Dear Fellow Survivalist;
If one pays much attention to what’s happening in many of our states, it would almost seem that the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 is winding down. Sadly, that’s far from the case. While we have seen overall lowering of the numbers of new cases reported, that’s likely to start going back up again, as states start to open for business.
The problem isn’t so much the states opening up for business, but the vast numbers of people who are ignoring the directions being put out to practice social distancing and wear masks. While a healthy person gains some protection by wearing a mask (30% reduction), that protection is nothing in comparison to the amount of protection that comes when someone who is infected wears one (95% reduction). The best is when both wear them, reducing the chance of infection by 98.5%.
Since it is possible to be infected and infecting others, while still being asymptomatic, not wearing a mask, saying that you’re not sick and not worried about getting sick is no excuse for not wearing them. All that does is send a message to everyone else that you’re either ignorant or self-centered.
Yet when I look at the stores in my area, less than one-fourth of the people are wearing masks. That doesn’t bode well for slowing the spread of the disease, as we open our country back up for business. If we want to do things in a safe manner, it seems to me that the best way is for everyone to wear a mask and thereby protect themselves and everyone else.
I realize this is controversial and that there are many people who are saying that the chances of catching COVID-19 are low and the chances of dying from it are extremely low. Ok, the chances of hitting someone on the beach if you close your eyes and take one random shot are extremely low too, unless the beach is extremely crowded. But does that mean you would try it? Does that mean that it’s okay to do that? How about protecting the lives of others?
But that’s not what I really want to talk about this week. It seems that just as the grocery stores are recovering from the mass rush for everyone to stockpile food and toilet paper, we’re about to see massive shortages once again. This is mostly due to the number of food processing plants that have been forced to shut down, due to their employees coming down with COVID-19.
President Trump has reacted to this by singing an executive order, ordering those plants to remain open. That’s fine and dandy, he has the legal authority to do so. But is that really going to help? If workers are walking off the job because they are afraid, how is an executive order for the plants to stay open going to guarantee there’s food to be delivered? Without the workforce, the plant can stay open and still not accomplish anything; and with some of these plants, more than a fourth of the workforce is currently ill.
There are other factors at play too, besides the situation behind the president’s executive order. People have been eating at home more, due to restaurants being closed down or operating on takeout only. Millions of animals have been killed and who knows how much food has been plowed under, because farmers didn’t have a market for it. All that food isn’t coming back. In some cases, we’ll have to wait until the next harvest to make up for that food.
One example of how that food is just disappearing is egg farms. Even though there are egg shortages in the stores, egg farms which provide eggs for restaurants are killing chickens by the hundreds of thousands. The problem is that eggs used for restaurants aren’t usually shipped to the restaurant as whole eggs, but as liquid egg product. This is just eggs that have been blended up and packaged in cartons like milk for use. Since the restaurants aren’t buying all that egg product, the factories making it are shut down and the chickens the farmers had have been euthanized for use in dog food.
I know of at least 300,000 chickens which were killed on five farms, in just one region of one state, because of the loss of the restaurant market. The farmers couldn’t just sell their products to grocery chains, because they didn’t have the equipment to grade and package the eggs. The factory couldn’t sell their product to grocery stores either, because it wasn’t packaged for retail sale, with nutritional information on the side. So Trump’s order doesn’t change a thing in that case.
Here’s the worst part, chickens don’t start laying eggs until they are six months old. So for those five or more farms to get back in business and that factor to start producing liquid egg product again, it will take at least six months from the word “go;” and that’s assuming the farmers can get the chicks to raise.
Similar things are happening all across the food industry. That isn’t an isolated incident. Thousands of farmers are finding themselves stuck with milk, pigs, chickens, vegetables, even beer and who knows what else, that they can’t sell. There isn’t space to just keep all that food fresh or those animals waiting until it’s time to sell them, so they are forced to kill animals, turn crops under and pour milk down the drains, adding to the shortages because they can’t get their product to market.
There’s already a run on meat and canned goods in the stores. So if you’re not stocked up on enough food to get you through the next few months, you might want to take advantage of the opportunity to do so, before it’s too late.
Unlike normal stockpiling for disasters, we don’t have to worry about the power going out and losing frozen meat. So go ahead and fill your freezer; I’ve already filled mine. And if I’m wrong, and your grocery store doesn’t run out… well, neither will you for a while. You’ll have plenty to eat.
It’s just one more thing to keep ready with; just like keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.