Written by Richard Dockery, March 15, 2020
Staying safe in times of National crisis can get harder as each day passes. The longer the crisis, the more we need to adjust our daily behaviors to insure we, and those around us, are able to get by and to sustain.
This morning I read a friends post where they witnessed a man being chased out of Cumberland farms for stealing the toilet paper out of the restroom.
Yes….we are living in a time where people are stealing toilet paper from a public restroom. A time where people are going from store to store and buying far more than they could ever need, and depriving others of even conservative amounts of daily supplies. Store shelves are dwindling, people are getting aggressive, and individuals are stashing closets full of supplies while families with children are looking for simple things like milk, rubbing alcohol, and soap.
The behaviors don’t match the reality of what we are facing. A potential 2 week…even month…quarantine does not justify or warrant what we are seeing….so what is it we are seeing?…and more importantly, what should we be doing?
There are a few primary behaviors we see in times of crisis….or “perceived crisis”….and they are all driven by instinctive reactions. There are those who keep to themselves, make sure they have what they need, and stay in the shadows. There are those that will network and help each other to support the common good. There are also those that will prey on others (as individuals and as groups), either as opportunity, or in order to get what they think they need.
The level at which these dynamics exist will morph and grow the longer the crisis lasts, or the worse the crisis is perceived. What we have now is a crisis that is being defined by a media which has proven itself to be out of touch with reality. A media thriving on drama and sensationalism, feeding off political agendas, and creating a frenzied environment. A crisis not much different than many we have faced in the past is snowballing at a rapid rate, deteriorating daily, and being defined as something much larger.
So what do we need to do?
-We need to think rationally, check on our neighbors and friends, and support each other through the crisis. This is not a time to fight in the aisle of Walmart but instead to help insure everyone gets what they need to sustain.
-Avoid media manipulation and seek out reliable sources of information from your networks and communities. Understand what is really happening and the true impact of the crisis on you and those around you. Inform your decision making.
-Communicate with those around you, think safety and security, and keep a network of rationally minded people active. Isolation can get dangerous. Communication enables support and understanding of the reality. Good people networked closely can overcome any crisis that has ever been faced throughout history.
-Don’t ignore security. If people are stealing toilet paper as individuals today, it could easily turn into groups working together to take what they need not just from public restrooms, but by going house to house…it happens. It could also happen as you are out getting what you need or even heading home after work. Situational awareness and avoidance of potential threats are critical. The ability to defend yourself and your family are necessary. Think everything through and have a plan for the worst case scenario.
This crisis will pass like every crisis has. The more we work together and support each other’s needs, the better we will all come out on the other side. Think realistically, behave rationally, and communicate.
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