Lessons from the Pandemic

Lessons from the Pandemic by Don and Patrice Lewis for Survival Blog

The year 2020 has been wacky, hasn’t it? When we celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2019, few of us anticipated what lay in store for the future.

But that’s the nature of crises – they’re unexpected. Despite being immersed in the preparedness movement for many years, the coronavirus pandemic was something we didn’t see coming. Now everyone is coping with the fiscal aftermath of what might turn into another Great Depression. To paraphrase Thomas Paine, these are the days to try men’s souls.

From a personal standpoint, our situation is additionally complicated because we’re in the process of selling our homestead and downsizing, which has created a huge element of uncertainty in our future. Where will we end up? We have no idea.

However nerve-wracking this year has been, it’s important to remember it’s nothing new. History is rife with pandemics, economic crashes, wars, violence, natural disasters, and every other challenge you can name. Every such event changed the way people lived. The Roaring Twenties was followed by the Great Depression, which was followed by World War II. These decades had an enormous impact on everyone who lived through them and forever changed the face of America. There’s no reason to think our current difficulties will be any different.

As of this writing, we’re three-quarters through the year annus horribilis. What have we learned? What have we done right? What have we done wrong? What could we have done differently? What can we do to in the future to face whatever may come?

Here are some thoughts from both us (the writers) and others (friends and blog readers) about things done right – and wrong – through the events of 2020.

  • We are preppers. Unquestionably this is the single biggest factor that contributed to our peace of mind. Further, we’ve never tailored our prepping to any single imagined catastrophe, but instead have done our prepping as an integral part of our day-to-day lifestyle. We already had plenty of food, a thriving garden, a good collection of common over-the-counter medications, and other necessary supplies.
  • We were pre-positioned in a rural location that we had labored to turn into a self-sufficient homestead over many years. This gave us physical safety, like-minded neighbors, and food security. Over and over again, we heard from those living in rural areas that their lives hardly changed at all. Many rural people already have deep larders for the simple reason that it’s harder to get into town frequently.
  • We built community with our neighbors. Until the pandemic interrupted it, we’d been gathering for weekly potlucks for about 12 years. As a result, we have a tight-knit group of people always watching out and aiding each other. As a side benefit, this community is comfortable borrowing or lending tools or other essentials when necessary. This means individuals’ deficiencies are often covered.
  • We work from home and have multiple (modest) income streams. Some of those income streams dried up due to the coronavirus shutdowns, so we ramped up the other streams. By tightening our fiscal belts, we’ve gotten by without any financial difficulties.
  • We had already scaled back our living expenses. The importance of this can’t be underscored enough. We spent years whittling down our bills and learning to live on very little. As it turns out, this has been a very useful strategy.

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