As a prepper, you know there is a certain stigma attached to what some deem paranoia. While legitimate preppers know there is nothing irrational about preparing for worst-case scenarios, the general public has been skeptical of the practice for decades until now. Recent stresses to national, global, and physical wellbeing have provided evidence of inadequate governance, healthcare, and economic systems. The things people considered bedrock to their existence shifted in a single year, allowing perspectives to change and for instinct to take the helm.
The COVID-19 pandemic provided the entire global population with a view of what is possible when you do not prepare: food and supply shortages, job loss, economic instability, etc. While preparation will not end a pandemic or divert a natural disaster, it is paramount to your survival and level of comfort during such events. The growing popularity and interest in prepping is proof that stigmas of lunacy or paranoia are in the past, that prepping is and always has been a sound survival strategy.
COVID-19 Led the Charge
You cannot deny the influence COVID-19 has had on the recent momentum in the prepper community. The pandemic created and took advantage of gaping holes in national strategy and global governance. While the interdependence of states is something the U.S. prides itself on, the lack of cohesion and the explosion of political unrest allowed for a potentially containable situation to be marred in personal interest and baseless crusades.
Upon entry into the U.S., COVID-19 flourished and caused mayhem. Workers were laid off, losing wages and health insurance because of mandated government shutdowns. Small businesses and companies went bankrupt because they did not have the necessary infrastructure to cope with forced digital conversion. Food and supply shortages ran rampant as supply chains and logistic sectors struggled to keep up with rising demands and worker shortages. Though 2020 is in the rearview, the pandemic is still cruising along with no predictable end in sight.
While the pandemic demonstrates the need for preparation, it is certainly not the only reason for people to embrace prepping. COVID-19 provided a glimpse into global catastrophe and highlighted some of the pervading weaknesses in government, infrastructure, and current economic theory, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. To get a glimpse of the whole glacier, you need to deep dive into socioeconomic, sociopolitical, and even ecological theory.
Government, Inequality, and Climate Change Continue the Pressure
The ongoing threat of climate change, rising inequality, the ailments of late-stage capitalism, and the failing of post-World War II systems are all examples of threats to the status quo. While previous decades could sit idle and bask in the rise of industry, current generations are left holding onto rusting economic strongholds, hoping they last until a solution or alternative option is found.
Traditional systems are no longer capable of sustaining the exponential growth of populations, and capitalism can no longer deliver on the dreams of wealth and equality — if it ever did. Prepping is about the only thing a sane individual can do to survive in the predictable struggles to come. It is the only way to hold onto hope as the nation and world attempt to right the unstable foundation created through several past generations of abuse and complacency.
After years of stereotypes, preppers can now feel vindicated, but that is about the only thing to celebrate. The world is upon a great reckoning, and hopefully, leaders and governments will come to their senses in time to avoid an even greater catastrophe than the ongoing pandemic.
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