In the sailboat and other message boards a vast number of “prepper” types posted all kinds of stuff about leaving on their boats. They talked about how they would take to the high seas. How they were prepared for anything. They’d sail around the Caribbean, or Med. Ideologies warred. Twitter and Facebook were covered by this is an over reaction and the response was worse than the cure. Many of the others in these forums talked about how COVID-19 wasn’t a thing and posted silly Corona virus memes. We still have some large number of people who think a pandemic is fake news. These same people who cry “snowflake!” are acting like self entitled toddlers who need a nap.
Here is the reality. Most of those people who talked about heading to sea are on port restriction or hiding in their parents attic/basement. They spent a lot of time sucking the oxygen out of the actual discussion of how to prepare. Remember that. There is wasteful discourse and there is actual preparation. Talk versus do. Lots of those people still talking about “fake news” or other derogatory information about a pandemic merely are sucking up oxygen that could be better purposed to sustained work towards recovery. By denying reality of today they are creating negative outcomes tomorrow. Unfortunately we all will be subject to that peril.
A pandemic is a match. All the ills of the world are the fuel that feeds the beat down of civilization. Racism, homophobia, economic abuses, social injustice, religious intolerance, corporatism, classism, famine, and so much more are ignited by a pandemic and rise up to bite the collective posterior of civilization. Massive rapid unemployment not enough to make you take it seriously? Significant increase in deaths of people over 50 not enough to take it serious? Trillions of tax dollars changing hands not enough to take it seriously?
Listen very carefully. Nobody knows what is going to happen in the future. We can model it. We can use statistical analysis. We might even be right but we can’t know the future. Specifically a pandemic has very simple math but there are so many confounding variables any projection is simply not effective. We are standing on a mountain road at a particular point in time. On the left is a vast chasm or cliff with no guard rail. On the right is a meadow with flowers, bunnies and clover. The map is not the terrain. The map we follow is based on the patterns of the past. Hopefully the map represents the road close enough we can get to a good outcome. At any moment an unforeseen high impact variable could knock us into the chasm or into the meadow. The virus could mutate and become even more virulent with negative outcomes. The virus could mutate and increase everybody’s IQ. Ok… Just wishing with that last one. We just have to keep going down the road and hope our map is good enough.
I’m watching social ills increase. This morning it was a couple involved in a domestic violence issue beating on each other. Tomorrow it might be civil disobedience. We’e winding the spring of pressure on society tighter than at any time since World War 2 or even maybe before that. We have spring floods and tornadoes that are starting to occur in the Midwest. Where we tell people to gather in shelters during a pandemic. We have the hurricane season expected to be much worse than last year where we send people to shelters during a pandemic. There will be California wildfire season where we send people to shelters during a pandemic. Our normal reaction to emergencies gather everybody together. Which is not good during a pandemic. Remember all those people who had all kinds of advice weeks ago? Don’t let them suck the air out of the discussion on how to prepare for these things.
I live on a boat in a beautiful place. I’m not currently on harbor lock down but counties on either side of me are locked down. I expect before hurricane season some number of restrictions will likely be alleviated. Yet the virus will still be with us. I keep several months worth of provisions on the boat and slowly cycle through them always keeping them fresh. I have the ability to work from boat with almost no perceived lack of productivity and maybe a bit more productive. I think this year I need to be out of Florida for hurricane season not because of insurance but because going to a hotel or shelter is not likely a good options with an immune compromised individual in the family.
Preparation is not buying ammo, food, toilet paper, or massive amounts of food. It is being aware of what is happening. We start being prepared by discounting the ideological echo chamber for a pragmatic preparation mindset. Am I prepared to provide medical care to my family? Do I have a multi-option voyage plan to leave an unsafe area for a safe area? Do I have a resilient strategy for keeping my income stream in case things only go half way in the shitter? What is the plan for getting back to normal without having cut my own nose off to spite my face? What can I do to insure I have ground truth about reality and have not allowed my own emotions to cloud my judgement? How do I gain pragmatism in the face of ideological warfare?
I talk to people who claim to be preppers on their boat. Yet they have a radar reflector hanging from the spreaders. They don’t even know why that is an issue which is just fine. I don’t have time for ideological in-fighting and labeling because I’m to lazy to determine a common language. To be very real I have a loved one who if she becomes symptomatic with COVID-19 likely has a week to live. I don’t have time for the ignorant. I need to be enjoying every moment. May you be so fortunate to enjoy life in such a way as you know that the clock is ticking. May it not be to soon. Just respect that I am in that spot in my life right now.