3/17/2020 – 0800
CIVID-19 discovery was announced in December of 2019 in China, it showed up in the United States early in 2020, it became a problem for the US in February when the panic began…and the panic that is occurring is now in earnest. Although repeatedly COVID-19 has proven to be a relatively minor flu problem compared to the regular flu season (in terms of deaths), a sense of panic has developed. The panic, bred from fear and hysteria, has been promoted by almost every sector imaginable. The media, government sources, leftist politicians, some well-meaning medical personnel, and most of all, commercial enterprises such as some prepper websites, have successfully created that sense of panic to a point where it is becoming almost unmanageable.
We are seeing local and state governments taking extraordinary actions that they are claiming will help control the spread of the virus. However, those same actions are creating, or fueling, that sense of panic and will push civil disturbances and violence, let alone simple discontent. Another spin-off from the hype hustler actions is panic buying. That is a situation, driven by emotion, where people are buying supplies far, far beyond what they would normally purchase. They are in “survival mode”; having food and other supplies around them gives them a sense of security and safety. However, we are seeing that panic buying pushed to extremes.
Last Friday I was in Walmart for our weekly food run and some other purchasing. I reported on that experience in my SitRep – 3/12/2020 (updated 3/15/2020). Over the weekend I heard stories of more panic buying, some associated violence, and significant shortages. I wanted to verify that information for myself before commenting on the situation.
On Monday afternoon when I went to several stores I noticed a number of situations:
- Walmart shelves were less bare than on Friday, but very far from normal amount of food items. At the rate people were shopping I would expect those items to be gone within a couple of hours, at most, of my visit. And another interesting note…a much wider variety of items where either gone or in shorter supply than on Friday. I attribute that to the more commonly purchased items having run out of stock and folks were purchasing less-popular, less-common substitute items.
- I also went over to the pharmacy section at Walmart to assess the status on vitamins, specifically vitamins related to boosting an immune system. Vitamin C, B-Complex, B-12, Zinc, Potassium, Magnesium, etc. were all gone. While there I noticed, as I did on Friday, it appeared to me that the pharmacy personnel were busier than normal. But, that is antidotal information only. And, I did notice that there was not a single person in line to pick up medications.
- However, as I was approaching a sporting goods store in a local strip mall I noticed a small pharmacy that was in the same strip mall. I walked in and was pleasantly surprised to find all immune system boosting supplements with the exception of Zinc. No bare shelves, no shortages other than Zinc.
- I had received reports of ammunition shortages, bare ammunition shelves, and long lines to purchase guns. Some of those were rather dramatic in nature. I went to a local strip mall that has two sporting goods stores of major retail chains. Neither store was out of ammunition. Quite honestly, neither store appeared to have a low stock of ammunition on their shelves. Also, one store had no one looking at their large selection of guns. The other store appeared to have the same situation going on, but I couldn’t tell for sure. Bother stores had a full rack of guns on display. And yes, Walmart had the same situation as well with the exception that there were two people in Walmart buying ammo. But, they were small amounts…not stocking up for a firefight. So I was unable to substantiate the ammunition shortage stories and gun panic buying.
- Local and state governments are increasingly taking drastic and unwarranted actions. Those actions are feeding the flames of fear and increasing the state of panic. We are seeing governors ordering the closures of restaurants, theaters, bars, concerts, sporting events, schools, and banning meetings of various sizes from 10 – 100. Some mayors have taken even more draconian steps. And at least one mayor has banned the sale of firearms. President Trump himself alluded that he is resisting nationwide travel restrictions, curfews, etc. However, and this is vital information…he has not ruled it out.
- A business from of mine who deals in various prepper supplies told me yesterday that ALL of his suppliers told him they are out of all food storage items as well as ALL other regular prepper supplies. And they wouldn’t commit to a date when those supplies would be available.
- Finally, I am beginning to receive reports that shortages of truck drivers are starting to roll into me. Now, I have not observed that situation personally nor have I been able to verify those reports with credible sources. It’s all antidotal information at this time.
Warning Specifics –
As different levels of government continue to tighten controls on the private citizen’s travel, activities, etc. we see a pattern developing that is a cause for concern. I would expect to see government entities at the state-level and below continue to increase travel restrictions, enact curfews, close more businesses, government offices, and similar actions. I would not be surprised to see even more, and similar, steps taken by the federal government in the next 7 – 10 days.
As we see panic buying continue, and possibly increase, we could well see even greater shortages of essential goods for sale. If that continues, combined with the reports of truck driver shortages, we could experience a significant disruption of the supply chain in the US. We are already seeing a serious disruption in the supply chain due to reduced shipments of goods from China. US stock piles of essential goods could soon be depleted due to those disruptions.
I am advising you to prepare for significant shortages of essential goods.
At this point in time I see we could be looking at significant shortages of pharmaceuticals. The potential for seeing complete depletion of supplies of some pharmaceuticals is possible should the supply chain disruption situations continue or worsen. Some food items from any source could become very scarce as well. I am uncertain about ammunition supplies but my gut feeling tells me that we could see wide-spread shortages, as opposed to local shortages only. I sense that guns could fall into that same category, just not as quickly.
Actions to Take –
Steps to consider…
1 – Immediately assess your situation in regards to food, water, and pharmaceuticals.
2 – Food: I am referring to pantry items and long-term food storage. Have a minimum of 30-days of food on hand, 90 day supply would be far more preferable.
3 – Water: With regards to water have a minimum of 14 days of stored water on hand and a way to purify water for a period of at least 90 days.
4 – Pharmaceuticals: I include medications and supplants in this category. If possible acquire a minimum of 60-day supply of medications, 90-day would be preferable. For immune system boosting vitamins and supplements I would recommend having 90-day supply on hand. And don’t delay in taking them, start taking them now. Obviously I am no doctor or other medical professional. Before taking any medication, vitamin, or supplement consult your physician and follow their advice.
5 – Guns & Ammo: If you are short on ammo…SHAME ON YOU! You should not be in this situation. If you are, go buy some ammo today. If you don’t have a gun…well, you probably shouldn’t buy one now because you also probably don’t have any training with one. If you do have weapon’s training but no weapon, then you might want to go purchase an appropriate weapon along with sufficient amounts of ammo, magazines, pouches, etc.
6 – FirstAid Supplies: Assess the supplies you have on hand and evaluate if you need to purchase more, or supplement what you have.
I would advise that any purchases you feel are necessary should be made without delay. Stocks of any of the mentioned items could dwindle, possible disappear, without any significant advanced warning.
As I have stated before; 1) this is an unprecedented situation, 2) fear has gripped more of the US than even last week, 3) panic buying is well underway and will worsen, 4) supply chain disruptions have occurred and are worsening, 5) restrictions are being put into place at all levels of government and are worsening, 6) more “unknowns” exist now than even last week. My sense is we could see the panic situation get even worse; potentially drastically worse.
If you have been following my website for any length of time you will plainly see that for years I have been giving clear information on what supplies to have and how much. I can only hope you followed those guides and took appropriate action. However, if you are short in some areas of preparing you still have a window of opportunity to make purchases to help your situation. But…DO NOT PANIC BUY!!
Use a level head, common sense, and sound decision making to identify those items you may need to purchase. The…DO NOT delay in making those purchases. I would also advise you to have a Plan B and Plan C for each item on your list. If they don’t have “A”, purchase “B”. If they don’t have “B” purchase “C”.
Stay calm and carry on like the decent and mature person you are.
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