If you’ve ventured into a grocery store in the last week or so, you’ve undoubtedly seen a few empty shelves; meat, canned goods, convenience foods and yes, toilet paper – all sold out. Today wasn’t much different, I found that some previously sold out items were at least partially restocked, but the panic buying was still going strong. One individual had 6 cases of evaporated milk in his cart along with at least a dozen bottles of rubbing alcohol and some dinner rolls. The item selection seems unimportant at this time as long as they buy something, anything; people are genuinely scared and common sense has gone out the window. The lack of supplies is only made worse by paychecks drying up as many businesses are closing at least temporarily including all the major automakers. Is COVID-19 the end of the world pandemic some are claiming it is? I doubt it; I hope and pray that it is not, but I honestly have no idea and at this point I don’t think anyone really does for sure. However, what I do know is that the panic can often be worse than the event itself.
So, what now?
Inventory Start by taking an inventory of the supplies you do have: fridge, freezer, cabinets, pantry, etc., what do you actually have.
Meal Planning Next, start putting together a menu of meals, regardless of how basic, that you can make with what you have on hand. Don’t knock having pancakes and sausage for dinner until you’ve tried it.
Operational Security Desperate people are dangerous people. Do not tell anyone what you have, better that they think you have nothing than to make yourself a target. Stop posting to social media; and please, please, if you are a prepper…keep it to yourself!
Personal Security People are nuts right now, keep your head on a swivel and your face out of your phone. Do you have a heightened state of awareness, are you prepared to protect yourself if necessary? Post nothing personal to social media; no pics, no Facebook check ins, nothing, just stop.
Keep Trying Just because this store is out of (insert needed product) doesn’t necessarily mean that they all are. What’s out today might be back in stock tomorrow; here on Saturday bread was non-existent, today there seemed to be a decent amount available. I heard a store employee state that ‘we have a truck, but we won’t unload it until after we close,’ so early might be better than later.
Who will I help. Who is relying on you; spouse, kids, parents, elderly family or friends? Depending on your situation you may feel compelled to help others, just make sure that anyone that you choose to help knows to keep that to themselves. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Idle Hands Whether hunkering down, quarantined, or just out of your normal routine; stress and anxiety can be amplified by boredom or isolation. Maybe you can just Netflix and chill for long periods of time, I simply can not. You will probably want/need something to occupy your time; do you play an instrument or want to learn one? How about board games, jigsaw puzzles, DVDs, sports, whatever. Maybe its finally time to start that garden you’ve talked about for years.
Stay Informed Keep a close eye on the news as situations like this can change rapidly, but as always be wary of the source.
Your thoughts are appreciated.