How to Get Saved from COVID-19 Under Nuclear Bombs

FEMA – the United States Government Emergency Management Federal Agency  –  updated instructions to the population on how to behave in the event of a nuclear attack. The new instructions, provided by the Ready Campaign, keep in mind the Covid-19 pandemic, consequent lockdowns and rules to follow in order to protect ones-self from the virus. 

In order to be ready when an imminent nuclear attack alarm goes off – FEMA warns – you need to know that Due to COVID-19, many places you may pass on the way to and from work may be closed or may not have regular operating hours”. You must therefore first identify “the best places to shelter, they are the basements and the center of large multistory buildings”.

In these instructions, FEMA ignores the real effects (scientifically proven) of a nuclear explosion. Even though people on the run are lucky enough to find a Covid-free lockdown place to shelter, they still have no escape. The air displacement caused by the explosion,  that generates 800 kmh winds, causes the collapse or burst of even the most solid building. The heat melts the steel, makes the reinforced concrete explode. Even people who find “the best places to shelter” are vaporized, crushed, charred.

The destructive effects of a 1 megaton nuclear bomb (equal to the explosive power of 1 TNT million tons) extend in a circular way up to about 14 km. If a 20 megaton bomb explodes, the destructive effects extend over a range of more than 60 km.

In this situation, FEMA is concerned with protecting people from Covid-19. When the nuclear alarm is raised, it warns: “Check with local authorities to determine which public shelters are open, as shelter locations may have changed due to COVID-19“; at the time of evacuation, “to protect you and your family from Covid-19, bring with you two masks per person and a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol”; inside the shelter, “continue to practice social distancing, by wearing a mask and by keeping a distance of at least 6 feet (almost 2 meters) between yourself and people who are not part of your household”.

In the event of a nuclear alert, this scenario assumes that 330 million US citizens would not panic, but keep calm, inquire about open  shelters, and be concerned about protecting themselves first from Covid-19,  bringing along masks and sanitizers, and once in the shelter, maintaining social distancing, with the result being that in a shelter capable of accommodating a thousand people, 200 would be admitted while the others remain outside.

Even if it is absurd that people followed Fema’s instructions to protect themselves from Covid-19, they would still be exposed to radioactive fallout in a much larger area than that destroyed by nuclear explosions. An increasing number of apparently unharmed people would begin to show symptoms of radiation syndrome. As there is no possible treatment, the outcome is inevitably fatal. 

If radiations hit the nervous system, they cause severe headaches and lethargy, then a state of coma takes over accompanied by convulsions, and death occurs within forty-eight hours. In the case of gastrointestinal radiation syndromes, the victim suffers from vomiting and hemorrhagic diarrhea accompanied by high fever and dies within a week or two.

In this scenario, FEMA is also concerned with the mental state of people. It warns that “the threat of a nuclear explosion can add additional stress to many people who already feel fear and anxiety about Covid-19.”  Hence, FEMA recommends following the instructions on how to “manage stress during a traumatic event.” It thus makes it clear that, in the event of a nuclear attack, US citizens would be assisted by psychologists to teach them how to manage stress while the nuclear bombs explode, by convincing them that thanks to FEMA they were saved from Covid.


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This article was originally published in Italian on Il Manifesto.

Manlio Dinucci is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

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Articles by: Manlio Dinucci

About the author:

Manlio Dinucci est géographe et journaliste. Il a une chronique hebdomadaire “L’art de la guerre” au quotidien italien il manifesto. Parmi ses derniers livres: Geocommunity (en trois tomes) Ed. Zanichelli 2013; Geolaboratorio, Ed. Zanichelli 2014;Se dici guerra…, Ed. Kappa Vu 2014.

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