One of my prepper friends called and asked if my experience so far with the coronavirus crisis had caused me to rethink my prepping supplies or change our preps.
“Yeah,” I told him. “I’m going to stock more pretzels, tortilla chips, dark chocolate candy bars, and semi-sweet chocolate chips.”
He laughed and a lengthy discussion about the viability of chocolate in long term storage followed. Finally, I had a chance to explain that these were not items for my long term storage program, but things we’d purchase at the last minute, if possible, like we did with eggs and crackers this time around. He then explained that what he actually meant was, “Did I wish we stocked more masks and other PPE?”
Nope. I’m satisfied with my stockpile, which is probably 100 surgical masks and 40 or so N95s that we picked up years back at the building supply store. We also have actual gas masks with 6 or 8 filters per person, and a few of the protective suits, booties, chemical resistant gloves and goggles.
So why am I satisfied with this stock? Because if you never leave your house, you don’t need an N95 mask or a Tyvek suit and apron. As long as no one in the house is ill, you don’t have to wear your PPE when you are in self-imposed quarantine. And we’ve found that we have very little reason to leave or interact with others.
If I worked in the medical field, had a retail job, drove a UPS truck, or did anything else “essential” that included interacting with the general public, then I would certainly stock up on PPE for reasons that should be obvious. The good news is that so many companies are starting to make masks that I expect your’ll be able to get a good deal on PPE in six or eight months.
Coronavirus as a Dry Run
As far as global disasters go, I’d rank the coronavirus is probably only a 3 or 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. Why so low? Because the power stayed on; because the disaster came on slowly rather than in a flash; because ther are things you can do to protect yourself; because we can communicate and get news and updates, and because resupply is still (mostly) available.
Having the electricity on makes a world of difference. It gives us refrigeration, light, entertainment, communication and, in our case, water. Surviving would be much harder if we were cold, had to haul and purify water, cook on an open fire or the Coleman stove, and lost everything that is stored in the freezer. We could still survive, but the suck factor would be way higher, and instead of being bored, we’d probably be exhausted, frightened, and angry. The world around us would be a grimmer place by far if there was a lengthy power outage in the middle of this pandemic or if the pandemic had moved faster or had a higher mortality rate. I know it doesn’t feel like it now, but we’ve been lucky.
Think much worse things would be this has been a huge meteor strike, a nuclear exchange, an EMP, a powerful solar flare, a massive volcano explosion or some other unimaginable disaster that killed hundred of millions of people at once and destroyed a large portion of the world’s infrastructure.
Serious preppers should look at this crisis as a dry run, a test case in which they get to use their preps in a real-world situation, but not one where failing means someone goes hungry or worse.
People new to prepping should look at it as an eye-opener, a chance to play “what if” and an opportunity for some hands-on learning.
Improve Your Preps
If you knew the coronavirus was coming back next year, what would you do this fall to prepare? My list would start with raising chickens. Next would be storing more white flour and plenty of dough enhancer. Third would be that list of snacks and candy I mentioned plus and a few cases of wine (for my wife, of course).
Let’s face it, I’ve never met a serious prepper who didn’t have more wants than he could afford. If money wasn’t an object, I’d own a .30 caliber full-auto belt-fed machine gun, a few suppressors, a dedicated prepper vehicle, an underground nuclear-attack-proof bunker with all the latest gear, a couple pallets of freeze dried food, and a bunch of other cool stuff. With my budget, I’m going to have to stick with the simpler things, like chocolate chips.
A Morale Booster
Well, after a post like that, we could all use a morale booster! Here’s a bunch of good guys having a great time with this catchy tune.
Want to read all the diary entries about the Pickled Prepper’s experiences during the coronavirus quarantine? Check out this page to see them in chronological order.