As of last Friday, my little slice of the hemisphere ended the COVID lockdown.
I am not sure what sort of reaction I expected. Perhaps a level of jubilance that we managed to get 85% of country vaccinated, or an economic sigh of relief, but frankly it seems I am not alone in feeling like life still remains in a state of flux.
Naturally the ability to go out “as normal” has been pleasant, and I am pretty chill regarding public transportation these days, but then again the pandemic has been both a blessing and a curse.
It has illustrated the value of good preps and pointed out the fault lines within the self sustain movement.
Many of us have discovered new hobbies and paradoxically let go of bad habits.
It seems to me that my entire visible world shuddered in unrestrained projects as the lockdowns persisted like clockwork.
Every neighbour started painting their houses, I saw non-stop construction, and broadly speaking, it looked to me like a fabricated opportunity to make the most of a shitty situation.
To be fair, I did much the same thing. Made my garden an oasis of solace, purchased far too many tools, including a metal lathe, lapping machine, and the list goes on.
I also pounced on my neighborhoods doing renos by going on daring excursions with the girl to rescue poor succulents & other plants that were axed and discarded in their prime.
Many yuccas and jade plants, and even a couple already-potted sword ferns, found sanctuary in my garden.
I recently spoke with a friend of mine concerning the past year. I summed it up as a year of my life that seemed to endure in a vacuum, with my existence simply existing.
He rolled his eyes and we left it at that, but it is a discomforting feeling to acknowledge the frailty of our system and what this all means for the future.
What preparations can we possibly undergo to maintain our links to the broader world whilst remaining independent from the fallout of another pandemic or other existential crisis?
I honestly have no idea.
I know that being fully off-grid isn’t viable based on the people who did it and after doubling down realized that homesteading is a full-time job in itself.
I know that I can’t live without people in my life, but I also know that my environment is subject to change, outside of my control.
At the start of this shit show, I didn’t give much advice beyond, “Hoard your money and knuckle down.”
I stand by what I stated.
My blog has always had a consumerist bias, but due to the nature of what we faced, I avoided writing about anything that would entail my readers having to spend money.
There is no all-in-one kit that will insulate you from bullshit. No magic knife will make you a hunter-gatherer should society default into lawlessness. No stockpile is infinite.
A whole year of flux has illustrated that we need to be cautious with our plans and our funds.
Prepping isn’t spending recklessly, it’s knowing when to drop Benjamin’s when you need to, and when you can stand back and access your situation from a position of power.
The girl and I have kept our food supplies at the rough 1 year mark (with rationing).
We didn’t do anything but hunker down when the first wave hit Italy (albeit a little panic, logically, we knew we were going to be fine), and then hunker down again as we saw hospitals being overwhelmed and the casualty rate being far too high for us to take risks.
So yes, I would say that my recommendations and loose predictions basically stood the test of time.
The only thing I regret was not having the tools on hand to work on the house independently, but these days it’s all rectified, as well as having a better understanding of the sort of person I am, and the sort of unit the girl and I make, what we need to be happy, and what is superfluous to our life.
I am aware as I type this that some people have had far worse experiences than me.
I know that having a decent size garden basically saved me from insanity during the worst of the lockdown, but nonetheless I still think it’s important to have this discussion despite coming from a place of relative privilege.
On that note, how did you hold up during this mess, what did you learn about yourself & what would you advise others to do or have done differently yourself, had you known what was coming?