Country Living Series

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Lessons from the Pandemic

Dear readers, I would like your input.

Don and I were asked to jointly write an article for Backwoods Home Magazine on "Lessons from the Pandemic" – what we did right and what we did wrong. By "we," it doesn't necessarily refer to "us" specifically, but what people in general feel they did right and wrong. This article is for inclusion in BWH's Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide.


Since we feel we're weathering the pandemic quite well due to a number of pre-existing factors (rural lifestyle, low debt, multiple income streams, abundant supplies, etc.), we are looking for input from readers on what they feel they did wrong.

This article is not meant to be political, so please refrain from speculating about whether it was a "plandemic" or any government repercussions from the last few months. Instead, frame your replies in terms of what they're looking for – maybe some things that you did right, but especially those things that you wished you had done, or done differently (prepper-wise), prior to COVID's arrival and the lock-downs.

Okay, folks, let's hear 'em!

82 comments:

  1. This threw me for loop. I had $$ in the bank, plus cash, and metals at home for emergencies. What I didn't anticipate was the 'coin shortage' , bank closures, and 'digital only' sales. I didn't know if my cash and metals would become useless for stores and gasoline. Turns out I'm glad I had all 3, and alternated day by day for gas for my car. ALSO, besides a debit card, cash and metals ( did not have to use metals but glad I still have a stash) I pre-prepped my pantry and garage to BARTER, and SHARE to help people out, people taken by surprise at not being able or willing to get out to the stores. For instance, groceries for invalid, home bound, elderly. In short, I had enough toilet paper, etc, etc to spare and to share.

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  2. I was behind the curve on food. I have a lot of long term stuff but there were a number of things that were just not available. The biggest one for me was the Walmart great value chunky salsa. They went from having a lot to not having any hot for weeks. My preferred brand of flour torteas are missing in action as well. It just took me by surprise!

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  3. One thing that has taken me by surprise was the loss of connection by not being able to do things in person. I know it has impacted those that are not as reliant on social media (such as my parents) even more.

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  4. We were well stocked as ususal (toilet paper is something my husband srtores in abundance in good times) and started to get a little worried about how this might go in late February. So if we saw anything in abundance that our less prepared friends and family might need, we picked it up. We were able to make a quick visit to my mom and stock her up as well, even though she thought we were crazy.
    Once things went crazy, my grocer husband noticed certain replacement items were coming in abundance (washable, reusable paper towels for one) and he purchased those items a little at a time.
    We were able to help many people.
    Sorry for the anon comment. I can’t remember my password...
    Patti in California

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  5. I now keep toilet paper and paper towels stocked ahead. I hadn't counted on people afraid they'd die of diarrhea while starving to death.

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    1. Thats what I said to dh. You have to eat before you can poop!

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    2. I know this sounds crazy to many, but for years I felt like the Lord was telling me to stock up on TP. (Yes, among other things) I asked how much wondering why. The answer I always seemed to get was "MORE". He seems to be telling me the same still.

      Makes me wonder sometimes

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    3. Oh, that was funny! I agree. :)

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  6. Since I can and dehydrate, food was not an issue with me. Toilet paper? Well, I never thought I'd pay a dollar a roll, but (no pun intended lol) I did. I learned my lesson and am now well stocked-up.

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  7. I was always encouraged to keep a well stocked food pantry. For about a year and half thought something serious was going to happen but never thought a pandemic. I was not prepared with medical things...thermometer, pulse ox for example. I have enough food to help friends who quite frankly depend on eating out daily and have little food at home. I did increase my stock of flour, sugar and other baking supplies as they were short for a long time. I have increased my supplies to be ready for the winter not knowing what will happen. Freezer and pantry quite full.....if not needed the food bank will Be happy for donations. Many are canning for long term storage but that is not in my skill set. I was concerned how fast prices went up especially for meat....especially for families now out of work. Hopefully everyone is now stocked up so if we have another shut don the store shelves are not emptied like the initial run. I was surprised how I now have no need to go “ recreational shopping” ....I Have been in only a very few stores other than food stores and do not miss it. I do miss being around friends and family and being able to hug others.....too Much alone time.

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  8. We almost got caught short on TP, but we could have worked around it. We had some holes in our food stores, but again, we wouldn't have starved for quite a while. As soon as I started hearing about people going stupid with the TP, we stocked up on that, and everything else we were short on. Within HOURS, there was nothing on the shelves! Since that day, we've tried to stay ahead of things, keeping the larder as deep as possible. Since I began prepping, I've found the hardest part is STAYING prepared! The old prepper adage "Buy tomorrow's needs with today's dollars" has never rung more true. The price gouging here in the Wild, Wild West has been criminal!

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  9. I haven't developed a sufficient connection to the spiritual. Though my immediate family and the very tight, very small community I live among is in a good position, the display of foolishness and panic around me is sometimes stifling, and I could use a better spiritual consolation.

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  10. Post Alley CrackpotAugust 22, 2020 at 6:47 PM

    We certainly could have moved off the X a lot sooner, and we certainly could have budgeted the cost of running fast as blazes a lot better.

    It took actual riots and actual rioters ransacking a nearby shopping mall in order to convince us to move.

    We'd renewed the lease a few months prior, and so in order to do this, we had to throw a lot of cash at the leasing company in order to get a desirable settlement out of the lease termination.

    And so we're now into the five figures range with all of the stuff we've had to do under duress. While we may be able to afford blowing up budgets, there are a lot of people who aren't going to recover from this fiasco, not just any time soon but also quite possibly ever.

    Physical supplies were never in question, but all it would have taken for things to get a lot worse was if those rioters decided they were going to make a right turn and start marching down the main avenue.

    This naturally indicates that we shouldn't have been nearly as trusting about "peaceful coexistence" with people whose moods are fixed upon the latest outrages they see in the manufactured news.

    Rural living is out, but there are a number of reasonably nice small cities and large towns that would do the job, and some of them have privately-run shuttles to airports that perhaps some day will again be functioning at pre-panic levels.

    America still has plenty of places outside the city centres that aren't full of rot, and as for what's within those city centres?

    The panic and the pandemic both have shown a lot of people in Management that they don't really need to have their people assembled inside gigantic corporate carparks in city centres.

    This is going to produce a number of good changes despite all of the bad ones so far and yet to come.

    A personal question then that you may choose to answer or ignore: if you had the option of keeping your city jobs in Portland and also start on this adventure in rural living, would you have tried to make that work instead of going all-in on the rural lifestyle?

    There are a number of people who would benefit from advice on how to bridge that particular gap.

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  11. The biggest thing we didn't prepare for was our autistic son losing almost all his services. He went from 37+ hours a week to 1 hour and 15 minutes. There was a lot of struggle to cope all around, especially since he couldn't go to the parks, libraries, centers, and stores. Lots of "country drives" and visiting my mom. School starts on Monday for him, and we just really need that break!! The other kiddos are homeschooled. :)

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    1. I retired from teaching last year. The first thing I thought about when I heard that schools were closing was how my former students with autism would be.

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    2. I am blessed that my husband is a teacher... so he's been able to match our son's off time, and I haven't had to do this mostly as a solo parent.

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    3. My sister in law works with special needs kids. She has had no word about restart school this year. I am sure this has added a great deal of stress to those who used their services.

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  12. I had everything I needed as far as supplies. I had plenty of food, toiletries, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc. Even though I had what I needed, there were things that I wanted. I craved fresh produce, fresh milk, and junk food. If I had had more than one of my dairy does bred, I probably could have had milk without going to the grocery store. I only had one bred, and she miscarried. So, no milk at home.

    I knew I would be home for quite some time during the pandemic and would need to keep myself busy. (I can't just sit still, doing nothing.) I bought all of my garden seeds and seedlings. I planned a few projects and got the supplies to complete them. I loved accomplishing many of these things.

    The major mistake I made was underestimating how everything would affect my emotional health. I felt isolated and alone. My husband went to work every day, just as he always did. I stayed home and watched the news. Even though my social life is basically nonexistent, I missed seeing others, even the checkout ladies at the grocery store. Since their mothers were not working through the pandemic, I no longer babysat my grandkids. My adult kids and grandkids isolated at home, and I didn't see them like I did before the lockdowns. I missed hugging the little ones so very badly.

    Even now, some days I feel fine and others vary from a little anxious, stressed, or bummed to panicked and depressed. Today has been a bad day. I feel as if I should spend every minute listening to the news and getting ready for the next wave, but I can't. I'm overwhelmed. I'm confused as to what to do next. I'm weary.

    I had to stop doing. I quit canning and dehydrating. I finally realized that the clutter and unorganized state of my house had a lot to do with my emotional state. I'm not a neat freak, but I like to have some semblance of order to my home, and this has not been the case for quite some time. I've been so busy gardening, canning, dehydrating, freezing, and prepping foods that I just left my supplies out. After putting things away today and turning off the tv, I feel a sense of relief. I will get back to canning in a few days, but for now, I'm going to relax and recharge. I need to learn to stop and smell the roses...or the freshly baked bread.

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    1. I just remembered my big fail. My freezer broke, and it was full of food. We were blessed to get a display model at Lowe’s. The woman who wheeled it out for us said that the manager had never sold a display. She said he refuses to do it, no matter what the customer says and how much they try to talk him into it. I’m glad he did. We have since repaired the old one and pray it continues working, because it’s now full also.

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  13. I wish I had not turned into such a Mama Bear. Husband and I are both 83 but worlds apart in health conditions. I am healthy, still active, driving, gardening, etc. He has heart, breathing, kidney problems and pretty well confined to his recliner. I decided the only way to protect him was to limit my exposure as well as his so I didn't bring "it" home to him. So, here we are, 6 months later dependent on deliveries with no social contact and no health care other than what was in place months ago. When do you say "enough"? Julia

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  14. Patrice,
    I'm afraid most of your readers are, simply due to reading your blog, better prepared for a rather minor trial of our preparedness. The lockdown was a little bump in the road. What is a couple of months without supplies when you are ready for a year or two? We didn't even get into the long term storage stuff.
    God has blessed us with no debt, a garden and orchard, and good health. The single thing we missed the most was not going to church for six weeks. I confess to going to watch the sermon taping during the week just to support my pastor. Please don't turn me in. :)

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  15. This one might come as a bit of a shock, but clothes. The line of work we are in destroys clothes. I usually find shirts for both Hubby and myself at thrift shops which of course were closed. I was fine for jeans, but the kind Hubby wears were evidently not essential. Wmart clothes are garbage so we made do until things sorta reopened. I have begun a little reserve of basic clothes for each if us. As far as preps, that was the only important frustration. The other thing that I was not prepared for though is how folks have pitted against each other rather than banded together. If you haven’t had to deal with the public, this probably hasn’t been as big of an issue but I’ve not been so fortunate as to escape the mire present in the general public.

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  16. Not enough N95 respirator masks. Setting aside the mask issue, long term requirements for whatever pathogen may present as a threat is something we need to prepare for and more than for a couple of months. I had a couple of dozen but not nearly enough for a long haul. The one mask that offers the most protection.

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  17. Hi from the UK. What I wish I had done before lockdown was buy more canning jars and Veg seeds, most places had sold out I did find some eventually but they were more expensive. Also I wish I had learnt to cut my hubbys hair, I have had a hack but I am sure I could have done better, I cut my own hair and his beard all the time so that was OK. I need to thank the preppers in the US otherwise I would not have manage so well, we had 12 weeks food and I am keeping it stocked up when I can as I think the worst is still to come and both hubby and me are in the vulnerable category. Stay safe.

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  18. How I coped with aloneness. I'm a 66 yr old single lady, used to doing things alone. I lost my job due to quarantine, my main connection to people. During the lock down, I volunteered thru my Church, to run errands for elderly shut ins, in our community. I personally like to hike, bike, kayak, and I often found myself with an entire public park all to myself where I played racket ball against a wall. I did get lonely. I haven't had a TV for years, but I overdosed on audio books and social media. Made it a point to cut down on that. When I heard that our 'online church' might come back with covid restrictions, and the possibility that everyone going to church would need to be 'signed in' for tracking purposes, I withdrew my membership and decided not to go back. Meanwhile, a fellow Church member had the same idea, and we agreed to meet in person in her home, just the 2 of us, for Bible Study and prayer, once a week. I never lacked for food or supplies, but I did (and do) have to gas up my car frequently. I often thought of you Patrice, knowing you use cash only in town! The looming questions are... the coming 'vaccine' and 'digital only' commerce.

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    1. Our church has restrictions, too. Sunday school, kids’ church, and nursery haven’t started. Church attendees have to reserve which of the two services they wish to attend, and everyone is to wear a mask and stay six feet from others. We haven’t returned and are listening on the radio.

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  19. I learned how to make Sourdough bread, due to not being able to find yeast. I told my family to start stocking up when the virus first hit Seattle, and shortages would be coming later this summer. Unfortunately I think it fell on deaf ears.

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  20. I’m 62, married. Both my husband and I are nurses. He’s retired and has health problems. I teach nursing & had to do that online during the summer. That was quite difficult for me. I live in a 55+ community with a HOA so no garden possibility. I bought a pressure canner & some jars at the beginning and have been teaching myself to can. Still have some shortages here in FL. We didn’t have a problem with food or anything as I tend to keep a bit on hand and there’s only two of us. Because of all of this I’m thinking about retiring at the end of this school year and moving to Ohio where one of my daughters live so I can have a garden and less expensive housing.
    JoAnna in Florida

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    1. I don’t usually reply to other comments, but awesome you are taking on canning, an intelligent choice. Best of luck.

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  21. Like Barbara, I warned my friends and family. It was early on, right after they locked down Whuhan. I know how 'airborne' diseases spread and that there is no avoiding them. I compiled a list of what they should have on hand to be shut in and sick at the same time. I took that list myself and got what I was missing. I warned my people that they had about a month before America woke up and supplies would be gone. Well, I missed the mark by 1 week, it was 5 weeks before the 'toilet paper' crisis hit along with the beans, rice and canned goods! We all got through it and none of us got any sicker then a bad cold, and that was just my husband and I. So don't be afraid to put out the warning.
    Judy in Arizona

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    1. I, too, told my neighbors and my P.A. the beginning of January. I had read info from Whuhan (My spouse had worked there last year) about some weird virus going around. My P.A. just chuckled, my neighbors thought I was becoming the extreme prepper.
      Now I've mentioned to them about a possible drug shortage if the 3 gorges dam on the Yangzte river collapses. My P.A. took notice and the neighbors said they might stock up on another month of medications. Better to be safe than sorry.

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    2. Yep, when they started locking down China, and then Europe that was the warning bell. I told my daughter to stock up on diapers asap, she gave me the eyeroll but did it and was glad for it as they became scarce. I also stocked up on baby needs items so we were/are good with that. I was glad I got the canned beef that I did as it is still not available from Keystone. I told family just think about what it is they normally get that comes from China and get it then. I was a bit shocked at how vulnerable we are to the shortage of prescription meds.

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  22. I didn't purchase seeds early enough. Did not expect there to be a shortage of seeds and vegetable plants , and had a very hard time finding the type of tomatoes I wanted and zucchini seeds, so my garden got in later that was optimal. I am saving seeds this year, not counting on things necessarily being readily available.

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    1. I’m a seed-saver, too, and I have already bought seeds for next year. I have discovered many of the seeds I wanted were already sold out.

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  23. It has been thirty-five years since my husband an I started on this independent sustainable living journey. Both in our early 70's,our preps were always about when. Not if. What we were not prepared for was long term plans to keep our goats, milk cow, chickens, guard burros,and varies pets fed.The crop loss news was very troubling to say the least. As well transporting feed and food from a distance. Some decisions to down size our goat herd was made. Free ranging our chickens fulltime.Keeping the cow close to home to secure her safety.Reading about old ways to keep the "critters" fed, healthy and safe. Letting some wild weeds in the garden grow big enough to pull for feed.The old homestead is looking a bit "shaggy".We will be filling old feed bags with as many dry edibles we can to supplement our stock feed. Drying the pumpkins for them and us. Fermenting and sprouting grain as long as it lasts.Have any suggestions?

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    1. I’m concerned about my animals, too. I would like to stock up on feed, but I’m afraid it would mold in the bags. I’m thankful to have plenty of hay for the goats, but the chickens, dog, and cats feed is more problematic.

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    2. My husband and I stocked up on Costco's Kirkland Brand Dog food , at that time I was making chicken , rice and vegetables for two dogs and the dry food was just "incase". we hit hard times and now had 6 dogs . We got into the dry food that was at least a yr old at that time .the dog food was just fine . I know we are told that it can go rancid , but we did not find that this was the case. We now have a six month supply and rotate it every month. Hope this helps.

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    3. I use 55 gallon drums with locking lids for animal food storage (dog and ducks). Got mine from the feed mill. MUST be food grade and cleaned well. Only problem has been with one that the squirrels thought had nuts or something. A little steel wool in the hole covered with duct tape and problem solved. I try to keep at least 3 months dog food always. The ducks are really not dependent on the feed but it is good to get them to come in at night.

      kathy in MS

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    4. See if you can loan out some of your goats. I would love to borrow them for my pasture.
      My cats know how to fend for themselves.I do give them scraps and dry cat food, but expect them to deal with unwanted critters.
      My little dogs are my doorbell and thief deteran, too small to take a bite out of crime.

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  24. I think as far as food, water, and safety measures we were pretty good. We live along the Gulf Coast and stay in a hurricane preparedness mode. I think the thing that got me this round was I never really prepared for needing disinfecting supplies. I tend to use natural cleaners and buy those as needed. That was one prep I will add to as I can and have a bit on hand. I think my only other shock to my system is just the feelings of uneasiness. I had to disconnect in order to keep a positive outlook on life. There are things you can do, but at the same time you are things you can't control. You can have no debt but at the same time if things fall apart you can't control all of it. I think I had to work on that. That meant turning off the TV, not looking for others to say something, but simply turning to my faith and praying. I have settled down much now. I think the fact that all the things I silently prepared for being something that I had and was grateful for when the grocery stores emptied out and it was not for just a few weeks with a hurricane were a shock to my system.

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  25. Even before everything shut down I went into lock down right after China quarantined Wuhan. My only weakness was that I still needed to go to the laundromat as we had given up our washing machine after several problems with our well. I had enough clothes that I could just go monthly but I still had to go. I plan on working on a way around that should something like this should happen again. I really missed the fresh vegetables and dairy.

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  26. We were well-supplied with basic "stuff" and food. I had ordered my seeds in December as usual, so that wasn't an issue - EXCEPT that the company I always order my seed potatoes didn't send the potatoes, and didn't bother to inform me they weren't going to, until 3 weeks AFTER they were supposed to arrive - I found another source, and although the potatoes were planted a bit later than normal, I will get a large crop this year if the weather holds a few more weeks... hopefully enough to NOT have to order seed potatoes next year.
    The one thing I realized I was NOT prepared for was what would happen if seeds were NOT available for the next growing season... (our dingbat governor actually banned the sale of seeds and garden plants during the spring, even in store that were allowed to be open to sell other items - you couldn't legally buy seeds at the local grocery store, which DID have them, but had to tape them off and not sell them, and all the garden centers were closed). Anyway, I realized I needed to do a lot more seed saving than I have ever done in the past (usually I just save peas, beans, replant garlic... I hadn't ever tried to save tomatoes or cukes, or anything that required more work than cutting stems and hanging seedbeds upside down in a paper bag to dry)... fortunately, I had some carrots that overwintered, and some kale, and a few other things... and I also placed an extra seed order for 2020 seeds, which have arrived and are in cold storage... just in case.
    Other than that, I ran an extra incubator full of chickens to send to Freezer Camp, figuring meat prices would go up (they've gone up, down, and sideways depending on the day and store, so I'm glad I did that). Now I'm just re-supplying the items that were used up while we were unable to get them, and laying in some extra where I discovered we used more than I thought we would (so what I thought was a 6 month supply turned out to be 3 months because we were using that item to replace something we couldn't get).

    XaLynn

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  27. I have storage of food, meds TP and so forth, I even got extra wash cloths should the unthinkable happen. Where I messed up was that some of my medical supply was not organized, as in looking for that box of face masks I had in one of those tubs. So that will be my next project, organizing. Also now planning on getting more feed for my critters. I have some stocked up but feel I should get more.
    Rita Miller

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  28. I'd wished we'd had a better supply of baking ingredients stocked. I don't mind baking the things I normally buy, like bread, but yeast was nowhere to be found in stores. Sugar and flour were also MIA. Quite honestly, living in a rural area, having a reasonably well stocked pantry, and already homeschooling, we weren't affected too drastically. We are so thankful!

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  29. I normally stock up every quarter but for some reason in Feb decided that in March the stock up would be for 6 months - worked out very well. I replace items used every month just to keep up. What I hadn't planned on was the utter failure of my peppers and tomatoes - just got too hot, SW FL, for the fruit to set and then the white flies and aphids came in biblical proportions. Had to resort to buying fresh peppers, I don't buy tomatoes at the store and the produce stands aren't open Apr-Nov anyway. Have been growing sprouts by the quart in 5 different varieties. Now that it's late Aug I'll start peppers & tomatoes for our regular growing season. As we're in our mid 70s we only go to WM pickup, and have for many,many months, library curbside pickup and the thrift store now that it's reopened. Surprisingly to some, we continue to donate items we don't use or want - we do buy clothes & jigsaw puzzles just like always. We talk to our neighbors, many as they walk their dogs by the house which gives us plenty of 'personal at a distance' contact. We also use e-mail and Skype to keep in touch with family - just like we did before.

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  30. I thought of another thing that I got lucky and did right. I have lots and lots of sewing supplies and fabric. I might have been somewhat of a hoarder of fabric before I retired. I love to go in the fabric store and just think of possibilities. I would buy something and then work would get me busy and it went in my cabinets. I also had cleared my mom's sewing supplies out when she downsized and decided she was done with sewing. If she needed something I could do it. I had plenty to choose from to make masks for my family and friends and elastic to go with it. I think I got lucky by not being a minimalist:)

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  31. Our garden is doing very poorly this year, which we didn't expect. Thankfully, our governor is still allowing farmers markets for now, so our garden isn't a big issue - but I can see where it could be.

    I had enough fabric, thread and elastic on-hand to make masks for people who needed one when they couldn't find disposable ones to buy, and for my family so we didn't go through our supply too quickly. But my supplies were limited. I started quilting just before the shut-downs, so I had just bought a few things for that. Then I found a couple online quilt-alongs that really saved my sanity during those early days. I didn't have enough of anything to finish a project. I found online suppliers early, but didn't expect shortages of certain kinds of fabric or thread. I'm stocking up on basic craft supplies both for me and for the kids.

    I also found it helped my sanity (and home-bound family and friends) to send care packages. I bought some specialty soaps that are made locally and in some other "treats" from the house: a roll of TP, some chocolate-covered coffee beans, honey from our bees, a few disposable masks and handmade masks, cards/art from the kids, a little note. I also shared honey, soap and eggs with people who live locally. I didn't realize it would be important to me to stock up on mailing supplies, cards, and stamps (for the smaller items - I was able to mail from the UPS store for the care packages).

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    1. Something family members mentioned are not having enough of a specific soap used for skin issues and not being able to buy tylenol locally.

      We also bought a beef to fill our freezers (split with family members), and with the increased demand the butcher hired inexperienced people to keep up. We had a lower-than-expected yield, and the cuts were not done as well as we expected. It will still be useful, but we ended up paying a higher price/lb than we should have.

      I also found it was harder to find chicks in the breeds we wanted, and very hard to get ducklings.

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  32. Our garden is doing very poorly this year, which we didn't expect. Thankfully, our governor is still allowing farmers markets for now, so our garden isn't a big issue - but I can see where it could be.

    I had enough fabric, thread and elastic on-hand to make masks for people who needed one when they couldn't find disposable ones to buy, and for my family so we didn't go through our supply too quickly. But my supplies were limited. I started quilting just before the shut-downs, so I had just bought a few things for that. Then I found a couple online quilt-alongs that really saved my sanity during those early days. I didn't have enough of anything to finish a project. I found online suppliers early, but didn't expect shortages of certain kinds of fabric or thread. I'm stocking up on basic craft supplies both for me and for the kids.

    I also found it helped my sanity (and home-bound family and friends) to send care packages. I bought some specialty soaps that are made locally and in some other "treats" from the house: a roll of TP, some chocolate-covered coffee beans, honey from our bees, a few disposable masks and handmade masks, cards/art from the kids, a little note. I also shared honey, soap and eggs with people who live locally. I didn't realize it would be important to me to stock up on mailing supplies, cards, and stamps (for the smaller items - I was able to mail from the UPS store for the care packages).

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  33. I read your article "Being anti-fragile" and discussed it with my family. The things we really need are a generator for the house and well pump, and to expand our garden. With the rioting and disruption of the supplies we're most concerned about not having electricity, who knows what some of these rioters will think of next to destroy.

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  34. What I did right, when my husband and I started putting things aside for a rainy day we decided to stock baby wipes instead of toilet paper, due to the space toilet paper takes up . We never had to get into our stocked supply , but it was reassuring that we had it. What we did wrong ,Neither hubby or I are much for " goodies ". we found that with almost no social contacts , comfort food was now something we wanted . While we had plenty of flour and sugar , other basic ingredients were missing , no jello or pudding , cake mixes . We have since obtained a supply of everything we we need.

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  35. When seeds came up short I was not concerned because I had an ample supply of seeds, I thought, in my stash. I was surprised that even though stored in a dark air conditioned dry environment many of my favorites failed to germinate. Rechecking I found that many of the packets were over six years old and I had forgotten to rotate seed as well as other consumables. Even seeds stored in closed containers under refrigeration failed.
    I have decided to narrow my holding to one or two varieties of each staple vegetable rather than hold a wider selection of varieties. When my old seeds failed to germinate within a week I fell back on seeds saved from grocery store purchased tomatoes and cantaloupe. In each case I ended up with four different varieties represented by the parents of the hybrid seeds commercial growers utilize – almost all of which failed to match the original. I have since purchased heirloom seeds for both.
    Pete in Texas

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  36. When seeds came up short I was not concerned because I had an ample supply of seeds, I thought, in my stash. I was surprised that even though stored in a dark air conditioned dry environment many of my favorites failed to germinate. Rechecking I found that many of the packets were over six years old and I had forgotten to rotate seed as well as other consumables. Even seeds stored in closed containers under refrigeration failed.
    I have decided to narrow my holding to one or two varieties of each staple vegetable rather than hold a wider selection of varieties. When my old seeds failed to germinate within a week I fell back on seeds saved from grocery store purchased tomatoes and cantaloupe. In each case I ended up with four different varieties represented by the parents of the hybrid seeds commercial growers utilize – almost all of which failed to match the original. I have since purchased heirloom seeds for both.
    Pete in Texas

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  37. My husband "had a feeling" at the beginning of the year that the virus was going to cause big problems. I thought he was over reacting. He generally pays no attention to news, but told me to get prepared for "something"
    I waited a while to stock up, but finally realized something strange was happening when store shelves were beginning to think out.
    My daughter and I spent nine hours one day going from store to store. We ended up with about six months of food storage. As time went on we began to see that prepping is wise. We invested in seeds, a year worth of food, built pantries and stocked up on future clothing. We just purchased socks, shirts and underwear for hubby. Walmart was almost sold out at two stores of those items. I bought the last of what they had on hand.

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  38. We live on a small farm and we were stocked up well. I am an herbalist so when this first started I studied and researched the virus and boosted our immune system even more. We are 66 and 67 in good health praise God! The first week we were at home working on the farm nothing really bothered us, work as usual. We do not have TV so the only news we got was on the Internet when we wanted it. After the first week we decided to invite some close friends in for fellowship and to make everybody comfortable we made a campfire out in the woods where it was very private and it was called so we had coats on. We all sat and talked for a long time all about what was going on. When it was time for everyone to leave they all thanked us and said that they needed this time with friends and to vent their thoughts. We did this again numerous times with different people and then the same people again. Every time we did this the people were so Thankful for being here. I believe that we can have everything set up perfectly but if we don’t have the fellowship with people, or people to share things with or trade things with you will have more depression and mental breakdowns. We were not made to be totally alone.

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  39. One of the few things that caught me off guard was the sudden rush out to buy baking supplies. I could not find a bread pan for months.

    I was also a bit surprised that the timeline I was shown was a accurate as it was.

    Which brings me to one of the things driven home to me during all this: pay attention to Him, listen. He allows me to know things. He allows me to stumble across news and info that I have no business knowing in the Earthly, and know the truth about what is being said.

    I had been following the outbreak since almost day one, before the US media had picked up on it even. I'm now following reports of other potential pandemic material.

    I had stocked up on masks and even some Tyvek gowns in case Ebola made it to our shores in a big way, because I felt the urging of the Lord. I did so even though I "wasn't convinced" they would be necessary. Those masks and gowns are very likely to come in handy I'm now seeing.

    He knew. Glad I paid attention. Thankful for His guidance.

    The second thing I had driven home to me is just how fast things can unravel. I knew that the global economy is very tightly interwoven. But even I was a bit taken back at the fact that we have an aluminum shortage because we are not importing it from China right now. No aluminum, no cans to pack some foods in. This aggravated the loss of food production and the supply chain disruptions we see.

    I walked the isle in hellmart and saw many many non food items out of stock. Toasters, deep fryers, cat food, bikes.

    We are on a timeline though, and the end point is coming at us at breakneck speed. We have about seven to eight years, and they are going to be so bad as to be unfathomable by most peeps who have not been through similar things. 3.5 billion people are going to die real soon, and as many as 7 billion before it's all said and done. The survivors might envy the dead, and few will be left untouched: sick, destitute, raped, torchered, enslaved, maimed, etc.

    Third thing I had driven home to me is how fast food is drying up. We have experienced weather problems so far beyond normal it's hard to fathom. For two years now, weather problems have hit not just our crops, but world wide. China will be fortunate if they get 15% of their usual yields this year, and they are out on the world market trying to buy up what ever they can get. Unfortunately, most food exporters are not selling as they see whats coming. Keeping it for their own people.

    A measure of wheat for a penny, three measure of barley for a penny. See that you hurt not the oil nor the wine. That Scripture means a days wages for a days food, for one person. Not enough for a family, just you. This is coming true right before out eyes now. This alone could lead down the path to WW3.

    Fourth thing is just how little you can count on your government to know what to do, let alone do it, or help you. Putting politics aside, the bickering and arguing between top leaders about how to deal with the COVID outbreak is mind boggling. They cant seem to decide what the best way to deal with it is. I have a few theories about that, but you asked to keep that out of things, so I do.

    And finally, that this isn't over. Not by a long shot. Don't expect this pandemic to be the last. Don't expect it to be just pandemics either. I'm witnessing the fulfillment of prophetic word here, and it's far from all fulfilled. But He is also driving it home that this was all planned from the beginning of time, and He has it under control.

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    Replies
    1. AMEN!!
      Loved your "Hellmart" description! I went in ours during the 7 am senior hour and was struck by the fear radiating from those around me. Here I am, no mask, smiling and chatting with folks looking at me like 'are you crazy?' That day I vowed to stay away from that store if possible. I went this week, first time in 2 months, and didn't feel the fear. People were ignoring the one way signs, too. Designer masks have come out!
      This event has brought home just how important Faith is. All of us need to pray for America with or without Cyris.

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  40. I got caught short with 'convenience' cleaning items such as disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. I had 3 gallons of bleach so I was able to make do, just not as easy as pulling a wipe out of a container.

    The worst mistake was me not having a job. My mother's dementia worsened and my fathers health was failing too, so after being turned down for FMLA where I worked, I resigned my job (October) and drove out of state for 2 weeks at a time to help my mother and father - my sister, also 2 states away, would come relieve me for 4 days at a time so I could be with my family. My mom passed away on 12/20/2019. I started applying & interviewing for jobs in January, but no luck. I wasn't able to receive unemployment because I left of my own accord, so we had no financial help at all until the stimulus. We have since sold 2 vehicles and various items we no longer need or use to pay our mortgage and utilities.

    I have taken advantage of food giveaways and have gardened like we always have and this week I have been canning tomatoes in one form or another.

    Ironically, we had plenty of surgical style masks due to seasonal allergies and wear them when working in the yard when pollen count is high in our area (spring & fall). I did, however, buy 3 N-100 masks off Amazon for $7.xx each in January (I was following various prepping blogs reporting on the Wuhan calamity) and the last I checked they were going for $58.xx each.

    We were well stocked on TP - after having my gallbladder removed a year ago, I made sure I was never low and even keep a roll in an empty coffee can in each vehicle just in case.

    We were stocked on food so no problems there other than wanting junk food. I made a lot of cakes, cookies and brownies to compensate and we've gained weight - ugh !

    We were already homeschoolers, so no problems with that.

    This year has been a tremendous education for us, both financially and in seeing how my fellow Americans have handled the situation. Honestly, I'm more worried about people's reactions than I am any financial issues because people have lost their minds.

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  41. it's really sad to find out that a government mandated lock down really affects your life style very little.
    other than the mask, very little changed in our daily comings and goings.
    about the only "suprise" i suffered was the scarsity of gardening seeds last spring. but with a lot of patients and some deeper digging into the online sights, we found what we needed.
    i am saving much larger lots, and many more types of heirlooms for next year...both for my use and to share if needed.

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  42. We moved into a new house in January, and were surrounded by paint cans and unopened boxes as news of the Wuhan flu started coming in. Because I am in medical research, I understood the implications.

    What paid off the most:
    1) Getting supplies in place early on. I was able to buy in bulk while items were still available in bulk.
    2) Trusting my instincts and taking action.
    3) Buying antibiotics and preventative meds (HCQ, ivermectin, Vit D, Vit C, quercetin, zinc) as soon as early research indicated their potential benefits.
    4) Got seeds at the dollar store 25 cents a pack in early Feb and planted a huge garden, my first. Best investment ever.

    Regrets:
    1) Before we moved across the country, my husband sold a lot of ammo because we could not ship it. We will NEVER sell ammo again.
    2) Warned my family what would happen and no one listened.
    3) Should have bought that 8 pack of disinfecting wipes at Sam's! Had some, but not enough for a pandemic.

    Learnings:
    1) Trust your instincts and act early.
    2) There is no such thing as too much ammo.
    3) This is not over. Covid is mostly over, but government overreach, economic instability, political unrest...hell, political insanity...are here for a while.
    4) The cavalry is not coming. You can rely on yourself and your family, perhaps on your community and certainly on God. Act accordingly.
    5) Gardening is simple but mastering it probably takes a lifetime. Start now.


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  43. I heard about a virus in China in December, and I heard more in January. I already had plenty of tp, but i doubled that during February. In late Feb/early March I started acquiring meds, gloves, masks, and food as I could. I don't have much income, so I just kept steady and never quit buying a little at a time. I had enough for a few months when this all happened, now I have even more. I am shooting for 2 years. I have that for some things. When I got my stimulus, I bought a freezer and now am filling it. When I can get my dehydrator out of storage, I will be dehydrating some of the items in the freezer. My garden and supplies and a helper were supplied through a program for those who have had cancer. But, the heat killed most of it.

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  44. We were well stocked as far as food. I saw this coming and was able to get enough toilet paper but now that it is back in stores I am working on a better supply. I was very low on dog food and didn't anticipate that it wouldn't be available. We didn't run out but it was close. Our state did not stop churches from meeting although many chose not to. Ours met outside so we could spread out. So great for my morale. Our biggest problem was that we found out that our son was extremely ill with a probably terminal problem and we had to move him in with us. We had most of the equipment - wheelchair, shower seat, walker, etc. left from my surgeries from a few years ago. However, with all stores selling beds closed, he had to be on our couch for a month. The worst problem was finding doctors. Most were not seeing new patients. No one would see him in person. We had to use the hospital ER for many things.
    Susan

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  45. I think the main lesson for me is the biblical admonition to not count on tomorrow. I had a lot of things in good shape for the kinds of disruptions that we have had this year, but there are other areas where I was lacking and suddenly unable to get what I needed/wanted. I had been comparison shopping freezers for months and was dithering...now I've been trying to buy a freezer for 6 months unsuccessfully. When I finally get one, I'll take what I can find, and it might not be what I originally thought would be optimal.

    Otherwise, I was going to Costco weekly during Jan-Feb (just for normal shopping) and saw the increasing customer volume. So I was aware that the herd was getting restless (this was before full-scale panic in early March). I should've immediately rushed anything I had that was still outstanding to completion, but I didn't. Alas.

    It hasn't been all bad. I wanted some canned chicken breast, but none was available. I found 20 pounds of frozen skinless breasts at Wal-Mart, and had a pressure canner I had never used, so decided to put it into service. I'm now comfortable with pressure canning (but it's only because I bought the canner years ago, then had never used it--it's a bad time to try to buy an All American). So I've added to my skill set.

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  46. I have been a prepper all my life. So I was pretty well stocked up on food. I built myself a large pantry for household items and when they went on sale instead of buying one item we always bought several. I was caught short handed on alcohol though but it loosened up earlier this summer so we are stocked up for the fall now along with masks gloves etc. My family always laughed at my prepper status but they aren't laughing anymore.

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  47. I am retired and my wife still works. I go to the stores in town every morning looking for bargains. Walmart is my first stop at 8am. My local Walmart is empty usually at 8am but the butchers just finished putting out the new meat selections and reducing the prices on the older items. This is more or less true for the other stores I visit next in sequence. I see the ebb and flow of bargains and availability. I get to see that on the 1st-3rd of the month Walmart is crowded with shoppers all day long with the food stamp recipients. coincidently that is when the most meat choices are available including the high priced cuts. In March this all began to change. Slow at first and then very quickly the parking lot would be full, the store would be crowded. The shoppers were more intense. I saw shoppers with carts full of canned goods, no bread or veggies just a hundred or so cans of food. shopping carts full of toilet paper and laundry soup. And then towards the end of the panic anything and everything was being taken off the shelves.

    My conclusion was that it all proved the prepper naysayers wrong. The preppers weren't panicking, it was the average regular people who had not prepared who were late to the party. Nothing against them, most people have lives, children, jobs, bills and personal issues to deal with. But there seems to have been a universal "wake up" in late March. This part of the story is good. That is a lot of people are now aware of the fragility of our food distribution system and the lack of preparation by almost everyone. I think that for a while most adults who went through this event will store a little more than they did in the past and some will store a lot more.

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  48. While the wife and I were ready, I feel that I failed in my ability to get my sons on the same page. Several were impacted by Job loss and lay off. I understand that you can lead a horse to water but not make him drink, but I still feel a sense of failure in nor convincing my sons to be prepared for anything that comes.

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  49. Education. Homeschooling my kids this year. Private school is too pricey to miss half a year, and too bad for my children. Nope!

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  50. I guess 2 things come to mind..after years of having our pantry and freezer well stocked ( we lived off of it in 2008) our kids left home , and their hungry friends were no longer here , LOL , so I did not give my pantry much thought , I did not rethink our changing household needs ..also I threw out old worn summer clothes at the end of last year , thinking that would force me to buy new , that was stupid...

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  51. Wish I'd bought more ammo. (And this is coming from someone who counts his supply by the 1000-round case.)

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  52. Someone else may have said this already but I would have written from the perspective of what Patrice did right and what Don did wrong....

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    1. I wanted to add that my comment was meant as an attempt at humor. I thought this might be worth saying before someone takes it the wrong way and takes me to task.

      Delete
    2. I got it Matt! Chuckled when I saw it!

      Delete
  53. What I did wrong was not making ENOUGH hay while the sun shone. Well, I thought I was, but I really wasn’t. My husband is still building his business, so we were tapping into savings to pay bills and buy groceries the year before this hit. It’s difficult when you’re more of a tightwad than your spouse. We have half the income we used to since he quit his job and started his business, and he still had the same spending habits—until they just couldn’t be supported anymore. Thinking that I could stock up enough for both of us and carry a frugal preparedness mindset for both of us just didn’t work. I needed his help, and he’s beginning to see that. He’s also beginning to see that my tiny extra income streams do help on occasion, and he has expressed an interest in learning to can—but we just can’t shell out the money for canning supplies right now, especially right now. We do have a freezer and an Excalibur dehydrator, and will get the most we can out of those.
    Over the winter, we had been eating from the pantry I built up. By March, a lot of that was gone, and even if we had the money, there was little to buy. Nutrition and simply filling our stomachs has taken the place of variety, especially for me, since I have several food allergies. Learning a few new kitchen skills, recipes, and substitutions has helped.
    I had also been stocking up on my crafts to take to local craft fairs this summer for extra money to fill the pantry again, and of course that fell through. I felt like I wasted so much time! That was only one of my extra income streams, so I shifted my efforts to others. In February I was teaching a crochet class at the university where I work, and was set to teach another in April, but that fell through as well. However, the art school asked if I wanted to teach a class this semester via Zoom, and I jumped at the opportunity—and asked to teach an additional class. For less than one hour of paid instruction, I purchased a tripod that will hold my cell phone, and I will be able to toggle back and forth between that and my laptop cameras to teach crochet this winter to the older ladies I was able to teach in person a few months ago. That could bring another $350-400 to us before Christmas. I have a few crochet patterns on Etsy, a few more in the computer that need written up, and a few more in my head that need testing, so I need to carve out the time to make sure that happens as well.
    We weren’t going to have a garden this year because we thought we couldn’t afford it. We were going to do raised beds, but didn’t want to spend the money on block and soil and then possibly not get our money back from it—I kept thinking of how much food that would buy. When the stimulus check came we decided it was “now or never” and did it. I’ve done a few things incorrectly, but the Seed for Security heirloom seeds I won in a contest, even though they were several years old, germinated beautifully, and we do have more food than we would have had we not started and my husband has been great about taking my ramblings about mobile, storable trellises and making them out of PVC, random bolts, and twine he had in the garage.
    On the positive side, we have remained healthy so far, and I can work my main job at home if I have to. My main job will pay our bills, even though eating at the same time is occasionally difficult. Even if it’s going to be hard to stock up again, I have learned a lot these last several months.

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  54. In July 2019, a cross-country flight I was on diverted to Omaha. It was shocking to see all of the flooded fields! That was a wake up that food prices, especially meat would go up since it was likely livestock food under the water. Then I read the book, "One Second After" which really scared me to step up my preparing and stocking up. That was when I started added more to the cupboards a little at a time.

    What I learned: Listen to your gut instinct. When shopping at Sam's Club in February with my 92-year-old Dad, I saw toilet paper on sale. I threw a bundle in my cart and his, saying "It won't go bad." Good move! I ignored the little voice in my head saying to stock up on latex gloves. Accurate news of what is really going on is sparse, but your "gut instinct" will put the puzzle pieces together and guide you. Listen to it.

    Being an introvert, I was content when we were told in March that everything was closing down for 2 weeks. A staycation... (I had retired in January). I decided my focus would be learning to garden, so my shovel became my exercise program. As the lockdown continued, I missed my friends and being able to go out to lunch with them. And I missed going to church. Restaurants here in CA do not allow interior dining, and their patio space is limited (reservations required and prices raised) so my fellowship with friends is now over the phone. My church has a huge event canopy set up and we have been meeting under that outside for 2 weeks. I am so ready for the "staycation" to end.

    We have learned that outside entertainment is not essential (and a money waster). I wonder if those businesses (amusement parks, movie theaters, sporting events, restaurants, etc.) will recuperate.

    I expect more food shortages as the weather pattern is changing due to the grand solar minimum and now covid. We need to stock up on groceries, canning supplies, and seeds for the long haul.

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  55. I keep thinking of things! As Covid marched on and then the civil unrest, I assessed neighborhood strengths and weaknesses. I live in the country serounded by crop fields and cattle. I asked my closest neighbor, a farmer, if life had changed at all for him, and he said 'not one thing. kids are home, but its no different than spring break' I asked him if he knew anyone in our 1 traffic light town who sells hamburger fresh off the farm. He said most sell to big processors. We discussed the possiblity of people getting humgry enough to start picking off a cow here and there, he said "I rather they just ask me for help" I asked another neighbor down the dirt road, 'have you and men from church security gotten together to talk about protecting the community?" He said 'no but our immediate neighbors know exactly how to patrol and protect our nieghborhood. That's been discussed. I asked another friend in the neighborhood about buying meat by the roast, or quarter or whatever. She gave me a phone number for a local. I have never found local beef for sale in our 1 grocery, my friend said 'they sell to big processors, or auction them off a few at a time to who knows who" Although I never asked directly, I found out that at least 2 neighbors have a well and pump on their property. That is another weakness accertained, when the water quits coming out of the faucet, I'm doomed to pond water and the Big Burkey. Now that I know better, not so concerned about that issue. Well that it until I think of one more thing or so, I"m looking fw to the article Patrice and Don will write. This has been a really interesting topic here. Thanks everyone for sharing.

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  56. First, I'm retired so income was not a problem. When I first retired, I thought I could keep helping others. Bad mistake and I'm still whittling down my credit card debt. Normally I keep at least a month's worth of supplies, but only had 2 rolls of toilet paper when the mad dash started. I adapted by using damp wash cloths most of the time. We normally stay home so nothing changed there. We have a local U-Pick farm plus my little garden. I used canning lids from last year. When they become available again for less than the price of gold, I'll buy a case!! I ran out. Now I have figs and muscadines in the freezer waiting to become jam and jelly plus chopped pears for my pear relish. I still want to build a chicken tractor, may buy two calves in the spring, don't really have enough scraps to fatten a pig, but Eugene wants one. We need to work on the pond and see if the catfish in it have grown. Yep, we're Blessed.

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  57. Well, it turned out that being prepared was a blessing. We had also managed to extract our kids from the sh*thole formerly known as California and get them settled here before they lost their jobs and were stuck paying a for a lease they couldn't pay.

    Only things we were "kinda" short on were TP and 9mm, however, the TP situation has been resolved favorably, and a general supply of 9mm has been discovered. Otherwise, plenty of beans, bacon, Bourbon, coffee, Scotch, Beefeaters, Guiness, ammo, and, NO debt. Of course, living in an area not really affected by the coronabologna or the communist insurgency helps.

    m

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  58. We're in a suburb near Denver. Thankfully we had plenty of TP, soap, and food. Even had some cheap disposable masks already on hand, so when the mask mandate started, we didn't have to scramble. Could have used more disinfectants and hand sanitizer.

    The civil unrest is literally close to home now, so we have 2 guns ordered, and we've never owned firearms before. My husband arranged for our family to take an "Intro to Pistols" class at a gun club/range recently and we will continue to train. (Our youngest is 18.) We can find ammo here and there, but it's scarce.

    Another new skill set - foraging for yard "weeds"! I'd already kept a small raised bed garden the past few years. When the "weeds" popped up this spring, I recognized that the lambs quarter and purselane were edible, so I just let them grow. Before the cukes, zucchini, and tomatoes came in, we were already enjoying highly nutritious greens that doubled as living mulch under the vegetables. Lambs quarter is also known as wild spinach, tastes a lot like spinach, but is even more nutritious. Purselane has the highest omega 3 content of any known plant. We'd chop up purselane and add to salads, and the family loved my purselane tacos!

    Interestingly, this year we also had a ton of volunteer seedlings in the curcubite family come up (Our compost pile didn't get hot enough to kill the seeds from our kitchen scraps). Just as an experiment, I transplanted several of those volunteer seedlings to unused space around the yard, and now we have several butternut squash and cucumber plants! Since curcubites (cucumbers, squashes) will cross pollinate, I didn't know if we'd get hybrids or what. Like I said, it was an experiment. We did get two plants that are producing weird hybridized fruit, but we ended up with lots of true butternut squash and several cucumbers! (I read you have to taste them, and if they are bitter at all, throw them out!!! They've reverted to wild and contain chemical compounds that are bitter and toxic!) So far, the volunteer cucumbers taste sweet. I was thrilled to learn that butternut squash last for up to a year if properly stored in a cool place.

    I will preserve some of the garden bounty with my new fermentation kit. Requires no electricity, and the probiotics in ferments are fantastic for your gut flora for building immunity. So far I've made zucchini relish with grated zucchini, fresh dill, red pepper flakes, and sea salt. Tastes a little like sauerkraut or kimchee.

    I also discovered microgreens at a local farmers market this summer, and I've ordered seeds to try indoor fresh greens over the coming winter. I ordered a book called "Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening" by Peter Burke. Haven't tried it yet, (waiting for the seeds), but supposedly you just need seeds, commercial or homemade germination mix, and aluminum foil bread pans or whatever shallow containers or trays you have laying around. You don't even need a grow light, just a window (even north facing!)

    Mid-march our oldest was sent home from Bible college in CA, and the youngest, a jr. in high school, had his homeschool co-op classes go to Zoom. So glad we already homeschooled, as that part of life was not disrupted.

    Plans going forward: look for a small acreage in another state, practice cooking with my Sun Oven, and keep educating myself with how-to and educational videos, blogs, articles, etc. And most importantly, praying and sharing Jesus.

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  59. When our youngest graduated (homeschool) and entered the Air Force, I began to slow down on my restock of items, especially in the two deep freezers. Eventually, I combined the freezer items into one freezer, cleaned and touch up painted the idled freezer.
    I got sick in January. Painful bloody sinus infection, fever, couldn’t stay warm, and lost my sense of taste, had a weird rash on my torso, and a heart issue. And diarrhea.
    I had not been to a doctor since early 2015 and that was to a rheumatologist in Coeur dalene (I’m back in Wyoming). That was a mistake. I did get in but my illness was a mystery to them and we wrote it off to a new aspect of my auto immune diseases.
    A week later I began reading about the wuflu and realized I needed to get my second freezer stocked.
    It was a bit of a shock to my bank account to have to make multiple big dollar trips for meat and frozen vegetables, but I got it done despite not being 100% and without totally destroying our finances.
    When COVID hit my state in March, in two days there was NOTHING on the shelves and the distribution network puts Wyoming LAST.
    I was thankful I spent a sleepless night reading about the situation in China, plugged in the freezer, and trudged on to the store several times over that week.
    So my mistake was thinking that everything was ok and I could relax and not store as much food.
    As an aside, my sickness doesn’t fit the timeline

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