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Come on Governments, of Course FOMO = Panic Buying; Can’t Stop Human Nature

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by | Updated: 10 Comments

As this crisis continues unabated throughout our little blue planet, I find myself growing more and more irritated with the powers that be. Since I have been on lock down for what feels forever (you will understand soon enough America!), I want to talk rant about a pet peeve of mine.

So, the government is currently outraged that people are panic buying and figuring out ways to deal with the strain on our supply chain. A fair and reasoned argument on the surface, but ultimately this was a predictable reaction, and the government has no one to blame but themselves.

You cannot issue a state of emergency, have thousands dying every day, create a (necessary ) atmosphere of isolation and then act shocked that people are hoarding & stockpiling. When the chips are down, people will inevitably revert to our primal, “Fuck you, I got mine” instincts.

As a species, we are intrinsically clannish. We create social structures and moral paradigms to benefit our own little bubble. As our comfort level grows this bubble expands within defined parameters up until it gets uncomfortable.

Think of it this way; first you prioritize your family, then friends > neighbourhood > town > state > country > sub continent/cultural identity, etc.

When life trucks along smoothly, you might even start caring about other continents – possibly spend some time musing socio-economic issues facing Zimbabwe or the democratic struggles of Hong Kong. But the moment something hits close to home we start to withdraw our empathy and concern.

This isn’t a criticism folks, it’s just honesty.

This shift in mindset is hardwired in our genetic code. It’s how we survive and grow as a species and the idiots in charge should recognise this core human trait and legislate accordingly.

When we see the shit show that is Italy and we know it’s going to hit our shores eventually – of course we will hoard for our own little bubble. We won’t care about social constructs and politeness. People are scared and fear leads to reactionary behaviour that has nowhere to go but down to our basest, primal instincts.

You might not think wearing a mask is necessary when out in public, but if 20% of people around you are wearing masks, regardless of the science – you will begin to worry and think about escalating your response regardless of your initial bias.

I am not immune to this folks. I am a prepper and should be cool as a cucumber in these trying times. I have an off grid gas heating system + panels for my electronics. My supplies are solid and I really don’t foresee any scenario where assistance would be required.

With that said, when I see people rushing out and emptying freezers, buying entire legs of ham (no joke), I start to think that perhaps my own preps are not sufficient.

I had an entire 8 kg cured ham in my Amazon cart last night, I was musing about pulling the trigger because meat is delicious and why not. Looks like I will be in pseudo-isolation with the girl for the next 60 days and thus this ham is looking like a sound investment in my own happiness.

Here’s the catch though, I went to bed to sleep on this super important decision and by the time I woke up, someone bought them all. Like… every last one of them.

I immediately felt a wave of worry. Someone else took them and I could have been the one to have them! It’s a savage cyclical fear of missing out.

I don’t care about the ham, but I care that someone else cared enough to buy every last one. Savvy?

Thankfully the girl is wise, calls me an idiot and I go about my day scowling at the universe, perhaps whilst being slightly sheepish too. Maybe.

The reason I am languidly complaining about my own brainwashing is simple, it’s important to discuss. Understanding what makes humans tick is important and this is a conversation worth having.

The government being run by cretins will on one hand say everything is fine, but we have to go into lockdown, and oh yeah – our GDP is going to implode, 30-80% of us will get a virus which has highly divergent fatality rates based on age, pre-existing conditions, and healthcare provided.

But its all good. Don’t panic. You might lose your job, our countries are going to be indebted to the tits but don’t panic. Everything is fine, except our medical infrastructure, economy and mfg base.

But everything is fine.

You don’t need masks. Masks won’t help you, but keep the masks for healthcare professionals who need them.

You don’t need them because it won’t help against the Coronavirus, but it will help medical professionals against the Coronavirus, but don’t worry its all good everything is fine.

Fine. fine. fine.


This shit drives me crazy, the wishy-washy political nonsense from all our politicians is making matters worse. Some people will focus on the “everything is fine” narrative and go about their days, ignoring our newly established social conventions of awkward distancing and thus compound infection rates.

Others will obsess over every single consequence and will max out the credit cards buying enough toilet paper for a football team creating these shortages and supply disruptions that have “shocked” our idiot leaders.

It’s incredible to me that those who represent us seemingly don’t understand us in any way, shape, or form.

Any halfway intelligent human being would have told you that telling people not to buy masks because medical professionals need them will create a panic within which every soccer mom will hunt for masks like politicians hunt for corporate donors.

It’s common fucking sense.

The morons in charge should have immediately put quotas on basic items like toilet paper, grains, tinned food, etc. Something reasonable like 15 tins per shopping trip instead of waiting until the situation spirals out of control.

Right now we have dimwits (who are just being human and thus clannish) grabbing their trolley and emptying entire shelves because hey, fuck you I got mine.

A crisis like this pandemic brings out the best in some, the worst in others and for most – they fall somewhere in between based on their own little bubble and how threatened it is.

Predatory behaviour like buying all the baby formula and then selling it on eBay for 10 times retail is abhorrent, but ultimately we have to accept human nature instead of being perpetually surprised that humans act like humans. Obviously if you ever run into the people who are exploiting new mothers for a quick buck then you should backhand them into the dust.

That’s also human nature.

Anyway, I have other articles planned throughout this crisis (Have I ever been so prolific? Hah.), but for now I felt the need to vent about the never ending stupidity from our overlords.

Comment below about your thoughts on the current situation in your neck of the woods and how people are reacting to it!

Filed Under: Updates 10 Comments

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Knife aficionado and lifelong tinkerer. Into bushcraft, hiking, and gear.

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Brian Sandman says

Amazing course of exponential events coming as a Ambush in Place?
We always have a small stockpile of extra’s due to the weather fluctuation in Canada.
Now the stores have long lines for the fast Check out lane of 16 or less items.
Other unlimited item lines are short with people buying a Grocery Cart full food.
A few stores have set aside the morning opening hours for Seniors and disabled only.
Budgeting the Milk, Lactose free type, is a pain do to the uncertainty of restocking .

A few jerk Banks refuse to take or allow the withdrawal of currency?
For fear of passing on the Virus.
What antidote ?
A Virus fails to have a antidote –just support to last the illness.
Face asks for Medical Staff have been stolen from the Clinic I attend twice a week !
I have a high certainty it is a inside job with the Nurses Community within reach.
George Orwell’s 1984 may have arrived in a way he failed to envision.
Yet we can all be tracked with the modern Internet.
Don’t use a Cell phone and never shall –must be aware of your potential escape routes, and any indications of evolving threats in local geography.

Also have noticed more then normal amount of marginal types with Mental Heath issues. Now my Everyday Carry items are in place and accessible. When some types try to buzz me I am prepared and position myself for the best positioning. Yes those idiots know and steer off the Kill Zone set up to channelize them. Not that I would but they feel the Energy and go onto less risky people.

Todd says

Thanks for a great article. Very few in public service are looking out for the public. Politicians are worried about politics. They care about getting re elected, not whether my family has enough food. The media is worried about ratings, so they promote “facts not fear” and then spend the entire newscast telling us we have supply shortages of every kind and so many of us are going to get the virus. What? Fairly healthy people have a great chance to recover if they get it? Nope this 35 yr old healthy man died. No matter what they push fear, then Lester ends the show telling us to foster puppies. People need to research these things themselves from independent sources. Looking forward to the next article!

Thomas Xavier says

Yeah, the media and its kneejerk swings from calm to panic to calm to panic is just makings worst. At the end of the day, they print to make money and we have to remember that.

Old OutdoorsGuy says

Thomas, this could last for a very very long time if we depend on the “go’ment peoples” to do anything in a meaningful length of time to help the problem dissolve itself. Even the Prez’ here in the States had to admit that he was “bamboozled” by the brevity of the warning and the location of the apparent start to this entire circus parade.

Sure, it was a kajillion miles away in a country surrounding by ignorant trolls and farmers and ice covered mountains and thousands of miles of salt water between them and us. it didn’t amount to very much to the average American worker or his working wife, both of whom who could have led a much more temperate lifestyle had they any notion of what was “in the wind”. As our Prez assumed that it was where this “fake” was located, “It will blow in and then blow away again” and all will be good. Yup, Donnie, that was your take on this hype, so it must be true, eh??

Why, even my close friends told me right up front that I need to trust the media and take what was being placed on the news menu without asking “how far will this go?” or “how long will it take to reach the innards of our country?”. I have always trusted my gut to place things in some sort of perspective as far as the potential of a virus of unknown origin or strength spreading so fast and so far around our planet that, within weeks, it would debilitate entire countries, spread across entire continents, and sweep all vestiges of “normality” from the households of so many of our friends and family in such a short time. It was no more than a theme for a fantasy movie scripted for life in a faraway galaxy ……..

But here we are, right in the midst of one of the very things which any sane individual would have thought utterly impossible to happen to “me”! Now we all have to bite the bullet and make unplanned sacrifices to guard our own personal health and safety and that of all of our friends and family during a major crisis of such proportions that we may never fully recover from the results of “letting someone else take care of it”.

I am convinced that so much of what we have taken for granted for so long will be dropped by the wayside of struggle to survive for most of us who are lucky [or not so lucky] to come out of this disaster with our health and enough knowledge to push forward and try to pick up enough of the pieces to make a life for our loved ones once again. It won’t be the same, it CAN’T be the same as it was from this point on because we have finally come face to face with the real enemy and the enemy turned out to be ……… us.

We have defeated ourselves by not paying attention to what was going on around us, some of us have not planned much for the future as so many of us were “stuck” in the present and enjoying the “now” time. Now we must find the courage to pick up and go on and try to put what will be left of our lives in some kind of proper order so we all don’t simply wither away from personal shame of depending on the “other guy” to make everything “right” in this world.

And so it goes on …….

Thomas Xavier says

Yeah its a shitshow, in my neck of the woods 58% of restaurants and other service sector small businesses are insolvent- think about how many people they hire…

No idea where we will be in a years time but I know whatever the “solution” will be, that it won’t be great for most people.

Broadwing says

I agree with you completely, except your not the only one who has been sheltering in place. Here in the Central PA area I pulled the trigger on 15 February with no travel outside the homestead since. Like you I get my supplies if needed on line and yes Last week I held up on getting my favorite Columbian coffee and the next day it was out of stock. Shame on me. I only wanted 3 Jars, it’s instant. Herr TRump here is the biggest BS artists there is and I feel the need to purge daily after his news conferences. Bad enough he was/is a Twitter freak, now it’s daily on my TV. Anyway we’re hanging in there, okay for now!

Thomas Xavier says

Sadly as we have noticed- people get burnt out. People know the virus is a shitshow, that you can catch it more than once and that it presents with a plethora of longterm effects that we dont quite understand yet but people have sort of shrugged and outside of the initial wave of panic they are reverting to sticking their heads in the sand.

I expect the situation to get worse until next year at the very least.

bdc says

I am not irritated. Anger is a result of actual performance failing to meet expectations.
I never have expected any government to “look out for my best interests.”

I think that everyone heard the story about the grasshopper and the ant when he was an infant. Then he ignores it as he ages. That is reality.

The average American watches 5 hours of television a day. At one point, my television was unplugged for two years. This observation is a way of saying, you have consequences for choices of where you spend your time and money.

While people rant about what is wrong with the world, I find that going in a quiet corner and writing down what I think I need to do to deal effectively with a situation works for me. I will be sick whether the Chinese were developing bioweapons, the [fill in the blank with Democrat/Republican] politician should have done better, panic stricken grasshoppers are buying bottled water when the tap water is flowing and is safe to drink.

Remember the following and life will be easier:
1. most people can articulate only one trick pony solutions to any problem and never think about consequences;
2. most people live paycheck to paycheck because that is how THEY decided to live their lives;
3. most people go around on the verge of a nervous breakdown;
4. it is easier to control yourself (very difficult) than other people, but it is easier to articulate how you would control other people if you were king (requires no energy).

Troy says

Just to give you a different perspective…
I’m 57 and a 100% disabled Veteran.
I have worked a full time job since I was 14
and paid into social security every year until I
was 49 and couldn’t longer work…
The money that I receive from social security
disability puts us at below poverty level and this
forces my wife and I to live paycheck to paycheck…!
This was not a conscious choice that we made, it was
from an act of God…!
What savings and investments we had in place for our
future got used up during the 3 year waiting period that
our government forced me to jump through hoops, without
any income before they would finally approve my disability…!
Since that time, we never have any extra to put back into savings
or to invest for our future…
The only reason that we have a roof over our heads is because we
live with my Mom to take care of her and split all of the bills.
She has several health issues and cannot take care of herself.
My wife cannot work because she is my primary care giver and also
my Moms.
So, not everyone lives paycheck to paycheck because of choices they
have made.
I thought that I would have many years to work and provide for our future but that was taken away from me…
Have a great day and be blessed.

Thomas Xavier says

Agreed 100%. Its a travesty how unprepared most people are and yet when it gets dicey suddenly we are “popular” for our advice…that they promptly choose to ignore. Its maddening but at this point I am choosing to opt out of the outside world. Its just too aggravating to deal with endless stupidity.

“2. most people live paycheck to paycheck because that is how THEY decided to live their lives”

Funny thing is, in our present society by presenting such an argument which is completely valid, we are vilified.

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