Belton, SC (February 10, 2021) -The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on December 28, 2020, that the current Covid-19 pandemic was, “not necessarily the big one”1 The WHO went further to urge the world to get, “serious” about preparedness. “This is a wakeup call”, Dr. Michael J. Ryan, Executive
Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program said at the December 28 press conference. Dr. Ryan further stated, “We need to get ready for something that may even be more serious in the future. This Pandemic has been very severe. It has spread around the world extremely quickly and it has affected every corner of this planet, but this is not necessarily the big one.” 2 Scores of other experts have expressed serious concerns about the lack of preparedness. Covid-19 disease is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. This type of coronavirus has not been seen before.3 Simply stated Covid-19 is potentially deadly. Keep in mind two new strains of the virus have merged in the United Kingdom and South Africa that appear to be more infectious than others. The New York Post reported, the new UK virus may be up to 70 percent more transmissible than the earlier version of Covid-19. 4
Some will say that the Covid-19 pandemic is a “Black Swan” event. Numerous epidemiologists disagree and have been cautioning about pandemics for years. Ironically, these experts were surprised to find relative complacency regarding threat of a pandemic Nobel Prize winner Professor Jason Shogren of the University of Wyoming was quoted in early 2020, “The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed that the U.S. was as unprepared as experts feared, given the response to the Ebola scare of 2014” 5. Professor Shogren goes on to say, “This lack of attention to pandemic threats is especially disturbing given the current Covid-19 and any potential future pandemics that may also have very high transmission rates, including transmission before individuals become symptomatic.”6
Mass Fatality Incident (MFI) experts, like Michael Richardson, CEO & Founder of Mortuary Response Solutions, has been sounding the alarm for more than ten years about potential pandemics and the lack of preparedness. Richardson has said on numerous occasions that a pandemic of this magnitude is comparable to a Mass Fatality Incident. An MFI is an emergency management term used to identify a situation where the number of human remains exceeds the available resources. Richardson uses this analogy as he analyzes the current situation in many hospitals, funeral homes, and coroner facilities. Although many states, counties and cities anticipated the oncoming surge in cases, many overlooked the potential endgame Covid-19 presented. The eventuality was an overwhelming surge in death.
Pandemics can be naturally occurring or a man-made incident and can cause a mass fatality incident. Just over 100 years ago the “Spanish Flu” influenza, strain of A/H1N1H1N1 pandemic of 1918 killed tens of millions worldwide and overwhelmed response resources on a global level. Apparently, the lessons learned have been forgotten or misplaced. Experts in this field, particularly those who spent a decade urging Mass Fatality Incident Management planners to be prepared were for the most part ignored. The World Health Organization, Federal Government and many states developed guidance programs for MFI’s, however current results would suggest few were implemented, until after the 2020 surge began. Subject matter experts, like Richardson and his numerous colleagues, should have been taken seriously years ago. Now is the time to mobilize and act. We must be better prepared, otherwise future results could be catastrophic
About Michael P. Richardson
Mr. Richardson is the President / CEO of Mortuary Response Solutions, LLC. He has more than 24 years of experience in the homeland security and terrorism response industries. Before founding Mortuary Response Solutions, Mr. Richardson was the director of product development, design, engineering and implementation for one of the largest mass decontamination system manufacturers in the world. Mr. Richardson brings a wealth of hands on knowledge and experience to the industry, having provided extensive hands-on support at numerous disaster sites. Mr. Richardson supported the response effort at: Comair Flight 3272 in Michigan in1997, TWA Flight 800, East Moriches, NY in 1996, United Flight 93, in Shanksville, PA, in 2001and The World Trade Center, New York City, in 2001. Additionally, Mr. Richardson has worked internationally in Europe, The Middle East and Asia, in support of various national disaster and terrorism response initiatives.
About Mortuary Response Solutions
Mortuary Response Solutions, based in Belton, South Carolina is a manufacturer of unique storage and packaging system for mass fatality response. With over 20 years of mass fatality response experience, MRS was launched in 2007 to fill a void in portable cold storage systems for human remains. MRS pioneered and patented the use of Direct Contact Cooling for human remains storage. For further details on Mortuary Response Solutions® and the MERC® System, as well as the numerous other related products, visit our website: www.massfatalityresponse.com.
3 Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Statement of Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech Mfg., Gmbh & ModernaTX, Inc. 12/2020
4 WHO warns COVID-19 pandemic ‘not necessarily the big one’, Yaron Steinbuch, New York Post, 12/19/2020
5 University of Wyoming, “Lack of COVID-19 preparedness in line with previous findings, economist find.” ScienceDaily, 14 May 2020
6 Ibid University of Wyoming, “Lack of COVID-19 preparedness in line with previous findings, economist find.” ScienceDaily, 14 May 2020