There are those who are still blowing SARS-CoV-2 off, comparing it to the flu or, because of the coronavirus label, to the strains of coronavirus that are colds. The only reason it’s called a coronavirus, which is a type, is because it has spikes on the virus. Beyond that it’s NOT the cold or comparable to the flu. This is ten times deadlier to the flu. Those who quote the seasonal death numbers for the flu being so much higher fail to understand the majority of us will be exposed to SARS-CoV-2 this year and NO ONE is vaccinated. Okay?

Then there are those who are over-reacting the wrong way. After biking yesterday, I drove to the parking lot of a local grocery store to see what people were doing. LOTS of people seem to have a sudden need for toilet paper. You can’t eat toilet paper, folks. Well, okay, Scout can. She’s slowly breaking her habit of snatching the roll off the holder in the master bedroom bath which is just like this hook thing and eating it. Actually, she likes chewing it; nice and soft.

Not saying you don’t need it, but in the priority of things? I saw someone talk about bidets and how if you fell face forward into shit, you wouldn’t wipe it off with some paper. I can’t count the variety of things I’ve used while in the field, including squatting in what must have been poisonous and that turned out not fun. But that’s an intriguing story for another day. I know– you can’t wait.

The other thing was bottled water. I am a big fan of having several cases of water for emergencies in the household. At least two per person. In fact, in The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide, it’s the first task on the first page for people to do. #1 priority. But NOT in this particular emergency. If your taps go dry, well, that’s a post in a week or so when I talk about extreme scenarios, which I don’t want to do right now because I’m trying to be positive. My wife says I’m negative and a contrarian and I always disagree with her.

I think people don’t know what to get and are acting off of what they’ve heard.

What should be your priority? Food. Medicines. Think ahead for at least two weeks if not more. The fewer times you have to leave the house, the better. Food for Survival. Sadly, many of what I suggest in this slideshow are out of stock right now, but order anyway for the first to come in. Here are some quick things to stock that should be in the store: dry goods such as pasta, rice, beans, and oats. Canned goods. Lots of soups. Canned vegetables. Pack your freezer as full as possible. If you have a blender now might be the time to consider making fruit shakes; you can freeze those too. Don’t forget things you might be used to getting every week such as coffee and tea. Staples such as sugar and salt and other seasonings. I’m a big fan of power bars and Gatorade. Probably not what a nutritionist will tell you, but it will keep you going.

When you do leave home, have a plan. I had to pick up meds at the pharmacy the other day and from the time I went in to coming back out, the only think I touched was one knuckle to the credit card reader (yeah I don’t know how to do that tap thing, I’m old, okay). I don’t carry my wallet any more. I carry one credit card and my drivers license. I took the meds, went back to the Jeep (opening the door with my elbow) and then disinfected both hands thoroughly and used sanitizing wipes on both license, credit card, package for the meds, bottle for the meds, and for good measures anything else I’d touched driving there.  When I got home, I go right to the sink and wash my hands. I also stack the mail in the garage for several days before opening. We canceled our home delivery of the Times several weeks ago.

The positive I saw while biking was lots of families out walking or biking on the greenway. We do have a great system of trail here in Knoxville. People playing in the park while keeping separate groups. Another thing I changed was I don’t let Gus or Scout off the leash in the park any more because they would interact with other dogs which would lead to human interaction.

This is going to be both a positive and a negative time for families. They can do a lot together but can also get stir crazy and on each other’s nerves. After several days with the grandkids in my son’s apartment in San Diego, I fear for his sanity.

Cool Gus says let’s all be nice to each other, like he and Tigger.