Letter Re: Get Ready While You Can, When You Can

Dear Mr. Rawles,
Arguably, the first commandments of the preparedness movement is to get ready for bad times before they get here. However, it doesn’t have to be TEOTWAWKI for it to be too late, or darn close to it. I offer the following real life example to illustrate the point. I get a lot of sinus headaches, especially this time of year; what I have always relied on to relieve them is Tylenol Sinus formula. Traditionally, the active ingredients have been acetaminophen (for pain) and pseudo-ephedrine (for nasal decongestion). Because scum use the latter ingredient in making crystal meth, the powers-that-be have been making it harder and harder to get; what used to be a category of products one could find right next to aspirin was moved behind the pharmacist’s counter. In response to this, and in order to get them back on the other side of the counter, the drug manufacturers (not just the Tylenol people, but all of them it seems) have been reformulating their offerings, replacing pseudo-ephedrine with phenylephrine. I have tried one of these reformulated products, and what can I say? I would compare products containing phenylephrine to bodily-waste, except that would be an insult to bodily-waste. After all, bodily-waste can serve a useful purpose (returning nutrients to soil, be processed into methane for fuel, etc.); drugs containing phenylephrine serve no useful purpose, including their stated one — relieving sinus pain.With this in mind, I decided to (along with my normal, weekly shopping) go on a little quest: stockpile as much actual sinus relief as I can, while I still can (wasn’t there a “Seinfeld” episode like this, involving Elaine and birth control? But I digress.) So what were my results for the day? Two stores had nothing left, and at three other stores I was able to acquire: 1 box of Tylenol Sinus, 1 box of Advil Sinus and one store-brand box of non-drowsy, nasal decongestant (which doesn’t contain any pain reliever, but I can always take with a couple of Tylenol, Advil or whatever). I would have been willing to buy more at each of these stores, but doing so would have raised eyebrows. I think I may make the rounds again tomorrow, at different stores. I would like to have enough to last me through at least 2007 — possibly 2008 (when most of these items would appear to be past there expiration dates anyway). I don’t know what I will do beyond then. Nasal sprays also seem to work with me, but I really do not like them, and have always saved them as a last resort. Things tend to be a lot more lax on the other side of the border. Theoretically, I could pop down to Tijuana [Mexico] and pick-up a box or two of ‘whatever’,and not have any problems getting that back across the border, but that is an awful lot of work. Hmmm…
Anyway, the point being, I can see any number of circumstances where the things we want and/or need (defensive firearms training, fuel stabilizer, freeze dried food, solar panels — you name it) could become unavailable well before we need them. So, to everyone out there, if you think you’ll need it can afford it: Get it now, get it before it’s too late. Best Wishes, – James