While it seems silly that people are fighting over the last rolls of toilet paper, or selling Lysol wipes at 4-5x their value online, it highlights a particular danger that only rears its ugly head during a crisis. For the vast majority of people, we are grossly underprepared.
If you’re a regular reader of my blogs, you’re likely miles ahead of everyone else when it comes to being prepared. But that doesn’t mean you know it all already, and even myself I like to take a critical look at what’s going on in the world so I’m better prepared for the next big event. That’s not to say we’ve yet to see the tail end of the coronavirus, but there are a handful of valuable lessons I’d like to share as takeaways from the crisis so far.
We don’t have enough sanitation supplies
When you’re prepping it’s far more fun to stock up on ammunition, firearms and even food, because it feels like you’re making a real difference in your stockpile, but you’re likely missing key pieces of gear to stay hygienic. Disinfectants, sanitizers, and a whole range of cleaning products that most people never thought to even buy in the first place. There are shortages of masks worldwide, to the point hospitals are even running out. You need to consider how you’ll stay sanitary when the SHTF, and prepare for a pandemic in your preps. From keeping your home clean to protecting yourself as you go about your day, wearing masks whenever you are in public, and sanitation supplies need to be included in your preparations.
We don’t have enough food and water
Now the survivalists who have been stockpiling for years will be fine, but the general population is seeing supermarket shelves stripped bare. People who only ever keep a few days’ worth of food in their homes are at a significant risk, because with supply lines disrupted there are shortages. It’s likely to get worse before it gets better, and while the politicians tell you not to panic buy, I’d make sure you’ve got enough food and water to get your family through. You can always eat canned food later if it doesn’t get as bad as I think it will, but it’s much better you’ve got the food stocked away, just in case. The last thing you want is to be starving because you didn’t have enough food and water.
We can’t trust the people in charge
Did you know that China have been censoring the media, whistleblowers and threatening their citizens to keep the scale of this pandemic quiet? People who share their experiences, on the ground in cities like Wuhan are punished for spreading rumors, highlights a particularly scary fact. The virus is far more aggressive than we are being told, and despite the media frenzy on this particular pandemic, we likely don’t have all the facts. Imagine that, the situation is worse than the fear-mongering we normally get in the media. To me, that’s a rather frightening turn of events, and while I’m certain it’s not as bad as many doomsday proponents are prophesizing, we definitely aren’t getting the full story.
We will all be exposed at some point
Despite the quarantines, advanced monitoring, and all of the precautions being taken, it is highly likely we will all be exposed at some point. The virus can lay dormant for up to 24 days according to the latest findings, with errors in reporting finding people who are cured returning as re-infected several days later. Imagine that, people being told they’re find and then only discovering later they are still infected. Now imagine everyone they’ve interacted with in the days between, not to mention all of the people that you may come into contact with in almost a full month. We will all be exposed at some point, the key is to use sanitation to fight back, washing your hands and self-isolating yourself to limit your exposure, and if you do need to venture out, make sure you've got a protective mask to keep yourself safe. The less you need to be out and about in a pandemic like this, the better.
We will likely be quarantined
The best solution to contain a pandemic like this is quarantine, because if there is no person-to-person contact to spread the virus, the infection rates will drop. But that means quarantine. Many countries are doing this already, first-world destinations like Australia, New Zealand, and even the United States is putting restrictions on the visitors who can enter. Make sure you have a plan to deal with a mandatory quarantine, and enough supplies to ensure you can stay quarantined effectively, just in case. More than just food, is thinking about your kids, how will they continue their education, how will you stop them from getting bored, after day after day on the couch? Schools in China have been closed for months. Then think about contamination. What if someone in your home contracts the virus, yet aren’t able to get medical care. How would you cater to that, how would you separate them, caring for a loved one while ensuring the rest of your family is still safe? There’s much to think about and work into your preps, once you start looking at it like this.
We will see the death toll escalate
Probably the most frightening part of a pandemic like coronavirus is the larger impact it’ll have on the economy and our world as a whole. Because like we’ve seen in Italy most recently, is there simply aren’t enough hospital beds. In the United States we’ve got 2.8 hospital beds per 1,000 people. But 10 to 20 percent of infected people are going to require hospitalization. At these rates, it exceeds our ability to care for the sick, and should a larger portion of the population get infected, it is highly likely the death toll shoots through the roof as we simply lack the ability to hospitalize that many people at once.
For me, I like to think that I’m a practical survivalist. And with that it’s especially important to use events like the coronavirus pandemic to evaluate our own preparations, ensuring we learn from the mistakes being made, so we’re better prepared the next time a crisis like this rolls around (and perhaps even ramp up our own preparations now).