What I Learned During the COVID Crisis

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Author of The Blackout Book and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted

The COVID-19 crisis has affected just about every family in the United States in some way or another. All of our situations are unique and everyone I’ve spoken to has learned some lessons about their levels of preparedness. Some of those lessons are unconventional but valuable nonetheless. There are a whole lot of things you can’t learn from a book or a blog.

Here are the things I’ve learned.

Trust your instincts.

I began writing about this virus back in January when it was announced that the entire city of Wuhan was being locked down and millions of people were under stay at home orders. With that many people under a mandatory lockdown, I was firmly convinced that this had potential global ramifications.

I had come back from Europe to attend a funeral in early January and was supposed to return on January 28th. After doing the research for the article mentioned above, I rescheduled my flight for March 28th and settled in with my youngest daughter at her apartment to help out with the bills. We immediately began stocking up.

A lot of folks at that time said I was crazy – a few here on my website but more so on other sites that republished my work. I’m no stranger to being called crazy – I’m in the preparedness industry and I like guns, so right there, the mainstream media sees me as a lunatic. It no longer bothers me and I was convinced that this was going to be a big deal.

Every day from January 23rd to the present, I’ve spent hours researching as this pandemic has unfolded. I sincerely wish that I had not been correct, but here we are, still in lockdown in many parts of the country.

You can prepare fast if you’re aware before other folks are.

I had sold or donated nearly everything that my daughters didn’t want before I took off on an open-ended trip to Europe last fall. The other items were divided up between my two girls. So while the daughter with whom I stayed still had a few things, like firearms, water filters, etc., the stockpile was pretty much gone.

By the end of January, I was pretty sure that we were going to see mandatory quarantines or lockdowns here and I began stocking up. It’s important to note that at this point, you could still buy anything you wanted or needed. I grabbed some extra masks and gloves but most of my focus was on food and other everyday supplies. By the end of February, I was pretty content with the amount of supplies we had. I had spent as little as possible on “right now food” and focused most of my budget on shelf-stable items like canned goods, pasta, and rice.

For about $600, we accumulated a supply that would see us through a minimum of 3 months without leaving the house. I figured, if it turned out that I had overreacted, my daughter would use the food anyway.

I also started a personal spending freeze at the end of January. If it wasn’t an item we needed to become better prepared, I didn’t spend a dime. I was able to put back a few months’ worth of expenses while still stocking up. It helped that my daughter was living thrifty in a less expensive apartment with utilities included. I was very concerned about things like cash flow and it turns out, this has been a huge problem for a lot of people.

You can’t always have the “ideal” situation.

There were a lot of things about my situation that were less than ideal. But that’s probably true in a lot of cases. You just have to adapt to the reality of your situation instead of endlessly wishing it was different or feeling that it’s hopeless. “Less than ideal” does not mean that all hope is lost.

First, there was the situation of living arrangements. I have a daughter in Canada and a daughter in the US. My older daughter in Canada has been working longer and was better established. My younger daughter, who lives in the US, was new to the workforce and didn’t have a lot of money so I stayed with her to help out financially. Her apartment is in a lower-middle-class residential area of the city where she works. Thankfully, it is a two-bedroom and I only brought with me two suitcases.

Living in an apartment without much of a yard during this kind of event is not something I would have chosen, given time to seek alternatives. But we all know this crept up fast. Moving was not an option. I focused on hardening the apartment with plywood to put up at the windows, tripwires that could be set up quickly if needed, and sturdier locks. We got some quarantine warning signs that we could post if all hell broke loose as a potential deterrent, and I set up spotlights in the front yard. Currently, they face the stairs to the front door, but in a bad situation, they could be turned around to illuminate anyone coming up to the house instead.

I bought more ammo for our firearms and we sat down together to work through potential scenarios. We developed a “fatal funnel” in the front hallway and added “stumbling blocks” in the front hall that could be shoved in front of the door to slow down an advance. (Just cardboard boxes filled with hardcover books – nothing fancy.)

We made friends with the other family who lives in the building while maintaining our OPSEC. It’s always good to have allies and they have a better line of sight from their upper apartment.

Normally, I would have bought loads of organic food and preserved it myself, but early in the crisis, there was still a question of whether or not we’d have power throughout the emergency and there simply wasn’t enough time at this late date. My stockpile is not ideal – lots of storebought canned goods and carbs like pasta and rice – but it’s filling and versatile.  And most of all, it’s what was readily available. I was able to grab cases of canned fruits and vegetables and canned ravioli when it was cheap and abundant.

So while it isn’t our normal diet or even our normal preps, we’re fortunate to have it. We’ve continued to hit the store weekly for foods that are more “normal” but can easily shift to the stockpile if it becomes necessary.

As you can see there are a lot of things that aren’t ideal from a prepper’s point of view, but when disaster strikes, you have to adapt. So if your situation isn’t perfect, don’t just throw your hands up in the air and give up – ADAPT.

It’s okay to have feelings.

While I’ve been confident in following my intuition regarding this scenario, I can’t say that I have never had any doubts whatsoever. This has been an extraordinary situation.

We’ve all suffered losses: losses of loved ones, losses of jobs, losses of dreams. The uncertainty of what lies ahead is difficult, even for someone who has been prepping and researching disasters for decades. This is hard. It’s not to say that other situations that have occurred haven’t been harder or haven’t resulted in more loss. It’s not a contest. We don’t have to compare and invalidate how this had made us feel.

I’ve even felt like this can’t possibly be happening. I know that it is happening but there’s still that little part of me that was shocked to see it occur.

However you feel about something, it’s valid. We’re all allowed to have feelings. Just don’t let those feelings paralyze you.

Invest in education.

No, I’m not saying go back to college and get a degree. I’m talking about life education.

Over the past years, I’ve spent time and money learning from experts in many fields and this has helped me more than I can describe. I’ve taken in-person courses on the following:

I’ve taken online courses too, in particular, Selco’s SHTF Boot Camp and One Year in Hell.

These things have changed my mindset so much that I’m not the same person I was before I took these courses. I have a different understanding now of violence and the cues that lead up to it. I know a lot more about food self-reliance and can adapt those skills to other things. I can protect myself and the people I love on many different levels.

And the things I learned in Croatia? Taking that course from Selco and Toby is by far the very best investment I’ve ever made in my own preparedness. Most importantly, I learned that survival and preparedness are two different skill sets, and having both of them provides you with the best of both worlds. I can use survival skills to enhance my level of preparedness even if I don’t have a one-year supply of food. And I was able to use the experience of spending time in war-torn areas with Selco narrating his own experience to spot trouble coming a lot sooner than others in my area.

I would never have been able to be flexible enough to get prepared this quickly without the things I learned from Selco and Toby. I wouldn’t have been as ready for potential violence. You can read all you want about societal breakdowns but until you actually stand in the crumbling building amidst the debris hearing a first-person account, you don’t really understand it. Seeing the end result of war and genocide was eye-opening, and provides a reality check about how bad things can get. I can’t put a price tag on the value that I received from that investment and when new courses open up again, I suggest you go if you can at all. Their real-world observations will change your perspective on just about everything you think you know.

There are many experts out there who have learned from their own experiences. Never think you already know too much to learn anything from them because I promise you, there are things you never even considered. You will be far more prepared to face the potential violence and hardships of future scenarios when you learn from those who have been down these roads.

The value of things changes.

Before this, who would have thought that toilet paper would be the new gold? Or that there would be countless articles all over the media about toilet paper substitutes?

One thing that I learned is that the value of things changes dramatically in unusual situations.

Store shelves were stripped bare in a matter of days, and in many places around the country, inventory has never really recovered. People had to improvise when their first choices were gone by choosing from the things that were remaining.

The shortages we’ve faced weren’t really the ones I expected. Bleach, yeast, and paper products reached the top of everyone’s to-buy lists. I suppose I assumed that if the stores were still open, we wouldn’t be facing limited quantities of items like meat and pasta. Instead of nurturing non-food-bearing plants, people are nurturing their sourdough starters and seedlings.

Nobody really cares about buying new clothes right now or about frivolous new shoes, because where are you going to wear them? Instead, there’s a run on N95 masks and seeds. Many people have zeroed in on the real necessities and that’s where their money is going.

People may not be who you think they are.

One thing that was particularly eye-opening was the actions of others.

There were close friends and family members who proved that they were not the people I wanted in my inner circle if things hit the fan. Some of the reactions of people about whom I care were incredibly disappointing and even downright shocking. Folks who I thought would be ready to roll with whatever situation might come stunned me by refusing to accept what was happening because it wasn’t the apocalypse for which they’d prepared.

I also encountered people who were not within my immediate family and friends who surprised me. This situation was certainly a study in human behavior. They surprised me with their greed, anger, and sense of entitlement. After hearing about how they spoke of others who’d been wise enough to stock up ahead of time, with ugly words like “hoarder” and “selfish,” I was very glad I’d never confided my preparedness efforts in them. I saw people display incredibly short fuses and respond with rage over the slightest little thing. I saw others who took this opportunity to behave with increased violence and glimpses of the potential predator inside them.

Of course, like all of you, I’d read about these things. But seeing it in action was entirely different.

Don’t have regrets.

I’ve caught myself a few times thinking, “Wow, I wish we still had our farm by the creek back in California” and “the last house we lived in would have been far better suited for this situation” but I stop myself. There’s no point in having regrets. I’m glad that I gave my daughter the chance to get her feet on the ground as an adult, and I am very happy I spent the time I did in Europe, even if it means that I had to start from scratch to get prepped for this event.

Other people have told me that they have spent time wishing they had never moved from a more suitable place or they regret frivolous purchases they made when that money would have been better spent on preps. Look, we all probably could have made different decisions in the past that would lead to more stability right now, but many of those decisions resulted in other types of benefits: great experiences, new friends, or an improved mindset.

Life is way too short to have regrets, and if you’re looking backward, you won’t see what’s right in front of you. And in an uncertain world, that can be very dangerous.

Don’t put things off.

If there are things you’ve been putting off doing until some future date when everything is “perfect” then stop. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that delaying things until the “right time” presents itself is a mistake.

I am so glad I took those classes I mentioned above. I’m so glad that I spent months in Greece, Macedonia, and Montenegro. And I’m absolutely returning to Europe when the situation allows it.  I learned a kind of flexibility wandering around countries where I didn’t speak the language that I never had before. I can sleep anywhere. I can quickly identify resources and navigate my way through new places. I learned some thrifty habits that are cultural norms in the Balkans. Those experiences completely changed my mindset, made me more adaptable, and built my confidence.

Your goals and dreams may look a lot different than mine, but when the chance returns to reach them, do it. Get that piece of property. Start building that cabin. Grow that garden even if it’s in pots on your balcony. Explore those places you’ve always wanted to see. Start the business. Write the book. Buy that prep that you’ve been thinking about it because tomorrow it may no longer be available.

There is no perfect time.

Life is for living, not for staying in your safety bubble that looks an awful lot like a rut. Even life after a pandemic.

What did you learn?

Of course this isn’t over yet, and I’m sure there are more lessons still to come. But these are the things I’ve learned so far.

I find that we can all experience the same situation yet each of us comes away with something different. So, I’m curious. What lessons did you learn during this crisis? How will it change your preparedness efforts in the future? What was the biggest surprise? Please share your experiences in the comments.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and runs a small digital publishing company. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • The quietness scared me. Now it’s back to normal where I live. Gunfire all night sometimes at night. Three people were killed over the weekend and people are back out in the store’s shopping and eating out. This is the norm for me where I live. It was frightening when it looked like a ghost town. I don’t know where you live or what all you’ve experienced, but getting to live in a bad part of town in a big city is all the experience I’ve ever had. I’ve lost over a dozen friends over the years to violence. Some by strangers others at the hands of relatives. I’m not afraid of guns, its the thoughts in the heads that scare me, because I don’t know what people are thinking. But I have to keep living just like everyone else around me. Life has to go on.

  • What I’ve learned: you can’t teach people who are determined not to learn, who won’t listen, who won’t follow simple ‘rules’ for not spreading disease. Case in point – my neighbors have refused to stop going out to eat, now pick-up, 5 times a week for lunch and 6 times a week for dinner. Now that dining at the restaurants is allowed, they have already made plans for where they will go – they informed me yesterday that it was about time. They continue to go into grocery stores to shop, without masks, instead of doing home delivery or store pickup, because they have to see, touch, decide on price altho they buy the same items every week. They are in their early 80s and not in good health.

    People going to the beaches that have just reopened in SW FL have not been following the safe distancing and so have closed the beaches in Naples, FL until further notice. Again, not following simple rules to prevent disease spreading.

    A few of our neighbors have decided to garden this year – they have not gardened in the past 8 years that they have lived here. It’s not like growing veggies in the midwest or New England but they are not open to suggestions. Again, a case of not being willing to listen and learn.

    For me and my husband, it’s business as usual – we have maintained at a minimum a 3 month supply of food, household and personal items. We have stocked up for about 6 months on some items like personal female care and sprouting seeds. For food, we’ve been buying 1 or 2 extras of those things we eat frequently.

    Hurricane season starts on June 1 so we have prepped for that including checking our generator. Have any of our neighbors? No, not this year nor the past 10 years. Goes along with the not being willing to listen, learn and follow directives for their own safety and well being.

    Sorry I’m starting to rant but stupidity can’t be legislated as much as I wish it could. Hoping everyone is safe, healthy and coping well.

    • Giving stupidity free rein to express itself is the only way evolution can work. For decades, we’ve been subsidizing and coddling stupidity, then acting amazed that we’re seeing more of it.

    • HEY Bellen, You know what dear? You can’t FIX stupid !!! It doesn’t really work. Some people are born dumb. Others just never wanted to learn. Others are arrogant and already think they know it all and everything else over the moon…STUPID can’t be fixed. I sat outside my local Walmart watching people in my car…I would says that maybe 70% actually were going in with a mask, some even with gloves. All ages from kids to older people. BUT, there the other 30 % were just cruising on it there not covered at all spreading germs all over everywhere. Probably sneezing or coughing onto the veggies as they passed thru the produce department touching everything with their dirty hands. Most probably had NO sanitizer, and were picking their nose and spitting on the way out of Walmart after being in there and touching ALL of whatever they touched including going to the bathroom while in the store and GOD only knows if after that they bothered or took time to even wash their hands and then they must have touched other things before finally exiting the store. SO pleassssseeeeeee, STUPID is STUPID and I am convinced it can’t be fixed…What did I learn that there are MORE stupid people out there than I realized. And yes seriously!!! Stay safe, distance, wash your hands ALOT, otherwise keep you sanitizer in your possession and cover your face and even throw on some of those think purple latex gloves. I bought a pair of thick dishwashing gloves and they are perfect, plus I can take um off spray them with Lysol and wear them over and over again.. Some of us are just NOT stupid and have common sense, even wisdom from above and a good gut at that… Thank GOD!!!

    • I see the same thing here in south central Florida. Everyone starting to garden (which I’m glad to see) but I’ve been doing it five years and growing food in Florida in the summer is HARD and my family and friends who have started just don’t take my advice. I see them waisting time and money. I told my mom if that garden is what stands between you and starvation you are going to starve. I finally got her to start educating herself on Florida gardening. But people here continue to defy orders to wear masks and social distancing, it’s mostly the younger people. So I think COVID19 is here to stay unfortunately.

    • What I’ve learned is that the sheer gullibility of people cannot be overestimated. Unreal, that people would fall for the lies about the seriousness of the virus, that masks and distancing work, and later that the vaks is safe and effective. Sheesh. And then these same people blab on about the stupidity of others.

  • My husband thinks I have lived my whole life preparing for a lockdown. I have plenty of activities to do: books, puzzles and sewing. Because both of our parents were children of the depression they always had a well stocked pantry. We followed their leads. Over the years there have been times that pantry help make ends meet. This has been another of those times. My husband and later myself were sick in January and the beginning of February and I was not paying much attention to what was happening in China. By the time I started connecting the dots I began calling my children and telling them to prepare. They sort of believed me. With my more recent phone calls they have listened to my advice. I started looking at closures of food processing plants and called them to advice extra purchases. This time they listened and hit the stores before the shelves were empty again.
    I feel like we haven’t done to badly. Were we totally prepared, no. But we are more knowledgeable for when we have future lockdowns. And my opinion is we will. I think the government will decide they need to do this again in the fall. I have started making my summer and fall preparedness plans.

  • Thank you for this retrospective.

    I learned that keeping my mouth shut about my preps is critical. Folks I was getting friendly with showed a sneaky, coniving, predator side; like they were sizing me up as a “resource”. I’m glad I never discussed my preps! Now I pretend I’m really struggling financially but rarely talk ; I do LOTS of listening & observing now.

    I learned to change quickly because I have hope. My “before” priorities seem so silly now (pretty lawn/house, netflix, laziness in retirement), now it’s 1) water 2) security 3) self-sufficiency skills.

    I live with a parent who has memory loss; who freaks out at ANY change, & divulges private family info to strangers! I learned to prep with stealth: quietly busy with tasks & lists while looking calm & boring on the surface.

    Sometimes I cry. I feel the pressure to protect my vulnerable parent who can’t really help & actually is an OPSEC issue. Staying frosty forever! Thank you for your site.

    • I really want to hug and protect you. You seem so lovely protecting your vulnerable parents and doing this alone.

      I’m a mum of 2 young girls. I was never a prepper until I started watching Peak Prosperity in late January 2020 on youtube and this guy Chris was warning people to stock up. I’m so grateful to this stranger who put himself out there to protect so many people who he helped prepare.

      I bought myself n95 masks for my birthday – I only got 10 of them because they were around $95 AUD but they dont last long and I still had my fabric masks from the wild bushfires a month before.

      I started behaving like an alarmist (if that’s the term) and was telling everyone to start prepping. Nobody listened to me, not one family member except my very young daughters. Everyone else laughed at me while I prepared my children for eating lentils so they wouldn’t feel it wasn’t normal.

      We haven’t been short of food here though, actually we have excess and cheap good quality meat and barley because China hates our inquisition into how this virus started and has put 80% tarriffs on our exports.

  • Daisy, I keep reading about using plywood to cover windows for security, do you put it inside or outside? How do you attach it? And most importantly, how do you know WHEN to put it up? Thanks!

    • Hi, Joy!

      It depends on why you’re boarding up the windows. If it’s for a storm, you want it on the outside to protect your glass.

      If it’s to protect you from civil unrest, you want it on the inside so that you can easily remove it if you need to bail out the back. It’s faster if you pre-drill the holes – then all you’ve got to do is screw it into the wall or window frame. It isn’t something that will totally stop an intruder but it will take time and noise for them to get in.

      As for when – that’s a tricky one. It can be hard to tell. YOu don’t want it to look like you’re afraid or like you have something extremely valuable to protect because that can make you a target. I think it’s safe to say that if you have begun to see a lot of protests or home invasions in your neighborhood, the time has come.

      • I’ve been thinking about this too, for inside. If you have blinds or shutters inside the window frame, close them first and then put up the plywood. Curtains are something else. I suppose you could put the plywood over the curtains, but that would probably put holes in your curtains, ruining them. The curtain rod could be a problem. You can take down the curtains and if necessary the curtain rod before putting up the plywood.

        I suppose one issue is do you want your windows to look like they have plywood over them or do you want to disguise the plywood. To disguise the plywood you could paint it white or some other color. However, some people would realize its painted plywood because the grain would show through. I would be inclined to take down the curtains, hang up a sheet and then put up white painted plywood.

        Frankly, I haven’t decided if I would want to disguise the plywood or not. Any thoughts on that?

        • Make interior plywood shutters, use either lace sheers or lace window stencils and stencil the plywood to look like it is sheers against the window. To secure the plywood, have an interior mount for a piece of wood like a 2×4 or metal rod to go across to keep nasties out or at least slow them down. If the shutters were designed to fold back so they can be left on the window, that would certainly speed up the time it would take to make the house secure. You can also look up “cling film” or “privacy film” to cover some of your more public windows to make the plywood less obvious in the back ground.
          Use whatever works for you, even gluing sheers to the plywood, (I would paint it first). Sheers were extremely cheap in second hand stores, they could hardly give them away.

          You are using a trompe l’oeil technique. (pronounced trom ploy, means trick the eye.) Thought I would mention that so you can adapt this to your situation.

        • If you are using the window frame to screw your plywood into, you can just tuck the curtains in front of the plywood before you put it up. As for whether or not you want people to see the plywood, I suggest that your goal is to be “gray.” If other people in the neighborhood are putting up plywood and taking steps to secure their home, it’s perfectly fine for your home to look similar. At the same time, you may not want to be the only person on the block who is visibly taking tough security measures.

          I know that was sort of a non-answer but I hope it helped. I think every situation will be different and you’ll have to use your best judgment.

  • Disaster plans depend upon the persons perspective. For me it’s the three Bs. For my guests staying with me it’s sparkling, flavored water! So we compromise. They pretend they’re camping when I cook and I pretend I’m at a nice restaurant when they cook. We are all learning from each other, so it’s working.

  • A run on seeds? Not if you live in a state that has determined that seeds and gardening equipment are non-essential items and has told retailers to cordon those areas off.

    • I was referring more to the online sellers. Unfortunately, hardly any of them have seeds in stock and there are massive backorders with many sites.

      • Sustainable Seed Co./ True Leaf Market still had lots when I ordered more on Saturday. They are very missional and dedicated. Have had good success with them in the past. Is it ok to plug a resource?

  • I’ve always watched for info on shortages, problems in the world, etc. to have a heads up asap. I’m so glad for the things I did to bolster my preps like Daisy before others realized what was going to happen. I do wish I had done more but normalcy bias made me think this would blow over in a few months – not change life as we know it. So that was a lesson learned. When the list of things made in China that might not be available came out I carefully went over things and while still readily available got more sewing supplies, fabric, a new sewing machine, clothing (levis & capris), and anything I wanted a backup on if it went out like a curling iron/hair dryer, toaster, etc. Like most women I already had plenty of shoes! LOL There is another window now as the stores as mostly stocked again where I live – although there are quantity limits on some items – but an opportunity to fill any found holes before the world realizes the ramifications of this virus.

  • Let me say, I have been following you for a time now. I am losing confidence in you with one sentence. “I had sold or donated nearly everything that my daughters didn’t want before I took off on an open-ended trip to Europe last fall”. I may or may not continue to come to your site. Hope you enjoy your open-endedness.

    • Hold up Autokat – Life happens. I moved to my current location three years ago with only work clothes for a new job. It took several trips to get my preps back up and running. Instead of judging, try compassion and understanding. The flexibility will serve you well when the SHTF,

    • Hi, Autokat.

      It goes along with what I wrote further about living my life without regrets. I have developed skills that I never would have had if I’d stayed in the comfort of my well-stocked home. I did completely enjoy my open-endedness and plan to return to it when it becomes possible to do so. Be careful about viewing preparedness through such a narrow lens – you may find one day that adaptability is a vital skill that you’ve overlooked.

      We’re all on a journey in this life and I wish you the best on yours.

      • Really? You went to Europe? You have no confidence as an American?

        I heard Europe is a mess with Moslems and the leftist that is ruining Europe from the top down and the bottom up with them.

        I hate to say this but you have endangered your life even more. But I’m kinda inclined to believe Autokat.

        However, all is forgiven if you return home and be an American and not a Youareapeon. 😉

    • @ autokat

      I’m a prepper and I did the same thing Daisy did. I decided it was time to have some adventures and see the world so I sold my home, and sold or gave away nearly everything I owned. I’ve spent nearly 3 years in both the US and overseas, having all sorts of adventures. Did I prep while doing this? Yes, to an extent. Overseas I evaluated what the most critical issues would be and I stocked up on fresh water, had a water filter, emergency radio, flashlights, candles and matches, a small rocket stove to cook on etc. plus of course food. Did I have a year’s supply? No, I didn’t. I decided that it was more important for me to take this time in my life to do this trip. I’m so glad I did this and I’m sure Daisy is glad she did this as well. Being prepared doesn’t mean give up living life and only wait for disasters to strike.

  • My family had a game plan in place to leave the nyc/Long Island area before the lockdown. I was keeping an eye on the news and reading articles like yours to stay informed. We were going to meet upstate at our family cabin and isolate there before anyone got sick. My little girl has asthma and I was really worried even though everyone was saying it didn’t hurt kids at the time. We decided the day they officially closed the schools would be the day we all left. During those weeks before, I was grocery shopping for long term items, packing up clothes, panty food in clear storage containers, asking a trusted friend to get mail and check on house, organizing etc. The day they announced schools were closed (Sunday March 15) I packed up the car and was ready to leave in 3 hours. During that time I was calling family and found out my mother in law was refusing to leave because she didn’t want to leave her 5 (feral)cats behind and my brother in law wasn’t leaving because he didn’t want to leave his mom alone. About two weeks later my brother in law caught covid and had to self quarantine at his apartment so he couldn’t help/get groceries for his mom who was now all alone in her house. I was just really disappointed and angry because we had all talked and planned everything out to be safe and she just pretended to go along with everything until the day came. It’s been almost eight weeks and my daughter and I are still upstate and I’m not sure when we are going back home. Tentatively thinking of returning Memorial Day weekend but then I worry about a second wave and just think we might stay here.
    I didn’t think I would write so much in the comment section, sorry if this is a little long. It’s nice to know other people think and plan the same way as me. When my mother in law refused to leave and told me staying isolated at home in the city and staying isolated upstate was the same thing, I wondered if I was being overly anxious and dramatic and doubted myself but I know now I made the right decision for me and my daughter.

    • You did good. I moved upstate NY from Long Island 11yrs ago….we love it. I cant imagine going thru this on Long Island.If you can stay up here

    • Yes you did the right thing! My sister came home from California with Covid-19 and two months later is still struggling with pneumonia like coughing. She may have permanent lung damage. Protect your daughter, that’s your job. Everyone else falls in the “you can lead a horse to water…” category.

      We did the same as you the day after you did. I saw a favorite coworker on my way out of town and she actually told me that she supposed that she would have to shop like everyone else because her cupboards were bare. In the middle of March! Hadn’t started! The stores were decimated at this point. After years of trying to get her to prep! Oh well, can’t make someone learn who doesn’t want to learn!

    • You were wise to have a plan and stick to it when others bailed. How fortunate to have a nice, comfortable retreat! Bugging out was the right thing to do in your case. Schools closing was a good signal to make your move. For the most part, the vast majority have been forced to bug-in.

    • Bravo freshchickenmommy!
      You made a plan and stuck with it. Don’t be too hard on your family. Everyone must choose for themselves. At least you took the risk and are in a better place for your child. If you can stay longer why go back? Work on better securing your cabin, generating multiple income streams and use this time to fill the holes in your prepping. Take a deep breath of fresh air and know we applaud your resolve to make your family safe and secure.

  • Yes, I’ve learned that there were things I thought about doing or purchasing before this event, that I will look at more seriously after. I learned that there are more important things in life than 40 hour work weeks, things like spending more time with your loved ones, taking better care of yourself, finding more balance. I learned that I don’t want to play the game according to someone else’s rules anymore, I want to make and play by my own. Doing these things may involve some risk, but isn’t life about taking chances?

  • It is fine to jot down notes of what one could have done better, different, or maybe not at all. While I pretty much agree with not having regrets, there *might* be some useful information from a prior residence/situation that is useful in today’s situation.

    I was pretty well stocked up but I’ll admit disinfecting wipes was under stocked. It did not occur to me that using them after essential trips (grocery store) as well as after visiting the elderly relatives for whom checking on (in person) was a mandatory once a week for me. And of course there were times when more when I had to visit/check more than once a week.

  • A response to “have to tried to find ” I used during the initial “rush” was “I had just bought more . Good timing, eh?”

  • Daisy, just because “You Like guns” does not make you a lunatic. While attending Seminary I discovered that most of my Brothers owned firearms. Later I found out that many Pastors are Hunters as well. I am certain that if you collected all of the pocket/purse pistols in a Southern Baptist Church on any given Sunday you could fill up a large basket.

    What have I learned from the Pandemic? That I just don’t know who/what to believe anymore from almost any News source.

    • “What have I learned from the Pandemic? That I just don’t know who/what to believe anymore from almost any News source.”

      Amen to that! We feel the same way!

  • Daisy,
    I am always so happy to see your emails in my inbox! Thank you for inspiring me to continue prepping through this disaster.
    I was surprised to learn that I was not really prepared for the implications of having a partner with dementia while facing a pandemic.
    Although we constantly talk about our self imposed quarantine and the importance of isolation from others, she has twice invited a UPS driver who was not wearing a mask to carry a box into the house. I posted a QUARANTINE sign on the front door and a sign asking that packages be left on the porch after the first instance but it happened again. The second time I was close enough to speak to the driver and ask him to please not go into the house.
    It is scary because we are both in the “morphine generation.” (During a healthcare shortage younger folks will get ventilators while we will get morphine if severely infected.)
    I am not complaining just describing our situation.
    Thanks again!

  • I thought hard about where I was short after reading that first article. I had already been storing rice, flour, cornmeal, sugar, and lots of beans in 5 gal buckets since last summer. What I didn’t have was many canned veggies. I went out that same day and started buying canned veggies, other grocery staples, more TP and paper towels (not enough of those) plus OTC meds, vitamins, etc. I also shopped the drug stores for gloves, etc. I ordered my N95 masks just before the rush started, but I didn’t buy enough. I got all that and finished less than a week before the grocery stores started emptying.

  • Only three months supply? I have a year round greenhouse in the mountains of Utah. I can have greens whenever I want and I ate tomatoes until March. I can send you pictures if you want.

  • ” I saw people display incredibly short fuses and respond with rage over the slightest little thing. I saw others who took this opportunity to behave with increased violence and glimpses of the potential predator inside them.”

    In the drive thru line at a local fast food restaurant, a homeless, very destitute man, approached me and very humbly asked for some money so he could eat so i gave him four bucks. There was a man -in name only- who was eating outside and who took it upon himself to report the vagrant to the store manager. Immediately this guy – who was all of five two and whose pot belly was his biggest asset, we will call in lil man – gets into to the face of the homeless man, telling him to “leave” and threatening violence; he told this man, ‘dont look me in the eye BOY or i beat your f’ing ass.” I would have laughed it wasnt so pissed and disgusted with what i was observing. I just starred at little man who somehow WOULDN’T MAKE EYE CONTACT! At this point the store employees come out and get between the homeless man and lil man. It was pathetic to say the least and i made note of lil man.

    The rage and anger that fellow unleashed on the homeless man is EXACTLY how you articulated in your piece, this release of that predatory instinct. The LOVE of MANY will grow cold in these last days. So it was written so shall it be.

    Another example that in a world of wolves, jackals, hyenas and sheep, be the SHEEP DOG!

  • Before this I suspected the government and media were lying about important issues like the extent and fatality of this virus. Now I know they were. Virtually every death in a hospital is now being ascribed to Covid-19. Several doctors complain about being pressured to state that as the cause of death even when the actual cause was heart attack.

    Every year thousands of people in the US die from common flu, but this year I haven’t heard of a single death from flu–it’s all been Covid-19. Uh, huh, sure.

    I’m not saying the virus isn’t a serious threat. I’m saying this has been a test case, an experiment if you will to see how many of our rights and freedoms as American citizens can be taken away in the name of safety. Our enemies, foreign and domestic, have now learned how to crash our economy and render us helpless. Simply co-opt the mainstream media and one-world politicians to instill fear, then you can do anything you want.

  • Plywood over the windows? Here is what I did I took pic’s in front of my windows as if some one was looking in took the plywood and put white paper over it then took it to a friend who is a artist had them paint that pic on it then cut small holes just big enough to put a rifle barrel though (and to see out) near the side of each of the window and covered it with metal on hinges then had them paint it to blind in now a can lift them and see out with out people seeing me works for me

  • Was following COVID19 in China in JAN, then made a decision point on 4FEB and stocked up on non-perishables (pasta, rice, beans, flour, yeast etc.).
    This was in addition to a well stocked pantry and other supplies.

    Spices and herbs. Need to not only stock up on them, but grow our own!
    My bay leaf plant is doing well, the cilantro plant survived winter and is forming flowers now, the rosemary plant also over wintered.
    Just have to get warm enough to plant the other herbs.

    As someone else noted, dont listen to MSM. 1) Obvious slant. 2) They report one thing, 48hrs later a new report/study finds something new or different about COVID19. I think we are a long way off from really knowing about this thing, and maybe longer than the 12-18months to a vaccine they are talking about. Perhaps even never. Thinking on how to prep for that possibility.

    Noting the different reactions from the differing governments: Local, to state, to Federal.
    Even reactions by individuals.
    For us out here in the Great White North (we had snow the other day), this whole thing has not changed much.

  • I saw it coming too. In January I told my doctor I was concerned about the Wuhan virus, and she laughed and said I’d worry more about the flu because it’s HERE and that’s over THERE. I refrained from saying it’s going to be here, just watch. I didn’t want her to think that I thought I knew more about it than her.

    Even knowing that it was coming, in a way I didn’t want to spend much in case it turned out to be like Y2k. I think Y2k might have been a psy-op so that people wouldn’t prepare in the future, because it did affect our mindset.

  • Thanks for your helpful blogs and comments up to and throughout this situation.

    Besides many of the obvious revelations that I also have seen during this crisis, such as neighbors and family reactions etc., Here is one of the things that I learned in this crisis.

    Ham radios were not nearly as effective as I thought they would be, in ‘this’ crisis.
    In a different crisis, like a hurricane, earthquakes etc., I think you can benefit from
    tuning in your local net and listening in to the local reporting. However, I also
    expected to hear some helpful information about this virus pandemic as it
    unfolded. There was helpful info about what was closed and what was still open,
    what stores were doing to stop the spread, like senior hours and such. But a funny thing happened when anyone decided to discuss the virus or its spread in any detailed way. There would be interference on the channel. The interference would make any comments unintelligible. This happened anytime someone would offer advice on how to kill the virus with household chemicals, or if someone would either report what they heard about the virus or offer advice on who is most vulnerable etc. etc. Some of the comments were from relatives of healthcare workers or the workers themselves. Nearly every bit of information from these local observations and medical insight in these reports was blended with interference, usually it was just noise made from a second radio broadcasting at the same time, which adds noise to the signal, or what sounded like a signal generated to sound like electronic interference, like a loud humming sound fading in and out. I have been listening to my local chat nets for about 6 years and I have never heard anywhere close to the amount of noise I heard during the first few weeks of the crisis. What was most disturbing is that it seemed as if someone was listening in on the net and then purposely blocking out the speaker’s comments whenever they started to become ‘useful’. I understand how paranoid that may sound, but that is what happened. After a couple weeks the talk on the net was only superficial and not detailed at all.
    At this point, you would hardly know there was a crisis, based on the chat.
    I’d be interested to know if anyone else has experienced this.

    Another thing I learned during this was that the ‘least probable’ scenario that I was prepared for was a disease. I did not have a lot of masks or hand sanitizer stashed away. I was lucky to have had about a half gallon of hand sanitizer I kept in my car when the kids were in daycare. but if not for that I wouldn’t have had any.

    Lastly, I learned how hard it is to find ammo if you really need some when the shtf. Since I have been practicing preparedness for long enough to have firearms, training in their use, and ammo stored away, I wouldn’t have expected to have to find ammo at all for a long time. However, a couple years ago the state passed a ‘safe storage’ act to mandate gun safes, and safe storage for firearms. Being a parent, you are under a microscope with regard to firearms. So much so, that I never, ever, discuss them with anyone related to my kids, no teachers, no parents of kids friends, neighbors, basically they know nothing at all about what I may have stored, In fact they probably think I hate guns. I have been interviewed by CPS 3 times since my kids started daycare until just a couple years ago. One of the first questions is about firearms and storage, along with drinking and drug use. So needless to say, I’m very vigilant about where ‘stuff’ if stored at all times. So being a good boy, I separated all my ammo from the weapons and stored it away from them. I should have made a few stash areas, because the place where it was stored, the ammo, was broken into, literally 2 days before the schools were cancelled. So, here I was, going into a shtf scenario with a lot of guns, but not one bullet. I really felt like a big dummy making such a rookie mistake. I even lost many of my rifle mags there with the ammo. After this, I went to my local sporting goods store and could not find anything except a few shot shells that would fit my pistol, I couldn’t even find shotgun shells anymore, a week later, I found some 22 at wal-mart for an old bolt action rifle.
    So the lesson learned is, I have to get more vigilant and creative when it comes to spreading out and duplicating stash spots If I don’t want to be vulnerable next time.

  • I learned that my long term boyfriend is not the person i want to get stuck with at the end of the world.

    I already knew he was useless. His only interest are video games, manboy movies, and youtube videos. His only skill is the ability to memorize game and movie trivia. He works as a fast food delivery boy (he is almost 40) because if a job ask more of him then “just get it to the house in under an hour” he will throw a temper tantrum till they fire him. He has passive aggressively refused to marry me, but we have a kid and even though hes not a great dad (blows our son off for video games, throws hissy fits whenever the kid interupts his game) i bend over backwards to try and hold things together for our son’s sake because he loves his dad. Plus, im Catholic and am preconditioned to sacrifice till it kills me.

    I’m the prepper in this relationship. I read up on the topic. I shop around, stock up, and manage the suppiles. I keep track of current events. I make all the plans and back up plans. Up until this, he would occasionally tag along and pretend to be on board with it, so i expected he would at least be cooperative while i carried his dead weight through a crisis. Instead he has spent this time telling me how stupid i am for falling for this “fauxdemic.” Who cares if the virus is as deadly as they say or not? The effect is still empty shelves at the grocery store. Even though he has seen the empty shelves and “one per customer” signs with his own eyes, he still criticizes me for buying a little extra whenever i can.

    But the icing on the cake is the fact that he blows me off for every occasion. Birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s, and mothers days. It hurts my feelings every time. Ive told him so. I lower my expectations every holiday, and he still fails to meet even my lowest expectation. But this year, because of the pandemic, ive had to become a super mom. Our son is autistic and adhd, so ive been coloring, crafting, and playing games almost endlessly to try and keep him entertained. Ive been doing online therapy with him and home schooling him for 2 months now on top of everything else i do (cleaning up after everyone including a grown man who won’t do even the slightest amount of cleaning up after himself. Cooking from scratch, heathy meals for our sensory sensitive, eatting disordered kid, and then again for us…) The demand and stress on me has been high, i get no breaks and barely even get to so much as take a shower, but ive done a really good job of holding it all together. I foolishly thought that this year he surely couldn’t ignore me for being a great mom. And i only asked for a simple gather the kid and say “have a happy mothers day, we love you.” What did i get? Nothing. I only asked for the most borderline of nothing gestures that would cost him nothing but the flap of his lips, and he couldn’t be bothered. But he did make a point to let me know that he knew it was mothers day while not giving me an ounce of recognition.

    So what did i do? I bought myself a nice pair of earrings, then i started working out in my mind exacly how i plan to leave when this lockdown is over. Oh, and i normally go all out for him for special occasions. Well guess what i plan to get him for father’s day this year? Hint, the same thing he got me.

    I know im oversharing/venting a bit here, but i do have a prepping point to make. It is nearly impossible to get away from negative people when you’ve been locked in with them. Im now stuck riding out the rest of this situation with someone who i can’t stand anymore. But it could be so much worse. If this would have been a major crisis (major food shortages, looting and rioting, an epic plague of low survival) i would be more permanently stuck with this guy who does next to nothing for our family while sucking all of the joy out of life at the same time. Cut off these kind of people while you still can. They can’t and won’t contribute even if their lives depend on it.

    • Lexalearns, it sounds like you’ve made a very wise decision. I’m so sorry that he has let you down like this. You will do much better on your own.

      Big hugs to you!

      • Thanks Daisy. I think youre right that life will be much better without him. And thanks for everything you do. Ive learned so much from you.

        • I’m glad I can help. I’ve been a single parent for 17 years. There may be some emotionally difficult times at first, but I suspect you’ll feel incredible relief. As far as children are concerned, I think a happy environment is a far healthier environment. Keep me posted – you’re in my thoughts.

    • Sounds like he’s been freezing you out of his life for some time and is too much of a coward to face the issues you two have in being together. You’ve got too much going for you to be hooked up with this –40 year old (?!) loser — a passive aggressive narcissist. The survival of you and your child is a priority. This guy will be your death if you don’t get away from him and get your true self and health back. Cut loose the first chance you get. Work it out in your head ahead of time so you can be ready and resolved.

      My heart is breaking for you, dear girl. Will be praying for you! Keep us posted on your well-being.

    • Lexalearns,

      I have ‘been there done that’ and don’t have the tshirt for it either. You do what what you need to do for your son…And for you…You both deserve so much better!

      Best of all, don’t ‘wait’ for this ‘situation’ to be over…boot his a** NOW! You have made your decision, act on it. I kept on ‘waiting’ for the ‘right’ time. It is RIGHT NOW! Becuause the ‘right time’ never comes…There will always be ‘excuses’ to keep things the same.

      I don’t know your circumstances, but I wish you well and hope you will carry on with your momentum. You are better prepared for this than you know.

      Best wishes and best of luck. Prayers for you and your son.

    • Lexalearns,

      Be strong and keep your focus on raising your son. Know that unless you break away NOW you will have a son who will grow up to be exactly like his father… Leave the loser and raise the son into the man you would want him to be. Keep the faith and have courage. We are all waiting to hear good news from you.

  • Like you, I saw this coming 13 years ago. In January when I first heard about this I knew it would be coming, so we started adding to our preps. I finally got my wife serious and we went through everything we had ad got better organized. Took a lot of food to a homeless shelter that my wife wasn’t interested in and made room for things that she thought would be more healthy. We had three extra ordinary months in our business which I attribute to the grace of God. The first week of February I broke my ankle in two places. They rushed me to the trauma center and fixed me up with metal plates and screws. I am really grateful for our Medicare and supplemental insurance and the VA Tri care benefits. Surgery, three days in the hospital plus the out patient care and not a penny out of our pocket. The swiftness of the government lockdown and how people have reacted in such fear has really been astounding. The more I read about this current situation, the more I realize that the virus isn’t everything they said it was, but it is being used to cover the planned collapse they knew was coming. Our business is limping along, but our household has what we need and will survive this for the near future. Our faith based belief system has been a big part of the “lets not panic” state that we find ourselves in.

  • What have I learned? To be thankful. Despite a leaking roof,a septic tank that clogged up,and coyotes that ran off with my chickens,I thank God I left the city one step ahead of this mess. The city I left is run by far left nuts who express regret the governor opened the stores. I am working on getting my well off the grid and a solar panel on,and an irrigation system for my yard so I can start planting. I have ducks,getting chicks,and a possible goose for their eggs. Thank you,Daisy,for everything

    • Update: just about gave up getting my well off grid. I’m told it would cost $8,000 to $12,000 to do. Just not doable. A manuel pump would be $5,000 to $8,000. So I’ll just have to store it like everyone else

  • What did I learn?

    I learned Americans trust their government far too long and far too much. That the protesters did have it right years ago.

    I remember one guy who protested against going on the plane with his unit to go to some kind of war and thought he was wrong. (This was in the ’80s and I forgot what war) I talked to him on the phone knowing they were monitoring him from the brig. I did not know him but was with friends who did know him.

    God bless him he was right. So are the protesters now with this Wuhan virus. Your government is almost always wrong and will continue to be till we start hanging them for treason.

    If you don’t do this they’ll hang you one day. Right now they only arrest you over a rule. Can’t wait till you break the LAW and they start hanging YOU.

    BTW, because it’s only a rule arresting you means they are kidnapping you. An act punishable in your Bible with death.

    So who is really breaking the law? Your liberties? Your livelyhoods turning us all into lived hoods?

  • I’ve learned knowledge is not as contagious as fear or virus or apathy. I have known for many years this could happen. Long ago as a Minister’s wife, I warned everyone that America could fall just as other civilizations had. Their disdain and outright hateful mess was followed by words like, ” We are the world’s breadbasket,!” ” We are the richest in goods and medicines” I asked them if they could guarantee the weather systems would never change? Or our leadership be comprimised?
    Now, at 65 years of age, it has come to pass. I have secured several non GMO seeds and am buying grow lights and a generator and freeze dryer. All this will cost $6,000. I’m on a limited income. I make less than $8,000 a year and own no land. But I have friends that own land, and blessed people whom think the same. I learned most of all that I am not alone nor am I crazy. Please email us info on those classes?

  • I spent yesterday visiting my mother for Mother’s Day. Leaving this morning I saw one of the headlines in the local newspaper that said social distancing was not based on scientific facts/information. I have seen other articles that admitted that the social distancing was pulled out of the air. I have read lots of different information from doctors who warn about the problems with wearing the face mask.

    My parents are in their 80’s and my dad has dementia. My parents do a lot of drive thru because my mother doesn’t have enough energy to clean, take care of my dad, etc. He can’t drive and demands to go shopping in various places. Don’t judge elderly people. It would be nice if someone who would be around to help clean, shop or cook for them. My parents don’t have the energy to garden anymore either. They have free will to decide to go out to eat. Someone died to ensure they had the rights as adults to make decisions on what and where they wanted to eat. Not to be controlled like slaves and told they have to stay home. Taking away their rights will lead to everyone losing their rights and freedoms.

    What did I learn? I saw the food shortages last year due to all the world wide crop failures, droughts, wildfires, etc. I started buying 50lbs bags of wheat berries, oats, corn, etc. I put them in glass jars and vacuum sealed them. I started canning meat. I ordered extra garden seeds, etc.

    I realize that I need cloth napkins to save paper towels for draining grease off food. I need more ammo. I need more clothes. With the solar minimum hitting, I need wool clothes. I need more rain water entrapment. I need a bigger green house. I moved to my bug out location 12 years ago. I go days and weeks without seeing anyone but my husband, but I am still not ready.

    For the record I have read many articles on this so called virus. This is easy since I don’t own a TV. I am 62 years old. I will not wear a mask. My choice, my decision. No I could not go shopping at HEB or go into some of the gas stations to pay cash. However, other stores had no problem with me not wearing a mask when I paid cash for gas or food. I vote with my dollars not to be a slave. Oh and some HEB in other areas did not force me to wear a mask.

  • I have learned that I was not prepared as I thought I was. I was prepping while caring for a loved one. When their health began to decline I stopped. After my loved one passed away I was trying to process loss and trying to heal. I made some stupid financial choices that cost me money and time. I am adding to what I have slowly, but I kick myself for the wasted time. I looking for recommendation for a company
    to purchase mylar bags and a good dehydrator. Any recommendations?

  • Great article Daisy.

    Unfortunately, I think our troubles are just beginning. I would agree with Gerald Celente, Doug Casey, Michael Pento, Brandon Smith, and many others who feel that we have now entered “The Greatest Depression”. I, like them, seriously doubt that there will be a V-shaped recovery, or even a U-shaped recovery. Millions of jobs are now gone, and will stay that way for a very long time…possibly a decade. The United States did not begin to truly recover from the Great Depression of 1929 until World War II.

    Before the COVID-19 crisis, we already knew that the U.S. stock market (and other financial assets) were extremely over-valued as indicated by the Shiller CAPE ratio which was near all-time highs due to the incessant liquidity injections and endless money-printing from the Federal Reserve, resulting in the inflation of stock prices via corporate stock buybacks…while the wages and standard of living of average Americans were stagnant. We were already at the end of the economic cycle before the pandemic. Parking lots were overflowing with unsold automotive vehicle inventory. The bubble was simply waiting for a black swan to arrive, and arrive it did in the form of COVID-19 and government lockdowns. There are myriad theories as to the how, why, and w.h.o. of this pandemic (no pun intended). Many of the theories are plausible, but it makes little difference from the standpoint of the average individual now attempting to navigate this mess and provide for their family. Protests to re-open the economy, and more importantly for the preservation of Freedom and Constitutional Rights, while valiant, are far too few, and the economy will likely re-open far too late after likely resurgences of the virus and re-lockdowns.

    From the perspective of a global monetary reset, China and Russia have been stockpiling gold for a decade, and are ready with the Saudis (who worked to destroy the nascent American Shale Oil operations in 2014 by opening the supply floodgates and collapsing oil prices) to move away from the petro-dollar as the world reserve currency and replace it with the Yuan. In addition, other European Central banks have been racing furiously to repatriate their gold from U.S. vaults in the past decade in anticipation of the “Great Global Currency Reset”. Even the Dutch Central Bank, in an unprecedented statement made in Oct 2019, opined that if the entire system collapses, gold would be needed to ‘start over’.

    Now, a couple of months into the COVID-19 pandemic, we are going to start to see hundreds of thousands of home foreclosures and economic dislocation on a scale far worse than 2008/09, where total unemployment was far less than it is now at Great Depression levels. We are still in the ‘deer in the headlights’ phase and many people continue to entertain the fantasy that a quick recovery is possible. That is a pipe dream. Look at the current unemployment numbers compared to 2008/09. There is no comparison. Even if all the malls in the country were to re-open tomorrow, no one would have any money to spend in them because their jobs and income have been eviscerated.

    As a result of these developments, I am now prepping harder than ever before at this last opportunity, as I see we are either already in, or are quickly approaching, a time of great crisis in America as espoused by Strauss-Howe’s Generational Theory in “The Fourth Turning”.

    Having been recently laid-off, like 30+ million other Americans, I am looking at personal bankruptcy and having to move back in with my parents who are already retired. With no jobs and no employment prospects for the foreseeable future, what other choice do people have? The Federal Reserve is out of ammunition, as has been noted by many others. Rates are headed towards negative territory by January 2021, something heretofore unheard of in America, which was once a mighty industrial and economic powerhouse. Repatriation of overseas manufacturing operations (if it occurs at all and is not simply shifted to India) will take years. And firing up the money press, just as they did to put out the fire in 2008/09, will push us ever closer to the Weimar-style hyperinflation which some financial analysts such as James Rickards have been warning us about for years. In Germany in 1923, at the height of their hyperinflation, a loaf of bread could be purchased for 4 million marks. So I have been pleading with my extended family to buy as much non-perishable food as they can now, while they can still afford it. So they will not starve. Unfortunately, as educated as they are, they simply cannot see something like that ever happening here.

    For many, no matter their position on the political spectrum, watching big business again benefit from massive bailouts, and small businesses and dreams again destroyed after being cut off at the knees so recently in 2008/09, will simply be too much to bear…and there will be a growing frustration and anger among the general populace which will likely lead to civil unrest. We were already on our way to the Second Civil War in this country due to the extreme political divide as was finally recognized by the MSM in The Atlantic’s December 2019 issue “How to Stop a Civil War”, and in my opinion, COVID-19 and its attendant economic collapse will only serve to amplify those frustrations to a level that will completely boil over. All the elements of Michael Snyder’s “Perfect Storm” for an American Collapse will be present.

    So my last-minute preparations, before all of this comes to pass, has been a very heavy focus on topping off my existing supply of canned goods and rice buckets with canned meats, vegetables, and fruits of all kinds — just as reports of the culling of chickens, cattle, and pigs and plowing fields under were coming in. Every penny of my unemployment check is going towards the purchase of these preps and I am paying nothing further to my creditors (except for my auto loan), all other accounts will be settled in bankruptcy, as my family will need these preps to survive. My credit will be ruined, but my family will be able to eat. I will then have a 24-36 month supply of food by the time the 39-week unemployment period runs out. In one month I will walk away from my apartment lease and relocate to my parent’s home out of necessity. Fortunately I will have a place to land, whereas millions of Americans won’t, and we will see tent cities and destitution on a scale that many would have thought previously unimaginable. The desperation of the miles-long traffic queues we have recently witnessed at the food banks nationwide is just the beginning. The sheer number of people who had no preps and are absolutely broke just trying to keep a roof over their head and cannot afford food, combined with the forced destruction of livestock and crops resulting in food shortages in the coming months, will be catastrophic for our country and may possibly lead to famine and starvation.

    In addition to all of this, after reading Selco’s first book one year ago, I saw similar signs and patterns that led me to believe we were heading towards another civil war here in America. The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate this process. So comparable to your purchase of plywood for the windows, I instead purchased chicken wire to deflect molotov cocktails (as recommended by a study of military manuals) while still enabing defenders to return defensive fire from within a house, in addition to black-out curtains, acrylic sandbags for fortification of firing positions, and T-posts and rolls of barbed wire to create tanglefoot and wire obstacles to slow down intruders.

    I have also topped off with a few thousand additional rounds of semi-automatic rifle, shotgun, and pistol ammunition, knowing that if you run out of ammunition in the middle of a war…you are dead. I completely agree with Selco’s concept of “Big Circles” and “Small Circles”, and that protecting my family and forming a neighborhood defense force against looters and roving gangs will be our primary concern as the collapse steepens and resources become very scarce or non-existent.

    I started prepping lightly in Y2K, when my Sister and I first filled up the bathtub and empty milk jugs with water. LOL. A good first step, and probably the most important! Since that time, Hurricane Katrina, region-wide blackouts, and the Great Recession of 2008/09 led me to start prepping more seriously. I have had all of my basic preps in place, at a serious level, for about 5 years now, in the basement of my parent’s house if ever SHTF. And now it has, and my emergency plan is in place. 300 gallons of treated water in 55-gallon food-grade drums in the basement. An initial 1-year supply of canned goods and non-perishables like rice and noodles (expanded to 24-36 months as described above). A library of printed books and manuals in ziploc bags to prevent rain damage. Several VHF, UHF handheld two-way radios to allow neighborhood defense teams to communicate. Ham Radio, shortwave, batteries, flashlights, camping equipment, fire starting equipment, wood-burning g-stove, all-weather clothing, printed and laminated Google satellite view of the neighborhood as a tactical map for area operations and defense, Iodine pills, etc. And of course, when I first read the news feeds about the pandemic in Wuhan in late January, I purchased boxes of N95 masks, P100 full-face respirators, gloves, sanitizer, beach and medical products to protect my immediate and extended family. I was the first to wear the full-face respirator at work on February 25, when the first few cases in the U.S. started popping up, and non-prepping coworkers thought I was nuts. One month later people were stopping me in the grocery store saying they wished they had a full face respirator like mine, that I was well-prepared, and where could they get one.

    I’ve been on the fence about purchasing heirloom seeds, with their limited shelf life in the absence of refrigeration or freezing. Given the choice between a couple hundred dollars of seeds or more canned goods, I have chosen more canned goods. How can a garden be planted, tended, and harvested during a war?

    If and when the war starts in certain areas of the country, and then spreads, cities and suburbs will be in complete chaos, and my goal for myself and my family will be to simply try and survive the war. Just survive. I’ve read Selco’s two books front-to-back. Of the entire library of books I have on survival, these two books are the most important. Because they will, in my opinion, help me to prepare my mind for what is coming so that I do not ‘freeze’ when it happens. The shock from the coming war and chaos is going to take a tremendous emotional and psychological toll on people. I feel these two books have helped me to prepare my mind for that shock, through learning about Selco’s experience in the Yugoslavian civil war.

    Others see the potential 2nd U.S. Civil War as the gateway for a foreign invasion by the Chinese and Russians, after America is sufficiently weakened by internal conflict. This has been the position of JR Nyquist and Dave Hodges, which is also very plausible. So you better make sure you have enough food and ammmunition for a double-whammy.

    Which brings me to the final point of this comment, and that is, that the United States was only able to exit the Great Depression through the industrial production necessitated by World War II. Gerald Celente has often predicted that the TPTB will start World War III to restart the great wheels of production in the event of an economic collapse, and as a byproduct, restart the growth of their immense fortunes. They’ve done it before. Why not again?

    And that next world war will require an entirely different kind of survival as described by Cresson H. Kearny. One advantage of the pandemic in that respect is that people who prepped adequately for the pandemic can use their full-face respirators, Tyvek suits, plastic sheeting and hazmat boots…along with any Iodine pills they may have, to protect against the dust of radioactive fallout. The thought of all of this is far too much for some to bear, including my parents. But I guess that’s what sets us preppers apart from the rest. We are survivalists at heart. We will find a way to survive.

    Good luck to all of you, and may God protect and comfort your families and give you the strength to carry on.

    “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein

  • Great article, and yes, this has been a learning experience in so many ways. I am grateful for this warm up-to the real thing. I too have learned a lot about people that I thought I knew. The reality is, you don’t really know someone until a crisis hits. Neighbors that I thought were on board with preparing, are in reality, carping “Nancies” who argue about “hoarders” and then try to bully other neighbors into sharing supplies. I have friends that I -was- very close to. We were on the same page with prepping, guns, ammo, etc. Well, when the Covid crisis hit, they acted like I had leprosy. “Don’t come over, we aren’t going anywhere….” Huh? Yet, the hubby is out visiting all of his male friends, going to the lumber store, the garden center: and the wife took a trip with another friend of hers to Pismo Beach. Sent me pics of the hotel, the pool, playing at the beach. Ummm….okay. Glad that I found out now! Another friend has spent time “reporting people” who don’t comply with government orders. Yikes! I say nothing to anyone about how much, what I buy, or what I am doing. I did spend some money on geraniums and potting soil for some potted plants. The neighbors think I am doing lots of gardening. Evidently it’s okay-because it isn’t food! My washer and dryer gave up the ghost right at the beginning of this mess. I view it as a blessing in disguise. I’m forced to go to the laundromat now, and where else I go is invisible to the neighbors with binoculars. I engage in “happy talk” exclusively. I have found people that I know, and complete strangers, have become angry and willing government informants. What a sad way of life! That being said, I make sure that I have as many happy days as possible. Walking dogs, cooking, making future plans, keeping in touch with friends and family out of state. I am okay with food, but wish that I had stocked up on laundry sanitizer and toilet paper.
    This has been long, I apologize. Daisy-some folding bikes are light weight for traveling, and would easily get you around should something happen while in Europe.But I hope everyone is looking at cargo bikes, folding bikes, a three wheel bike, etc. With the collapse of the oil industry, and China more than willing to buy up Houston oil refineries, I see gas back up to $10 a gallon. There are literally hundreds of different bikes for everyone and every situation. If you have a family member who is wheel chair bound, there are even bikes to transport them safely and comfortably. Be prepared for no car availability and have a bike or two as part of your preps!

  • What did I learn? I learned that our federal government is worse than useless. Not that I had any great faith in them before this but they failed even my lowest expectations! Given the predictions of a strong hurricane season and who knows what else, we really are on our own now.

    I learned that I should trust my instincts and jump on things when I see them and not talk myself out of them as being impractical etc or let others talk me out of them. I could have had a large freezer for a great price but I passed that up, not being sure if it would fit anywhere in the house I was getting. As it turns out, it wouldn’t have(would have had to have it in a bedroom!). But I also could have swapped it for a smaller one at some point if I wanted to. I passed up the opportunity to buy some guns at great prices before all of this came down. Wish I’d listened to my instincts and done just that. Even if they weren’t the right ones for me I could have sold them easily now and gotten something better. I need to learn to not listen to people who may mean well but think they know more than they do! Hard as some people mean well but have no clue what they don’t know!

  • What did I learn? I learned that my preps were adequate for sheltering in place a few months. We are comfortable without having been a drain on the supply chain. We pretty much had things in place for both supplies and emergency fund. I did learn that I let my dry milk get too old.

    Unfortunately I also learned how many people look to the government to take care of them rather than care for and prepare for themselves. This is not a socialist nation. Our government is there to (by people of our choosing) make and enforce laws to protect all of us. To protect us from foreign enemies. To care for the weakest among us. Not to somehow keep us in toilet paper if we fail to plan. There are some schmuck politicians who are taking advantage of this mindset to push our nation towards socialism. It took us a while to become prepared and independent. We went without luxuries to be able to afford things like our emergency fund, a generator, our gas tank, our solar panel, and our supplies. Wouldn’t change anything. It was worth every dime.

    I also, to my delight, I learned that my neighbors are of the same mindset as we. Wood heat, stocked pantry, and the skills necessary to care for themselves in an emergency. I’m so comforted by this!

  • What have I learned, so far (as this is only the end of the begining), is that I am very much ALONE.

    So far I have been shocked by the pathetic and submissive behaviour of people I thought were made of stronger stuff.
    I have been shocked that my neighbors would report me to the Police for daring to step outside during ‘Lock Down’.
    I have been shocked that no one I know personally has even questioned the official government narrative, much less the massive over-reach and crushing of hard won rights.
    I have been shocked to find that instead of living within a self-sufficent and resilient town filled with thinking people, I actually live amongst fearful sheep and dangerous communist snitches.

    I have learned that I cannot trust anyone, and certainly cannot rely on anyone, in fact if or when the SHTF properly I may have to defend myself from people I previously considered friends and neighbors.

    I never realised I was so truely alone.

  • I began prepping in 2005 when H5N1 threatened. I prepped for a family of 11 and essentially had a small grocery store on 9 Wyoming acres with a well and generator. Fast forward to families with decent income, teens, and our need to downsize. Like Daisy, we hit the road and lived in Airbnb’s for a year, intending to live overseas. The irony of being a prepper in this situation was glaring. When I saw this coming in early January, we rented a storage unit and made 2 trips each, on the same day, to Costco and Sam’s. I am keto and have not eaten rice or pasta for years; that went out the window. I concentrated on long lasting items and canned meats, in particular, along with vinegar, wipes, TP (we had none!). My biggest worry was knowing our freezer was in storage and that meat would be ravaged. We bought a very small house, rented a truck and raced West to get our emergency Freeze dried food and bed out of storage. We were the only people wearing gloves, distancing and cleaning pump handles.
    Now, months later our food is in decent shape as are critical supplies. The rest of our personal items are in storage and will be there for the indefinite future. And that simply doesn’t matter. We are safe and very grateful for my skillset.

  • What I’ve learned is that most people are stupid! They are not taking the necessary precautions and listening to what they are told to do to protect themselves. I live in a rural area outside of a small town in western NY state. I have a post office box for my mail, and every week day when I go to the PO to get the mail, not even half of the people in the PO are wearing masks and social distancing.

    I worked for a defense contractor for the last 33 years of my career before retiring. I am very educated in how to deal with a nuclear or chemical attack/accident. What I know the least about is how to deal with a biological threat. Talk about a gap in knowledge! I am prepped for these events, including MAP suits, gas masks, radiometric survey meter (geiger counter), potassium iodate pills, a well stocked pantry, fire arms collection and ammo supply, seeds, etc. I garden, can fruits, veggies, and meats, make my own breads, cheeses, etc. But dealing with a biological threat has pointed out a big gap in my preps!

  • Daisy,
    I’m an RN in my local hospital. I am shocked by how intelligent healthcare professionals listen to the government and follow their recommendations despite those recommendations going against the evidence based practice on infection control. Because of greed, our employers have decided we are an easily replaced commodity and our protection just isn’t that important. I have also had to be afraid to go out in my scrubs because of reports of violence towards healthcare workers. I have noticed just how nasty and mean frightened people get. I have been treated like a hero ( which I’m not) and a leper and it’s taken a toll mentally. I have seen smart people become irrational and cognitive dissonance is a very real thing. If this hangs around like I believe it will, I think a global societal breakdown is a very real possibility. But I pray it doesn’t.

  • Hi Daisy, been a while since we posted on SHTFplan 🙂

    What have I learned through the controllavirus plandemic? Most of the people I know are still as dense as they were before the event. I’d wager the interesting times have just begun. There are people with agendas, after all; and, everyone surviving an thriving is not on their agenda. Perhaps this precursor is just a wake-up call for those with the eyes to see and the ears to hear.The masses of people will always refuse to face reality if possible. Disregard the nay-sayers about your adventures, you now have experiences they cannot fathom.

    Another potential event on the horizon people might want to look into is “the killshot”, a future solar flare…

    Good luck everyone.

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