Thursday, March 12, 2020

CoronaVirus Panic: Prepping in Panic vs. Prepping in Common Sense

I have opinions about prepping for disasters. This is mostly due to the fact that I began my writing career as an author of survivalist fiction, and during the course of writing my original 10-part series, I did tons of research on, ahem, STAYING ALIVE during the end of the world. This whole #CoronaVirus panic got me thinking (yet again) how quickly and easily the general population flurries into an absolute panic, hoarding supplies and fearing the fall of man. This is not to say that the Coronavirus doesn't exist, and that it hasn't done some obvious physical harm to some people, but it's a good reminder that it doesn't take much to send the very fragile economy and stability of an entire country into a frenzy. Don't believe me? Go ahead and check out the toilet paper aisle of your local Costco. It's okay. I'll wait. 

As usual, most people wait until a crisis arrives to try and prepare for it. As far as the Coronavirus goes, there is a lot of media flash and flare associated with it, elevating the terror regarding the virus and unsurprisingly, causing even more panic. (If you're feeling panicked, please check out these articles debunking myths about the virus: Business InsiderCNBCForbesWHO.) Clearly the virus does pose a risk, but the bigger issue here is that people are panicking about it, and panic doesn't do anyone, anywhere, any good. 

Yes. Welcome to the human race. A crisis arises and people start panicking. Can you imagine the national and international chaos in the event of a much bigger crisis, such as a synchronized EMP attack on the United States or a world war? This is child's play in comparison. 

In light of the Coronavirus and what a stark reminder it should be to us to always be prepared anyway, here are a few things I believe can help families everywhere face a crisis with both calm and control. 

1. Be prepared, always. Honestly, everyone should have a little extra supplies on hand if possible, like TP and hand sanitizer. Since when did we become a society so oblivious to looking ahead more than a week at a time? Think long term. Every time you go grocery shopping, pick up ONE or two extra items, whether it's an additional bottle of Tylenol or a box of feminine hygiene items (hey, think of how hard life would be without them!), it's always good to have extra. Over time, you'll have a nice supply closet. 
2. Understand that people will always panic. You cannot stop the general populace from panicking. Accept that people react in mass, and move on with your life. Stay away from hotbeds of overreaction. For those of you who live in big cities, this is pretty much impossible, but you can minimize your contact with large groups of people by avoiding locations that may be problematic, like Costco on a Saturday. 
3. Protect your family, above all else. At the end of the day, when the you-know-what hits the fan, your family's safety is all that matters. The brainless mob of panic that may or may not surround a situation must be avoided at all costs! Place your family's priorities first, above all else. This is the mindset of survival. Keep your circle tight and trustworthy. Avoid heavy population centers. Stay out of the city. If you live in the city, get out. Go somewhere else (if the situation really is THAT bad). Large groups of people tend to do stupid things, so the less people who you are around, the better! 
4. As pertains to this current crisis, maintain basic hygiene. This should be a NO BRAINER. If you haven't been practicing hand-washing and covering your mouth when coughing already, what is wrong with you? It's a sad day when the Coronavirus makes people realize that it's JUST NOW a good idea to be sanitary. If you're a normal, decent human being with basic standards of cleanliness, thank you for exercising common sense. The rest of you? Please grow up and be clean. 
5. Treat Corona like the flu. By this I mean do what you would normally do to avoid the flu. Don't share drinks or food with people and again WASH YOUR HANDS. If you have a toddler or infant, wipe the handlebars of a grocery cart with a sanitary wipe before you let them sit in the seat. Yeah, there's no Corona shot developed yet, but there will be next year, most likely, from what I've been reading and seeing. Ride this year out with basic safety precautions, get the shot next year, and guess what? STILL BE HYGIENIC. You should always be hygienic. I can't believe I even have to say this....
6. Food runs out quickly, just like hand sanitizer. Like the concept of grabbing an additional supply here and there at the store for items like TP and soap, you should also be stocking up here and there on canned goods, rice, distilled water, and if you're really feeling into it, MREs (they last forever and they are excellent emergency food). The same goes for dog food! Do you have pets whom you love and care for? Keep extra food and water for them on hand. Remember, EVERY member of your family must be protected. I even recommend stocking up on some extra pet supplies like flea and tick medication, dewormer, and so forth. The same goes for medications and prescriptions of your own. At the very least, have some painkillers stocked up, some multivitamins, C tablets, and maybe even Omega 3 capsules. You really CAN'T be too prepared. 
7. Have an escape plan. This is a very important part of being prepared. Hopefully, no crisis will ever come to this, but it's a really good idea to have a confirmed plan of exit for your family in the event of a disaster. How will you get out of your city or apartment? Where will you go? How will you transport your family there. Know ahead of time. You don't need to sit around and stew, steeped in panic. Make a plan and agree on it as a family. Place the plan aside. Only use it when needed. Like Cassidy Hart says, "Hope for the best, get ready for the crappy." 

I have spent so much time thinking about survival and prepping because 1) like I said, I started my career writing survivalist fiction and became saturated in the concepts of prepping over the years and 2) it's just basic common sense. It's never paranoia or stupid to be ready for a crisis. I think the Coronavirus - while it does pose a valid threat and contracting it would suck - can be easily combated by common sense. By basic hygiene. By cool-headed reasoning. It is an excellent reminder to us to be ready for anything, and I guess I can thank Cassidy Hart for that attitude. She has taught me well. 

Want to read my #1 bestselling series about survival, warfare, and fighting back? Check out the Collapse Series on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Be prepared for anything! 
Copyright 2020 Summer Lane

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