Is it better to be a prepper or an anti-prepper right now?

Is it better to be a prepper or an anti-prepper right now?

You might be surprised at the argument.

 

big picture

Laura

Preppers are not just ready for the pandemic; they’ve been training for it. Loaded pantries, stockpiles of seeds, bottled water and backup generators are, for some, a way to remain calm in times of enormous stress.

Tim

Seems like being a prepper means that you don’t believe that stores will re-stock, that hospitals and doctors will pull together to save lives, or that the government will continue to govern. From this pandemic it’s pretty obvious: even a global recession, interruption in supply chains and an overwhelmed healthcare system doesn’t stop me from finding enough food in any given store—as long as I can be flexible with what I eat.

hoarding

Laura

Part of the reason we are having trouble finding food at grocery stores is the lack of preparation by so many people. The preppers aren’t stocking their shelves now. For them, that’s already done. The anti-preppers are out there, frantically grabbing packages of ground beef and bottles of cleaning fluid.

Tim

People need to chill. The store could be half empty, and we’d still have plenty of food. How about beans instead of animal protein; making our bread or pasta; or going without milk or orange juice? I don’t need cans of beef stew or powdered drink mix—and I definitely don’t have money to stock them in my pantry.

And don’t forget: Uber Eats is out there. And, every town has a list of restaurants ready to deliver food.

cost of prepping

Laura

Most preppers talk about buying things that you would eat anyway (rather than the industrial size cans of green beans that Dwight ate in The Office). And—since they’re planning, and buying during sales, for example–preppers spend significantly less money on supplies than the people that buy food from meal to meal. They may also grow their own vegetables and can them or buy in bulk.

For the anti-prepper?

“Judy” is a month-old Kim Kardashian start-up that peddles bougie emergency bags to the underprepared. For $250, you can get a box that will sustain a family for 72 hours.

Tim

That’s insane.

Laura

Exactly.

anxiety

Laura

Endless media cycles on the coronavirus ramp up anxiety. How many new cases? How many died today? What are the dire projections for the future? One way to tamp down our fears is to have a plan. And, for some, the plan is about doing everything possible to protect their family. Prepping is a positive, constructive response to anxiety. In that sense, it’s the opposite of rushing to the store and hoarding supplies.

So, preppers are more relaxed. There is no crisis because they feel as though they have most things under control.

Tim

Seems like preppers are low-key freaked out all the time. I’m relaxed all the way up ‘til that point when everything goes south. Then I’m grabbing toilet paper and sprinting to my car.

preppers are trying out their skills

Laura

In a society that relies on pre-cooked, pre-made, pre-tested everything, Preppers seem to want to try out their skills. Need power? How about building a generator? Concerned about an attack? How about developing a defense plan? Want to eat off the grid for six months? Learn to mill your own grain.

Tim

I don’t even know what “milling grain” means.

Actually, unless knowing how to play Boom Beach would help, I’m probably done. Where’d you say the extra toilet paper was?

 

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