What COVID-19 taught us about survival

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What COVID-19 taught us about survival

If there’s one thing I’m going to take away from this whole coronavirus pandemic, is that people are survivors. No matter what obstacles come our way, we have the ability to rise up and overcome even a disaster on a truly global scale. But looking back, as we ride out the chaos and desperation this second wave is bringing, I believe there are a few key lessons we can draw, to help us in the dark days we still have to come.

Because COVID-19 has become the wakeup call many needed to put a priority on getting prepared. With curfews, shut downs and restrictions on everything from travel to the people you can invite into your home, it’s never too late to ensure your family is ready for whatever happens next. And trust me, you’re going to want to be prepared.

The people who don’t think ahead, who don’t learn from what we’ve all suffered through these months are doing themselves a disservice, and they will find it incredibly hard to survive whatever else is to come. And you better believe we’ve not seen the worst yet. 

You need more supplies

You should have a minimum of three weeks food in your pantry already, and working your way to accumulating three months (or even a year’s) worth of food, supplies and all the other consumables your family needs. For two reasons. If things get chaotic outside, you can’t rely on a quick run to the supermarket to purchase what you’ve forgotten.

It was just a couple of months ago that the stores were stripped bare, and price gougers were ripping off families all over the country as they scrambled to find whatever was impossible to buy in the stores. Not to mention the safety factor of venturing out during a pandemic. It’s much better to have the supplies that you need, in your home.

You need entertainment

Planting yourself in front of the television works for a day, but in the long run you’re doing you and your family a major disservice if that’s your only source of entertainment. Not to mention the power it draws, and the damage you’re doing to your eyes with hours in front of “the box” (or even worse on your laptop, iPad or smartphone). 

Think about ways you can keep your kids and yourselves entertained when there really is nothing they can do outside. We’ve built a big library over the years that we dived into rather heavily these last few months, and have been finding fun with board games, and starting a bunch of new projects around our home to occupy all our new free time. 

You need to get moving 

When the gyms all closed it got easier to skip out on regular fitness sessions, and this is a big mistake. I know, because I did it myself. I used the lack of a gym as a reason “not to” exercise, and having only just started getting back to my ideal bodyweight after 2 months of tough work, I wish I put more effort towards not adding the weight in the first place.

Find a way to keep you and your family exercising, even when you’re confined to just your home. There’s at-home workout programs you can stream straight to your television, or invest a few hundred dollars in a treadmill, rowing machine, or even a punching bag, whatever you prefer so there’s no excuse for you to let your fitness slide.

You need to learn

One thing I discovered when we lost internet for two weeks during a storm in 2018 was just how reliant we are on a “connection” when it comes to education. It’s definitely the information age, but without being able to scroll through instructional videos on YouTube (or connect the kids into their Zoom classes), you need to find an alternative.

Parents were expected to pick up the slack when schools shut down, and while we’re lucky this time around the internet has been fine, in disaster planning this may not always be the case. Make sure you’ve got enough educational supplies on hand to teach, and all of the reference materials you need should the internet go down or you’re without power.

You need a community

There’s a real balance to getting this right, because you don’t want to bring in the “wrong” people into your survival plans, but you’re going to struggle if you’re trying to survive all alone. We were suddenly thrown with the need to not only work full time, but take on the full-time care of our children when they were out of school.

Within our circles, we took turns at caring for the kids so we could still get out work done, and it also gave us a connection with people while we were still obeying the lockdown laws they rolled out in our area. Humans are definitely social people, and you need a strong community around you to ensure you’ve got the support you need to thrive.

Looking back, there were a few key elements of our survival plans that I definitely overlooked. For instance, the impact that isolation would cause when it was enforced on us, and just how easy it was to overlook key things (like our health), when it felt like everything else was falling down around us. Use these lessons wisely, and ensure you’re using this crisis as a way to strengthen your own survival plans. The better prepared you are, the better your survival chances really will be.