Rather than admit that I’m too tired to do anything else after walking for half an hour yesterday, I’m going to discuss a few predictions I made about the near-to-mid future.
As I always say, making predictions is risky because they are almost always wrong. The main reason for that is that we can’t anticipate the biggest, most transformative events until they are already starting to happen. Case in point: the entire internet.
It’s like we have this big donut where all our predictions are the cakey part and the hole in the middle, the part that defines it and makes it an actual donut, is just this empty void.
What the heck, though. Let’s do it.
I made a bunch of predictions about coronavirus before I personally got sick with it. Let’s review those first and compare them to what really happened.
First, I claimed on March 3 that my husband and I prepped for coronavirus. We did this by buying a month’s worth of food and backup supplies of TP, cleansers, and bath products. I had been planning to start stashing cash but didn’t get to it in time. Reality testing was hard on this prediction since we have been in isolation much longer than that and we wound up running out of a bunch of stuff.
I THOUGHT THREE WEEKS WOULD BE A LONG TIME + A LITTLE EXTRA TO BE SAFE
Also, I never really anticipated that either of us would get sick.
Our personal lives are where our strategic forecasting abilities actually matter. Where I applied this to my own household, I, ah, did not over-prepare.
That’s something: the dog that didn’t bark! I did not make any purchases or take actions based on guesswork that didn’t pan out. Another way to put that is that I didn’t blow all our liquid cash reserves on shopping carts full of paper towels or bacon.
The only thing that I bought that we haven’t needed so far was four bottles of Gatorade, in case one of us got the dreaded fever.
What I was envisioning was something out of Contagion, in which the government came down like the scientists in E.T. The Extraterrestrial. I did a ton of research for a draft of a novel I began back in 2010, the plot of which was a strep-type airborne bacterial pandemic that turns everyone into zombies. I thought we would all be in “real” lockdown and that this sucker would quickly be brought to heel.
Then I wrote a post called History Says, and I laid out several specific predictions:
“...sometimes an entire family can be taken out in days.”
“Burials become a serious logistical problem.”
“Supply chains collapse and it becomes very difficult to find food or other material goods.”
“...labor...could negotiate for legal rights, higher pay, and better working conditions.” [reorganization of my argument but I stand by my point]
“...people... run amok like a bunch of morons, rioting, fornicating in the streets, getting falling-down drunk, running around naked.” [looks like we leaned more toward ‘riot’ than ‘drunk and naked’ alas; looking to you, Florida]
“Rationing (i.e. one per customer), including food, medical supplies, and other material goods
Total unavailability of certain categories of product
A thriving black market
People waiting in line all day for something like a single loaf of bread
Economic, um... opportunities? 😬”
“It could be that a month from now, we’re all laughing off what was a very scary first quarter of 2020. Or, it could be that this is just the beginning of a major watershed, after which everything will be totally transformed. We are in the middle of the Place of Uncertainty.”
Okay, First Quarter 2020 is over now, and I don’t think a lot of people are laughing. (I kinda stuck that in there to make that piece seem less gloomy, and again, that was before I got sick).
I have no idea about the black market thing, although it looks like this might be happening with PPE, sanitizer etc? Yet the total opposite for the drug trade? From what I’ve read business is down for drug dealers and sex workers.
(What?? Trend analysis is part of my job!)
Pretty sure I was wrong about bank runs, at least in the U.S. At least so far. I think virtual banking has been a big help here.
Something I didn’t think of, when I did this list, was the concept of speakeasies. That’s probably because I’m not a user of recreational substances other than green tea. When I heard it was happening already I thought ‘DUH’ because what matters the most to people right now is their desire to get drunk in groups. Which, I feel ya.
Looking back, these last four months have been the longest twenty years of my life. Some of my predictions I thought would come down maybe at the three-year mark, and lo and behold, they are already in play.
What this means for me and my little household is that I was not pessimistic enough. I had no idea that a month after I claimed “we prepped” I would be at Death’s door, with the Grim Reaper spattering me with little sparks from his scythe sharpener.
On the other hand, I was also not optimistic enough. I didn’t know that I would survive COVID-19, that my husband would remain uncertain whether he even had it, or that we would basically continue to have access to most food, pharmaceuticals, and consumer items. We even maintained access to water, power, the internet, phones, and streaming entertainment!
As I was writing this, I started rattling off a bunch of future predictions, and it quickly became obvious that this post should really be a two-parter. Therefore, I hacked off that section and pasted it into a new document. You can come back and read that tomorrow.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies