The Preppers Got it Wrong

By Madis Senner

For the first time in a month I went grocery shopping at Wegmans last week. As a senior and someone who is recuperating from surgery only a few months ago I would be very vulnerable should I get Covid-19. I wore a mask and gloves. When I finished putting my groceries in my car’s trunk I took my gloves off and shut the trunk door. As I began pushing my cart to the receptacle where grocery carts are stored I realized I was not wearing my gloves and said, “shoot.”

Then I heard a voice behind me say, “ I can take that for you.”

I turned around and saw a woman in her thirties. She pulled down her sleeves to cover her hands and she said, “See. My hands are covered.”

I told her “thanks for your kindness, but my hands have already touched the cart.”

For years preppers and survivalists have been telling us to stock up on food and load up on guns and ammo to protect ourselves during a crisis. Believing that thugs would be out to rob us and roving bands would be looking to do home invasions.

There has been none of this.

There have instead been incredible acts of kindness and generosity. Television is filled with pictures of health care workers, bus drivers, grocery store clerks and others that have put themselves at risk so that we may be safe. There have been busloads of nurses that have left the Finger Lakes Region for New York City, the epicenter of the virus, to help short-staffed hospitals that are bursting at the seams.

If you have ever seen a person interviewed on television that rescued someone from a fire, or helped a drowning person, often they will say that they are not a hero. Rather a situation presented itself, where they were at the right place at the right time, and that they just acted naturally.

In the months and years ahead many situations will be presented to us. Do we step up like the woman who offered to return my shopping cart, or do we just go about our business? Will you become a hero to someone in need?


Madis Senner is an author who lives in Syracuse. You can read his musings at,
His latest book is  Everything Has Karma: Learning to Embrace Our Interconnectedness

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