Even more exigent circumstances

Everybody stop and take a breath.

Virtually none of us have had to deal with anything like the current panicdemic. Many of us were caught completely unprepared, and that’s a scary thing. Panicking does not help.

Here in California, Governor Statist Douche issued a “shelter in place” order on March 19th. I’ll get into the legalities (or lack thereof) of that in another post. For now I want to talk about what you need to do today, and what you need to not do as more states issue their own version of “shelter in place.”

Here’s your quick list:

  • Stop panicking
  • Check weapons
  • Check food
  • Check sundries
  • Loop

The first step is simple; stop panicking. This isn’t weaponized Ebola delivered via suicide carriers into every major city. In fact, at this point it looks like our government’s response to the COVID-19 threat is absurdly asymmetrical to the threat. Panic buying toilet paper isn’t solving the problem. Right now my assessment is that the people panicking are far more of a threat to me than COVID-19.

Second, you need to assess what you need. Do you have sufficient food to feed everyone in your house for the next thirty days? If the answer to that is no, you need to remedy that right now. Of course the best case scenario is that you have 30 days of food for everyone in your household at all times, but that is not always feasible. I did not have 30 days of food for everyone in my house when this started (but I did have 2-3 weeks worth). It doesn’t need to be 30 days of filet mignon and lobster. The general rule of thumb is 2000 kcals per person per day. Meal plan.

Yes, it is possible to eat beans and rice for 30 days and survive. At least if you don’t end up killing everyone in your house because they’ve been complaining about beans and rice for three weeks. Variety is the spice of life. Meal plan. It’s far better to have seven different meals four times over the course of a month than one meal 30 times. Meal planning isn’t terribly hard, but if you want to minimize your exposure to the lunatics fighting over toilet paper and Froot Loops, you’re going to have to write out a meal plan before you head to the store. Taco Tuesdays, there’s four meals for you for a month that nobody in my house would ever complain about.

This is an actual picture of my local grocery store I took last week.

Unfortunately if your stores look anything like mine, you probably aren’t going to get everything on your list. Make it anyway. Better to have a goal than to run in and panic buy. Think staples; flour (if you’re gonna do bread get yeast and or beer too), sugar, rice, beans, pasta, canned vegetables and fruit, peanut butter, honey, meat that you can freeze. Canned tuna is great (don’t forget the mayo) pinto beans are great, rice is great, , but pinto beans mixed with rice and tuna is not something anyone who has eaten this week is going to willingly eat. Which is why you meal plan. Don’t forget to pick up some snacks and treats. Psychological value of a favorite treat should never been overlooked, especially if you have kids.

If you can’t get 30 days, get what you can. The stores will restock. Our supply chain is not broken, the delivery points are just overloaded. It may take 5-10 trips to the store over a week to get everything you need, but I promise you that if you have not starved yet, you won’t in the next month either.

Ok, you’ve got food. How are you for guns and ammo? The current panic buying of guns and ammo is like nothing I’ve ever seen, and at this point I’ve lived through at least a dozen good panic buys. Previously it was mostly what you’d expect: anything in 9mm, .45, .223/5.56, 12g, 7.62×39, and so on would vanish. This time it’s everything. People who were voting for gun bans last month are filling out 4473s today. Don’t go pay $3000 for a PSA AR and buy a pallet of xm193. If you have a handgun and a long gun with at least 100 rounds of hollow points for the handgun, and 300 rounds of whatever for the long gun, you’re fine today. Do you have a holster for that Glock? Do you have a sling for that AR? Make sure your guns are in a functional state. Clean them. Load mags.

Check your sundries. Got toilet paper? How about laundry soap? All the non edibles that you need to run your house for a month. I ran out of dryer sheets the first load of laundry I did after the shelter in place recommendation from Governor Statist Douche, because the last time I looked was six months ago and I had a whole costco size box plus the half one I was working with. My wife gave it to her mother a couple months ago and forgot to tell me. Oops. Take inventory and make a list before you go shopping. You may not get it all in one go, but again, better to have something to shoot for than to run in and buy 15 boxes of garbage bags and 9 rolls of aluminum foil.

This will all pass. The real danger is that people panic and make this problem orders of magnitude greater than it is or needs to be. Everybody calm down, take a deep breath, and remember that you are the example that your children look to in times of calamity. If mom and dad are panicking, kids will panic. If mom and dad are calm and collected, kids will be too (at least to the extent that they ever are).

What you don’t need to do is almost as simple a list as the list of what you do need to do:

  • Don’t panic
  • Don’t buy enough food for a year
  • Don’t hoard seventeen pallets of toilet paper
  • Don’t fight people in the grocery store over the last roll of paper towels
  • Don’t buy every box of .45 ammo even though you don’t own a .45

Simple right?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: