Good Morning Susan - might want to dust off a story about how panic can be dangerous. Mobs are psychotic in many ways [remember the tickle me elmo attacks during Christmas!!]. How to react and stay calm? Gotta have a plan A, and B, and C. If none of those work out then make another plan, but don't panic.
Thank you Trib! Excellent idea... as we have seen chaos, as the reference to the Christmas mayhem over Elmo and pretty much anything on sale during the Christmas season, video proof of how violent, out-of-control and basically insane people get over toys or other sale items on what is known as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, proves how crazy people can get while shopping.
Here is a more recent video of two men reportedly fighting over sweet and sour sauce.
Now imagine the Black Friday mayhem, or even a fight over a sauce at McDonald's, happening all across the country, every day, as the people fight over food, water, toilet paper, and basic necessities, rather than toys for Christmas.
There is a high probability that true panic when the stores totally run out of certain items with no scheduled date to restock, will kill more than any actual virus.
Anyone that doubts that statement needs to research how many people are trampled to death when panicked individuals start a stampede and crush each other to escape a disaster or event.
So, what is the difference between "panic shopping" and simply getting prepared? In my opinion that would be the urgency one is displaying while stocking up on supplies.
As a general rule, those considered "preppers," meaning throughout the years they have been slowly building there stores in preparation, from food and water to paper products, medications to first aid supplies, etc.... are less likely to flip out and become panicked when a massive weather event, a disaster, or a national/international health issue becomes worrisome.
The sense of urgency to go out and get everything at once isn't there for most experienced preppers, so there is less of a chance that person is going to panic, and join in to become part of the "psychotic" mob fighting over the last box of pasta or the last case of water.
Have A Plan: Create a plan, then a backup plan and then another. Cover everything like creating quarantine rooms†in case family members show up from a big city.
Have a plan for portion control in case one decides to hunker down for an extended length of time or bring in unexpected company.
Have a plan for obtaining the supplies you need to restock, or stock if you are not already prepped. Where to shop, hint: NOT in a major big city or crowded store. Be prepared to drive a little further to a smaller city, town or village, and to spread the shopping out between multiple stores. This way no one knows what or how much you have stocked. Have a travel pack of hand sanitizing wipes to use after touching anything that others have touched.
Have a plan before entering any store of what you need and like, rather than panic shopping and grabbing anything on the shelves.††
Have a plan to defend yourself and supplies from neighbors that are unprepared and think it is your responsibility to take care of them simply because you are prepared and they are not.
Have a plan...... for anything you can think of that may, or may not, happen, because then you are as prepared as you can be for any potential problems, but are also limiting anything that could cause fear or panic.
BOTTOM LINE - PREPARE WISELY, BUT DO NOT PANIC
The point here is right now, whether it is New York, California or Hawaii, or any state in between, people are starting to stockpile, with the belief that the store shelves will be restocked. Depending on how widespread this COVID-19 coronavirus becomes, that will determine whether that assumption remains valid.
Now using the complete mayhem seen at Christmas-time in the stores, with utter chaos and violence over toys, and imagine the type of psychotic behavior many Americans will be displaying if they are told "Those items will not be restocked," when it something needed to survive.
Bottom line here is that panicked people do not make good or smart decisions, so preparing, but doing it wisely, without panicking, will get you through most disaster scenarios, whether it is a epidemic, pandemic, or other catastophic events.
Preparing without freaking out will also guarantee that the items you are buying are items you will use or eat rather than just stuff bought in a panic that may never be used.
Prepare wisely and be safe.
God bless you all.
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