This week I’ve been on the phone with dozens of individuals in Washington, DC discussing the COVID-19 aka the “Coronavirus” Pandemic and the overblown panic it’s brought on. I’m not saying the Coronavirus isn’t something to take seriously, especially if you’re elderly, have a compromised immune system, a respiratory issue, spend time with the elderly are in the healthcare industry, etc. The panic that has been spurred on is one that goes to show that most Americans are woefully uninformed and wholly unprepared for 99% of any major catastrophe we may face.
Most people like to think they’re ready for whatever the world throws at them or that the government i.e. the Military, FEMA or other agencies will swoop in at the last minute as most movies and television shows portray with all the supplies, medical care or whatever the situation calls for and save the day, but reality runs contrary to what Hollywood portrays or what people think.
However, before I scare everyone or go any further, I should say that to an extent and in many cases, governments at various levels are ready to handle a lot that’s thrown at us.
Before I go any further, I need to point out a few things regarding my background, without of course discussing anything classified or anything specific. During my time serving at the White House Communications Agency of the many facets of my jobs was the “Continuity of the Government,” the “Continuity of the Presidency” and “Emergency Actions.” My final duty station at the 196th Infantry Brigade, which is a Training Support Brigade, we trained, advised and assisted Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, Allied Forces, and FEMA throughout Pacific Command’s Area of Operation.
During all this time, I’ve literally taken part in hundreds of exercises, dealing with all sorts of scenarios to include scenarios dealing with pandemics. In fact, I’ve spent days in the National Military Command Center at the Pentagon and other locations observing or directly taking part in these exercises. Additionally, it was my duty to be familiar with a variety of scenarios and their likely outcome, but I’ll not pretend to be the be all end all foremost expert on every topic, but it’s certain that when I open my yap and when I’m taken to dash off an article that I know what I’m talking about.
“World War Z” and Other Zombies
In recent years, the Zombie Apocalypse movies and television shows like the “Walking Dead” have become a part of our entertainment culture and our lexicon. In my opening paragraph, I mentioned conversations with people in Washington, DC. During these conversations with former colleagues, those writing their own articles surrounding this pandemic and my casual conversations, I’ve referenced the book and movie “World War Z” at least three dozen times. In fact, of all the popular books and movies of this genre, it’s the only one that’s close to the reality of how things would go. There are many others that are a close second, but the important thing to remember is the Zombies or “Walkers” or whatever you want to call them are just plot devices, they aren’t the main point, which is why I hold “World War Z” in such high regard when it comes to how society will quickly breakdown if/when a major pandemic hits us. If we as individuals or our families aren’t stocked with important basics, panic buying isn’t going to help the situation, in fact, it only exacerbates it, as we’re seeing.
I should say that the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t and will not rise to the level of “World War Z” in the slightest, and no, I’m not asking everyone to read between any lines. What I am asking is for everyone to calm down, stop it with the out of control toilet paper buying and all the rest. Just take a step back, breath, wash your hands and realize that losing our collective heads is exactly how civil society breaks down, our healthcare system gets overwhelmed and how our government systems get taxed to the breaking point. Panic buying isn’t going to help you or anyone if this were a true end of days scenario, but not exercising a bit of calm, rational, level headed and common sense thought can lead to scenarios where people go to blows or begin shooting one another.
In fact, it can go from funny toilet paper memes on social media to people dying from irrational behavior quickly. In all fairness, polite and civil society will breakdown far faster and begin killing people in a major way, faster than the most realistic world-ending scenarios.
We like to think we’re ready and have it all figured out, but when it truly hits the fan, surviving isn’t something many of us will do, the odds aren’t in our favor. It’s not because human beings aren’t resilient and can’t survive disease or illness, it’s the fact that with society being what it is, where vast swaths of human beings are self-centered and place value in things, instead of human life that it’s easy to see how most scenarios can turn South quick. All the evidence I need is watching the hoards of people on “Black Friday” or people fighting over toilet paper.
Human beings will do more damage to one another when it comes down to it than the frightening scenario, we find ourselves in. When it comes down to it, there’s not going to be countless Military aircraft laden with supplies, just waiting to swoop in and save us, it will simply be up to all of us to do the right things and look out for one another, if not then everyone is eventually doomed, even the well-stocked and well-healed preppers, it just may take a little longer for them to fall victim.
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