What to do during the Corona virus epidemic – or any flu-like outbreak

Corona virus is a new flu-like virus. A number of challenges are associated with such new types of viruses:

  • Like with any virus, antibiotics will not help.
  • There are no vaccinations available for such new viruses as they appear.
  • Especially people with weakened immune systems are at risk (elderly, children or people with health conditions). But anyone can become sick, and also a source of infection (even before any symptoms occur).

Simple measures can reduce your risk of contracting such viruses, and will help stem the spread. These tips are common practice even in the absence of a new virus: the common flu causes ~400,000 deaths each year (source).

  • Frequently wash hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or warm water and soap (my extra tip: don’t shake hands with anyone)
  • Cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when sneezing or coughing. Don’t sneeze in your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough
  • Seek early medical help if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and share travel history with healthcare providers
  • Avoid direct, unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals when visiting live markets in affected areas
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products and exercise care when handling raw meat, milk or animal organs to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods. My extra tip: revisit your shopping, cooking, and eating habits – these viruses stem from animals like pigs and poultry. E.g. Corona virus originated from a fish market.

Part of this information originates from this article in the Guardian.

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Celebrating the 2010 release of my novel Two Journeys with a limited edition coffee mug.

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This special commemorative coffee mug can be filled with 350ml of hot coffee, even steaming hot: it is fully temperature resistant. All types are supported: latte, cappuccino, koffie verkeerd or macchiato; its smooth surface even protects against the oxidative effects of Devil’s Brew.

FAQ

How does it work? The mug comes with two holes: one hole (at the top) is used to both add and extract the coffee. The hole on the side is used to insert two fingers so that the mug can be lifted. (Confusing the two may lead to damage and/or injury.)

Can the mug be used for tea? Yes.

How about the artwork? Find the cover of Two Journeys on the front, and a mysterious QR code on the back! Where does it lead, you will wonder? Which miraculous domain of the internet?

Learn more here: http://clemenssuter.com/books

 

Tips to Survive the Apocalypse. Some highly ineffective recommendations. How to survive a pandemic.

John Harpsicord*), a follower of this blog, asked: “What about the name of this blog dude! Survive the Apocalypse – I can’t find any apocalyptic content and no survival tips. WTF is that all about? Confused, John.”

Well John, you do have a point. Let me try to explain why this blog may be ALL about surviving the apocalypse.

Once the apocalypse strikes – which may happen earlier than you think, through a deadly combination of global warming, over-population and some completely inept political leaders (so sad !) – there is very little that we can do.

In my novels Two Journeys and Fields of Fire, this shocking situation is caused by a global epidemic. Luckily, humanity has gone a long time without a major pandemic. But outbreaks of viruses such as SARS, coronavirus or influenza (e.g. H2N2 or the Asian Flu H3N2; or bird flu) have occurred repeatedly in the last twenty years or so.

In my books, I try to show a different path than what some so-called “preppers” or the “prepper movement” appear to advocate. If catastrophe strikes, keeping the higher ground morally shows that we are human. Stocking up on emergency food, baseball bats, pepper spray and guns may sound like a sound strategy, but in reality you won’t know what has hit you, once the post-apocalypse arrives.

For me, the best survival strategy is… enjoy life while you can! Take life with a grain of salt and a lot of humor, because none of us know how long we or good ol’ Earth will be around.

The apocalypse does make for some great reading though – just think about the zombie hype a few years back. This is also reflected in my adventure novels (curious ? Look here at www.clemenssuter.com/books). You will find a lot of information about these books on this blog, which is another explanation for the name of this site.

And finally: aren’t we all, in one way or another, surviving our own personal apocalypse each and every day? Life can be tough as shit; and most confusingly, it is also absolutely beautiful. That’s what I try to bring across in my work and in the title of this blog: the negative of the Apocalypse and the beauty of Survival – they are like Yin and Yang. Life is complex and unpredictable: there are no easy explanations.

*) name (slightly) changed

Photo by Charles Deluvio

Survive the apocalypse with appropriate headwear. Life is a contradiction and can be confusing as hell, so better enjoy it while you can (Photo by Charles Deluvio)

 

 

The Secret Art of Whistling

“Stop whistling, Clemens. Only laborers whistle,” my great friend and teacher C used to say. C was Austrian, and like many citizens from that cutlet-shaped country,  leaned towards eccentricity. Highly sympathetic, but thank you for the advice. Meanwhile I am glad I listened to most of C‘s suggestions, but ignored this particular one.

Many years later I had an eye opening experience with music. As a birthday present, my wife gave me a weekend-long harmonica training. A crash course with a professional harmonica teacher, Dale King. At the end of which I walked from the experience with the rewarding conclusion that I would never be able to play ANY musical instrument. Except for a CD player or smartphone, my limbs, fingers and lungs are unable to extract any melodious or rhythmic sound from any instrument. Problem solved.

There is some truth in the statement that everybody can and should sing, but being modest for once, I admit that my singing capabilities are limited.

But I can whistle. The tunes that Yehudi Menuhin squeezed from his Stradivari after long years of tortuous practice, effortlessly leave my two lips with no practice at all.

Whistling – it truly seems to be a secret art. I couldn’t find any article or reference  about the effect of whistling on well-being, physical health, war and peace, the economy or whatsoever. There are no lists of famous Hollywood actors, historical figures or politicians that indulged in this activity.  Did George Washington, Caligula, Margaret Tatcher or Jennifer Anniston ever whistle? The history books remain stumm.

But I LOVE it. In fact, I will now render Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. Beats my vocal version by a length.

Read more here: http://clemenssuter.com/books

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My favorite music – Some of the Best Music ever – my personal list of greatest pieces. The Show Must Go On!

“The show must go one” illustrates my hunger for music. It is also one of my all time favorite songs by Queen. And for the show to continue I need MUSIC. Any kind of music; my radio is playing the whole day, from the moment I get up, when I get in my car, late at night… and when needed even in the early morning, when the world is still asleep.

I have assembled for you a list of some of the music pieces that I love most and that I never get tired of hearing. The list is a wild mix of all types, styles and periods. I hope it inspires you to pick up some tunes that you mare unfamiliar with. My typical day may start with Miles Davis’ hard bob jazz (his beautiful 1959 album Kind of Blue, unbelievable I wasn’t even born then, so fresh and revolutionary is the sound), then switch to pop tunes, rock or metal during the day, and listen to Rachmaninoff in the evening – see Anna Federova’s exceptional interpretation of his Second Piano Concerto in the Concert Gebouw in Amsterdam. Weeks pass by in which I only listen to Country Music: Billie Jo Spears’ Blanket on the Ground and Johnny Cash can still move me to tears, or Tift Merritt’s Another Country (listen to  the guitar on that one!), then switch over to Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn, one of the greatest vocalists the world has ever seen, singing Qawwali (Sufi Islamic devotional music). Or that famous singer Oum Kalsoum who moved Egypt for so long. And then? Back to Neil Young, or fast forward to Republica with Ready to Go. Some Scottish Texas, French Erik Satie Trois Gymnopedies or American Van Halen’s Jump.

Let me stop there. Curious to hear about your absolute favorite piece of music. Especially curious to learn about artists that I have never encountered before. I am hungry to extend my list.

Here you can access my all time favorites on Spotify.

A Ballet of Umbrellas in Italy.

Find my books here.

Find my favorite movies here and if you would like to read a good book, check here.