After watching for more than a week as the so-called civilized world went nuts over toilet paper and hand sanitizer, I am now watching as the United States (and other countries) try to ascertain how to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus that seeks to be wreaking havoc on our lives. I am, for safety’s sake, doing my best to stay in and stay away from large groups of people. I am, after all, now part of that high-risk group known as the “over-sixty” crowd.
All of this running to-and-fro, emptying store shelves of what some may call “essential” items, has made me think, more and more, about those folks some call (maliciously or otherwise) “preppers.” You know that ones: the folks that have been adding food and other supplies to their pantries and storage areas in an effort to prepare for TEOTWAWKI (The End of The World As We Know It), SHTF (“Stuff” Hits The Fan), WROL (Without Rule of Law), or some other nationwide or worldwide disturbance in our otherwise comfortable worlds.
Some say such folks have been going overboard with their “prepping” and that most of them are just crazies or lunatics or conspiracy theorists. Truth is, many are former military (officers included), professors, highly educated folks, and other sane individuals and families who have been concerned about the direction the world has been headed. From what I’ve been able to glean, most of these folks - if concerned at all — were thinking along the lines of a possible economic downturn, some kind of revolt against tyranny, or a war of some type. Some were concerned about diseases, plagues, etc. Even so, I’m not sure many thought we would be facing the kind of scenario we are now in the midst of.
It never hurts to have foods and supplies on hand; “stored-up” if you will. A full pantry and meat in the freezer are good things. Having the ability to make your own power — either through solar, wind or hydro generation — is also something I believe to be a great idea.
Still, I will say that I am concerned.
I am concerned for those who do not have the ability to stay home and wait this thing out. I’m concerned for healthcare workers, emergency responders and others who deal with the public day-in and day-out. I’m concerned for those who work in major retail establishments and come into contact with literally thousands of people each day. I’m concerned for teachers and paraprofessionals and daycare workers and school nurses.
I’m concerned about those who refuse to take this situation seriously. I agree with those who say if it turns out that we’ve overreacted, we might not even know it. On the other hand, if we come to a future where we didn’t do enough to stem the tide — to slow and hopefully end the progression of the virus — it will be all too obvious to everyone. I hope we didn’t wait too long. I hope it’s not too late.
Wash your hands. Keep practicing social distancing (which is a term many of us had never heard before this outbreak). Find a way to check on those who might be at high risk. Stay safe and well. Be kind to one another. And — above all — keep the faith!