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NO ONE COULD HAVE PREPARED FOR WHAT’S HAPPENING

By JOEY ZABALLERO

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Some of us started preparing as soon as news of China’s Covid 19 made the headlines. Tracking the progress of the virus, some even raised the alarm bells that an economic slowdown would ensue because the world’s manufacturing center, China, was practically shut down.  For most of us, the alarm bells started when the government was patting itself on the back for our three confirmed patients while other countries saw a geometric growth in cases. Despite the pushback from our doctor members saying that they were on top of the situation, some folks started to take precautions. No, this was not some secret think tank, not some secret organization within the government. The group making these assumptions and preparations were ordinary people–preppers.

Most of us were already set. If anything, we only added a small amount to supplement the preparation we’ve built up over years, maybe picking up a couple of cans of soup and corned beef here and there. Probably the biggest change in our preps would be the inclusion of alcohol and cleaning products in our stash. Most of us were prepared for civil unrest, invasion, or even the Zombie apocalypse — you laugh but the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) has run through something similar https://ift.tt/2xRFbS3 zombie/index.htm — but none except the most hardcore among us were prepared for a biological threat like COVID-19.

It’s important to point out that most preppers will not have joined the massive panic buying that ensued when the lockdown was being contemplated. Most were secure in their preps and follow the battle cry YOYO – You’re On Your Own, (credit to risk manager Martin Aguda for popularizing this). This cannot be more true under the current situation. Neither our country nor the world has had to deal with these current conditions, although the killing microbe is as old as time. With a bigger world population than when the Spanish Flu was around, faster modes of travel, and more social interaction, what was aptly called the novel corona virus spread like wildfire. Already our government has had some hiccups, as expected because not even the world’s most powerful country is facing this without stumbling all over the place. This is the main reason we prep and depend on ourselves.

Most of the supplies have been built up over years and rotated out to ensure they are not expired. As shown by some of the memes on the internet, it takes a bit of a fortune to prepare for the crisis a few days before it happens. Buying a can or two of food and setting it aside every time you go to the grocery store is much more manageable.  This can be applied to medicines, cleaning materials, and security items also.

So when the panic buying happened, despite what one FB post said, “I bet preppers are feeling vindicated right now,” we viewed this with a little apprehension. Selfish people buying crates of food and leaving little for others are a problem, not a social media meme. Shortages lead to hungry people, hungry people lead to unrest, unrest leads to a breakdown of an already stretched government system.

And this really is where the “weirdos,” as the mainstream likes to call us, silently help the community. Preppers already have enough supplies. We don’t contribute to the scarcity of goods during a crisis. We are self-sufficient, allowing the government to focus on groups that really need help. If anything, preppers are a force multiplier.

We are, however, not without fault. If anything we have become a bit too self sufficient to the point where we do not share our methods with other people.  I personally believe that growing the prepper community can only have positive results. The more of us who are prepared and willing to help the community, the more the government can focus on more pressing matters. So after this crisis, yes, this too shall pass, make it a point to reach out and get prepped, get ready for the next “zombie apocalypse.”



Source: Manila Bulletin

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