Tag Archives: covid-19

Prepare-athon 2020

Today, ironically enough, is National Prepareathon Day. Based on the state of the world recently, I would say that some further preparation is in order. Of course, that’s like closing the barn door after the horse gets out, or in this case COVID-19, but perhaps there’s still time to buckle down and get’er done. 

The US government even has a calendar to help you focus on one disaster at a time in your prepping efforts. April’s event is National Financial Capability Month. Now there’s another irony. Unemployment around the world caused by the COVID-19 quarantine is at never been seen high. 

I’m not a scientist or economist so I won’t get into the debate on what our lives will look like after COVID-19, but I’m betting that quite a number of people will be making drastic changes. Caution, self-reliance, and a revival in basic survival skills like gardening will most likely surge.

Of course, there are always those guys that are protesting the inability to get a haircut right now, because that’s a priority. Shagginess is always a precursor to civilization collapse, you know. I expect their lives won’t change much in the after-world.  

Here in Mexico, the government has said that social distancing will be in effect until the end of May. States vary on enforcement and quarantine activities. Some states have closed their borders, like Michoacan. While neighboring Guanajuato is doing business as usual. Experts predict the peak contagion here from May 2 to 8, but that date seems to change regularly.

atozcover

So since we’ll be hunkering down for a spell yet, I thought I’d offer A to Z Reasons Why La Yacata is the Place to Be in Any Disaster: A Prepper’s Guide to Mexico FREE for the next few days. Although the book covers serious topics like pandemics and economic collapse, it also discusses things like zombies, because what’s an end-of-the-world scenario without zombies? (Again, I am SO thankful COVID-19 isn’t a zombie producing virus). 

disaster cover

Anyway, it’s a lighter read than my newest contribution to the prepper non-fiction genre, A Woman’s Survival Guide to Disasters in Rural Mexico: A Framework for Empowered Living Through Crisis which was written with the challenges women face in Mexico in mind. 

Meanwhile, we’ll be keeping up social distancing on the ol’ Flores ranchito. Who knows? Maybe I’ll have a new book to release shortly. At the very least, I’m determined to get that 1500 piece puzzle done. 

 

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Quarantine Thoughts

Moroleon, GTO under quarantine

You’d have thought with our quest for self-reliance in La Yacata that we’d be prepared–or at least more prepared than the general population. Maybe you’re half right. We aren’t worried about the 4% increase in the CFE bill. We understand that toilet paper really does grow on trees (and which leaves to stay away from). We know how to pay for things at the ATM so our internet won’t get cut off, although I have to admit, that process was rather complicated to learn. 

We also aren’t strangers to entertaining ourselves. I have my piano, my son has his guitar and classwork and we have books and movies and puzzles and even video games, along with our animal kingdom to entertain us with their silliness. My son has become quite the helicopter dad when it comes to the Puppers. I swear, at least three times a day he calls me over to the door to tell me what cute thing Fred or George has done (or was frustrating thing Terry has done).

We also have several projects in the works so that my husband isn’t lacking for activities to do either. More on those as we finish them up over the next month or so.

tudors

What I’ve noticed is that my hypervigilance when it comes to pandemic survival technique strikes when I least expect it. For instance, I was watching The Tudors the other day and sandwiched between the gratuitous sex scenes and religious debates, London was hit with a pandemic of the “sweating sickness.” Curious, I tried to do some research on it and it turns out scientists still don’t know what caused that particular, deadly malady. The disease up and vanished after running rampant from 1485 -1551. 

So, watching the series, I took particular note of what survivors did. Guess what–quarantine seemed to be the name of the survival game. People left London in droves, heading to remote country estates if wealthy or suffered in crowded, unsanitary conditions and died if they weren’t. 

walking dead

Then I went through a period of binge-watching The Walking Dead. I have to say that as stressful as this pandemic is, I am so thankful that it hasn’t spawned zombies. Anyway, the survival techniques that previously I chuckled at, are now analyzed for ideas that I can implement in La Yacata. The communities that were created, like The Kingdom, the prison cell block, The Hilltop and that factory thing that Neegan set up, well, they all had their pros and cons. My back garden (which will be described in agonizing detail in an upcoming post) was inspired by Rick’s prison compound. 

gentleman

Then there is the idea of isolation that has been on my mind. A few months back, my book club read the book A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles about a Russian aristocrat sentenced to house arrest in a hotel across from the Kremlin. How he not only endured but thrived in his new life is well worth a read. 

I am mourning some of the activities I had been looking forward to. My son turns 18 next month and I had been planning on getting his IFE, both his US and Mexican passports, and helping him open his first bank account. I even hoped for a trip to Tennessee in October. All of these are on hold now. I nearly despaired when I read that things might not get back to normal for two years. But then, I have to remember, that we can only live in the present. What may or may not happen in the future is still so uncertain. 

So today, well, today is enough. I’ll talk to people struggling with their own issues around the world in my English classes and I’ll write an article or two for money. Then I’ll water my plants and marvel at the miracle of nature or read a book or work on a puzzle or play the piano or call my mom. I’ll make something from our small stockpile of pasta for lunch and decide how long I can put off going to town for more food. This evening I’ll watch a movie and look at it through a survivalist lens again and bug my husband about that next project. And it will be ok. 

Copy of Everything will be all right in the end.

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Rural Mexico Prepper’s Pantry

Although Mexico hasn’t initiated a lock down to combat the spread of COVID-19, several states have been vocal about voluntary quarantine. The state of Jalisco, for example is encouraging #5diasencasa (5 days at home) from March 20 to March 25, the period when analysts have predicted is the peak contagion window in Mexico. 

I’ve seen several posts recently on what to stock up on in the event of quarantine. Although I’m sure they meant well, none of them has taken the limited selection available in rural Mexican stores into account. I don’t mean fruit and vegetables, but non-perishable goods. If you’ve gone into a corner store lately to do your own stocking up, you’ll have seen what I mean.

So what can you do in rural Mexico to have a store of provisions that will keep for the foreseeable future, especially if you don’t have a fridge or freezer? It may call for thinking outside the box, but you can get a pantry full of goods that will last you for a while. 

You can get boxed milk that lasts several weeks. Eggs are also stored at room temperature, so there’s no problem with those. However, some fruit and vegetables won’t last long at all. So steer clear of cucumbers, tomatoes, guavas, and strawberries. Instead focus on onions, garlic, potatoes as root vegetables last longer without refrigeration. Oranges, limes, squash, and melons are also good long-term choices.

Your staples should include rice, corn, oatmeal, beans, and pasta. Beans come in all sorts of colors for variety. Pasta comes in a whole slew of different shapes to change things up. If you know how to make your own tortillas, make sure you have some cal (lime) to complete the nixtamal process. Otherwise, tostadas are a good alternative.

If you have an oven and like to bake, be sure to get enough flour and yeast for bread. Salt and sugar are other things to have in surplus. Cooking oil will eventually go rancid, so try to get some solid shortening as well. Honey, jam and cajeta make good toppings for pancakes, which are a great snack. Other snacks include peanuts, chips, popcorn, and crackers. 

Soda does last forever, but isn’t perhaps the healthiest option. Make sure to have enough garafones of water on hand for at least two weeks, based on your regular consumption. Tamarindo and jamaica are nice to make flavored water. Containers of juice, coffee and tea are other beverages to consider. 

As I mentioned, the canned goods selection at the local supermarket is really quite limited. However, I was able to pick up canned beans, mushrooms, corn, peas, soup, tuna and sardines. 

Since we are in the midst of a global pandemic, hygiene is of paramount importance. Therefore, make sure to have enough bar soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and hand sanitizer. For regular cleansing, have an extra container of dish soap and laundry detergent. Consider picking up a pack of baby wipes and some disinfectant spray as well. As for toilet paper, one roll per family member per week should be fine if you ration it like they do at the public bathrooms in Mexico. Ladies, don’t forget to stock up on your monthly supplies too!

As for the quantity of each, well it really depends on your family’s needs and food preferences. The pandemic period won’t last for decades, but it could last several weeks. 

What would you add to a Prepper’s Pantry for rural Mexico?

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