This will be one of those non-negotiable, we won’t budge on our philosophy type posts. Johanna and I are a bit frustrated! We felt it might be of value to some of you to discuss our thoughts regarding the coronavirus that has plagued the world recently. The first thing is we hope everybody remained safe and healthy and other than some scares and inconvenience, came out of this unscathed.
If you’ve been with us for awhile, you know we are not doomsday preppers. We are simple, down to earth people who wish to be more self-reliant. By that very nature, it means we are better prepared than most since we provide much of our food, energy, water etc ourselves. We give no conscious thought to preparing for a specific calamity. In more generalized terms, we like that feeling of independence associated with growing our own wholesome foods and not having to worry about power outages yet if there are disruptions to either, we are relatively unaffected which is a nice side bonus.
We in no way want to minimize what just occurred. It’s been historical in its effects on health, financials, employment, confinement to home etc. For us, we are fortunate to have a lifestyle where we were able to carry on as normal with no ill effects or change of routine. We are stay at home people who grow and preserve food and supplies as part of our life. When we lived in the wilderness and only shopped twice a year, it forced us to know our requirements. We had no one else to rely on. We either had food and supplies or we did without. And “did without” was not an option!
The thing that has frustrated us the most is how unprepared the masses were for any kind of disruption. When we turned the news on and watched cars lined up for miles for a box of food, all we could do was shake our heads. Johanna and I are self-reliant by choice and the way we figure it, we are responsible for our own well being. We don’t care to rely on government or others because they may or may not be there in times of need. For anybody reading this and feels that government and charities exist as the primary caregivers simply because one has breath, you’ve been following the wrong blog and will never understand the gist of this post. We also figure that as long as we are able to take care of ourselves and not need the support of others, support can be given to those truly in need.
That’s not to say government and charities don’t have their place in all this, because they certainly do. We personally support 2 charities so charity is important. But those of us who are healthy, employable and have the ability to think cognizant thought owe it to ourselves, family and friends to take on the responsibility of taking care of ourselves. By doing so there’s less strain on the system as a whole.
A Good Time to Re-evaluate
This might be a good time for everyone of us to reevaluate what our needs are, in what amounts and how best to prepare for the next problem. It may or may not be a virus. It could be a solar flare that wipes out electronics. Perhaps an internet attack on the power grid or financial system. We can think of any number of scenarios. Does it really matter what the next problem mankind is faced with? With certainty, there’s something coming down the pike. The question is timing and will we be prepared.
We live in challenging times. One can have all the money in the world sitting in a bank but once you make a physical deposit, it’s converted to 0’s and 1’s in a computer system. When you withdraw funds, the great computer modifies those 0’s and 1’s to reflect the new balance. All well and good. Anybody ever have a computer crash and burn? Restoring the back up failure? Doesn’t matter how many backups and safeguards there are in the system, it can go down in a heartbeat. Anybody have a scheduled flight when the airlines check in system went down? Seems to happen occasionally. The point I’m making is technology can be crippled. Technology is wonderful as long as it works. We live in a world that relies on technology which makes us much more vulnerable if it fails. If the banking system goes down for a period of time, all the cash in the world in a bank won’t help you buy a loaf of bread unless you have physical money in your hand.
Of course there’s a handful of smart people able to fix these things. Well, unless they are sick or otherwise indisposed and unable to fix the problem for whatever reason. We rely on a lot of people in a chain and if a link in the chain weakens or breaks, what then? We were shocked here in Nova Scotia to be rationed eggs, flour, sugar, yeast and other things. That’s if the shelf had any yeast, sugar or flour, which many times did not. That was the case in many locations throughout North America.
Food is one of the pillars of survival. For the immediate future, the virus appears to be ramping back up. Johanna and I have no crystal ball and have no idea how the next 6-12 months will play out. What happens if the farmer and his family are sick? The farm hands are sick? Or the people in the processing plants get sick? The truckers we rely on to move all this stuff are sick? The staff at the grocery store stocking shelves or the cashiers? We rely on a lot of links in the chain so we can eat our daily meals. What makes the problem so insidious is how much we take this stuff for granted and how unfathomable it was to see store shelves sparse or empty, state and country borders restricted or closed, layoffs by the millions in weeks etc
In hindsight, this was a slow motion train wreck that showed up. If someone bothered to look, they could see its approach with enough advanced warning to prepare. Yet the vast majority were shocked at how rapidly things deteriorated once the virus hit our shores. It’s the blockbuster movie makings of Hollywood but became a real world event. The next big calamity may show with little to no warning.
Change of Mind Set
We are proposing a simple, yet effective change of mind set. For those who are receptive to this change consider the following. Set aside $10-20 each week and put in safe keeping in the house. Take another $10-20 each shopping trip and buy a few extra canned goods, a sack of flour, sugar or whatever. What could it possibly hurt to pick up a couple extra boxes, bags, cartons or tins of food with each shopping trip? If properly stored, this food can be stored long term and will give you peace of mind. What will you do for water if the municipal water system fails? We never want to see anybody dependent on government or charity unless it’s an absolute last resort. We believe any charitable help starts at the local, person to person level. But someone can’t be a help to others if he/she is in need of help themselves.
We have no interest in fear mongering. But history does and will repeat itself. There will be minor, localized calamities ranging up to unimaginable civil strife with the concomitant societal breakdown. It has happened before and will happen again. Who would have thought State and Country borders would be closed or limited?
For those comfortable that nothing bad could ever possibly happen to you and your family, we wish you well. For everyone else that takes our heartfelt attempt to provide some impetus to ponder the unknown, we will be happy to banter further on things we can all do to make ourselves more resilient to life’s glitches. Food, safety, water, electric, cash are all things taken for granted but in reality are tenuous. We are suggesting a modification to the traditional mindset. Stay safe!
Until next time, keep the dream alive! We wish you a great day!
Ron and Johanna
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