People are adaptable. At least they should when it comes to this COVID-19 pandemic. Because it is going to be here (US) for awhile according to the experts. Not in terms of days or weeks but more like months or years. Yes, not something one can just hold his/ her breath for it to pass. Nor should they panic. It will take time.
American capitalism dictates a market economy and allows the twin forces of supply-demand to drive our societal path. That is fine if everything is working like the way they should. But confronted with the COVID-19, the market economy is brought to its knees. People has no confidence in the government. They panic and hord stuffs like mask, toilet paper, bottled water, etc.
The strategy of social distancing is to flatten the infection curve. Slow it down so our healthcare system is not strained, critical patients can get treated, and research community can come up with the vaccine. This strategy buys us time, but it also takes time.
One of the consequences of social distancing is that people are not going out to spend money, which aggravate the problem. The health crisis triggers an economic crisis. The government is trying by lowering interest rate, sending relief money directly to people impacted. And we can help by staying calm and compassionate.
When people overrunning the stores and panically fighting over supplies, they are being driven by fear of the unknown. In essence, they are straining the supply chain just like the infected people overwhelming the healthcare system. We need to flatten both the infection curve as well as the pandemonium line. Give the systems time to work.
How are you preparing for the long haul?