Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
My apology for being absent from my blog for so long. I guess I’ve been mentally shut down for awhile. I’ve also been sleeping a whole lot.
I went into self-isolation the first week of March and have not left home for anything at all since that day. I do go outside to get sunshine and fresh air but no other outings for me. In normal circumstances being around sick people scares me enough to keep me at home most of the time. I catch absolutely everything. This pandemic has me terrified of going into public places even if there is no contact. Who knows what other people have touched or coughed on. No one knows for sure how this virus is spread so I don’t want to take any chances. Actually it could be floating around in the wind for all we know.
Early in my self-isolation I was talking to my daughter about going to the mobile foodbank. Should I take the chance and go? She asked me one question; is the food worth dieing for? Nope. So I stopped going to the foodbanks. I decided I would just live on the food I have canned, dehydrated, or frozen in my house. At that time the virus hadn’t yet been called a pandemic so I believed it would go away before my food storage runs out.
When I first went into isolation I was glued to the tv set and the internet searching for information about the virus and how to avoid it. One thing I discovered early is that ANYONE who believes they are immune to the virus or won’t become a virus carrier is an idiot. A COVIDIOT. Covidiots go into the crowds, catch the virus, and then take it home to the wife or husband or parents or children so those people can die alone in a hospital. Of course there is the possibility the patient will survive – for now. Its not known if a patient could get the virus a second, third, or fourth time.
At first I spent time watching news reports about the covidiots having street drag races, ball games, and picnic parties in my old neighborhood. And; there were two covidiot women from a serious outbreak state who drove across 4 or 5 states to attend a church they had never been to before and didn’t know anyone at the church. Lots of hugs and hand shakes, and with no protections what so ever. I keep wondering if the women were carriers and wanted to spread it to the church members.
Yup, all of that was happening in my old neighborhood. I’m so grateful I moved when I did. I sure can’t understand why people don’t take the virus seriously. A virus is Mother Natures ultimate weapon against the humans who would destroy her. Mother Nature sure is an angry lady this time. At least the air is becoming cleaner without so much pollution being created.
I’ve also spent time making cloth masks while watching movies. I gave several masks to a foodbank worker willing to pick them up from my porch and some to a nursing home worker who did too. I’m making more to give to my neighbors.
Was I prepared? No, I wasn’t. My prepping was the kind of seasonal prepping my Grandma Mama did in the 1930s and 1940s. She would have preserved her garden produce to last until the next season. I did do an emergency type prep for maybe two weeks of weather related shut-in such as ice storm, wind storm, snow storm, flooding, or perhaps higher prices but never considered a pandemic.
After being in self-isolation for over a month now; I’ve had time to think about what I should have done differently. I’ve also been wondering about any warning signs I may have missed. Does anyone remember the FEMA Preparedness commercials that aired last year? There was also a FEMA booth at the KY state fair last August I had never seen there before. They were handing out disaster preparedness information. Did you notice a FEMA booth at your state fair?
I keep wondering if it was merely coincidence that we began to see empty shelves at grocery stores around the country last fall? Sure, the stores tried their best to make the shelves appear full when clearly something was wrong. The emptiness was blamed on many different things such as contract negotiations, just in time logistics, lack of truck drivers, flooding, and other such things. All very subtle signs easily brushed off as coincidence.
I used to read some mild type preparedness blogs when someone had an “eat down the pantry” challenge going. The challenges were more about saving money and getting better organized than about any disaster. Those challenges usually happened in January and July. I used such challenges to practice temporary weather related disasters.
The covid 19 pandemic has given me the opportunity to see how I’ve done at being prepared. I must admit I’ve not prepared very well at all. I was prepared for a couple weeks of staying at home but not for a long term isolation. Ever since moving to this new house 3 years ago I’ve grown quite lazy about some things. At least a part of the problem is that this house never felt like “home” like the other house. I spent over 30 years getting that house just the way I wanted it but the neighborhood grew worse and worse. I loved the house but hated the neighborhood. I’m awful glad I moved.
Just when I had started making this new house into my home I knew I had to go into self-isolation. I made one last grocery run March 5th which was not very well planned. Please believe me when I say I do have food. There is not a lot of variety in my food storage but I will not starve.
Ok, for the new readers let me explain a little about me. I live in a food desert. I don’t have a refrigerator but I do have a small apartment size chest freezer. I live on SS which only covers my basic living expenses. Nothing else. My food storage has come from three places. 1. Outdoor foodbank 2. Store discount produce 3. Senior USDA commodities. The outdoor foodbanks do give canned vegetables and fruits. Mostly I wanted the fresh fruits and vegetables from those three places which I home canned. I also dehydrate or freeze foods. I do things the way I remember from my childhood living with my Grandmother. I called her Mama and now call her Grandma Mama on this blog. I’m a diabetic, have a very low immune system, and other medical issues. If there is an illness making its way around I almost always catch it.
I don’t know what will happen before all of this pandemic is over. The possibility it will last months or years instead of weeks is scary but very real. Everyone seems so excited at the possibility of getting free government money to help cover basic living expenses. I’m happy for them. At the same time I can’t help but wonder how giving all that away will effect us later. The money has to come from somewhere and fewer people are going to be paying taxes because fewer are working. So where will the pay back money come from?
Well, I’ve rambled for quite a long time. Sorry about that. I’ll end this post and go fix a meal. Please leave comments so other followers can know how you are doing.