Post Covid Prepper Evaluation

Book lovers and aspiring writers, you know that prepping websites and videos are excellent resources for dystopian worldbuilding ideas?  Of course you do.  Call me slow on the uptake.  After reading fictional SHTF for years I finally caught on. What sufferer of first world problems doesn’t love sensational fear-porn about life-as-we-know-it-ending, SHTF scenarios?  It never occurred to me to prep for my own family.

Then came the Covid pandemic.

If we fell sick, we’d have to stay in our house or “bug in” to avoid infecting others.  What if we ran out of something?  What if we needed tea bags or dental floss or laundry soap or light bulbs?  What if my five year old smart phone finally died?  What if?  What if?  What if?  It’s beyond the scope of this post to catalog all the other horrors associated with Covid that came to mind.  This is an evaluation of how well I did as an amateur prepper.

Many grocery stores offer online shopping and will load your purchases into your car’s trunk for you.  Some stores even deliver.  Also (bless them), friends and neighbors would be willing to make grocery runs.  Still, I figured we’d best ensure we had everything we needed on hand, including backup, so as to minimize scrambling for supplies when we needed to be resting on our sickbeds.

Since the pandemic started, I slowly built up a supply of non-perishable foods, extra toiletries, household items, and over the counter meds.  When cleaning wipes and toilet paper became available again, I acquired backup.  Frozen fruits and vegetables, and boxes of almond milk, became staples.

This past month, we finally caught Covid.

Uh-Oh, we got the COVIDS, rough waters ahead! FYI behold the lovely Tallulah River in the Chattahoochee National Forest, NE Georgia.

During our lockdown, one kid could not find her toothbrush, and there were no spare toothbrushes in the house.  How could I have overlooked spare toothbrushes?  Another kid, suffering from a Covid-induced sore throat, begged for popsicles.  It had to be a certain flavor and a certain brand of popsicle.  No substitutes accepted.  And we had no popsicle of any sort around.

Before I fell sick, I shopped online for a compact size  toothbrushing wonder, and the specific brand and flavor of popsicle.  Both were placed in my car’s trunk by employees of the regional grocery chain.  No national or super mega online providers for us, thank you very much.  Shop local if you can, peeps.  No grocery store personnel were exposed by Mom during the transaction.

(side note: online shopping isn’t ideal. I also selected a small bag of rice, and the grocery store gave me one that was approaching the “best if used by” date. This is why I like selecting my own stuff rather than trusting another to shop for me. Buyer beware. And I’m not convinced that a super mega online provider will do any better.)

no expired rice in the soup pretty please

Otherwise, we had everything else we needed.

The moral of the story is to evaluate your family’s inventory regularly for gaps, especially when it involves the kid’s bathroom cabinet.  Kids have a knack of asking for some necessary item when mom and dad aren’t in a position to help.  Parents will all know what I mean.  So watch over your kids’ supplies as well as your own.

Prepping PS

Here I am, posting on the Internet about a food stash.  That’s actually very stupid of me.  Never talk about your preps.  Should SHTF, a hungry mob will steal from anyone they think has “stuff.”  In a marital law situation, your friendly government agency might appropriate your food for redistribution.  I wouldn’t put it past some government flunkie to pilfer the appetizing treats from your stash for himself, not caring that the prepper’s children might like a birthday or holiday treat.

Let’s just hope that unlikely events stay unlikely.

 Now About That Covid…

(Disclaimer:  this blog is not medical advice.  I’m a retired environmental engineer.  Please seek advice from a qualified medical professional who has won your trust, and then feel free to ignore the other babbling voices IRL and on the Internet, including mine.)

Multiple bloggers and YouTubers have already shared their Covid experiences for posterity.  Stories of hospitalization and death sound harrowing and my heart goes out to them.  And there are other victims:  those who have lost their businesses / jobs / livelihoods from the pandemic.

The timeline of our not particularly noteworthy Covid experience is as follows.

My kids returned to in-person school in late August.  And despite the school’s masking, distancing, and cleaning, face coverings must be removed at lunchtime, where kids sit at assigned spots with their “pod.”

On a Wednesday and Thursday just as school had started, my son ate lunch next to his Cub Scout buddy who happens to be in his pod.

The following Tuesday, the principal phoned (uh-oh).  My kid had eaten lunch with someone who’d just tested positive for Covid.  I was to stop what I was doing and fetch him from school.  My son then went into quarantine, but my other kid was allowed to continue attending in-person.

The day after that, my son complained that he didn’t feel well.  His fever was not quite 101F.  Our public library offers free at-home covid test kits, and after I’d procured one, the result was… well you can guess.

On Thursday, he underwent a PCR test offered by a local hospital (drive-through, appointment only).  He was positive.  Unfortunately for the other kid this meant she had to quarantine. And it was her first day back at swim team practice after the summer hiatus.

On Friday, he felt back to normal and was leaping about the house, already chafing at his confinement.  He was buzzing from the sugar in the popsicles, no doubt.

On Sunday, the mom felt fatigued and the other kid started sniffling and coughing.  She never broke a fever, but did have some fatigue, sniffling, and coughing.  Her illness wasn’t severe but it lasted about three days. So off we went for a drive up PCR test.  Positive PCR test for her.  And… Mom’s turn. It’s awful, that swab felt like a stinging insect had flown up my nose.  And… positive for Mom, too.  Thus began the ten day isolation.

Even stinging insects are marvels of God’s creation. As long as they refrain from flying into my sinus cavity. Check out those feet and antenna. Amazing!

The boy has returned to in-person school.  The other kid and I will fly from lockdown in two days.  The Husband.. well, nunya business.

I had the most wretched case of fatigue, plus swollen sinus and a three-day headache.  Then, a day after the start of my symptoms, and while indulging in a pandemic induced pity party, I munched a few spice cookies.  The cookies were from a forgotten box of cookie mix in my prep supplies and were about to expire.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have such things.  This is a Weight Watchers household, after all. (note to self – rotate your preps!)

The cookies were bland and dull.  It felt like my mouth was full of wet sand.  Even the cloves and nutmeg in the cookies didn’t ignite the expected ecstasy.  What the heck?  Oh, NO, was I losing my senses of smell and taste?

Thus began a week of mental stress.  What if I couldn’t smell mercaptans and my house exploded into a fireball from a natural gas leak?  What if my house caught fire and I couldn’t smell the smoke?  What if I cook food that looks good but is spoiled and I can’t smell it?

And I warn anyone against sharing news of Covid symptoms with acquaintances.  You’ll get anecdotes about the acquaintance’s second cousin once removed who, having had Covid over Christmas, still can’t smell nor taste anything even after all this time.  I usually make fun of tactlessness in my fiction, but it’s even “lovelier” to hear it when one is suffering in one’s sickbed.

“… at dawn there is rejoicing.” Psalm 30:6 or rather, after five dawns there was rejoicing!

After five days, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my morning coffee had that familiar, rich, roasted-bean smell and taste.  Ahh, one of life’s finest pleasures.  How thankful I was.  What a gift is one’s sense of smell and taste. Thank you Jesus. And the smells / tastes came back gradually. I could smell some things right away, but others took a few more days. But it’s all back now.

I plan to be thankful for these two senses every day for the rest of my life.

If anyone is curious about the vaccination status of the members of the household over the age of twelve:  it’s likewise nunya business!!!!

p.s. Three of the four photographs above were taken by me using the aforementioned five plus year old iPhone. I like to use my own photos whenever possible and when I can’t I try to reference. The soup pot was taken by a family member who has graciously agreed to share.

I did have a photo of a mostly empty grocery store shelf, but since there’s visible brand names of the remaining items I didn’t want the food producer kvetching at me for showing that during a pandemic their item still sat unwanted on the shelf. There are rules for posting stuff online folks!

Published by jenniferedelmeyer

All passions cry out to be shared. Hence this blog. I hope you enjoy the gumbo pot of religion, writing, and science in addition to my fiction. I was an environmental engineer for twelve plus years. Even though I know very little about the environment and everything that affects it, I still know more than your average yahoo. When it comes to writing I'm an absolute noob. I need to write the fourth draft of my first novel and the second draft of my second. If you're a praying type, pray that my fiction gives readers some enjoyment and hopefully something to think about when they aren't too busy with their phones or their responsibilities. I wish I had more time to dedicate to writing, but I've got a husband and school age children. The best of myself has to go to them. Writing gets done in the time scraps that fall from the table. Rosaries get prayed when I've got my children trapped. At the end of all things, I hope to die like a good Catholic in the state of grace.

2 thoughts on “Post Covid Prepper Evaluation

  1. So glad you’re feeling better! We’re lucky not to have caught the C yet, but I’m trying to avoid it! Just started homeschooling, actually, due to lots of stresses associated with and not associated with the pandemic… So pray for me! lol

    Liked by 1 person

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