It’s beginning to look a lot like lockdowns,
Everywhere you go.
Take a look at the grocery store shelves. They’re emptying once again.
With Xs and lines that tell you where to go.
It’s beginning to look a lot like lockdowns.
Masks in every store
But the ugliest sight to see is the media that will be
Lying on every score.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a bad feeling of deja vu right about now. The media is filled with stories about Covid outbreaks and the “new variable.” On every network, serious-looking doctors hope for their five minutes of fame as they discuss why you should wear masks that don’t work and get shots that don’t work.
There are personal stories, too. One of my best friends was shocked when her fiance came home with a positive diagnosis. Another friend told me that half of her grandaughter’s 3rd grade class was out with Covid. My next-door neighbor has it. My daughter’s friend has it.
All that being said, the purpose of this article isn’t to scare you about all the sick people. Sick people happen, and contagious illnesses happen. We all know how to better our chances of not becoming sick and how to take care of ourselves if we’re ill.
But some things are outside of our control.
Things like government mandates, lockdowns, and the ensuing hysteria. Things like being lied to at every turn. (Masks don’t work! Just kidding, you HAVE to wear masks! Two weeks to stop the spread! This shot will protect you!)
If you look at the patterns that preceded the first lockdown, we’re seeing almost identical intensity in the ramp-up of warnings, spreading mask mandates, and other restrictions that led up to it. This article isn’t about whether or not this is right or wrong. It’s about getting prepared before the general public empties the shelves.
I strongly advise you to get prepped right now and make a plan on how you intend to handle it if this comes to pass. This warning is not a prediction – no crystal ball here! It’s a comparative analysis of the circumstances surrounding previous lockdowns. I’m big on patterns. By examining patterns, you can often deduce what’s coming next.
Whether you agree with lockdowns or not, you will most likely be affected by them or by whatever other draconian measures the government takes to “protect” us while simultaneously destroying the economy, the supply chain, and small businesses.
Use what you’ve learned about lockdowns.
This isn’t our first rodeo or even our second. That means we have some experience under our belts that can help us be even better prepared if another round of restrictions comes to pass.
We may not have full-on lockdowns again, but you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll face some type of restrictions in the not-so-distant future. Why would a government give up on something that worked so well to seize power and redistribute wealth the last time around?
Think about what you’ve learned and ask yourself the following questions.
What do you wish you’d done differently?
It’s easy to play quarterback after the game is done, but this exercise isn’t about beating yourself up. It’s about learning from your experience.
- Is there anything you wish you’d done differently?
- What food did you run out of the fastest?
- Were there non-food supplies you didn’t think to buy?
- Was there anything that broke, and you didn’t have the necessary tools or supplies to repair it?
- About what item did you think, “Dang, I wish I had XXXXXX?”
- Were there people who hunkered down with you who made things difficult or unpleasant? How can you make it better with those folks in the future? And will you even want them to come over next time?
- Are there things you could have prepared to keep your kids or other family members more content?
Ask yourself these questions while you’ve got some time to sit and contemplate the lockdown. The things you wish you’d done differently are going to be very important things to address for the future.
What are the things you were satisfied with?
Luckily, we all probably had more successes than failures in this lockdown, so think about the successes. Here are a few examples of some things that may have worked well for you.
- You had enough in your emergency fund to cover any shortfalls.
- You were able to make tasty, nutritious, and filling meals from your supplies.
- You didn’t need to leave the house for X amount of time for groceries.
- You and your family bonded and enjoyed spending this time together.
- You discovered your group worked really well together.
- You did something productive with your time at home.
So, for you, what were the things that worked, and how can you replicate those things in the future?
Make some notes.
Go over the two lists you’ve made and start a third list of the things you either need to buy or need to do before the next time there’s a lockdown. Using the examples above:
- Get more ingredients for your favorite meals.
- Restock your pantry so you can avoid the pitfall of missing ingredients at the store for a couple of months.
- Get a larger quantity of the things you ran out of first.
- Get any needed tools and repair materials.
- Grab multiples of the things you may have forgotten, like shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, etc.
- Get some things to stash away for future entertainment purposes.
- Figure out how to extricate yourself from partnerships that didn’t work.
- For partnerships that did work, make sure they’re on the same page for the next time around.
- Do an inventory of supplies so you can replenish the things you’ve used.
This is something that will take longer than 15-20 minutes at the kitchen table. Really spend some time being thorough with regard to this self-analysis.
Look at your budget.
Millions of Americans saw dramatic changes in their incomes over the past months. This is an important factor in future preparations.
If you’re just barely managing to pay your bills, you may have difficulty stocking up for Round 2. If this is the case, you’ll need to take a close look at your budget.
- Be sure to take advantage of whatever the government is offering in the way of financial assistance.
- Talk to your creditors and see if they’ll work with you.
- Try a month of flat-broke eating. to put aside some cash for stockpiling.
- Add just a few extra things per week. (These are the things I buy nearly every time I go shopping.)
- Don’t spend frivolously. I know it feels like we just got out of prison. However, if you go and spend hundreds of dollars eating at restaurants, you’re going to regret it when the next lockdown rolls around and you don’t have enough supplies.
- See if there are any fixed expenses you can cut.
- Check out this book on flat-broke prepping
This is the time to reduce your output as much as possible so you can replenish your home for the future.
What should you get for the next set of lockdowns and shortages?
Aside from the things you’ve determined above that you need, there are some other things you may want to get for the second wave of lockdowns. Think about the things that ran out first and the things that had purchase limits. when you see them back on shelves, do some stocking up:
- Toilet paper (the gold bars of the coronavirus pandemic!)
- Paper towels
- Lysol wipes
- Paper plates
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfectant cleaners
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Canned goods
- Dry foods like pasta and rice
- Cough medicine with an expectorant
- Cold and flu medicine
- Vitamin C
If you store them properly, all of these items will serve you well in the future, even if this article is totally wrong and there is never another lockdown. They’ll help you to be ready for all manner of emergencies, not just mandated self-quarantines.
Make sure you have the following medical items, too so you can monitor yourself and your family:
- Pulse oximeter – these became nearly impossible to acquire for a while
- Touchless thermometer
- N95 masks (if you ever want to leave the house, you may be required to mask up – even if you refuse to wear a mask, if your child is injured or sick, and needs to see a doctor, you’d be forced to abide by the rules there)
Another issue we ran into with shortages was appliances such as chest freezers and refrigerators. They couldn’t be had for love or money after a few months into the last crisis. Parts for repairing central heating and air systems were scarce. There were long waits for many automotive parts, too. If you have a major household or automotive component that needs repair (or will soon) if you can afford it, you may want to be proactive about that. Other shortages included computers, computer cords, tablets, headphones, and other devices for working or schooling from home.
When should you start getting supplies for the second wave?
Think back to when the outbreak began to come to the public eye back in 2020. It only took two days for the shelves to become nearly bare. Here are some pictures as a reminder. It would be pretty foolish to wait until the rest of the country becomes aware, and there’s another run on things, leaving the media to scold preppers for hoarding.
Of course, it wasn’t preppers doing the “hoarding.” We already had our stuff weeks, months, or even years ago.
My advice is to start replenishing your supplies immediately. Take a look at your lists and begin fulfilling them as soon as you can.
You don’t have to buy these things all at once. But start now. Grab a couple of items and put them back. Do this every time you are out. If money isn’t tight, buy one of everything on your list that you might reasonably need when you’re out.
The supply chain never completely bounced back after the last time around. Think about anything you might need to repair or replace, and if you can afford it, get the parts and items you may need.
Mentally preparing for the next lockdown
Something that is potentially even more important than your physical preparations is the mental ones.
Did you find yourself reeling in shock that it happened? Were you depressed or anxious? Lonely or isolated? Understand first that all those feelings are completely normal during a time period of dramatic change. You’re human, and you’re allowed to have feelings. When there’s so much uncertainty, it can be difficult to prepare for the future. It’s the ability to move past these feelings and still accomplish the things that need to be done that is important. A lot of people have suffered problems with their mental health during the past few years, and being a prepper doesn’t exclude you from a normal reaction to prolonged stress.
Think also about the personalities you encountered within your group. Obviously, you’re not going to kick your bratty teen out of the house the next time there’s a quarantine, but the involvement of certain people is optional. Some folks really surprise us (unpleasantly) with the way they behave under pressure.
Other things you may want to do before the next lockdown
The following items are miscellaneous tasks you may want to undertake. Most of them will be effective not only in a lockdown scenario but also during other types of emergencies.
I’ve established care with The Wellness Company. They are a network of doctors who will prescribe the medications you need, regardless of popular media opinion. A membership is only $10 a month and I find it to be very worthwhile. You can also get medical exemptions from the doctors there if you believe that certain mandates may be bad for your health.
You may have also noticed things in your outer circle that were unsettling. I wrote more about the different kinds of people you may have encountered – friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. – during the lockdown. You should take some of the time you have between now and the next lockdown to assess these folks a little bit more closely. Pay strict attention to the things they say and do once this is over. Do they “joke” about coming to your place? Are they spending frivolously? Did they learn a lesson and decide to get better prepared? This will tell you a lot about them and let you know if you need to begin quietly distancing yourself from them.
If you weren’t happy with where you took shelter during this period of lockdown, examine the reasons why. We were in an apartment that didn’t have a place for a garden, and there were a few issues that would make the house fairly easy to break into if someone was interested in doing so.
When you examine this, you may need to make a major decision – is it time to relocate? Or you may simply need to make some adjustments to the place where you are, like a padlock on the gate, a new fence, security film on the windows, etc. This article has some tips on home security.
If your home needs some repairs, do it while supplies are easy to find and while mandates don’t make it difficult to get someone out to your place. Our dryer died during the first lockdown, but we weren’t crazy about the idea of some repair person stomping through the apartment, potentially seeing our stockpile of canned goods. If you have an appliance giving its last gasp, this might be a good time to replace it. The better maintained your home is, the less likely it is that you’ll have a repair emergency during the lockdown.
Take the opportunity to get any services performed that were needed before or during the lockdown. If there is a medical procedure you require, go ahead and get it done. Many patients saw their treatments delayed for months to prevent them from possibly coming into contact with COVID patients. Get everyone a dental exam and get your pets to the vet if necessary. If you need to have your house sprayed or gutters cleaned, get all of that stuff done as soon as you can.
Work toward greater self-reliance. Get those chickens you’ve been thinking about. Plant a garden and set up cold frames to extend your growing season. Get yourself well-positioned for an uncertain future.
Prepare your family
Your family may want to live in a rosy world in which this was an unpleasant interlude and now it’s over. It’s tempting to let them have that happiness, but it’s a mistake not to add at least a small dose of reality. If it hasn’t crossed their mind that the future could hold more lockdowns, it’s going to be a stunning blow when (or if) it happens again.
You also don’t want to meet pushback when you try to replenish supplies. Consider reminding them, “Remember the toilet paper apocalypse? We don’t want to run into that problem again!” or “Weren’t you happy we had this when we were stuck at home?”
If you see the situation is beginning to look like you might be facing another lockdown soon, casually mention it to family members. Don’t terrify them, but begin gently making them aware that the situation could change quickly.
On the other hand, you may find that family members who previously thought you were a little bit nuts are now far more on board with preparedness. This might be a great time to start teaching them more.
The time to prepare is right now
I may be wrong. I hope I am. I don’t see how our economy will withstand the restrictions we’ve gone through before. We’re still in terrible shape from the rules that were forced upon us in 2020 and beyond.
But the signs are all there. The urgency is increasing. The fear of those prone to hysteria is palpable. The best thing you can do is be ahead of the crowds. I also think we’re going to see even more stress, increased violence, and complete desperation for many families that are at the ends of their ropes. As well, this time around, we’re going to see a lot more pushback. Many of us do not want to participate in this again, and we’re done being forced to follow pointless rules.
Reprinted with permission from The Organic Prepper.