Tag Archives: how many ventilators

Has everyone just hit the panic button on prepping?

Excuse me while I drag out the soapbox.

As a guy who ran a Y2K website 20+ years ago, penned zombie books (shameless plug) and have spent 40~ years living in a hurricane zone, I like to keep a stockpile of non-perishables on hand just in case. In short, if you don’t have 90 days worth of non-perishables on-hand even in good times then you just aren’t “adulting.” My grandmother, who grew up in the Depression in Weimar Germany and survived the leanest years of WWII, later became something of a “hamsterkauf,” socking away canned goods and cured/smoked meats on the regular. Open a cabinet to get a towel and you had to move sausages out of the way.

With that in mind, visiting my local big boxes for standard weekly shopping this week I was blown away by the panic buying I witnessed over the upcoming possibility of having to self-quarantine for the next 14-to-21 days in response to the COVID-19/Coronavirus scare.

Folks, jamming yourself into tight areas to queue for things that aren’t there is just a bad idea when it comes to catching a virus. Just think rationally, pardon the pun. Panic is always a mistake.

Furthermore, people are stocking up on the wildest stuff. Shopping carts full of TP, cans of garbage Chef Boyardee meals full of salt and preservatives, bags of over-sugared cereals and Pop-Tarts. People fighting over $7 packs of vanity napkins.

Meanwhile, the produce department has stacks of untouched long-lasting veggies like spaghetti/acorn squash, carrots, potatoes and onions along with fruits packed with natural sugars like apples– none of which have to be refrigerated. Likewise, nuts and raisins are untouched. Shelves of tinned fish products like sardines and herring are packed. Rice and beans left behind. These are the kind of staples people should have on hand.

The concept of flattening the curve of infection— simply limiting the rate of new cases to a level the healthcare system can match– is sound. After all, on any normal day, some 80 percent of the ventilators in circulation are already hooked up to a patient and the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) only has 4,000 of those vital machines in reserve. Hopefully, the next few weeks will be enough to break the cycle and let people get back to being addicted to Instagram while they wait in line for a pink drink.

With that, and the fact that the two upcoming trips I had booked for late March and Mid-April are canceled, have me all-in on “social distancing” and becoming largely a shut-in for the next few weeks.

I’ll start working on the fresh stuff and freezer full of deer roasts and feral hog sausage just in case the power grid gets iffy later on in this crisis while I work on my usual garden for the Spring.

I think I will at least double the size of my plot this year.

You guys be safe.