I don’t even need to mention that 2020 has shown us some of the biggest changes in recent history because it’s still fresh in most people’s minds, and it’s
still happening right now. But just to do a brief recap of some of the things that have happened so far — A new and terrible virus has spread across the world,
causing death and disorder all around with more than 800,000 reported deaths worldwide, even with the lockdowns and other preventative measures. We’ve
seen workers getting laid off on a massive, unprecedented scale — More than 50 million in the U.S. since the beginning of the lockdowns, with over a million
jobs lost for the last 22 weeks consecutively, with the exception of one week. This alone has set into motion a whole cascade of effects that will carry on
through the months, and possibly years ahead.

With so many job losses, as well as lower revenues even in some cases where companies still have been able to hold onto their workers, a lot of bills aren’t
getting paid. Today as I write this, eviction protections are running out in many places across the country. If masses of people start getting evicted, not only will
the renters have to worry about finding a new home, which could lead to an increase of homelessness, but the landlords won’t be making any money from
rent, and may have a hard time finding another renter, especially in bigger cities. Some estimates project that as many as 40 million people could be evicted
within the next year if nothing else happens to rectify the situation.

Non-essential credit card purchases have dropped since last year, but credit card usage for essentials like groceries have risen significantly. Food banks all
over the country are reporting a large increase in spending; some are reporting as much as a tenfold increase of food expenses, like Food Bank for the
Heartland, which distributes food across Nebraska and western Iowa. Part of the reason is because there is more of a demand for food right now because of
layoffs and such. Another reason is because grocery stores have less to donate with shoppers buying up the supply, most likely because people are eating
out less to conserve money, or people are buying emergency stockpiles of food.

Our current administration boasts about the creation of a few million jobs each month, but overall, more jobs are still being lost than created, and with the
numbers already so high, it’s hardly a victory, in my opinion. I’m not saying any other administration would necessarily do a better job of job creation, but to me
it points at the direction things are heading in.

To get into all of the problems that could be discussed would require a lot more writing space than I’m allowed, which is why I only mentioned a few of the
problems that are currently happening, but perhaps will have the opportunity sometime in the future to discuss. I’m no economist, but to me, the numbers don’t
look good. I would also like to add briefly that the crime rate is increasing in many parts of the country too. I don’t mention all of these problems to worry anyone
or imply that our situation is hopeless. What I am trying to do is encourage people to look into the future and see which way we are heading. I also encourage
people to do their own research on the matters I have discussed and also the others that I haven’t mentioned. Based on what I see coming, I’ve started
preparing for a worst-case scenario.

I have packages coming in every week bringing me survival supplies that I’ve ordered. Sometimes when I’m at the grocery store, I might buy a little bit extra if I
can afford it. I’ve even bought some defensive weapons for protection in case things ever REALLY get crazy out there. Some people would call my actions
extreme, while others would find resonance with them.

Change is inherent in the design of life. Some changes are small, while others are quite large and affect great quantities of people. I see the times we’re in as
the latter, and I suspect not many would disagree. We’ve been living the way we have in this world for quite a long time; relatively comfortably. Not only does
everything change, but everything appears to be cyclical as well: the seasons, the harvest, war and peace, the stock market, sleep, planetary revolutions, etc.

In fact, to speak honestly and truthfully, I said to a friend of mine in November 2019, “I think something big is going to happen next year on a global scale. It’s
just time.” Sometimes I hate being right, but I’m also thankful for it when it does happen. Big changes are happening all over the world right now, and they will
last for an unknown amount of time and could even worsen from here.

But change, even for the very unfortunate ones, can also be used as opportunity. Change, like a tidal wave, can either come crashing down over your head, or
you can ride the wave and be carried far ahead towards prosperity. I think it mostly depends on how prepared you are for the changes and how easily you can
adjust to them. So, two questions I want to ask all readers — are you comfortable with the direction this country/world is heading? If not, what do you plan to do
about it?
By Andrew Gramling
Are You Ready for the Waves of Change?