Stuck at the Bottom of the Survival Pyramid

The year 2020 started out promising.  Even the number 2020 feels like a self-actualization, perfect number.  20/20 vision and 20/20 hindsight metaphors seem perfect.

Many people were at a pretty good spot in life.  Thinking of Maslow’s hierarchy pyramid, people were trying to move up the pyramid.

But then the events of the year 2020 started piling up, threatening the bottom part of the period that many of us are able to take for granted most of the time.

I see an impact and threat to think about in each of the foundational physiological needs.

Breathing…Covid-19 has been found to have severe effects on breathing for some people.  The amount of days people have needed hospital time or ventilator time has astounded me.  Tear gas used on protestors during the May and June George Floyd protests has also threatened our basic need for breathing.  

What basic preparations can I take to preserve breath?

Even though we are saving N95 masks for healthcare workers in these trying times, when this pandemic dies down, should I stock up on some N95s for the next pandemic?  (Yes, I said it.  I know nobody wants to think about another pandemic when we are still in the midst of this one, but experts note the probability. I want to be prepared.)

Food…Seeing runs on grocery stores and talk of an economic recession or depression has made me doubt my food security more than ever.

The food supply chain has been disrupted.

It is more fragile than I realized.  It is less nimble than I would have thought.

I cannot be the only one who both hates gardening and is starting to wonder how much of a garden I need!  Tell me I’m not the only one.

My great-grandma Lydiann fed her family through the harsh South Dakota winter just from her garden of beans and potatoes.  Am I more likely to survive a major disruption to the food supply chain because of our current abundance?  Or am I less likely without her gardening skills and preparing ahead of time?

Water…When everyone was going out buying toilet paper to survive the coronavirus, haha, my husband was out buying gallons of water.

(I am still not tired of the social media toilet paper jokes, by the way!)

We later read that the water supply to homes was one of the least likely disruptions to our lives.  Having food for 3 weeks is the more important idea in case we are sick and need to quarantine.

I feel a little sheepish with the jugs of water in the pantry.

But it has me thinking, how ready do I need to be to face an unexpected water need?

I definitely want to buy this little filter on Amazon.

Sex…At this point, I have little to say about this.  Fauci told people who weren’t together to be careful about sex potentially transmitting the coronavirus, right?

Sleep…Yes, I can 100% say that 2020 has not been a good year of sleep for me.  Worries about the future and planning in my mind does not stop.  And I live in a city that invoked a curfew during riots over George Floyd’s murder.  

It was hard to get sleep, but even more difficult for some of my friends.  They actually had to stay up through the night to guard their home or business during looting and rioting!  Sitting through the dark night with no sleep.  Telling your family to evacuate to a nearby town.  Basically living in a war zone of destruction.  And then spending the daytime hours helping with the clean up efforts.  This is definitely living under the foundation of Maslow’s hierarchy, not even sustained by the foundation of the pyramid.

Homeostasis…I need to learn more about this but it seems like it is balance and equilibrium among body systems.  Stress must affect this, right?

Excretion…Welp, I guess we need to prep for this, too.  Okay, I don’t see an immediate threat from 2020 events, but just seeing all the systems break down makes me wonder how to handle  an emergency without toilet availability.  Or, will all my survival food make for more constipation?  Yikes, another unpleasant idea to prep for.

Nobody wants to live life struggling to maintain the foundation of the pyramid.  People want to move up toward the higher, more fulfilling parts of the pyramid.  But in 2020, we have had to face our vulnerabilities in the most basic need areas.  That is what my blog is about.  Getting back to the basics so that when we move on from the pandemic and other difficulties, we will have a stronger foundation.  We will have more peace of mind to face the uncertainties of the next survival-challenging event in our lives.

What gives you peace of mind?

Which area of the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy feels the most vulnerable to you?  Let me know in the comments.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *