Do you like having access to things like food, water, and toilet paper?
Do you like for your children to have access to things like food, water, and toilet paper?
Are you a happy, calm, responsible adult who thinks that having a couple months’ supply of such things on hand for your family is a good idea, or, perhaps even a basic part of being a responsible adult?
Do you see great value in providing for yourself and your family so that you’re not an unnecessary drag on the resources of others in a time of emergency? (Think: tornadoes, earthquakes, quarantine-inducing pandemics and other supply-chain disrupting events that are a recurring theme in human history.)
Do you think it’s a bad idea to rely on The Government to provide for you and your family in times of emergency since The Government gets everything it has by taking (by force and/or the implied use of force) from people who work and earn things?
Do you think it good and wise to be prepared so that you might be well positioned to help others who were less responsible when trouble comes (even if those you position yourself to potentially help were mocking you for preparing in a responsible manner while you were doing so)?
Have you dared to act upon this sense of personal responsibility and duty while perhaps respectfully mentioning to others that they might want to consider doing the same?
If you answered yes to many of these questions, especially that last one, then you have likely been recipient of more than a little hysterical, self-righteous, emotion-driven hate and criticism in recent weeks.
If, like me, you took it upon yourself to stock up in February for what has now arrived in March, you have likely been labeled a “selfish, hoarding fear monger” or some such thing.
It doesn’t matter if, back when you were making your Costo runs before the unprepared began to swarm stores (as you once very calmly predicted), everyone was chill and everything was normal. It doesn’t matter if your stocking up, when you stocked up, had literally zero impact on anyone else buying food, water, toilet paper or anything else. The mere fact that you dared to prepare for what is now becoming increasingly obvious to many as a very real problem has you cast a bad guy in the eyes of many anti-preparation zealots who are still clinging to denial and looking for someone to blame for their increasingly frazzled, fragile state of mind.
Last month in It’s Time To Brace For Coronavirus Impact, I addressed the need to be prepared before now this way:
“…Before I go much farther here, I’d like to pause and focus on one simple and very important aspect of this unfolding drama with minimal distraction. Rather than chase after any of the dozens of very interesting and worthwhile rabbits associated with this amazing unfolding event (all of which I hope to chase down in subsequent posts), I want to make a simple, clear plea for those of you who are reading to prepare yourselves and your family for what is increasingly likely to come.
Prepare for the supply chain disruptions and product shortages that are increasingly likely (though certainly not assured) to follow in the wake of this rapidly escalating situation.“
That suggestion was offered weeks ago.
Prior to that, in an early February post, I shared the following:
“If things continue along their current trajectory – which I certainly hope and pray they do not – then we probably have a couple of weeks before things get crazy in a big way. By this I don’t mean that the virus will be infecting a bajillion people or that the bug will have mutated into an even worse threat or anything like that. The way in which I’d anticipate things are most likely to get crazy in a couple of weeks if things continue along their current trajectory has to do with public panic. If things progress past the denial/joke phase and on into the “oh man, this is actually happening!” phase, then people will start getting crazy. The herd will stop grazing and start stampeding. There will be runs on food, supplies, and medicine. The medical system will be overwhelmed.
This is why we should be calmy preparing right now.
We should be acting now to ensure that we and our families have the food, water, safe shelter and supplies that they need if things get weird for a few weeks or months.
Not out of fear.
Not out of panic.
But out of a Spirit of true love and responsibility that God has commanded and equipped His people to model.”
That was over a month ago, back when corporate/dinosaur media was doing everything it could to dismiss or mock those who were saying such things as “conspiracy theorists”.
What a difference a month of reality makes, huh?
Now, rather than concerted attempts at denial and dismissal, we see more and more acknowledgement of serious problems and consequences flowing from a very real bug that is increasingly (albeit often begrudgingly) being described as being not “just like the flu”. Now we’re regularly treated to things like official agencies and system-stamped “experts” making comically idiotic (and, it should be noted, decidedly panicky/desperate sounding) proclamations about how N95 masks aren’t really a good idea for “average people” at all, but, at the same time, the same masks are of vital importance to health care professionals. We are being told that we’re just too stupid to be trusted with something like a surgical mask, and that we should therefore refrain from even buying them so that the wise, necessary professionals in The System can have the tools that they need.
Then there’s the incresingly common pitch – propaganda repeated so much that nobody even notices the glaring hypocrisy and inconsistency anymore – that would have us believe that we, as individuals, should not stock up on the things that we would need to go about our lives for a month or two should supply chains break down for any number of reasons (quarantine, natural disaster, etc.) while, at the same time, The Government should stockpile mountains and mountains of supplies for use in the same sort of emergency situations.
Our preparation as responsible individuals is painted as bad…destructive…”fear mongering”…
But The Government’s preparation for the same is painted as obviously necessary, good, and angelic.
Because we are to be kept dependent on them.
It’s not complicated, really.
Our dependence assures their position of power over us. If we were to ever actually become anything close to self-sufficient in large numbers, able to handle major (or even most minor) problems without their help, then we wouldn’t need them much, now would we?
They know this.
That’s one major reason why many at the top of various systems and structures want to promote a spirit of child-like dependence on The System. That’s why they encourage emotion-driven, irresponsible behavior on a massive scale. That’s why they want you to feel silly about preparing as a wise, responsible adult. That’s why they want you to rail against those who dare take personal responsibility seriously for themselves and their families.
They want you to shriek and howl about the “fear mongering” of people who…calmly present facts and responsibly prepare for things they don’t want to face.
Are there loud, crazy, unhinged elements in the prepper movement who are perpetuating fear for all kinds of bad/self-serving reasons? Sure, they are out there (with an emphasis on “out there”), but they are a small minority in the pro-responsibility/preparation camp who are interested in taking their responsibility as adults seriously. Pointing to the loud mouthed Crazy Prepper as representative of the pro-responsibility/preparation movement is like pointing to a lazy, drunken wife-beater as a solid representation of husbands in general. This approach is common in the Woke movement – a way of tearing down necessary and good things by pointing to perverted versions of those things and then using those perversions as reference points to justify the destruction of the good thing in question – the good thing that agitates them so much.
This is the basic, predictable M.O. that’s been used to attack masculinity, fatherhood, patriarchy, family, and gender roles for generations now, and the approach is currently on full display in the active undermining of the sort of basic adult preparation and responsibility that would have been assumed as a given not that many generations ago.
Just think about it: Why should anyone have to explain, much less justify, a desire to actually have the means on hand by which they and their family could survive for a few months if disaster or emergency strikes?
Decades of increasing encouragement to rely on The Government for everything has taken a serious toll. As long as The Government can be counted on to steal from others on their behalf, many an anti-prepper is made to feel quite comfortable ranting and raving against responsible adults rather than pursuing the hard work and sacrifice necessary to become a full blown adult themselves.
Wise, responsible adults have become not only a political threat to The System, but an emotional threat to easily triggered proponents of the “Prepping is Fear Mongering” narrative.
ZeroHedge recently ran an excellent article entitled Media Vilifies Preppers And Those Stocking Up As “Selfish Hoarders” As Potential Mass Quarantine Looms, highlighting some of the stark raving nuttiness permeating the increasingly unhinged militant anti-prepper crowd:
“While most of the folks on this website would read this and think, “Of course they are” there are a few who think, “What a bunch of selfish people, hoarding supplies instead of only taking a little and leaving the rest for other people.” Often the people with this mindset are those “other people” who failed to prepare and who are upset that they missed their window of opportunity to get the necessary supplies.
But the media and government certainly aren’t helping paint those getting prepared in a good light with headlines about “panic buying” and “hoarding.”
An article on USA Today starts out:
“Keep calm and stop hoarding. The spread of coronavirus in the U.S. won’t wipe out our toilet paper supply. Or supplies of hand sanitizer, bottled water and ramen.
That is, unless the frenzied stampedes for hand sanitizer and bottled water continue at their current pace.”
The article goes on to use phrases like “impulsive buying binges,” “air of aggressive competition,” “stripping store shelves of toilet paper,” and “the crush of humanity” at Costco.
The entire article dismisses stocking up as ridiculous and even irresponsible, blaming shoppers for causing shortages.
The USA Today article blithely reports:
“Supply chain experts say to stop worrying about hoarding basic necessities beyond having on hand the recommended 14-day emergency supply of food and necessities.
Perishable food such as fruits and vegetables are unlikely to be limited in the short term. Supplies of imported frozen meat and fish are more at risk but were already curbed by trade sanctions.
Packaged goods such as cereal and toothpaste and dry goods won’t be affected in the near term, either. For items that are now in shorter supply, such as hand sanitizer, plenty of substitutes exist such as soap. Some people are even making their own…
…Even with images of all those empty shelves flooding social media feeds, supply chain experts urged people to stop, well, freaking out.
“We don’t have a shortage of toilet paper in this country. We have plenty of toilet paper to go around,” said Per Hong, a senior partner in the strategic operations practice at Kearney, a global management consultancy. “Those supplies will be fully restocked and my ability to go to the store to get those supplies isn’t going to go away anytime soon.”
I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t feel comfortable facing a possible lockdown like the one in China with only a 14 day supply of food and necessities. And if what’s happened in Italy is anything to go by, your ability to pop out to the store to get more toilet paper absolutely could go away sometime soon.
An article on Los Angeles News Today continues in the same vein with its own experts chiming in.
“Los Angeles County health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said residents should be prepared just as they should always be for a natural disaster or other emergency.
“That means having some water in your house and some food and your medications that last for a few days,” Ferrer said. “You don’t need to rush out and buy out weeks and weeks worth of supplies, but you (do) need to have what we always ask you to have — enough supplies in your house to get through a few days.”
So according to them, you only need to be prepared for a few days. No biggie.
Wise people around the world are gathering up supplies. According to the Nielsen consumer market research agency, the spread of the coronavirus has folks everywhere “actively stockpiling emergency supplies.”
“They’re also starting to think beyond emergency items, such as basic foodstuffs, including canned goods, flour, sugar and bottled water,” according to Nielsen. “Concerns are having a ripple effect into non-food essentials as well. In the U.S., sales of supplements, fruit snacks and first aid kits, for example, are all on the rise.”
The agency noted “significant spikes” in hoarding of emergency supplies in China, the United States and Italy, “where consumers are rushing to build what are being labeled ‘pandemic pantries.”
Of course, what they call hoarding, I’d call preparing for the worst.
Did you notice a word being repeatedly used?
The word “hoarding” is being repeatedly used throughout news reports. They’re already working to paint preppers as bad and selfish people. They’re already vilifying those who hurry out to fill any gaps in their supplies. They’re making it seem like a mental illness to get prepared for what could potentially be a long stretch of time at home with only the supplies you have on hand.
This is a frequent trick of propagandists everywhere. Repeat a word often enough and suddenly everyone begins using it. Everyone begins to believe that the people labeled with an ugly word are terrible, selfish, and threats to decency.
A friend of mine wrote about an article she had read:
“There’s a single quote that sticks out to me:
“The government ended up subsidizing masks so that every family could have them after people decided to hoard them like they were bottled water in a storm.”
Do you see what happened there? Those who prepared ahead of time are being vilified. This theme is being repeated over and over again if you start reading what the experts are writing. History tells us that those who are prepared are either hailed the heroes (when they have enough for everyone) or the villains (when they have enough for themselves).”
This is a recurring theme. Those who prepare are demonized while those who do not are portrayed as victims of the “hoarders.”
Keep listening because you’re going to hear words like “hoarding” and “selfish” a lot more often as this situation continues to evolve.
State governments and the CDC are at odds
State health officials in places like Hawaii and Minnesota have recommended that residents get prepared for what could be a bumpy ride. Residents of those states are paying attention and stocking up.
The CDC (irresponsibly) couldn’t disagree more. (You know, the same CDC that’s been sending out a faulty Covid19 test all this time.) They are literally telling people not to stock up.
“CDC Director Robert Redfield on Thursday told a U.S. congressional hearing that there was no need for healthy Americans to stock up on any supplies.
“We should have one unified message,” said Robyn Gershon, a clinical professor of epidemiology at New York University. “When there’s an absence of a good, strong and reassuring official voice, people will get more upset and start doing this magical thinking.”
There, there. Don’t worry. The government will save you. Go order a pizza and don’t worry your silly little head about some virus.
Many see preparation as selfishness.
I’ve gotten comments on my own website and also in the group that I run on Facebook that preparedness is a “selfish” endeavor. And it’s always in the comments that you find out how people really feel, often using MSM talking points as their guides.
There was this rather naive comment on a mainstream article.
“The thing I have with INDIVIDUAL preppers is that why not leave it in the store? Why don’t people see the grocery store as a prepper’s storage unit?
Prepping is inherently selfish IMO.”
Someone who is no longer in my Facebook group told us.
“You people are part of the problem. You go out and hoard things when it wouldn’t hurt you to leave some stuff on the shelf for other people. If there aren’t enough supplies for everyone, it is selfish for you to only think of your family. What about everyone else’s family? Oh right, you only care about yourself.”
A commenter on my own website said:
“What a bunch of selfish jerks you all are. You don’t need 10 packages of toilet paper at a time. What about the other people who can’t afford ten packs of toilet paper?”
The author of an article about being in quarantine finds those stocking up to be selfish too, which is kind of mind-boggling when you not this author is in the position in which we all worry about finding ourselves.
“I was sorely disappointed by the amount of items that were out of stock after Singaporeans rushed to buy a whole plethora of goods (including instant noodles and toilet paper) when DORSCON Orange happened.
Given such uncertain times, I can empathise with the panic. But I couldn’t help but feel that this hoarding mentality is really selfish.
Because this means that a good portion of people–those on their weekly grocery runs or others like myself looking to get groceries delivered as I am unable to leave the house–cannot get their hands on essentials. “
Watch closely. You will see the word “selfish” getting thrown around right up there with “hoarding.”
These people are wrong.
Currently, thousands of people in the United States are spending weeks at home under self-quarantine. I’ll bet if you asked them, there are probably all sorts of things they wish they had on hand right now, and this is even with the ability to order things that can be delivered to their doorsteps. What would happen if all of us within a region faced the type of lockdown happening in northern Italy where there are potential criminal penalties for being out unnecessarily? Wouldn’t you then wish you had made that last-minute run to the store?
Stocking up is the responsible thing to do. It means that your family will not be dependent on government services. It means that nobody has to run out in the middle of a pandemic because there’s not any Tylenol and somebody has a fever. It means you don’t have to risk infection in order to have food for your children.
Stocking up to care for yourself means that you won’t be a drain on those limited government resources being dispensed and there will be more for people who did not prepare. It means you don’t need to order deliveries, causing some other person to risk their own health bringing supplies to you after things get bad.
Stocking up is practical. Whether you’ve done it over a period of years, as most of us have, or whether you’re topping up now (which I’m doing since I’ve been traveling for quite some time and I want to make sure my daughter’s place is well-supplied), taking the steps you need to be prepared is the height of personal responsibility.
There’s one really good mainstream article on Scientific American that talks about the wisdom of stocking up. Aside from that, the mainstream is studded with the usual mockery toward the self-reliant.
Panic buying vs. Prepping
Some folks have noted that what is going on right now as shelves get emptied across the country is not prepping – it’s panic buying. While there’s a little bit of truth to that, I’d still rather see people in the stores getting what they need than waiting for a handout.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve hit the stores myself to replenish a stockpile that my youngest daughter has been using. I’m certainly not panicking but I’d be a fool not to fill in some gaps.
Whether you’ve had your supplies sitting there for a year or you just picked them up over the previous week, I commend you for making the effort to get prepared for what could possibly be a lengthy period of quarantine.
Is it better to do this far in advance? Sure. Is it better to do this at the last minute than not at all? Also, sure. For those who have waited longer than might be ideal, check out this guide for panic preppers and this guide that offers substitutes when the merchandise at the store is picked over.
The media will try to make us look bad…again.
Regardless of how the Covid-19 outbreak plays out in the United States, rest assured that those who prepared will be painted with a dark brush by the media. This is one of those situations in which OpSec is of primary importance. You don’t want your unprepared neighbor to know you’re doing just fine with your canned goods and dried fruit after they failed to go to the store.
Our first responsibility is always, without fail, to our own families. . . “
To our own families?!
What kind of craziness is this?!
It sure sounds like fear-mongering to some…and it always will, but you can’t let the emotion-driven fear-mongering of the anti-responsibility/anti-preparation crowd get to you.
Just keep calm and carry on.
Keep right on sharing helpful information as you’re able while going about the adult business of preparing to sustain your family and potentially help others if and when an emergency comes along…even if the “others” in question are painting you as an evil, selfish hoarder right now.
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