By Pash Brar –
As restrictions are easing for the short term, before a possible second wave of COVID 19, it’s time to reflect on how well prepared you were for this pandemic. Statistics in the United States show that only a small percentage of the population was financially prepared and did not seek government assistance. That is not a good thing. The vast majority were unprepared and this is a humbling notion.
No one can predict that they will lose their job. Most jobs were lost in March and April and immediately people were hit with financial hardship. This means the greater part of the population is living paycheque to paycheque. One missed paycheque and nothing to fall back on. I have always recommended my trucking clients to have 6 months or more in savings in times of emergency. Obviously this was not the case as I had countless calls looking for payment deferrals on trucks, trailers, and cars. I hope this taught everyone the importance of saving. Those who saved and had money faired a lot better than those who did not, and are continuing to fair better.
The other thing showing lack of preparation was panic buying. I personally took an emergency preparedness course at university. That course prepared me for not only a pandemic, but also countless other situations such as earthquakes, tsunami, tornados, hurricanes, or even war. For me, there was no need to hoard supplies and panic buy because I already had the supplies. I did help those who were less prepared by sharing my supplies. I know not everyone took a course as I did, but a good rule of thumb taught by my mom was, “If it’s on sale buy a few.” That’s exactly why I had and still have many months of supplies in my home. I’m known to yell at people visiting my home who grab a water bottle from my fridge. I literally yell, “Put that water DOWN!! That is my EMERGENCY water!” I keep flats of water for a possible emergency and when the date will expire soon, I replace it and allow everyone to drink the older bottles before expiration. In a pandemic, we didn’t need the water, but I was still prepared for any other major catastrophes. We should all be prepared at all times.
A possible second wave could be hitting the world in a few months. Historically every past pandemic has had a second wave. I hope everyone continues to social distance and this second wave does not occur, but we don’t know as of yet. Will people be better prepared for the potential second wave? I honestly don’t think so. What lessons have been learned from the first wave will not be correctable in only a few months. No one will have much time to save or prepare. It’s unfortunate, but the strong with money survive. It reminds me of a song by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Crossfire. A lyric in the song is, “Money’s tight, nothin free. Won’t somebody come and rescue me.” I think the lyrics are very fitting in the current environment. Stevie Ray Vaughan was killed in a helicopter crash 30 years ago and his music is still very relevant in these times.
For now, before a possible second wave hits, everyone needs to do a few things. First, assess your bank accounts and do a budget. Spend as little as possible until there is a vaccine because we don’t know how long that will be. Every penny counts. Also, look at your supplies at home. Look at the things people rushed out to buy and stores were low on. Do you really need these things? Many made do without them. So only keep the items you actually used. Don’t go out and buy a lot and hoard it, but if it’s on sale and you use it, then maybe buy a few. Again save your money by not paying full price.
We don’t know when or if the second wave of coronavirus will hit us, but try to be better prepared for it and also be ready for any disaster. Save your money and keep expenses low. If you don’t NEED it, don’t buy it. We all like nice things, but when a vaccine is tested and approved, then it will be the time to have a well-earned splurge. Please continue to social distance, be patient, help one another, and eventually, we’ll have stories to share with future grandkids of, “Back in 2020 I survived Covid-19.”