As the world unwinds our collective enforced isolation protocols, it’s good to take stock of the situation at hand and see where this will lead us.
The reality is that the economy shutting down until a vaccine is discovered & mass inoculation occurs would be almost impossible with regards to our economy and its resilience. The fact of the matter is, consumption is what drives our world (for better or worse) and with consumer spending at records low its simply not sustainable.
Unemployment is at record high and whilst reopening our respective countries won’t magically save us, it will stem the flow. I could babble on endlessly regarding our current economic situation and the devaluation of our currency but its not really pertinent. We have entered a world were economic policy from the top down picks winners and losers and that’s the way it is.
In any case, the reason I bring this up is to point out that nothing has really changed with regards to COVID-19. It’s still potentially fatal to the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions and we don’t have a cure.
The hydroxychloroquine cheerleaders should be ignored. A recent study (Lancet) shows it increases fatalities and ultimately folks; listen to the consensus from the medical community as opposed to the twitter divas. Please.
EDIT: Lancet study was retracted due to flawed datasets from OCE- that said, 3 other studies confirm no benefit to Hydroxychloroquine. As expected.
Its important to accept the economic reality that the world needs to keep producing and consuming whilst understanding that the risk is still there and you should try to minimise exposure as much as humanly possible. I know not everyone can stay at home so I shan’t propose advice wrapped in idealism like so many newspapers are prone to do. It might be fine for white collar professionals to work from home or take a 6 month hiatus but most of the world needs to work to put food on the table.
Covid is a brutal enemy, not least to our economy but ultimately its something we will have to face head on. I expect our economies to open and shut in cycles as infection rates spike and level out.
Our hospitals seem to have a handle on things and whilst I am in no shape or form optimistic about our future for the next 5 years, I do feel relatively safe as my primary concerns are economic in nature as opposed to existential.
Over the past 2 months I have been watching this unfold and spent my days with the girl, nursing a cigar and planning for the future. I have been reached out by countless newspapers, book writers and other opinionated profiteers and shut them all down. If you are a prepper, do not engage with these people as they are not on your side.
The rampage on basic supplies & the resulting empty shelves has been blamed disproportionately on preppers oblivious to the fact that preppers don’t need to panic buy…as we are prepared.
Its obvious really but sadly the mainstream likes to pigeonhole entire communities into a narrow typecast that caters to their own narrative.
I keep my shopping spartan and I don’t make waves. I suggest you do the same because regardless of where the chips fall- they won’t turn around and thank you for your advice.
At the end of the day, people are people and expecting rational behaviour will only lead to disappointment.
Around me I have witnessed people dive headfirst into quasi-prepping- buying mounds of food and supplies (most of which will go to waste), engaging in furious conspiracy theories and then after a solid month of hand wringing, going down to the beach amongst throngs of people for a picnic because “they have had enough“.
Sure thing, skippy.
December. Called a second wave by the media, but we haven’t gone through the first. Locked down again.
1. I reloaded the long term when the first lockdown was modified. People saw only green lights and blue skies. So the demand for cleaning goods and food disappeared. I was informed by research that an epidemic does not disappear in a few months. I am covered in depth.
2. The 2007 epidemic plan in my county was to keep epidemic patients out of the hospital and do regular surgeries. This time it was reversed. As a consequence, necessary surgeries (called elective medical care) were severely curtailed. You either had to be bleeding out or have the epidemic to be dealt with at the hospital. Many people have suffered as a consequence.
3. My dental and medical are now back up to par. It was tough trying to get serious attention.
4. I am retired. Consequently, I have missed the problems of most people.
Thomas Xavier says
I am glad you are safe mate. Good to hear about the dental stuff- after this pandemic is over I shan’t let an appointment lapse ever again!
Just a quick note to indicate that the link to the Lancet shows the study has been retracted. Perhaps an update is in order as it’s not a good look. Best.
Thomas Xavier says
Hey buggs, aye the study had flaws from the OCE datasets- that said, 3 studies show its not a viable solution to this virus- https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/three-big-studies-dim-hopes-hydroxychloroquine-can-treat-or-prevent-covid-19 .
I’ll edit the post accordingly, cheers mate!
Glad to see that I am not alone in my observations of our world gone crazy. I’ve been an evangelist for the prepper movement since 1989 and more recently the great Y2K stupidity. Living in the SF Bay Area smart people need to be ready for “the big one.” This current crisis is scary because so many know so little and give out too much bad advice that has seeded confusion and discontent all the while ignoring the fact that we wouldn’t be in such bad shape economically or medically if we had all been better prepared. Early on I heard a local talk show host blame the “preppers” for cleaning out the toilet paper and bottled water in the first days of the SIP orders. What? While the masses were lemming hopping down the isles of our grocery store filling baskets with these 2 important products we were filling ours with fresh meat, cake mixes, sauces, flour, fresh produce and additional canned goods that were all being ignored by the uneducated. The slow apocalypse start to the pandemic panic gave us the opportunity to infill our substantial long term food stocks to a comfortable level.
Now, 101 days later I have yet to hear the MSM or any government agency encourage the populace to conserve, preserve and put aside money or food for what may come down the road. Yes, let’s blame all the shortages on the prepper community. Let’s blame them for clogging the bars and beaches to party til the cows come home. Let’s be part of the alt right that is fanning the flames of rebellion to tear down the government and lynch the media even though they offer no answers or solution other than anarchy.
As I have always included over the years of my preparedness mentoring and teaching, we have to prepare for the effects of the disaster on the people. How the people react when the dust settles or the flood waters recede can be far more devastating than the actual disaster. Tensions are high, anxiety is on the rise, heads are clouded and we still don’t know what we are truly dealing with or where this may lead us.
My take away from your comments is to keep my head down, but my eye on the horizon. We can continue to help and encourage others all the while watching our six and maintaining our sanity and personal safety. The media is not our friend and our government can’t get out of its own way. I consider myself an optimistic pessimist. My plan is to be there in the end better off than most and limit the suffering for myself and those closest to me, my responsibilities.
Thomas Xavier says
To be honest John, if the government suggested prepping- the ensuing panic would be horrific. Most people will react with extreme intolerance and aggression when thrown a curveball that falls outside their own narrative or expectations.
Keep your head down and look after yourself mate, as for society as a whole- expect stupidity wrapped in ignorance.
Good to hear your doing well. We’re still in ordered shelter in place status until next week when we move from Red Level to Yellow Level, then someday to Green Level. The economic damage is starting to get worse as layoffs are becoming permanent and service industries are closing down permanently. Food shortages are much less now with only a few items still minimal. I fear we will never see what was considered normal last year.
Thomas Xavier says
Hey Broadwing! Yeah we doing fine- just monitoring the current world situation and getting incredibly disturbed by the looming economic indicators. Joblessness and GDP regression looks to go beyond the initial forecasts.
Bob Ocean says
Hi Guys, thanks for continuing to be a sensible shining light in these dark times.
As we here in New Zealand are now in level 2, (still social distancing, max 10 people in circle, max 100 in public gathering) we can now sort out issues arising.
For me, it is Trojan 105 Wet cell, batteries failing after 8-10 years of use in Boat.
Great product, bad timing.. So, if off grid, something to be on top of.
At least I CAN get some replacements..
Broke a Molar chowing down on those Almonds.
Emergency Dental work. Thankfully now available. Still a BIG backlog of People for appointments.
Totally unexpected problem, which MAY have been prevented by a Dental check in past 3-6 months.
As a Prepper, it is one of the few regrets occurring.
Lucky? no, good/bad planning.
The only thing worse than going to the Dentist, is not being able too, when in pain.
So, if you can, go to Dentist for a quick check ASAP..
Thomas Xavier says
Good call on the dentist mate, its something I also regret. I have to admit I did think of you chilling on the ocean on your boat whilst the pandemic hammers the world!
Old OutdoorsGuy says
Thomas, I am glad to see that you and the girl have made it through the apocalyptic Covid-19 attempt by those commie farmers in Wuhan to take over the entire world and all of its inhabitants with the exception of mosquitos, turkey buzzards, and dung beetles, which they feel will act as “natural” garbage collectors to keep things in “order” ……. I have no “clinical tests” nor acclaims from our followers to back this theory up but, it sure isn’t any worse than most of the current daytime “soaps”, aka, liberal news stations are trying to conjure up for the 6 PM news Special …..
Myself, I did limit my travels out of my abode to those most needed to resupply my demand for canned beans, TP, and ripple cut BBQ potato chips which I found were in short supply and on my most needed list of snacks and necessities. ….. OK, so I really didn’t give a damn about who was coughing in the checkout line behind me even though they may have been a bit closer than the legal 6′ distance as I had a quality mask in my truck at all times no matter where I was heading. My life is so simple that I could easily take up most of an afternoon on the computer reading about all of the “restrictions” imposed upon John Q. Public and his family since the rumor got started that we should all repent and face the end of it all with a clean conscience. BTW, what the hell are those people gonna do with the 26 to 50 cases of TP left over in their garage when the “all clear” whistle is blown???
OK, back to work ……. uh, well maybe not, or maybe later since I remember now that I have been “retired” since the “Big Crash” in ’08. Man, time flies when you are havin’ this much fun!
Thomas Xavier says
People will always have kneejerk reactions to events outside their control- its human nature. You gotta remember that people who plan for unknowns (preppers or whatever society wants to call us) tend to have a more pragmatic approach because we have a baseline of safety.
Average family does not, hence the hoarding and panic that occurred.
I have been a prepper since the 1970’s but, being in the military would have to rebuilt my back stock every couple of years. I would get just a few extra things when we would do our normal shopping till I got to the level I wanted. When the TP thing hit my son could not find any for his family. Being a Sr. person I was able to go to the Wal-mart early and get some TP for his family. Only allowed one pack but, it was a 16 count of jumbo rolls. This help to turn the light on for the boy and now when he dose his shopping he picks up a few extra thing to get his back ups in good order. I still get a few extra things now but, only the hard to find things and then only one and not the whole shelf.
Thomas Xavier says
Its interesting how many people now understand why its good to have a few backups in the house, sadly it looks like the lesson didn’t stick for most.=
Although I have always been a prepper, this has certainly become a learning experience.
1. I learned that despite my efforts to finish dental and medical work that required visits, it was not possible to complete them by the end of January 2020.
2. I ramped up the preparations starting the beginning of January 2020. When you haven’t had to visit Costco in 4 months because you loaded up with paper goods, you think you are prepared. However, that doesn’t prepare me for supply disruptions that will last at least through the end of the year.
3. In January 2020, I belatedly realized that unprepared relatives would be requesting food and other supplies. Fortunately, it was at a point in normal times when there would be sales on canned meats/canned veggies to make room in the institutional warehouses. Added another 8 cases of beef stew at $2.50 a can before they disappeared from the shelves and re-appeared at $4 a can with limitations. The soup currently selling for $4 a can was on sale for $.99 a can in January.
4. I learned that panic buying became the norm in people’s behavior. Morons were out buying flimsy small plastic water containers by the case when the city tap water is fine and was never threatened with disruption. It also provided an opportunity to learn that people panic and don’t think things through. You could go to any paint store, turn over the 5 gallon plastic paint container, see the “2” meaning food grade, buy the cheap bucket, go home and fill it up. Similarly, read the Lysol container blurb: “multi surface cleaner”. See the no-name product on the shelf to the empty spot where Lysol used to be? The no-name products says “multi surface cleaner” also. The woman behind me at the institutional store last week was buying toilet paper and state she missed her name brand version.
Thomas Xavier says
Yeah, crazy times and I suspect when the second wave hits and lockdown is reintroduced people will either panic again (leading to shortages) or ignore the warnings out of exhaustion with the stress which will make the problem worse.
Whichever way the wind is blowing, I don’t see a bright spot in the horizon- at least for this year.