Cautious Preparation

If you’ve paid attention to the news, some workers are discussing the possibility of striking due to what they believe to be unsafe conditions in the workplace thanks to the spread of Covid-19. I found an article the other day about Purdue workers walking out because of their concerns.

Before this hit our news feeds I realized that our supply lines might possibly be in danger due to Covid-19. If the current workers fall ill, would anyone want to step up and replace them? While I hope that my concerns are unfounded, I decided to do a little something now to ease my concerns.

I’ve recycled some containers, converting them into pots. Within these pots I’ve began to grow some vegetables from kitchen scraps and seeds. I have a challenge obtaining seeds since my daughters have joined the chorus echoed by friends and family that I need to stay home for my safety but my youngest has assured me that, as soon as her store manages to acquire some seeds, that she will buy some packets for me.

In the meantime I have started the few packets I managed to obtain before those around me began to pressure me to remain at home. It isn’t much, but it’s a start.

The modern food chain revolves around workers in the field, the shipping companies, and in the stores. What will happen when more of those workers fall ill to this virus?

While I am not panicked, I have given thanks that I live in a somewhat rural area. There is a slaughterhouse nearby for meat, and a number of my friends raise gardens out of habit. Even with that I feel that preparation is best.

I have personally taken a “plan for the worst, hope for the best” attitude to this situation. As I watch more companies struggle, in a worst-case scenario they will fall like dominoes in time. I don’t even want to think of what will happen to our medical system, local, state, and federal governments. I can’t change it, so I see no point in stressing over it.

I look around for the things I can do right here, right now, with what I currently have available. I can keep my house clean. I can recycle plastic containers to use for pots, I can grow a little bit of food, and I can distract myself by reading books and journaling to keep myself sane. I can also eliminate leftovers entirely as I do all of this, which is something I have done. These little things may prove to be helpful in time, or I may end up laughing at my over-reaction once this is over.

In the meantime, the steps that I am taking allow me to sleep at night without stress. They allow me to sit upon my front porch and enjoy the sunlight without worrying much over the future. What will come cannot be stopped, but I can rest easy in the knowledge that I am doing what I can just in case things become even worse.

What are you doing to pare down your expenses and prepare for a potentially darker future? Please share your stories in the comments below.


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I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Barnes and Noble
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Smashwords (non-DRM)

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10 thoughts on “Cautious Preparation”

  1. It hadn’t occurred to me that the meals that are being delivered to us could stop. We’d be OK for maybe a week. Then what?

    1. If that is a concern for you, Linda, I urge you to plan ahead starting now. Fayette County schools in my area were taking meals to students five days a week…until some of the workers tested positive. At first they offered a drive-up service for a few days and then they shut the program down entirely.

      There is also the risk that one of the people who deliver to you may be asymptomatic. We don’t have wide testing, so someone could be contagious and not know it. These are both items you need to consider.

      Good luck.

  2. Hi Annie ! I love your out look on this. I knew that checking in with your site would give me peace. I have been staying home with my 83 yr old Mom for 3 weeks now. The virus is taking over in our state. I have stocked our home with non parishables (acquired mostly through the mail and sprayed down with disinfectant )…and begun growing some bitter greens. I’m finding it difficult to attain seeds through the mail… But planning on a 5 gallon bucket potato garden. 🙂
    Thank you for being here, as always. I have been coming to you since Shoestring Girl. (Many years!) … I always find your advice incredibly helpful and relatable. Thank you as always !!! My best to you and your family !!
    (I’m happy they’re making you stay home 😀)

    1. I am glad I can provide some comfort, Kristy. I’m just…I’m watching my friends drop like flies, and it’s happening so fast I’m discovering their deaths in the obituary column. I’ve got one elderly friend in the hospital right now with an official diagnosis of pneumonia, and I’m just waiting for an official coronavirus diagnosis.

      And I’m watching the markets, I’m using what little knowledge I’ve gleaned from when I studied finance a few years back, and what I’m seeing is worrying me. Our economy is like a domino chain, and I see the first domino wobbling.

      I beg of you to prepare, just in case. I hope I’m wrong, but if I am you have full permission to tease me later.

  3. Hi again Annie. Is there any chance you can remove my last name from my comment post ?
    Thank you !!!

  4. Don’t forget that you can save seeds from vegetables that you consume. There’s no need to wait for seeds purchased at stores.

    1. Trying a garden this year. Previous years have shown me to have a black thumb. Wish me luck.

      1. Good luck to both of us! I’m hoping to have better luck in the back yard than I’ve had on my attempts in the front yard, but I’ve not gardened in years. Seriously, you KNOW me. I’m the woman who hates to even mow her lawn. If I wasn’t seriously concerned about what I’m seeing I would NOT be preparing to start a garden this year.

        I figure this season a garden will definitely be needed. Depending upon how long it takes for the scientists to develop a vaccine, perhaps two growing seasons but until this virus is sorted things will be a bit unpredictable, and I don’t want anyone to have to go without food.

        I’m just thankful that so far it doesn’t appear that we will have to worry about housing. That is a huge relief. I’m keeping an eye on the situation, however. This crap has me nervous.

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