Thursday, February 12, 2015

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Please Pass The Dysentery!

May the best Berkey win!

If someone were to ask you at the dinner table, "Would you please pass the dysentery" - you might think them insane! Who wants severe stomach cramps and the constant desire to use the restroom, not to mention severe dehydration? I mean REALLY? But, without the "sanitation" which most people in the United States typically enjoy today, if you use dirty water to clean yourself or your dishes etc - dysentery is exactly what you're asking for. "Oh, pass the salt too...."

The water we drink today is treated, unless you have a well that is. It has several chemicals in it that kill bacteria, viruses and the like. The downside is those chemicals can take a toll on our bodies, but at least we don't have cholera, tuberculosis, dysentery and other similar diseases running rampant because of a simple thing such as "clean" water to wash with and drink. We have learned from other's experiences during Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy that an overabundance of dirty water is a breeding ground for nasty illness. What illnesses do we face with a lack of water? How do we avoid them?

My sons and I have been listening to "A Distant Prayer" by Joseph Banks as we go to and from the temple. It is a humbling story of a B-17 Engineer that was shot down during WWII. After his capture, he was imprisoned for several months before he and 1000 other malnourished and injured American soldiers in his prison camp were forced on a march for three months. While he was in the prison camp they were given one bucket of water for 20 men to wash their mess kits (personal dishes) and hands etc. Because of this mucky water, most of the men had dysentery. Joe remembered something he learned as aBoy Scout. If you take your dishes and clean them with dirt, you avoid the microbes that leave you running...and running...and running to the potty. 

The day after Christmas the Germans were desperate to keep their prisoners. They were the last bargaining chip they had, so they made these poor in body and spirit servicemen march in the snow without sufficient clothing, food or water. Everyone was sick and weak. Joe remembered something else he had learned in Boy Scouts if you do get dysentery, chew on coal from the fire (cooled off of course) and it will ease the pains. He didn't know why, but it helped a lot. We know today that charcoal absorbs toxins and moves them out the back door, which is why it provided some relief. 

Thankfully, we will never have to endure the experience that Joe did. Today we have some amazing products out there to help us have clean water so we can avoid some of these diseases altogether. You may have lots of questions, hopefully we can answer some of them with these videos.

If you are using your 72 hour kit, you can't really carry a Berkey with you, so here is something to consider for your kit:

It is awesome that I came to the same conclusion for my family. We filter all of the water we drink because chlorine in the treated water can also take a toll on the body, especially the heart. However, I will take chlorinated water any day over the alternative because you couldn't pay me to have dysentery, cholera, or tuberculosis. Clean water is that important. Pass the water please.

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