebook JAKARTA PANDEMIC_update_2_L1165 Steven Konkoly ebook PRACTICAL PREPPING0979 Steve Konkoly ebook THE PERSEID COLLAPSE_3_L1051 Steve Konkoly ebook EVENT HORIZON_3_L1245 Steve Konkoly ebook POINT OF CRISIS_2015_3

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The Definitive Interview by Robert Bidinotto

photo-robert-bidinottoRobert Bidinotto (pictured left) and I share a little history. Our first novels were featured by Amazon (in the same promotion) during a CyberMonday sale three years ago, essentially launching our book writing careers. Robert’s political/espionage thriller HUNTER sold untold thousands of copies. It became an overnight sensation, and rightfully so. We’ve kept in touch over the years, sharing strategies and comparing notes. I was thrilled to hear that Robert would feature me in an interview, adding me to an incredible list of authors that have “sat around the table” with him. Check out his interview page HERE. Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, Lee Child, J. Carson Black, Ian Graham, Allan Leverone…this list goes on. Well, I’ve rambled on long enough.

Check out the Definitive Steven Konkoly Interview

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What I think you should know about Ebola—Part Two

Have you thought about Ebola lately?

1057 Steve Konkoly ebook JAKARTA PANDEMIC_update_2_LProbably not. If you have, it’s most likely because U2 and dozens of artists have just recorded a new version of the original 1980’s Band Aid charity song “Do they know it’s Christmas?” to raise money for Ebola victims. THAT’S IT! IT’S OVER FOR NOW! Not so fast.

Ebola (for now…never say never) has remained squarely an African problem, and one month after the massive Ebola fear hype in the U.S., most Americans have returned to their pre-Ebola scare lives. Some of us have a few more sterile gloves and N95 masks than before, but that’s not a bad thing. An influenza pandemic is a far more likely scenario to affect us. There’s a great fiction book written by someone I know that explains exactly how that might happen. ;)

Did we beat Ebola? According to a Denver Post opinion piece, the U.S. beat Ebola. http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/1824674-155/ebola-africa-spencer-west-care-denver

Good news for everyone. Right? Of course, but this article falls squarely in the hindsight is 20/20 category, and fails to look forward. AT ALL. The opinion piece derides the fear that gripped the U.S., pointing out how the system in place worked. You know, the ten systems progressively implemented after the CDC and White House couldn’t answer why and how they couldn’t prevent individuals infected with Ebola from entering the U.S. to infect others (a very low number, thankfully.). The article even quotes Dr. Spencer (the infected NYC doctor), who stated:

“My early detection, reporting and now recovery from Ebola speaks to the effectiveness of the protocols that are in place for health staff returning from West Africa,” Spencer said. “I am a living example of how those protocols work and of how early detection is critical to both surviving Ebola and ensuring that it is not transmitted to others.”

The article fails to mention that Dr. Spencer, recently returned from treating Ebola patients, essentially ignored symptoms for two days while “painting the town.” Nor does the article point out that Dr. Spencer forgot (lied?) to mention his city-wide travels to health officials or the NYPD investigators assigned to track down others that may have been exposed.

Investigators pieced this together with his credit card statements and Metro card. Dr. Spencer sounds like the perfect candidate for imposed quarantine. Here’s a more accurate assessment of Dr. Spencer’s lucky break. http://nypost.com/2014/10/29/ebola-doctor-lied-about-his-nyc-travels-police/

THE GOOD NEWS. Dr. Spencer is right on one account. Early detection and treatment makes a big difference, as does being treated in the United States. I take solace in that, along with the fact that Ebola is low on the contagion scale. These two factors alone should ease our minds. Ebola would be a very difficult disease to propagate in the United States…THANKFULLY.

Does that mean all of the Ebola rhetoric and news coverage was fear based and nonsensical? No. It got fairly heated and political, which is never a good thing. Especially with the safety of our citizens at risk. The quarantine question became purely political. Here’s the ONLY question that needed to be asked:

Is it worth quarantining and inconveniencing a few hundred healthcare workers to save one life? 

I pose this question for one reason. The only way to guarantee 100% that Ebola didn’t spread beyond a “self-quarantined” healthcare worker is to enforce their quarantine. I can count four healthcare workers in the U.S, with direct contact with Ebola patients that thumbed their noses at the idea of quarantine. Statistics and a little luck kept them from infecting others, and possibly killing them. Low numbers kept that ONE LIFE intact. If the number of healthcare workers returning to “self quarantine” increases, statistics will claim a victim. Who will it be, and how will you feel about it? I can tell you this, inconveniencing a few hundred healthcare workers is worth saving my wife’s, son’s or daughter’s life. I wish more people had thought of that before jumping on the political bandwagon and deriding a more stringent quarantine option.

But Steve, imposing quarantine is not science based. That’s a fear based reaction with no basis in science. 

If by science, you mean “what the CDC tells us?” I agree. But that’s not science. Science involves the search for knowledge—and never taking absolute statements seriously.

Here’s a quote from my local newspaper, celebrating a judge’s decision in Maine to override the state’s request that a local nurse remain in quarantine at her home. “They” refers to the governor’s office:

“They could have made the following points to address the fears and direct attention to the real threats, not the imagined ones:

• You can’t catch Ebola from someone who doesn’t have it. Hickox was exposed to people with the virus, but she has been tested and found healthy.

• You can’t get Ebola from someone who is not symptomatic. Hickox has had no fever, vomiting, diarrhea or any of the other signs that she is sick. These symptoms are hard to miss, and as a nurse, she is capable of monitoring herself and getting treatment if necessary.

• You can’t catch Ebola through the air, like a cold. The reason it is an epidemic in some countries is that they have a shortage of medical personnel as well as inadequate sewer and water systems, exposing the population to the bodily fluids of people who are infected.”

HOLY $#@! Batman, absolutism at it’s most dangerous. So, according to the article’s author, he or she would feel completely comfortable letting someone who recently treated Ebola patients (in a front line treatment center in Africa) babysit their infant after a single ebola test and a little temperature monitoring? How about if they were allergic to cats and started sneezing? I call B.S. on that, BUT ONLY BECAUSE I’VE DONE A LITTLE DIGGING.

Here are a few articles to shed some new light on this newspaper’s absolute statements:

1.) You can’t get Ebola from someone who doesn’t have it. No kidding. So a test is proof positive that you don’t have it? That was the basis of the Maine nurse’s argument. I’ve been tested and don’t have it. Bugger off, I know better. Hmmm.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/a-doctors-mistaken-ebola-test-we-were-celebrating–then-everything-fell-apart/2014/11/16/946a84da-6dd5-11e4-a2c2-478179fd0489_story.html

Now, he had symptoms, which she didn’t…but that makes it even worse! You can have Ebola symptoms and not test positive. But we already knew that. The scientific community already knew that.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/10/28/359567808/blood-test-for-ebola-doesnt-catch-infection-early

2.) You cannot catch Ebola from someone who is not symptomatic. Really? That’s interesting, because the top scientists that study…I don’t know…Ebola, don’t feel so sure about that statement. Why listen to them? I mean, just because you won a Nobel Prize for “work researching the cellular subsystem of the body’s overall immune system — the part of it that defends the body from infection by other organisms, like Ebola” doesn’t mean you might be able some light on the topic. Right?

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/10/christies_quarantine_policy_attacked_by_aclu_cdc_and_even_the_un_is_embraced_by_2011_nobel_prize_win.html

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-1012-ebola-fever-20141012-story.html#page=1

I’m sure a scientific article in the New England Journal of Medicine is utter rubbish too. So what if 13% of Ebola victims (in the current outbreak!) never had a fever, the hallmark of symptoms for Ebola…and were full of virus!

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1411100#t=articleResults

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/10/13-ebola-victims-west-africa-never-fever.html

The Lancet also supports this FACT.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10881895

3.) You can’t catch Ebola through the air. Well, it’s not “airborne” in the traditional sense of the virology term, but I wouldn’t want an Ebola patient sneezing in my face, unless I was wearing a positive pressure Biohazard Level 4 rated suit. I shouldn’t have to link to articles to prove this, because Ebola is a virus, and if a virus enters your bloodstream (through many mechanisms), it does what all viruses do. Replicates. But there’s debate about this, because some would like to believe you have to stick yourself with an Ebola infected needle or accidentally ingest a quart of infected blood to get infected.  Here is the quick version from the New Yorker article (written about the geneticists trying to find a cure…smart folks I suppose).

“The virus is extremely infectious. Experiments suggest that if one particle of Ebola enters a person’s bloodstream it can cause a fatal infection. This may explain why many of the medical workers who came down with Ebola couldn’t remember making any mistakes that might have exposed them. One common route of entry is thought to be the wet membrane on the inner surface of the eyelid, which a person might touch with a contaminated fingertip. The virus is believed to be transmitted, in particular, through contact with sweat and blood, which contain high concentrations of Ebola particles. People with Ebola sweat profusely, and in some instances they have internal hemorrhages, along with effusions of vomit and diarrhea containing blood.”

Guess what, it’s also in your spit, urine and semen…it’s everywhere in your $#%! body. It’s a virus. If you sneeze on a door knob, and  someone touches the door knob within a few hours, then rubs their eye—they CAN get EBOLA! Not likely, according to the statistics, but frankly, they have no idea how most people actually “got” the disease. That’s why most of the medical doctors can’t remember the mistake they made…it’s not clear cut in many cases. Yes, they are working directly with patients, day in and day out, which increases their chances of exposure dramatically, but they often don’t know. It’s not like one of the doctors said, “I reached over for my drink without looking and accidentally guzzled infected blood. My bad.” Don’t take my word for it.

http://news.yahoo.com/u-scientists-uncertainties-loom-ebolas-transmission-other-key-003751718–finance.html

http://www.newyorker.com/?p=2864789&mbid=social_tablet_e

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/30/cdc-ebola_n_6078072.html

The next articles comes right from the World Health Organization website. I believe what they say. Coughing and sneezing is not a likely transmission source because these are not common symptoms in an Ebola patient. Ebola is not a respiratory disease. However, respiratory disease is not the only reason we cough or sneeze. I sneeze several times a day, quite randomly. I cover my mouth (even alone in the house), but not everyone is so polite.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/ebola/06-october-2014/en/

BOTTOM LINE: We appear to have dodged the Ebola bullet for now, and hopefully forever. The disease is still still running strong in Africa, so we haven’t seen the last of it here.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/mali-high-alert-ebola-cluster-26950832

Trust me on that. Let’s just hope the ABSOLUTISM and POLITICS takes a back seat to SCIENCE. Maybe with the elections behind us, there’s hope for that ONE innocent victim sitting in a bowling alley, riding the metro, handing change over a counter, or opening a public door with their child. Until then, take advantage of the lull to assess your pandemic readiness.

If you want to dig deeper into pandemic preparedness or general disaster readiness, check out my latest book (co-authored by Randy Powers) Practical Prepping: No Apocalypse Required.

 

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