What GW Lessons Have You Learned From The Pandemic?

David Trammel's picture

I'm going to restart doing blog posts to the main page next Wednesday and wanted to begin with a look at what lessons I've learned from this pandemic.

The first new post is going to discuss, How did the things we talked about here on Green Wizards help and where did it not help you, during the recent health crisis?


First, for me initially, I realized I had neglected my deep pantry and emergency supplies. Once I became aware that we were facing a crisis, I noticed I had some holes in my preparations. Not as bad as it could have been, if I hadn't thought about the collapse but still, my specific pandemic supplies, like masks and cleaners wasn't very good. I was though, due to things we've discussed here, able to ramp up quickly.

I was able too, to talk to people in a calm manner, recommending them to take some basic precautions. Most people didn't, but a few did, and the ones who hadn't, realized sooner than the public that it was happening.

Second, I found out that I didn't have the news sources that I should have organized in case of an emergency. I think its a big plus, to take a bit of time every day and read beyond the limited few news sources you find on your homepage. Luckily one of the forums (a financial stock site) I read was a great source of early data. The owner turned out to have a doctorate in virology, and the other members of the forum had day jobs like doctor, nurse or scientist. I was able to take the information they were posting and slot it into my preparation planning. Having thought of a collapse situation previously, though not specifically a pandemic, kept me from panicking.

Third, never order equipment on Amazon at one in the morning. I did that a couple of times, hitting the "order" button when I should have held off. I like to think we here, view the Collapse as something that will unfold over a long period of time. So having a little patience is a good thing. That said, even in the few cases where I over ordered (anyone need a 3m half face mask?), I figure I'll either use it eventually or can trade it later in the Fall. Unfortunately I don't think this pandemic is going to be over soon.

Forth, Green Wizards teaches a sense of community, to watch out for those beyond your immediate family and friends. I work with a local animal shelter, volunteering as a foster, and I put away supplies that I figured would be needed to keep that organization safe, like extra N95 masks and gloves. I was able to step in and supply them with stuff after supplies had disappeared to the public. It also helped that I knew some alternative suppliers.

Fifth, I realized about 3 months into this when I discovered none of my blue jeans fit any more (I gained about 30 pound!), I had seriously neglected my health. That more than anything I believe pointed to a hole in my mindset. Green Wizards taught me better, I should follow it. I can say that over the last two months, I'm eating better, cut out alcohol completely and I'm getting a few long walks in a week. Next is to get it to be a daily habit.

I'll probably think of a few more, but what did you learn about yourself during this crisis?

mountainmoma's picture

I think that is my biggest one, while I predominately plan for my household and close family, I generally think of emergencies as being something where we are all in it together, which might mean neighbors or family that doesnt normally live together. I live alone right now. It was much harder on me than I would have thought having to stay away from neighbors and family. None of my mental prep's had ever come up with that scenario ! My house is the place for family to go to if things go bad, but this was weird because it was not that bad, or maybe just not that fast. Maybe it was the watching a slow motion trainwreck, in isolation, that was depressing. So, not that bad to for them to end up here to stay for a while, especially as all media was screaming for household level isolation. As things progressed, many of my preps were shared out and we eventually decided that us closer family had to not distance for all of our mental health.

The preps most requested were flour, rice, oil, toilet paper, security( guns/ammo) information

The surprise shortages have been garden seeds, baby chicks and chick feed. The other surprise was the explosion of pent-up stuff boiling over where it did, and why -- I would have thought the public could hold out on not doing that since there was fuel, food, water, shelter ( ues, I know it realy was related to fears and lockdowns, still surprised on timing) ..... This is where, it turns out, that family now says was when they almost decided we all had to combine household, due to that, not due to the disease, outbreak, supplies, economics situation, etc... but due to civil unrest.

The pleasant surprise was that fuel(gasoline/diesel) was never in shortage or hard to find, and the area had everyone in lockdown get into gardening, with a robust facebook hands-off, never meet face to face sharing of plant starts and seeds. Since I am a big gardener here, I rejoined facebook ( which I hate, I did not add friends or make posts on my page) where I did alot of virtual support and physical handing out of plants to this effort. Also virtual support here and the other financial site.

SLClaire's picture

Back in January, when COVID-19 was first confirmed in the US, I realized it would spread everywhere eventually. As I considered what we would need in case of a quarantine that we didn't already have, I realized that because it was winter, I didn't have any fresh garden vegetables left in storage. Nor in the garden; I live near David Trammel in the St. Louis metro area, where garden produce isn't available in the winter unless one has some kind of season extension available. Having tried that in past years, I didn't find it worth the trouble. But we don't buy canned or frozen vegetables, instead buying whatever is available fresh in the grocery stores to supplement or replace what I grow. I thought, what if we are quarantined and can't buy vegetables for a few weeks? From July through December, that's not a problem; most of what we eat comes from the garden. But the rest of the year it is a problem, and COVID-19 looked to hit in the rest of the year.

I talked this over with my husband Mike, who does the grocery shopping and most of the cooking. We agreed on the problem and how to solve it. From that point on Mike started buying a few cans of vegetables every time he went grocery shopping. I also ordered some dried vegetables through a tiny food co-op we belong to that buys from Frontier, a natural and organic food and goods wholesaler. Since we would not be able to buy meat if we were quarantined, Mike also bought a few cans of chicken or fish along with the vegetables, plus we increased the quantity of frozen meats we buy from a local ranch. So far neither of us has had COVID-19 as far as I know, but I feel a lot better knowing that if either of us does catch it, we have enough to eat any time of the year.

The other thing that I hadn't planned for was not being able to visit my mother this summer. When I visited in February before the lockdowns, I told her I intended to visit again sometime in summer. She is 86 and lives in Florida in an independent living apartment complex. Which has been closed to visitors since late March or early April, with no plans to re-open to visitors anytime soon. If I went there I could visit her on the grounds of the complex as long as we both kept social distance, but if she came to see me anyplace inside, she'd have to self-quarantine in her apartment for 14 days upon her return. That isn't a viable situation for her (she's finding things difficult enough without being trapped by herself in an apartment), even if I wanted to travel to Florida, which isn't going to happen given what is happening there. I need to re-think living independently as I age, and I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of other people are re-thinking living issues as they age, their own or their aging relatives.

Same here about being geographically distant from my parents.

My mom and dad are 84 and 87 respectively and live in central Delaware. They're still in their own home and refuse to leave other than feet-first. They have various old-age related health issues and Covid-19 would be a death sentence.

Because of the shut-downs, I haven't been able to drive to Delaware and visit.

I was planning on it later on this month as things loosen up and then yesterday, the governor Pennsylvania announced that if you came from Delaware, you had to self-quarantine for two weeks because of Covid-19! How he plans on enforcing the borders of Pa, considering anyone coming up from Delaware who can use a map can drive through Maryland is beyond me.

This is the same governor who claims Covid-19 means the strictest rules on masks, social distancing, and isolation, yet was photographed arm-in-arm with protesters in Harrisburg. No masks, either.

The upshot is that even though my elderly parents are only 120 miles away, it's still too darn far.

I wish I had been able to persuade them to move up here.