The necessities of our print production cycle sometimes act as a speed bump for us when we want to address current events as they relate to survival. Unfortunately, seven months past our “two weeks to flatten the curve” and five months past the death of George Floyd, the enduring fallout from one or the other continue to make many people anxious about leaving their homes. Whether intended to combat the spread of disease or to exploit a sociopolitical movement, both the government and malevolent actors alike have figured out how to press the big red STOP button on people’s daily lives.
When I was in the military, we used the phrase low-intensity conflict to refer to things like terrorism and guerrilla action — armed clashes that don’t involve a full-scale meeting of armies on a central battlefield. We can look at the ripple effects of COVID-19 countermeasures much the same way. Steps such as quarantines, mask mandates, social distancing, and telecommuting don’t fit the traditional legacy view of a “disaster” — a term most people associate with a single, sudden-onset event. Even large-scale protests, and the riots that sometimes result, can feel like distant news if you’re not there when it happens. But long-term travel restrictions and the economic impacts of civil unrest present their own set of problems that can be equally severe. Intermittent availability of household paper goods or fresh meat, the sudden financial burden of destroyed business or property, and increased vulnerability of sensitive information through the use of internet-based telecommuting services all become very real survival issues if not properly addressed or prepared for.
These kinds of simmering, persistent problems have affected a lot of people and organizations who previously believed they were well-prepared, our publication included. The widespread disruption of supply lines, reduction in disposable income through lost or furloughed jobs, and the restrictions on people’s ability to make trips to the newsstands or grocery stores has impacted our operations in a concrete way. We’re still going strong, but it’s getting harder for us to reach you with quality information that could save your life — or at least make it a little easier in times like these. There are few things I hate more than a well-polished sales pitch, so I’ll keep it simple: Please consider subscribing directly to us via our website or mail-in subscription cards. It’ll guarantee direct delivery to you, regardless of shortages or disruptions at the retail level. Also, for over five years, we’ve shipped our issues in a discreet, sealed poly bag that protects your privacy and your household by minimizing the number of hands that actually touch your magazine.
The low-intensity disaster is especially insidious, because it doesn’t match the traditional depiction of a “disaster.” This is why we’ve always been such strong advocates of the holistic approach to survival and self-reliance. Don’t just prepare for something, prepare for anything.