In this case, the 800-lb. turkey in the room.
As various levels of lockdowns, quarantines, safer-at-home, and other restrictions are lifted, some more wisely than others, it's time for a serious come-to-Jesus talk.
Some of you were ready, mostly.
Most of you were found to have your pants around your ankles.
A goodly number of the latter also were found to have heads inserted, to various degrees, up their own @$$#$.
And everyone knows what excuses are like.
The ones that were ready, mostly, will have a hard time ahead, because they're going to have to think, really hard, about where they might have failed, or would have come up short, for any number of "what if"s that didn't happen. Most of them will survive that trial handily, since they're pretty good at "what if"ing. But no plan of action survives first contact with the enemy, and it will still require diligent and careful consideration to be prepared for the next Problem.
And there will be a Next Problem, most assuredly.
(No small part of which is the follow-up to what has transpired this year, to date.)
That concludes their after-action memorandum, and being the ones who did OK this time, they're probably already working on doing even better next time. No one ever glides and coasts across the finish line in first place, and they already know that.
So the bulk of this little chat will concern the bulk of people for the past few months.
You're here reading this? Congrats. You survived. So far. This always beats the alternative.
1) You thought to yourself, "Self: The Government will Never do X, Y, or Z."
I warned people waaaaaay back, because the CDC outright told you, they planned to do exactly the shutdowns that happened. I got told, online, and in person, "That will never happen, because reasons."
Well, sucks to be you, doesn't it?
They called out the National Guard. They shut everything down. Schools. Businesses. Courts. Government offices. Congress. SCOTUS. Every-damned-thing.
If you thought, to any degree, there was something they'd never do, you just got a metric fuck-ton of evidence that your head was one of those shoved in a dark, quiet place.
Welcome to Reality, Bucko!
Don't be That Guy ever again, please.
EVERYTHING is on the table, always, every time. Get that through your heads.
That foolish and short-sighted take cost some people their lives, others their livelihoods, and the reckoning on the final tally of damage will take a decade to properly assess, and there's no guarantee today that you'll be there for that final announcement.
YOU WILL SEE THIS MATERIAL AGAIN
2) Despite being told, any number of times, the sage advice of Ol' Remus, to
"AVOID CROWDS"most of you couldn't, or wouldn't. Not "Run to the hills" necessarily. Most of you lost your complete shit at being told to simply stay home, and mind your own business. As if you'd been told to fly to Mars in a balloon. No plan. No resources. Little to no forethought whatsoever to that eventuality, judging purely by the pissing, moaning, and caterwauling, both here and a hundred other sites, leads me to believe you'd do even worse if it was anything worse than just going home, and effing off.
Resistance? Insurrection?? Civil war??? Pfft. You'd have been roadkill on Day Two.
Some number are anyways, right now. And you thought you were going to kick ass?
Sh'yeah. That stinging in the back of your head? That was Reality slapping you.
If this was news to you, I'm sorry to have delivered it.
3) Despite any number of times you might have heard it from me, The Other Ryan at the former Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest, or in Commander Zero's Notes From the Bunker, or from Selco, or Ferfal, you didn't - and DON'T - have a multi-month cash float of funds to see you through a crisis even as mild as the one we've just gone through.
"Oh, but, But, BUT...!"
Reality doesn't give a sh*t, Snowflake.
If you aren't homeless, in a box, eating from dumpsters, literally living hand-to-mouth 24/7/365, you had disposable income, and you foolishly and short-sightededly got a house mortgage, car payment, credit card balance, or any number of toys, geegaws, and other miscellaneous sh*t that you suddenly found burdensome, because you did not pay yourself FIRST and use those funds to establish a cash reserve sufficient for your normal expenses for three, six, or twelve months with no other means of support.
This has been commonsense advice from sites like Kiplinger, Motley Foole, Dave Ramsay, and about 1000 others for effing YEARS, man.
Isn't the back of your head really red and sore yet??
"BUT BUT BUTT I CAN'T DO THAT!!!
Okay. So you're now an American't, instead of an American. Enjoy the welfare dime, suckle up to government's cold, hard teat, and may your chains rest lightly upon you.
If, however, you "coulda, shoulda, woulda", but didn't, then just own up to that error, and correct it, FIRST CHANCE YOU GET. Not next year, next month, or next week, but next paycheck. And every bit you can, FIRST, until you've got money you can lay hands on, even if the house burns down, even if the bank is closed, even if the power grid goes down and there's no ATM, no Internet, and no financial system, so that next time, you're not That Guy.
If you have nothing, work on a week's pay. When you get a week, work on having a full month. When you get a month, work on three. When you get to three, work on six. When you get to six, work on a year. At least 90% of all problems that aren't global zombie apocalypse can be readily solved with a passport, a credit card with a high limit, and/or a fat envelope of cash. If you want to get to more than a year, good for you. If you want to diversify from fiatbux greenbacks into other currencies, as well as gold and silver PMs, great for you.
And nota bene if you run a business (RUN, not "work for") the same should be true of your business emergency contingency fund. If you can't do that, you're a failed business, and skating along the edge just ensures you'll be the first one over the cliff at the first sign of trouble. Some of you have already discovered that.
Your parents and grandparents, who went through the Great Depression (which was anything but Great) knew this in their bones. Now you do too. The Gods Of The Copybook Headings just called to say "Hi!"
4) Three days food (and other necessities of life) is a joke. One told by FEMA and the Red Cross, mainly to people for whom 1 day's extra anything is something their tiny minds never thought of. Three days' stored food just means that on Day Four, you're in a FEMA camp, as a refugee.
No sh*t. All it takes is the barest planning ahead. I had a month on hand, for two, in a one-bedroom apartment, when the Northridge Earthquake hit. We did fine. I upped it to six months since then. In this non-event, I've yet to crack a single can of that. But I'm working on making it a year before the next annoying little PITA comes along.
5) And my TP "hoarding" consisted of buying exactly one extra package, before it became a thing, because I already had months of that laying around stored too. Ditto for damned near everything else. I'm working on the same for meds and other supplies. You? Probably not so much, right?
6) Not living on land I own, water is only ("only") a couple of months, plus about nine ways to purify all I can gather and store. By year's end, I'll be at six months.
7) Power/heat is something to work on, but I can cook for several months ("Several", because I need to see how long a fraction of what I've got stored works, and then see how long everything I've got stored extrapolates to.) Heat here is only a problem a few months a year, worst case, and mostly solvable with warmer clothes. Handled. But adding a small capability for renewable power for a fridge/freezer, and brief use of a couple of appliances, was on this year's list anyways. It has moved higher since January.
8) Any problem that lasts more than a year has gotten beyond mere survival, and become an extinction event. Aim to be able to handle that, too, eventually. But more guns, and more ammo, aren't going to feed you, because anybody worth robbing has probably already gotten there ahead of you, along with a lot of people who think they'll be doing the robbing. Even during the height of the German Occupation, the French Resistance, small and humble as it was in reality, never seemed to lack for enough guns and bullets. Neither will you, because at some point, the people who have them become a supply point for everyone who doesn't. You only need a knife, or a rock, or a few feet of stout wire, to start leveling up.
Stop focusing on weapons, and start looking at tactics, strategy, and logistics. Starving people never won a war in recorded history, and even modern society, fat as it is, hasn't managed to eat itself quite to death yet. Calories are more important than gun racks, in the grand scheme, though you'll always need enough of everything.
9) Communications, with PACE, were a minimal concern in this Lilliputian problem. Next time, they may feature more heavily. You might want to get on that.
"What's a virus?"
"What masks work, at all? Good? Better? Best?"
And on and on and on and on, ad infinitum.
GET ENOUGH SUPPLIES.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
My Porcelain Thinking Room catalog library shows N95 masks, which don't expire, were going for $1.49@ from Major Surplus as recently as 2018, in 10-mask boxes. IOW, for $150, you could have put on a new one every day from the beginning of the lockdown to now, and still had masks left over. That'd be good for decades if you never used them. But more than a few people bought a ninth handgun for three times that price, that they never used this time around. If you have a gun collecting itch, fine. I do. I could arm enough people to take over most countries south of Mexico without breaking a sweat. But let's call your fetish a fetish, and not confuse it with anything but a nice inheritance for your heirs when you die of old age. I'm closer to the end of my life than the beginning, and I've used the medicine cabinet far more than the gun cabinet, to date. Both are good, and even fun, but one has a wee bit more utility in the long haul, and should be accorded a higher precedence if you're using your big head to work your way though a problem, instead of the little one. Get smarter about that, get trained, and get the supplies that can support your training, and vice versa. If you can deliver babies, birth cattle, and safely remove an appendix, with what's on-hand at home, you're the exception that proves the rule.
Almost none of you are there, nor anywhere close, and very few really want to be, until it's far too late to fix. I've made a tidy sum over the years on those people. Ask me how I know.
We could go on, but won't.
I hope you all enjoyed your free trial of communism, and I hope you all manage to bounce back and thrive coming out the other side, whenever this current sh*tshow all ends finally.
But you shouldn't have been setting your hair on fire nor sh*tting your pants about anything that happened. And you wouldn't have been, IF you'd been more than half-assed totally unprepared for it.
You just got the world's most annoying fire drill. You're not on fire, as it turns out. So go forth, and learn the goddam lessons you should have already learned, instead of going back to sportsball, mall therapy, and general obliviousness, so that the next one doesn't kick your ass like the last one did.
And please, by all that's good and true, remember this nonsense the next time some government-paid tool tells you "Don't worry. This will never happen. It will happen, but not here. But if it happens here, we'll crush it. We're ready for this. We've got this. We'll do fine."
Instead, worry a little bit.
It will happen.
We won't crush it.
We're not ready.
They don't "got this".
You won't do fine.
Remember that, and nothing else they say will concern you much, as much as make you laugh at them. And hopefully, inspire you to take a wee bit more personal responsibility for your own safety and security, to the extent possible, rather than bitch at the government for telling you lies, or bitch at other people for telling you the truth. You come off looking poorly in either case, and none of the BMWing helps with your ultimate problem.
The harder this little note made you cry and want to hissyfit and tantrum, the more it applies to you. Best wishes in your future endeavors, but Denial isn't just a river in Africa, and Hope still ain't a plan.