During times of crisis, every self-reliance skill will give you a major advantage over those who don't have it.
With the coronavirus crisis taking over the world, the preppers, with their stashes of non-perishable goods and their remote bug-out locations, don't seem so out of touch with reality anymore. All of a sudden, those who have taken the trouble of getting ready for a crisis way ahead of time, have the privilege of looking smug and telling the rest of the world, "we told you so."
Living in a quiet little town and working from home, we haven't had to make any major adjustments so far, although the quarantine is sure to create a heavy, oppressive atmosphere. I am looking ahead with cautious optimism, however, and hope that with the timely measures of our government, the virus will be contained.
While many panic-spreaders like to talk about everybody isolated at home, hiding behind stacks of canned beans and towers of toilet paper, if you live in a small community and you know for sure your neighbors are responsible people who don't take risks and mostly stay put at this time, I see no reason why one shouldn't keep socializing (on a small scale). Banding together won't only help maintain a feeling of normalcy, but it might also reduce the need for contacting outsiders at this time.
For example, if I need a tool or a certain service right now, and I check among my neighbors and find someone who can help me, I have saved a potentially risky trip to town. The community that has its own carpenter, plumber, computer tech, etc, is at a big advantage.
I am no expert, but I believe that this crisis will have effects on the economy that will last long after the risk of contagion is curbed. We might experience an overall recession. Money may lose some of its value. Some imported goods that we have become used to taking for granted might not be as readily available anymore. And I think many people are now beginning to see how problematic it is to rely so heavily on foreign industry for just about everything.
Communities where people understand the value of self-sufficiency and support local businesses and local production of food and commodities are and will be less vulnerable, both in the short term and in the long run. Apart from keeping safe, which is paramount, there are also other things we can and should promote.
Start a vegetable garden. Learn to forage. Check the possibility of keeping a few hens in your backyard. Learn to repair rather than discard and buy new. Learn basic plumbing, roofing, and carpentry skills. All of this will surely come in handy - and in times of crisis or economic recession, it might just be the thing that helps you keep one step ahead.
Anna Twitto’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Anna, her husband, and their four children live on the outskirts of a small town in northern Israel. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. Anna's books are on her Amazon.com Author Page. Connect with Anna on Facebook and read more about her current projects on her blog. Read all Anna's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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