Preparing For Unrest After The Election (Update)

With the news of President Trump’s infection by the coronavirus, 2020 gets up-ended just that much more.

His condition remains to be seen, despite the obligatory and predictable remarks from the White House that his symptoms are “mild.” Of course they say that. It means nothing. We’ll just have to wait.

What effect this has on the republic also remains to be seen. Certainly it affects his campaign, although at this point there are not a lot of undecideds left to woo. Still, with a race as close as this one, a point either way could make a difference. Will the sympathy vote lift his chances? Will this new evidence that his cavalier approach to the pandemic hurt his support?

Either way, it adds to the commotion that is already roiling the American public. The pandemic, issues of racial justice and white supremacy, a bitterly contentious election, a President who likes nothing more than throwing fuel on the fire, and now this new uncertainty. People are reacting badly already, and this won’t help.

In my previous post, I discussed the potential for unrest, and the necessity for planning. Here’s a link to that post; please go read it.

Bonnie and I have prepared for about a month. Food. Water. (Besides our reverse osmosis unit, I also have a backpacking filter and a few hundred purification tablets.) Medicine — sometime in late October we’ll lay in a 3 month supply of our prescriptions. Cash money, in case banks are closed for any period of time and merchants aren’t accepting plastic. Not a lot, but some. Some people I know are buying silver as well. This might be a good idea and it might be overkill. I’m just mentioning it. Everyone has to make their own risk assessment and I’m not judging anyone else’s calculations.

Reliable people are suggesting that there could be disruptions to the power grid. Well, we live in hurricane country where these things are a fact of life, so we’ve already got battery back-up (big ones, not AAs, although we’ve got those too) and solar panels. We just bought a 40 liter portable refrigerator. Reviews show that it takes very little power. It can be run from the grid, from solar, and has a battery that will last about a day. We’ll use it camping, too, sometime in the indistinct future, so not overkill.

Of course, the usual people are talking about guns. The situations in which that might be needed are pretty far down on my risk assessment. I don’t recommend them for most people for 2 reasons. First, if you haven’t already had training and taken time to practice, it’s too late. Just having a gun is not a magic wand to wave around. You have to know how and when to use them, not just why. If you haven’t already lived around a lot of violence, you need training from someone who knows, and this isn’t going to happen in the next few weeks. You would probably be more dangerous than safe if you buy a firearm on an impulse. The second reason is, too many people are already thinking about violence. We don’t need to stoke that boiler. We need to calm it down.

We need to calm it way down and that’s no joke. Being prepared allows you to face the future with some degree of equanimity, instead of doubt and panic. It’s not about seeing monsters under your bed.

Help your family and friends to get ready. The window is closing soon but there is still time. Any preparation is better than none. Help with physical arrangements, such as food storage, and also help the people in your circle to chill. We will get through this a lot better if we know we will get through this. People react to the uncertainty that’s all around us in different ways. Help them process any concerns they have in a reasonable way. Speculation is not helpful; prudence is.

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