How Covid-19 Created More Preppers
Humanity has had its fair share of ups and downs and has managed to get through them and continue to thrive. Famine, desertification, war, and even pandemics are not anything new to the world. They have plagued the world since the dawn of time.
Yet when Covid-19 hit, to say nobody – even most preppers - anticipated it or was prepared for it would be a serious understatement.
The Covid-19 Pandemic
The day the Covid-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic was like every other day. The working class got ready for the routine hustle and bustle, the subway in NYC was already packed with commuters and Congress was probably passing a new law.
Yet, such a regular day is permanently ingrained in the records of history. On the 11th of March 2020, the first pandemic and global devastation this current generation has ever witnessed was declared; and like most travesties, it was unexpected.
Where the virus itself originally came from is unknown, although there have been some speculations and conspiracy theories about its origins, not a sinlge one has been confirmed. What we do know is the first recorded case of the COVID-19 was a patient in Wuhan China. In less than half a year, this virus had succeeded in ravaging the entire world and halting all day-to-day activities.
With the number of cases starting to skyrocket with each passing day, along with the rising death toll, health authorities had no other choice than to declare a lockdown to help "flatten the curve". The whole human world was put on stand-by, quarantining everyone but ‘essential workers’ in their homes.
This lockdown was followed by strict protective measures such as wearing a face mask when out in public to reduce the spread. The world endured this for months until finally, an emergency use vaccine was created.
Still, the impact the Coronavirus had in the world was so massive it's still felt today. Cases of the virus are still routinely popping up, with surges happening during the season where large gatherings are most popular.
The impact touched every aspect of life as we know it, both globally and locally. And it has forced people to take preparations for crises like a pandemic more seriously.
Being called a pandemic literally means that the virus had reported cases in a large portion of the world's populace and across various continents. Of course, that meant a huge change in everyone’s daily lives. That is what made this particular event so historical, its global reach and impact. The world hadn’t seen an event like this since the outbreak of the Spanish Flu in 1918; over 100 years ago.
It seemed like overnight, every country in the world was similarly affected by this virus. However, because of the internet making the world a connected global village, this current generation had the opportunity to witness the development of this pandemic like never before.
Information was being spread in real-time, regardless of the lockdown and social distancing, individuals were still able to maintain their social lives, social connections, etc., with interactive social media platforms. Schooling even continued online for all grades and colleges.
The World Closed
As the virus took hold, major locations and venues were asked to shut down. These places were locations and businesses deemed "non-essential". For example, tourist centers, schools, cultural and sports venues were all considered non-essential.
Cities that were usually bursting with activities such as NYC, Paris, Miami, and other major cities that have been a hubbub for social activities and tourists attraction were eerily quiet and completely empty.
Because schools and other venues for learning were shut down, students had no other choice but to find an alternative means of keeping up with their academics. This period saw the popularity of online schooling grow exponentially.
The workforce was not excluded, as many people soon learned they could efficiently work from their homes harnessing software like zoom, slack, teamwork, and ring central as a way to create an online work environment.
Terms like social distancing and PPE (personal protective equipment) soon became a norm and became a part of the global lexicon over time.
The only places that people were allowed to visit (while following safety protocols) were those considered “essential” such as supermarkets/grocery stores, hospitals, etc. But access to these public places were still regulated and could not make up for the new limitations of inaccessible areas to visit. This situation gave people a deeper appreciation for the simple pleasures of life such as walking through the park or getting together for drinks with friends.
However, in 2021, with the Covid-19 vaccine being readily available to the general public, these harsh restrictions and limitations for every day life and traveling have since become more lacks. While there are still some long term changes that have remain in place, most of life has gone back to normal.
Global Work Crisis
It's no news at this point that the pandemic greatly impacted the labor force and we are still seeing some of these struggle 2 years later. A report showed that 25% of American adults say that they or someone in their household was laid off from work as a direct result of the pandemic. Ultimately causing a huge decline in the national economy.
The unemployment crisis was a major cause for concern for most of the population and in return the government. Mainly due to the lockdown, those laid off were not likely to set out in getting another job just yet. During the meantime the unemployed were not prepared or ran through their saving rather quickly trying to keep up with rent and other basic necessities like food, power and water. This prompted the government to provide multiple stimulus packages to help everyone get by throughout the pandemic. While it helped many, it wasn’t enough for those who were already struggling.
With such a huge strain on the workforce and many people being out of job, a lot more people are starting to take having multiple streams of income, and savings more seriously. Many preppers were not exempt from this job loss crisis, but hopefully were ready with some savings and ideas to get a new job, whatever it may be. Investments, getting a second job, and starting a blog under a niche you're passionate about are ways people are starting to better their finances post lockdown.
Millions of Lives Lost
Even though health care officials jumped right into action as soon as the spread of the deadly virus was ramping up millions of lives were still lost across the globe.
Covid-19 affected people from various age groups, the population that was most severely affected by the virus were the elderly and people with underlying health problems, especially heart related.
The WHO cited that approximately 4 million people have died because of Covid-19. And these are only the reported cases. Such a huge loss has caused more preppers to take spending time with their loved ones more seriously and prioritize their health both mentally and physically.
Covid-19 greatly affected people living within certain communities, especially those most populated like NYC, Las Vegas, Miami, India, Italy and more. No matter how small your town or country was, the impact of the virus was still felt. And this wasn't just in terms of the death toll.
The virus also affected other aspects of a person's life such as:
- Mental health
- Access to healthcare services
- Financial woes
- Sense of safety
- And more
The planet has started healing, nearly 2 years later, but it might take even longer before things can fully be repaired. There will be a new normal that most people will need to adjust to over time. Here is how covid affected most of us locally.
Who can forget the series of memes that went flying about when most convenience stores ran out of toilet paper? Funny as the internet was during that period, the situation perfectly summarized how difficult it was to get important supplies during the time of covid. Modern supply shortages are almost always fueled by fear and greed; people taking more than they need and not leaving enough for those around them.
As a prepper, you might have already had a fair share of supplies stocked up for just this kind of event. But those preps only last so long, causing even the most prepared to experience difficulty in trying to restock.
This was the new order of things. Individuals and families clamored to get enough groceries because their frequented restaurants were closed and the lockdown and supply shortages made it a little difficult to pop out every few days to restock their pantries.
Covid cases soared and caused a huge strain placed on healthcare facilities. Most hospitals were starting to overflow and exceed maximum capacity and had to discharge all "stable" and elective patients to accommodate the onslaught of deadly Covid-19 cases. Space was scarce, patients were in the hallways, bodies were piling up quicker than could be handled.
Lack of availability of space in hospitals wasn't the only problem. There was barely enough manpower or equipment to accommodate all of the patients. Health care officials were being overworked. Even worse is the fear of catching the virus stopped many people from getting their routine checkups, delaying important diagnosis for many.
What preppers can take away from the state of our hospitals during such an event include keeping up with their annual doctor and dental appointments. Taking care of your overall physical health, maintaining a healthy weight, is also an important preparedness necessity.
Declining Mental Health
Global lockdowns and social distancing were the backbone of the anti-spread initiative. Covid-19 is known to spread through coughs, spittle, handshakes and hugs. This meant friendly gestures that are innate to us humans were put on pause. Isolation slowly wilted the social butterflies of the world.
The rate at which members of society were being let go from their jobs was head spinning. We saw the greatest unemployment rate on record since modern data collection processes had begun. Loosing ones job in any instance can be devastating, but to loose it during a pandemic on lockdown, took a toll on the mental health of our society.
Anxiety, fear, and stress levels increased immensely and the daily increase in cases didn't do anything to soothe the fear and paranoia that clouded the world. Depression rates are still sitting heavy atop the scales. Taking care of your mental health every day is one of the most important aspects of the prepper life.
The Preparedness Mindset
If there's anything to be learned from the pandemic, it is the need to be prepared. Not just on individual levels but on more collective, national and global, levels.
Communities and countries around the world need to be more proactive in coming up with safety measures and processes to mitigate this level of disaster from occurring again, at least at this magnitude. With our modern practices and better technology we did managed to contain it much better than the Spanish Flu in 1918. However, millions of people still died as a direct result of this disease and while pandemics cannot be stopped completely, there are steps that can be taken to ensure even less people die during the next global pandemic.
More substantial supply stocks should be put in place to ensure that standard of living, security, supplies, etc., are always kept at a level that can sustain each local region. Individually, you can ensure that you always have a stockpile of food, water, and other important supplies you felt you were lacking during Covid. Additionally, having a survival garden, rainwater capturing, and alternate energy sources will never hurt in a situation like we faced in 2020 and 2021.
Even with our modern technological advancements and our improved global infrastructure many still weren't prepared for the gravity of the situation posed by the outbreak. Even though it was easier to get information across, it made it even easier for the media and other layman to spread propaganda and misinformation. These falsehoods ultimately struck unnecessary fear into the general population and persuaded many people to not listen to the medical and scientific advice, even causing some to drink bleach and take things like anti-parasitic medications that are dangerous to ones health.
That being said, being prepared in ways like maintaining your physical health, having a nest egg, keeping a stock of essential supplies, and knowing how to spot disinformation; are all essential to surviving a future outbreak.