Time To Bug Out?

TEOTWAWKISo these days we are seeing a pandemic that we’ve never seen before. When I first heard about what we now know as Covid-19 last January, I was not too concerned about it. After all, in the past we’ve had SARS and MERS corona outbreaks before, and in both cases we contained them and recovered pretty quickly; no SHTF scenario caused by both cases, let alone a TEOTWAWKI one. Post apocalyptic world still far beyond us. Max Rockatansky is not going to drive his Pursuit Special through the wasteland. So, it was just business-as-usual situation to me, with some little setbacks along the way due to the rise of the Covid-19. Alarmed? No. Why should I be alarmed? Well, maybe just a little bit. Not much. Not enough reason to worry too much.

Later, however, even before WHO announced it as a pandemic case, I had to revise my way of thinking. I stopped comparing Covid-19 to SARS and MERS, and started comparing it to the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic instead. Although the Covid-19 fatality rate was somewhat low in most countries (compares to the 1918 pandemic case, which infected around 500,000,000 people – about 25% of the world’s population at the time and the death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17,000,000 to 50,000,000, and possibly even as high as 100,000,000), I was surprised to see how quickly it spread across the globe. And although by then no case of infection was yet to be found in my country, I knew beyond any shadow of doubt that it’s a matter of “when” instead of “if”. And, knowing how undisciplined and careless most of fellow countrymen are, how difficult they are to follow sensible suggestion about social-distancing, I actually estimated that it would spread like a forest fire.

So I kept my eyes open and kept monitoring the news. With my luck, the news simply confirmed my estimation. In Italy, for example, there were only 20 confirmed cases with only 1 death in February 21, 2020. Within a week, the number of confirmed cases became 888 with 21 deaths. Within a month, there are already 59,138 confirmed  cases and 5,476 deaths. That’s a staggering figure…

In Indonesia, well, the first confirmed cases was announced in March 2, 2020. Only two confirmed cases, no death. And after a week, we only have 19 confirmed cases and still no death. Comforting? With a twisted mind like mine, I didn’t find it comforting at all. To me it’s a confirmation of what I expected earlier, that it’s only a matter of “when” and that it’s spreading. After all, from 2 cases to 19 cases means a 1,000%-jump and to me a 1,000%-jump  is not comforting figure at all when it comes to a pandemic. And before two weeks since it was announced, we already had 5 deaths out of 96 confirmed cases. And by March 22, 2020, only 20 days after the first 2 cases were officially announced, we already have 514 confirmed cases with 48 deaths.

Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia - Wikipedia

…that’s a rather alarming percentage…

Man, I hate it when I’m right….

“But hey, you have nearly 270,000,000 people in your country, and 514 confirmed is such a small percentage, right?” someone may ask. Wrong. It’s not the percentage of the confirmed cases that worries me. It’s how quickly it spreads, the high fatality rate which indicates how unready we are to deal with it, and the undeniable fact of how undisciplined and careless my fellow countrymen are. We knew how it spreads, we knew how to prevent it from spreading or at least to slow it down, and still we ignored it. And when it becomes clearer that things may go worse, people were starting to rush into the stores and malls and grocery stores and many are starting to stockpiles just about anything from hand sanitizer and toilet paper to food and other primary needs.

One my point out that it’s a rather normal reaction in such a situation. Be that as it may, not everyone react that way. Many of us don’t rush and buy and stockpile things. They don’t because they can’t, and they can’t because they don’t have the money. They simply can’t afford doing it, and with things starting to become rather difficult to find, prices go up considerably and make it even more difficult for the poor.

Now this is where the title is becoming relevant. Why? Because although the pandemic alarms me considerably, I’m more worried about how people would react to it. When things are becoming difficult to but and getting to be much more expensive  (or worse, disappearing), it may lead to something scarier than a pandemic: riots and looting.

Am I paranoid? I don’t think so. I know my fellow countrymen. I know how nice and friendly they are, and I also know how easily these nice and friendly people can change into an angry mob, especially in the city area. Things may be better in the rural areas, though, especially in the off-the-grid areas.

And if the riots and looting do happen, the rural area is where most of the city folks would run to; no chance of fleeing abroad. And that’s assuming the cities are not locked down due to the pandemic.

That being said, wouldn’t it be better to bug out now while you still can?

Yes, and no. Yes, because things may happen as in that aforementioned scenario and the earlier you bug out the better your chance of survival will be. No, because people are easily scared and tend to react violently because of that. You bug out early and some people see you, well, if they didn’t even think about bugging out earlier, trust me, seeing others bugging out would inspire them to do the same. Before you know it, it would be a grand exodus. Traffic will jam, crowds will gather; ideal situation for spreading the virus more easily.

Now if you think about it, would you still want to bug out right away? What are you going to do? Going up all the way hiding in the mountain and start yelling “Wolverines!” every now and then?

Bugging out may well be necessary in the future, but not now. For now, the best thing to do is staying home, trying to slow down the spreading of the virus. Don’t stockpile anything excessively and unnecessarily. Everybody start stockpiling and and prices go up, everybody will suffer and the less fortunate will suffer even more.

Me, with my office being closed down for the next two weeks, I’m staying home with my family most of the time, working remotely from home. My sons are schooling online using Google Classroom. Apart from those, life goes on normally to us. We watch TV, we play games, we eat, we sleep, we shower, and we joke around as usual…

My bug-out bag

My bug-out gears

….but of course I keep my bug-out bag ready, just in case.

Stamp

~ by edwinlives4ever on March 23, 2020.

One Response to “Time To Bug Out?”

  1. How are you, Bang?
    Finally, I can read your new post here. After 2 years of hiatus.

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