Is it Just me? Or is the World Falling Apart?

Danger zones, hot spots, and red flags seem to litter the global map. When things go wrong, they seem to go wrong everywhere, all at once.

Some days, the world just looks like it is falling apart. This is one of those days, and it’s hard not to be pessimistic.

Here are a few things going on in the world that make me feel this way:

Inflation

According to data released today, consumer prices rose 5.4 percent from a year ago, the biggest leap in 13 years. We’ve covered the dangers of inflation and how to protect yourself here, here and here, so I won’t go into too much detail today, other than to tell you the rate of increase is speeding up and to remind you that every dollar in your pocket buys 5.4 percent less than it did a year ago.

Upward pricing pressure is not relaxing. Drought in the West is expected to result in more food price inflation and shortages of coffee because of a low harvest in Brazil will cause coffee prices to rise.

Protests in Cuba

Cubans are protesting against their government, the lack of food, medicine, and high prices. They want liberty and freedom. The Cuban government showed how little of each they have as it took down the Internet to prevent protestors from posting photos to social media or live streaming the event.

Here in the U.S., Senator Ted Cruz and Miami Mayer Francis Suarez, both sons of Cuban immigrants, railed against the communist nation and socialism, which has been embraced by many on the left.

Suarez added that socialism provides people a “false promise” and in practice means the government takes away peoples’ property and freedoms. 

“[It] has failed not just in Cuba but in the history of humanity—this is an ideology that promises to create equality. The only equality it has delivered is equal misery for all of its citizens in every country that it’s been tried….The truth of the matter is, it’s never worked and never going to.”

The socialists in Congress and on Twitter were largely silent in the face of more first-hand evidence that socialism does not benefit the poor and downtrodden, it just creates more of them.  I expect this Cuba story will stick around the news cycle for some time.

Watch our Video of the Day from the Wall Street Journal for more.

Wild fires Sweep Western U.S.

After months of drought and weeks of three digit temperatures, Mother Nature added insult to injury as lightning strikes have caused wide-ranging wild fires in not just Arizona, California and Oregon, but also into Idaho and Montana, home of many preppers. There are 67 wildfires reported across 10 Western states. Some of these fires cover consumed hundreds of square miles. Here’s some more bad news: There’s more fire season ahead, and there is no end in sight for the drought.

Haiti Slides Further Down the Drain

The recent assassination of its president has thrown Haiti even deeper into anarchy. Haiti is already a failed state where gangs hold as much sway as the government. Fifty percent of the population cannot find enough food to eat. This attack undermines what little stability they had. Expect things to get even worse before they get better.

Afghanistan is Going to Hell, and we Helped Send it There

I’m in favor of peace, but I can’t help thinking maybe we should have left 10,000 troops in Afghanistan just to keep the Taliban from taking over the country, and hung on to Bagram air base. I think it is especially ironic that the Biden administration pulled out in the dad of night over the Independence Day weekend. While we were out celebrating, millions of Afghanis raised under the protection offered by American and other NATO troops were fleeing the country. Now the air base is being looted and the Taliban is acquiring much equipment that cost U.S. taxpayer’s millions, if not billions.

The Taliban is rolling over Afghani troops and claims to control 85 percent of the country. I’ve heard they control a third and are fighting for another third. Whatever the numbers are, that’s not good news for people who do not want to live under their barbaric system.

COVID-19 Cases on the Rise in Almost Every State

You knew this one had to be in there, and we warned you. The Daily Mail reports that cases of the coronavirus are on the rise in 43 states plus Washington, D.C. The New York Times reports cases have risen 94 percent over the past 14 days. Deaths continue to decline, but we know they are a lagging indicator. We may be at the beginning of that next wave. My questions are: What percentage of positive cases are being hospitalized and dying in this new wave; how many cases are in the young who are asymptomatic; and are we at the stage where we can treat this like the flu.

My daughter is getting married in October. Some of her guests have already RSVP’d that they will attend as long as there isn’t another COVID-19 outbreak. That just shows it is on people’s minds. Hopefully it is on your radar screen and you are prepped and ready for rising COVID cases, new closures, and more shortages.

There’s More…

You’ll note that I have left out the rapid spike in murder and violent crime, China’s recent threats to Japan, problems with Iran, riots in South Africa, the OPEC crisis, the illegal aliens pouring over our borders, the backlog of containers off both Chinese and U.S. ports, the shortage of truck drivers, the rising unemployment rate, the millions of people who do not want to work, and I could go on.

I’ve written several posts this week about how to survive an economic collapse and a failed state. Most of that applies to a societal collapse as well. I can’t help but think the entire world is going downhill. I just can’t tell if we’re leading the charge or being dragged along. Either way, I am not counting on a soft landing.

Just a Short Update and Prepper News Recap

Not much going on around the homestead today, so I did chores and got things prepper in case storms from Hurricane Elsa get this far.  I fed the chickens, added a super to another beehive, fed the weakest beehive, stacked firewood, paid some bills, and a friend came over to visit.  My wife went to the farmer’s market and then to Yoga, so I took a nap.

Like much of the East, we are expecting some rain associate with Elsa, but probably not a serious storm.  The heaviest weather should be to our east.  That should keep me indoors long enough to do some woodworking.

Continue reading “Just a Short Update and Prepper News Recap”

Prepper News Update July 5

The Problem With Carrying Guns in An Anti-Gun State

This story about cops closing I-95 because of 11 armed men has been all over the news over the last couple days, but if you look beyond the headline, it has several lessons for preppers: One, be discrete; don’t stand on the highway in a rabidly anti-gun state like Massachusetts with visible rifles and shotguns. Two, if you need to refuel your vehicle, going to a gas station and using a pump will attract far less attention than doing it on the side of the road. If you must refuel from gas cans, take an exit and do so in a location that is less likely to attract attention than the side of an interstate highway. Three, don’t live in and avoid traveling through anti-gun states like Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and California. Four, when traveling between states, even states that recognize your concealed carry permit, follow Federal laws about transporting long guns between states.

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Prepper News Update, July 2

Tropical Storm Elsa Heads Towards U.S.

We’re just one month into Hurricane Season and Tropical Storm Elsa has formed in the Atlantic and is slated to head into the Caribbean, then on to South Florida and possibly continue on up to hit the pan handle or wander into the Gulf. Better keep an eye on this one, folks, as it may develop into a hurricane. This is the earliest storm ever with an “E” name, possibly foretelling a deadly hurricane season with multiple storms.

Drought to Cause Higher Food Prices

Unfortunately, Tropical Storm Elsa won’t have any impact on the drought out west. The Wall Street Journal says, “While high inflation for some goods and services might prove to be transitory, the run-up in prices for food staples such as beef, pork and milk might be extended by the effects of severe drought.” Besides those staples, expect to see higher prices for fruits, vegetables, and almonds, which are grown in California. Global food prices in May were 40 percent higher than last May.

Continue reading “Prepper News Update, July 2”

Warning: Another COVID-19 Wave Could Strike the U.S.

You can get bowled over by the wave, or you can ride it. Your choice. preparing, just in case, will help you ride it.

I am concerned that a fresh wave of COVID-19 could hit the U.S. this fall and carry through the holiday season. Around the world, the COVID-19 Delta mutation is causing new lockdowns, new restrictions, and a return to masking. Evidence from countries like the UK and Israel point to the possibility that the United States will experience a surge in cases as the Delta mutation strikes not only those who are unvaccinated, but sickens some of the vaccinated as well. This could unravel much of the progress we have made fighting COVID-19, and cause significant social disruption.

If we see another wave—and I will admit that it is only a possibility—then what effect will it have on the economy and society and what can you do to prepare for it? Yes, the hype about Delta may be overblown. It may be the same old crowd the blew prior COVID-19 concerns out of proportion doing it again, as this article suggests. But my opinion is that we should prepare in any case. Even if Delta is overblown, there may still be lockdowns and restrictions, especially with Democrats in control.

Continue reading “Warning: Another COVID-19 Wave Could Strike the U.S.”

Prepper News Update for June 29

We’ve been including occasional prepper news updates in our articles for some time with links to articles on topics of interest. Effective today, we are breaking these out as separate posts rather than including them in our daily post.

If you come across an article you think would be of interest, use the contact us page to forward it to us. Include the headline and a URL. A brief summary is also welcome.

Venezuelans Make U.S. Border Crossing to Escape Socialism

More Venezuelans have been intercepted at the border in 2021 than in the past 14 years combined. Why are they fleeing? Because the socialist state has turned comfortable middle class doctors, engineers and school teachers into desperate, miserable hungry refugees. One recent Venezuelan refugee said it is better to wash toilets here than to be an engineer there, where she earned just $50 a month.

COVID-19 Global Cases and Deaths Likely Much Higher

Yesterday, we linked to an article the reported that the U.S. may have under-reported early COVID-19 cases by 17 million. Today, we learn that India may have under-reported COVID-19 deaths by as many as 1 million. In our coronavirus coverage, we’ve tried to always use the term “reported” when we convey cases and deaths. Now research is showing that reports in India, Africa and Latin America may be only a fraction of the true numbers. While Johns Hopkins reports 181 million cases 3.9 million deaths, the number could be closer to 500 million cases and 10 million deaths.

Many Vaccines Less Effective with Delta Variant of COVID-19

Perhaps people would take the Delta variant of COVID-19 more seriously if they called it COVID-21. Its causing another wave in much of the world.

The good news is that COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the U.S. continue to drop, even as the Delta variant is becoming the dominant strain in the U.S. For those that haven’t been following the news, the COVID-19 mutation known as Delta caused the surge of cases and so much death in India and is far more transmissible. More good news is that both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines appear to be quite effective against Delta.

The bad news is that the Delta variant of COVID-19 is marching across the world, and Chinese vaccines appear to be less effective against this mutation. Multiple countries are experiencing surges as this article reports “examples from several countries suggest that the Chinese vaccines may not be very effective at preventing the spread of the virus, particularly the new variants.”

A vaccine that is 51 percent effective is still better than no vaccine, and China vaccinated 500 million people in a single month. But that may only cut the path of COVID-19 in half. If another outbreak develops or the country increases its lockdowns and shutdowns to prevent the spread, it could exacerbate supply chain problems and cause costs to rise. Shipping delays already plague key Southern ports in China. COVID-19 could increase the backlog.

Continue reading “Many Vaccines Less Effective with Delta Variant of COVID-19”

Inflation, War, COVID-19, and Other Dangers Lie Ahead

Our hopes of getting back to the pre-COVID normal seem pretty dismal, but there have always been reasons to prepare.

We addressed inflation as recently as two days ago, but in their article “The perfect storm making everything you need more expensive” CNN sums up their reasons for rising prices thusly:

“Companies are furiously trying to restock inventories following last year’s global recession, straining supply chains already reeling from the pandemic to breaking point. A shortage of shipping containers and bottlenecks at ports have made matters worse and increased the cost of moving products around the world. Throw in accidents, cyberattacks, extreme weather and the huge disruption caused by the desperate hunt for cleaner sources of energy, and you have a perfect storm.”

No mention of the money supply’s explosive growth, but CNN admits that the pursuit of green energy is a contributing factor. While the word “inflation” does not appear until the sixth paragraph, they admit that “inflation is back and it’s widespread.”

Continue reading “Inflation, War, COVID-19, and Other Dangers Lie Ahead”

Ending our Weekly COVID-19 Report with a Victory

When Charlie Sheen famously said “Winning!” it came back to bite him, but we’re still declaring victory over COVID-19. For now, at least.

Fourteen months after the start of the COVID-19 outbreak swept through the U.S., I am putting what I hope will be a definite hold on our Monday report that has ran every Monday for months. We’ll be back if COVID-19 is back, but we hope that won’t be necessary. Coverage of fallout from the virus will continue.

This blog started as a way to kill time and report on my self-imposed quarantine, but has evolved into much more. Thanks to the many people who have checked in from time to time and especially to our regular readers.

India is still adding 1.5 million cases per week and may eventually overtake the U.S. to become the worst-hit country in the world.

Continue reading “Ending our Weekly COVID-19 Report with a Victory”

COVID-19 Plunges in U.S. But Sees Growth in Other Countries

The CDC relaxes its mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals, but we expect everyone except the very sick or the very paranoid to remove theirs.

Author’s Note: We are on a 1,000+ mile road trip, so my opportunities to post have been few and far in between. My apologies for the delay, and I hope to be back on my regular posting schedule tomorrow. This COVID-19 update is going to be a bit shorter than usual as a result.

The big COVID-19 headline in the past week has been the CDC’s relaxation of the mask mandate for people who are “fully vaccinated,” which it defines as having had both shots with at least two weeks have passed since the last shot. Multiple states quickly relaxed their guidelines.

Close to 60 percent of the population has had one shot, but my observation is that far more than 60 percent of people have immediately stopped wearing their masks. This was based on traveling through rest stops, fast-food restaurants, gas stations, and convenience stores in a piece of Virginia, a section of Tennessee, a chunk of North Carolina, a large section of South Carolina, through Georgia, and into Northern Florida. This was to be expected in Florida, where Gov. Desantis has relaxed rules for some time, but it was a surprise to see masks discarded so quickly in many other parts of the Southeast.

I’ll talk more about masks and the gas shortage in my next post.

Continue reading “COVID-19 Plunges in U.S. But Sees Growth in Other Countries”