Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sunday Stroke Survival: Thankful We Are Homesteaders!

This is a repost of the 3/15/20 (with current changes)Cockeyed Homestead Blog
With the viruses going around, we are thankful that we are homesteaders! We live a semi, self imposed, isolationist lifestyle. Our outside contact is limited.
  • We grow most of our own food.
  • We have food staples and other essentials stored (some for a year's worth), 
  • I know how to make things from scratch, 
  • We know how to do without and make do. 

These are major pluses in today's climate. We've had two reported cases of the COVID-19, Corona virus, in Atlanta.
Now, we're 62 miles, 1 1/2 hours, from Atlanta, but there are commuter that live here and work in Atlanta so possibility of  exposure is greater for us than say other normal, rural communities.That in itself is a plus and minus of living here. Which explains the first two of five cases here. That's 2% of our population base which isn't that bad considering other places, but bad enough. The runs n the grocery stores (2) have been pretty bad with a lot of empty shelves due to panic buying and hoarding as with other places. Even Walmart has "out of stock" or "limit 2" on many grocery items.

COVID-19 has already proved deadly to the elderly and immune-compromised folks. Put simply it's a very bad cold with a heavy respiratory factor. This virus is pneumonia based illness versus a flu that is not one of the 30 viruses covered by the pneumovax shot out of the 300 plus viruses that can cause pneumonia. This is putting aside all the media and political gain hype. Keep in mind that more people are currently dying from the flu, but this virsus is highly contagious.

When I think our today's "normal" society, it's just plain scary. Youngens today (by youngens, I mean most people under 50), just have no idea  how to do any of this. The idea of being quarantined for two weeks, a month, or the even three months it'll take for this virus to burn itself out terrifies them, but not us. They are too used to an instant lifestyle. If they are hungry, it's a quick trip to Mickey D's, or some other restaurant, or a grocery store. If they are sick, a quick trip to the doctor or hospital, and the pharmacy makes them better. I could go on and on. They just haven't taken the time to learn alternatives or thought preppers were nuts. They felt like they didn't need to have the knowledge or prepare for shortages. "This is the USA, for god-sake, not some third world country. This is the land of plenty."These folks are thinking differently now.

Me, I spent the time with my elders and learned my whole life from their experiences. Part as a sign of respect and part as a thirst for knowledge of self preservation. I learned and took time to practice the skills they taught me long before I was a homesteader. Why? I dunno. I'm just wired that way. I'm the Queen of Abby Normal. I was prepped for disaster preparedness by living in countries where shortages were the norm and family members told stories of shortages (The Great Depression, and WWII Japan and Germany). I passed that knowledge on to loved ones and those that want to learn too. I'm thankful I listened every single day especially now.

Prevention for ALL illnesses
Prevention for most communicable illnesses are common sense and homesteading at  it's best.
  • Frequent hand washing is the key. As a homesteader, when aren't you washing your hands? We are constantly touching animals, getting into messes of one sort or other, and cooking/preserving. We are constantly washing our hands even without outside contact. 
  • For females, the most common reason we touch our face (eyes, nose and mouth) is our hair or fooling with makeup. We, as homesteaders, either pull our hair back with into a pony tail or with a head band, scarf, or a hat, or cut short.  Nothing is as aggravating as trying to do something and having your hair in your face. Am I right? Chickens don't care what we look like so long as we feed 'em. Gertie Hen isn't saying to Blackie Hen, "Did you see her today? What a mess!" If they did, would you care what the chickens thought?
  • Avoid contact with others who are possibly infected. Our nearest neighbor is 1/4 mile away. Even sneezes don't travel that far.
  • Any snot rags that aren't disposable are laundered. Germs don't like  hot water, soap, and bright sunshine.The disposables are tossed into to wood stove to be burned. For us, it's mostly allergies. Everything is coming into bloom right now and pollinating. But, we still have precautions in place. It's common sense, right?
  • When we go out, we wash our hands and change our clothes when we get home. Who wants to wear their "good" clothes out to tend their gardens, cooking, or livestock? Or, bring outside illnesses in to our livestock? Not us.
As homesteaders, we know how to do without and how to ration what we have. We know how to make almost everything from scratch or will substitute aterbatives, and with a few basic ingredients, make whatever we need. We don't have to run to the market or store. Even old sheets,especially flannel ones, is an alternative to toilet paper and tissues.  Just last Wednesday, I was talking more about recycling, repurposing, and reselling trash items.

So the items we make for resale may not be sold at the local farmer's market this year to limit exposure because of this or that "epidemic," it's recycled trash. It will keep until the following year, or for selling on an etsy or ebay shop via the internet. That's the thing about trash, there will be more easily generated.Once cleaned and made, it can be stored.

So yes, we're thankful for being homesteaders! It might be more difficult living post stroke being a homesteader, but right now I'm very thankful.

Nothing is impossible.

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