For former Jezebel staffer Ellie Shechet, it is nearly always time to freak out. Doom—personal, professional, planetary—awaits, beckoning at the wings. No one has exactly asked for her advice, but we gave her a column anyway. Advice for the End of the World is a limited edition advice column for catastrophic thinkers, by a catastrophic thinker, in a time of looming catastrophe.

Ellie! Help!

How many gallons of water is the right amount of water to keep in my apartment? I would like to have enough for survival in a mild disaster but not so much that I seem like some kind of apocalypse prepper. Also, I have a dog.

I don’t think having a ton of water in your apartment would make you look all that crazy. Like, if you had a room filled entirely with duct tape and medical devices and pills and obstetric tools and canned food and archery equipment, that would be pretty weird, although even then there would probably be a part of me that would think, Ugh, I should do that.

Anyway, FEMA recommends that you store one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, plus extra for your pet. FEMA also recommends we invest in a dust mask and bleach and a whole bunch of other things, which indicates that perhaps some of what we perceive as “prepping” is in fact precisely the bare minimum of what we ought to be doing in a time of increasingly extreme weather patterns. Cool to think about!

Ellie! Help!

I’ve never gotten accidentally pregnant, does that mean I’m infertile?

I have no idea! I have had this thought too, along with about half the women I know. I’m not a doctor and I can’t answer this question definitively, but my suggestion—as a peer, and definitely not as a medical expert—is to just assume, for now, that you are one of the 89 percent of women of reproductive age in the U.S. who is reasonably fertile.

I don’t want to minimize the pain, stress and financial burden that so many people face when dealing with infertility. However, that doesn’t seem to be where you’re at. Anyway, lots of people don’t give birth and are very happy. You could adopt a kid, or become a foster parent, or have four dogs and go on vacation all the time. You could pay off your loans and minimize your carbon footprint. You could have perky boobs forever. You could be totally at peace with the fact that you will not be in charge of an infant when the grid goes down.

(Also, just so we are clear, the word “infertile” technically just means that you haven’t gotten pregnant after a year of regular intercourse without birth control. We don’t need to lend it so much power, as if such a declaration means that you’re forcibly relocated to a crumbling tower alone with the name “Barren Bonnie” scrawled across your forehead in blood, and the whole village hears your wails at night, but no one may see you or comfort you—no, we daren’t comfort Barren Bonnie, with her wild eyes and empty womb.)

I often find myself worrying in this way. Will my face age into an angry mask because I don’t smile enough? What if I am hit by a car, but I don’t die, I just go into a coma, and everybody I’ve ever known visits me in the hospital, and I look awful with that tube in my mouth, and then I die, and then everyone will remember me as a sad alien with a mouth tube? But in general, there are so many pressing things to worry about—so, so many, I really must emphasize—that I would advise against spending much time at all with a concern that doesn’t currently apply.

Ellie! Help!

I wear contacts. When the apocalypse comes, I am scared I will run out and become blind, but I don’t want to get Lasik because I am equally afraid of *that* blinding me. Am I doomed to be blind?

This is a good question. Like all good questions, it is one that I, also, have asked. I don’t know if we’re the same amount of blind, but personally, I can’t see anyone’s face without glasses. And although it likely would not blind you, it’s true that Lasik comes with a risk of complications. So what are we to do? In this scenario that you’ve drawn up, we will be helpless as babes, trapped in an impressionist painting forever until someone clubs us to death and steals our gold fillings. Kind of cinematic, in a way, but I agree that this isn’t an ideal outcome.

Despite its specificity, the question of WILL I GO BLIND WHEN SOCIETY COLLAPSES? is quite prevalent these days. You are far from alone. The billionaires have been getting Lasik, we hear, and then this guy, and this guy; Halsey’s thinking about it, too:

Lasik providers, meanwhile, seem to have taken advantage of this business opportunity. Kugler Vision in Omaha, Nebraska warns that “in an ever-changing world, it is important to be alert and ready”:

Facing the apocalypse and motivated by your eye discomfort, you may decide to go to Kugler Vision or another vision care office, or to a contact lens manufacturing plant in the desperate hopes of finding more contacts. However, we bet you wouldn’t be the only one scavenging these facilities.

Lasercare Eye Center in Irving, Texas helpfully notes: “How many of The Walking Dead stars do you see in glasses?”

Think about it, if you’re one of the 64% that wear glasses, your chances of survival are not good but if you’re one of the 36% that don’t need them your chances are much better. Which group do you want to be in when the zombies come? If you’re looking for LASIK in Dallas, Come see us at LaserCare Eye Center or Call us today, 214-328-0444, to be in the 36%.

From the Ophthalmic Consultants of London:

If you’re serious about preparing for the end of the world, you’ll need to stockpile supplies, make your escape plans and perhaps most importantly, get LASIK surgery. It’s what all the elite billionaires are doing to prep for and survive the apocalypse, after all…

What a nightmare.

Beyond Lasik, I think we have two options. A) Buy five pairs of glasses with croakies attached and keep them on our bodies at all times. B) Make peace with the grim inevitability of disorientation and death.

Possibly it would be most reasonable to do both.

Feeling melodramatic? Frantic, even? Email Ellie at TheEnd@Jezebel.com with “Ellie! Help!” in the subject line. If you need actual help, please reach out to a therapist or medical professional.

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About the author

Ellie Shechet

Ellie is a freelance writer and former senior writer at Jezebel. She is pursuing a master's degree in science journalism at Columbia University in the fall.