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Monday, March 02, 2020

Learning To Improvise May Save Your Life As Store Shelves Are Emptied By 'Ordinary Americans' Scared Into Preparing By Coronavirus

By Susan Duclos - All News PipeLine

It was never clear why everyday Americans looked at those that believed in prepping for survival as if they were crazy, other than the establishment media's attempts at every turn to present preppers in that manner. No one calls those that have car insurance, crazy. No they call them law abiding citizens preparing for a possibility of a car accident. Same with home insurance, health, etc.....

Even ordinary Americans that shop once a week in order to feed their families throughout the next week without running to the store everyday, are in fact, prepping. They are simply doing it in far smaller amounts and to last less time than those prepping for long-term survival.

With that said we are seeing a number of countries across the globe as well as certain states within the U.S. that are discovering the benefits of having a stockpile of food and basic necessities, discovering all of this because they became scared as the news of the COVID-19 coronavirus has spread, much more slowly than the virus itself.

While fear may be a powerful motivator to start prepping, it is also self-defeating to wait until the last minute, then decide "Oh my, I need stuff before the shelves are empty," because by the time, many of the shelves will already be empty, as shown in a few images below. from Business Insider taken from social media users showing store shelves emptied.

Panic is never a good thing and panic shopping pretty much guarantees you get the left-overs, and most likely what is left are things that won't be very helpfull if you and yours family decide to self-quarantine or simply hunker down until further notice.

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Here is one of my favorites, where  so0me random Twitter user, Chris H, snarkily blames the Trump administration because clueless Americans that didn't have the sense to be preparing even in a limited manner, well.... ever, decided to panic shop and buy up all the N-95 masks.

Yes, in his little, tiny, Trump Derangement Syndrome infected mind, it is the Trump administration's fault that Americans, woefully unprepared, got scared into preparing by the coronavirus and ran out and empties all the store shelves.

The Business Insider article has a lot of social media images and commentary, so head over and take a look. 

We note that the images of emptied shelves are coming from areas where the user claims is three hours from a  major city. Images are coming from one end of the country to the other. Items the stores are running out of include everything from cold and flu medications, to toilet paper, and especially face masks. Stores mentioned include Target, CVS, Home Depot, Rite Aid, Walgreens and more. 

Via Daily Mail in a piece titled "Panic buying strips store shelves as people stockpile amid coronavirus outbreak with one woman turning her basement into a 'supermarket' and a man buying a YEAR'S supply of food which includes 192 tins of SPAM."

Supermarket shelves are starting to be stripped bare as Americans prepare for the spread of coronavirus.

People have been panic buying items ever since health authorities warned that Americans should start preparing for domestic acceleration of the virus.

Supplies have been flying off the shelves with people posting photos on social media showing the lack of products available in some stores and pharmacies. 

In California, some Walgreens stores had been completely depleted of cough medicines, cold and flue medications, vaporizers, masks and thermometers.

Shoppers in Hawaii were buying up flatbeds of canned goods, bottled water, toilet paper and paper towels from a local Costo. 

A supermarket aisle in Virginia had been stripped of non-perishables like pasta.

Those not prepared already, may simply be out of luck by now, unless they are willing to learn to improvise.


Masks: Face masks seem to the one item everyone is running out of and many stores have no clue when they will get more in stock.  Other have signs limiting sales to 10 per customer.

As of this writing Amazon still has face masks available, but the price has skyrocketed, where for 50 disposable masks are seeling for nearly $80 dollars and that is one of the cheaper products I have found. Others have spiked to up to 100 masks for $159.00 and 150 masks for more than $225.00.

Apparently price gouging is popular today, but at least the items are still in stock, as are respirators.

If one cannot afford the spiked prices or simply refuse to pay that much, and cannot find face masks in their area, there are some very good Do-It-Yourself videos and resources out there. 

One of the best I have found, shown below, is a clear, straight to the point,  visual how-to video to make  an antiviral face mask, using water, vinegar, Zinc sulfate, Copper sulfate and a decent sized piece of cloth.

How to make an antiviral face mask from cloth, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate and distilled vinegar.
You will need: 
1 tablespoon (50 grams) Zinc sulfate 
1 tablespoon (50 grams) Copper sulfate 
1/2 cup 5% distilled vinegar
1 liter distilled (or reverse osmosis water)
Mix Zinc sulfate, copper sulfate and water. If cloudy, it will still work but much better if solution is not cloudy and this can be achieved with distilled water.

Cut face cloth. 
Dip top half into zinc/copper/water
Dip bottom half into vinegar

Let dry
Fold over and breath through.

Cover and save the liquids, they will preserve well. You can make quite a few masks from this.
You may also be able use the zinc/copper solution to disinfect your hands or fingers. Do not 'double dip'. Rather have a 'clean' person use a fine mist sprayer with the mix on your hands when you come home. 

Some people make have skin sensitivities to the ingredients
Don't get chemicals or liquids in your eyes
These ingredients may degrade a standard mask or valve assembly. You may prefer using treated cloth outside a standard mask or as a cloth insert.
Original patent:#9,963,611

Those items are still reasonably priced... for now anyway.

Zinc Sulfate Powder - Contains 35.5% Zinc & 16.5% Sulfur"Greenway Biotech Brand" 1 Pound

SeedRanch Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate 99.9% Crystals - 10 Lbs

20% White Vinegar - 200 Grain Vinegar Concentrate - 1 Gallon of Natural and Safe Multi-Use Concentrated Industrial Vinegar

Toilet Paper: Another lesson being learned by Americans is how fast items such as toilet paper be emptied off of store shelves, as the stories out of Hawaii are teaching us.

Key Quote: "Costco was limited toilet paper purchases to five packs per person." 

While they are still in stock, in bulk, at Amazon.... again there is no telling how long that will last, so if  you haven't already stocked up on paper towels and toilet paper, and stores start seeing a run on those items, improvization may come in handy here as well.

Wet wipes or baby wipes, while more expensive that toilet paper, still do the job. Some are flushable, but others aren't, so remember your biohazard bags.

Any type of paper product from magazine pages to newspapers, while not exactly pleasant feeling, get the job done.

Coffee filters, those can be bought by the thousands very cheaply and in a pinch, will work just fine.

Food: Another item to think about is food, especially for those that haven't been preparing at all. If one is just starting to think about "prepping" because of this latest coronavirus, meaning they do not have any emergency survival freeze dried foods, only what is in their fridge and freezer, by the time they get to the grocery store, options may be limited.

Many might think there is no substitute for food, and in one manner they would be right, but in a survival situation, protein powders mixed with water can, and will, provide the nutrients needed to survive for a while.  Sprouts, known as a "miracle food," will also provide nutrients, although the stomach may still feel empty, they will survive.

Sprouting supplies still available at reasonable prices can be found at Home Depot stores, places like Walmart,  and can be delivered fast from Amazon.


The point here is there are many areas that a person can use substitutions or improvisations, and Do-It-Yourself instructions to survive if the actual product is unavailable. Learning about those things can be done online, there are thousands of resources, there are also a number of prepping and survival hard cover books that can be kept around the house for anyone that may be cut off from Internet access or electricity.

We only covered a few of the items that people are panic shopping right off the shelves and substitutes, there are hundreds of ways to improvise a variety of things that are needed in an emergency situation, or even a long-term self-quarantine choice, but undoubtedly readers will have dozens if not hundreds of other little tips, tricks, ideas and resources.

See those in the comment section over at All News PipeLine