By “psychological disaster”, I mean an event with grave consequences for society, which is caused mainly by a population-wide emotion, such as fear or anger.
I expect we would see an increase in violent crimes, often by persons who formerly were not criminals. When people are afraid or desperate, their behavior changes. There may be violent protests or widespread strikes. This could result in disruptions in the economy. People might panic-buy, and strip store shelves bare. Stores might be forced to close or restrict their hours. Some persons might lose their jobs, or be given reduced work hours.
Some relationships could be profoundly affected. When people face a crisis, of any type, they often reevaluate their priorities. And this could result in a change in relationships, for better or worse. One relationship could see a new appreciation for its benefits, and another could see a desire to be free from its detriments. Lots of changes could result in families, friendships, and society in general.
How should we respond?
On the relationship front, I think you want to salvage any relationship worth keeping. So that means, maybe, dealing with some family issues, and renewing those relationships. Then I would suggest reevaluating your friendships and acquaintances. Maybe some of those relationships need to be strengthened, and others should perhaps be allowed to remain in the past.
When dealing with other people, you have to take into account how they are responding to the crisis. Do they need your help to get through it? Fine. Or maybe they have decided to put their own interests first. You might be taken advantage of, so caution is needed. Don’t assume that the past predicts the future. People can change for better or for worse.
Trust will be a big issue in any psychological disaster. Your friends have your back, right? But if their own safety is in jeopardy, then what? Some friends still will be there for you, and others will not. That’s always the way. You don’t really know who your friends are, until the friendship is put to the test. You may lose some old friends, but some new friends might rise to the occasion.
This will be a big issue in any crisis, but especially one that throws society into fear, anger, or panic. If there is a food shortage, home invasions, in order to steal food, will go way up. You can reinforce doors with an extra deadbolt and windows with a storm window or a plastic film. You could clear any obstruction from your property, so that miscreants don’t have cover or concealment when the attack. Also, a big dog will work wonders to deter aggressors.
But nothing really replaces a firearm for home security. Pepper spray, inside your home, is a bad idea. That stuff gets in the air and can irritate your lungs and throat. A taser is just not enough force for a home invasion. On the street, you could taser a bad guy and then run. It gives you a chance to get away. But in your home, you are just going to delay the attack a little. A good tactical knife is useful in a fight. But your attacker could also be armed. Sorry, liberal preppers, but guns are a practical necessity for self-defense.