Any Bluebirds who have been here for a while will know I began preparing and building up my pantry several years ago. I really strongly felt the need to do it. It was just not something I could ignore. I feel this is how God talks to you. Or one of the ways! Something that becomes a feeling out of no where and you just know something. Any time I have ever ignored this kind of thing hasn't ended terribly well.
The last week was very interesting. I think now we are used to day after day of hearing where the virus has spread, of quarantines and travel restrictions and many dramas that you would not want to be caught up in.
Now I am located in the very southern area of Australia which most of the time seems far far away from the rest of the world. I like it! I feel far from likely to have a nuclear bomb dropped on me for instance! But of all the things I considered I have been preparing for an Epidemic or a Pandemic was not one of them! I might have considered it as when I began my medical preparedness I did stock N95 masks. At the time I thought if there was a terrible flu only the first people at the chemist would get masks as I checked at our local one and they had 100. I thought this wouldn't last long and I ordered 80 online. Now this one really paid off! When N95 masks are sold out world wide I have some. You see having a medical pantry isn't such a bad idea!
Next hand sanitiser sold out. That is ok too I have everything to make a pretty much endless supply of my own and several big bottles on hand.
Beyond that I never considered a pandemic. Most of what I am seeing now is more like a movie script than reality. I am actually pretty sure this will end up a movie!
While things in China were very dramatic and frightening at first we heard a lot of comforting information i.e. it will never get here, it is mild and everyone is making a big deal over nothing.
But each week as it has escalated we have the virus breaking out all over the world, hundreds of millions of people in quarantine and restricted movement, medical supplies and resources stretched, supply chains broken... so much comes from China. There are so many implications. On the farm we depend on pumps. Pumps come from China. Even cement comes from China!
In Australia we had an extended and severe drought. Then we had massive and widespread fires. Our economy is really taking a hit. Also the spirt of the people. And now this.... even just the tourism aspect is going to send a whole new lot of businesses broke as tourism is big business here and it is one thing we still had!
Each week I have tried to keep up with the picture developing and be one step ahead. In some small ways this has helped and I hope it will help my family. But now I am worried.
Our medical experts say hospitals are well equipped to cope. But we all know to get into a hospital you might have to wait in an ambulance for hours or a whole day as they are full. This is before the virus! So err.... how exactly will they manage? We had doctors last week attend a conference with an infected doctor. Good idea! I am seeing things I can barely believe. Our health Minister suggested we could all help by going to China town and eating Chinese food. HOW would that help reduce the spread of a virus? So my trust of their wisdom is not too high.
It became apparent quickly that with air travel no where would be left unaffected.
So is there any point worrying and anything you can do? I think this is just an example of why we need to be watchful. Then it is one thing to gather information and another to act on it.
People are funny. We can react in strange ways! One is "I can't do anything about it so I am just not going to worry about it." This accounts for a lot of people.
Another is where we know something is up and we have the information in front of us but we don't quite believe it. This is known as Normalcy Bias. In Australia this is "she'll be right mate" and our belief that life as we have always known it will continue to be life as we have always known it!
Then when it is not.... it is a massive shock and people pretty much go crazy.
Then there is "there is so much to do I don't know where to start." My answer to that is Elizabeth Elliot's "do the next thing." Don't be paralysed by fear or confusion.
You will also get people who just don't care. I can't explain that as I would walk over cut glass to make sure the children in the family have their needs met.
So that is where we are about now.
If you have a pretty well stocked pantry and supplies you are probably reasonably calm.
If you keep a few days worth of supplies then you might be starting to worry. It is already too late to get many useful things from hand sanitiser to virus suitable face masks.
It is probably too late to get many things from toilet paper to long life milk. Depending on where you are.
On Friday Lucy (who is pregnant with two small children) decided she better do an extra stock up at the store. First I should say that I messaged her a couple of weeks ago and told her to begin stocking up all she needs for the girls and the baby. Usually I am pretty sure she thinks I am a bit of a nutter. But low and behold she listened to me. And she even send me a photo of her car loaded up with groceries, nappies, formula, disinfectant and all kinds of basics. I was really pleased.
So... back to Friday... she drove into the store after being so sick earlier in the week.
This time she send me another photo....
So this is a large South Australian regional town.
I decided this seems to be "it". I organised myself to go into my town which is an hour from me. The thing is I am fairly well stocked. It is the girls and baby I am mostly worried about.
I prayed as I drove. At this point I was trying to think of what the girls and new baby need and what even my parents might need and not have.
I have two stores to choose from. I was armed with hand wipes and essential oils.
The first store looked exactly the same as Lucy's...
This was toilet paper, wipes, hand sanitisers, tissues...
Long life milk, flour, pasta, nappies, baby formula were all very low.
I shopped in the areas that were still stocked. Then I moved to the next store.
This store had many of the things on the now hard to find list. As I was shopping the store gradually became more and more crowed. What happened was the day before they also looked like the above pictures. I had walked in just as a truck had been unloaded! So I got toilet paper, wipes, baby formula etc. At the same time world got out they had all this and people were descending! I got in and out just in time! I had prayed and there I was with everything needed in my trolley.
Since then we have heard of fights in supermarkets and police arriving. Of people now queueing outside of Aldi and Coles from 5 am and it taking two hours to get inside. Things like childrens paracetamol are sold out anywhere I can look online. Nothing has calmed down. All I can see is worse news from overseas and Australia.
I am really glad I acted on a lot of things a couple of weeks ago. I got childrens panadol and formula, new born nappies, pantry staples and generally did an extra build up my pantry surge but with kids and Grandkids in mind. Now I am wondering if I did enough.
We were talking tonight. Is this what God had us prepared for or is this the tip of the iceberg? If only we knew the answer to that we would know what to do next.
Then I thought how God had moved our three families out of the city onto farms. How we had a year to get gardens planted, chickens set up, pantries built up, learn new skills and meet neighbours and like minded people. I established lots of bartering. This all is a lot! But is it enough?
If you feel the virus is no big deal then please don't make an argument about it. I am here trying to get people to think how they can be prepared. It appears a great risk that hospitals will be overwhelmed and if they are we might have to manage on our own. Also it seems like millions of people are quarantined and many supply chains are broken... demand for things like masks became an immediate problem. We had the threat that dental surgeries would have to close as masks were running so low. This has been saved today as the government are going to supply the dentists.
As break outs happen people may not want to go to work. If work becomes to risky then people will stay home. Think of this in cases like nursing homes.... The virus seems to have a history already of infecting doctors and medical staff. Just when you need them most...
As always the biggest thing is hand washing. Trying to avoid touching your face (which is really hard!) and avoiding crowds.
There is so much to do. Some schools are already closed here. This could become wide spread meaning more people are unable to go to work. We need to do some serious thinking and planning.
As this is already so long I might go on with another post. There are so many ways you can mitigate your risk. There are things you can do. We are not helpless.
I have noticed on social media there is a lot of attacking anyone who has thought to prepare or who even wants to. Like trying to provide for your family is a bad thing. This reminds me of those who attack young mothers for staying at home to look after their children. I have even heard of people trying to actively discourage others from preparing. Now you would have to wonder the motivation of a person doing that.
We can't do everything but we can do all we can.
Today I was stewing apples as that is what I have, lots of apples!
I decided I will do apple puree in the slow cooker and freeze it for baby food.
Then I thought of my pumpkins coming on. I will do pumpkin puree and freeze that in little sized portions for the baby.
We sat down and made a plan. I feel better with a plan.
I have tried to encourage everyone every single week to build up your pantry. The wise women prepares and is not afraid of the winter. The wise see danger ahead and the foolish walk straight into it. We need a lot of wisdom right now.
I do best if I turn worry into action. So there is quite a bit of action around here.
If you want to attack me please don't.
If you have any useful tips or ideas then please share them.
As we are from all around the world sharing some information could help someone. It was hearing that Tylenol was in short supply in the USA that had me get childrens Panadol which is our equivalent. I am so glad I did. So we can help each other.xxx