• Dylan Kirk

Neo-Survivalism

Since the beginning of quarantine, it seems like we’ve seen the worst in humanity, whether it be through the hoarding of necessary supplies, like masks and bottled water, or thousands blatantly ignoring the instructions of the World Health Organization. The pandemic led us to fear further, more lethal changes, such as an apocalypse or revolution. This kind of erratic behavior isn’t new. Many of us have been mocking those who acted in this manner in past years, calling those who partook “Doomsday Preppers” or Neo-Survivalists, despite there being nothing to survive. 


Most likely, a rebellion won’t happen. But what if it does?


There are hundreds of Reddit threads dedicated to neo-survivalism, ranging from urban gardening, to bulk buying Ensure and gas masks at the lowest prices. If anyone is interested in turning their basement into a bunker due to the possibility of a societal uprising, there’s plenty of sources online for that too. Prepper Jeff Bushaw goes to storage unit auctions to find weapons, and owns a small plane to ensure he would be able to escape in the event of the Yellowstone supervolcano erupting. Another prepper (and firefighter) from Georgia has six months of food storage in portable containers, and taught his children, ages seven to eleven, how to secure protective gear in the event of a gas attack from Russia.


But disaster prepping extends beyond just hoarding of supplies; many preppers build things like bunkers, forest hideouts, and sniper towers. One unnamed prepper from Texas built a rooftop command center over his home in case of a civil war, secured with bulletproof windows and sand walls. Another prepper, Richard Huggins, has built a small pillbox (a military concrete guard-post), equipped with claymore mines, grenade launchers, a tear gas launching system, and machine guns to “stop [his] enemies in their tracks.”


While this type of prep seems extreme, we can also see the benefits of disaster preparation from Donna Nash.


In 2012, Nash shared her preparations for a potential global pandemic on Doomsday Preppers, and reality television show released by National Geographic. Even as of 2012, the World Health Organization believed that a devastating flu pandemic was inevitable. It’s for this reason that Nash was impossibly afraid of one of her family members getting the flu. Nash is shown ordering 3,000 Bouffant Caps (hair nets used in hospitals or by medical professionals), and her stock of protective masks and gloves could even be considered admirable in this current time of crisis.


“I put together kits for everything you would need to survive a pandemic. In my kits I have isolation gowns, antiviral tissues, exam gloves, N-95 masks, foot covers, heavy duty sanitizer, goggles, antibacterial wipes, and hair covers.” Just a few months ago, her preparations would have sounded ridiculous, but now, she’s the person we wish had been when this started. This isn’t to say you should hoard supplies, especially not now. That wouldn’t be fair to healthcare professionals or the general population. The former examples prove that this kind of extreme preparation isn’t usually necessary, and is often wasteful. But if you were to just have a full quarantine bunker laying around, now would be the perfect time to use it.

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