Frugal Family

Has The Pandemic Taught Us To Be More Self Reliant?

The Covid pandemic has been with us for 2 years now. We have had to learn to live with it, but it took a while for the country to get to grips with this new (cleaner) way of living.

Before the Covid pandemic became a ‘thing’, I had been prepping for years. I hated the term ‘Prepper’, but in reality, that’s what I was. A real homemaker, like the wives of the 1940’s. The term ‘Prepper’ is stereotypically thought of as someone readying themselves for the Zombie apocalypse, civil war or freak weather incident. But when the time arrived for us preppers to feel smug about our efforts, it was for a reason that was going to affect the whole world. No Zombie’s needed. Just masks and panic buying… apparently.

We saw the shop shelves become stripped bare. Pasta, loo roll and tinned beans vanished over night. People were fighting over fucking bog roll! The world went mad. But not us. Oh no. We remained as calm as a (home grown) cucumber. Suddenly my prepper lifestyle didn’t seem such madness anymore.

ThE wOrLd WeNt MaD

In the beginning I didn’t panic buy anything. I just made sure that I had a couple of extra bags of flour or sugar in the cupboards as I knew my baking game would be upped.  That was all I had to do, followed by satting back and watching the world go mad. I had my freezer, cupboards and shelves packed with fresh homegrown produce all stored correctly to last months. We never went without, not once.

A couple of months into the pandemic I saw my (now ex) husband leave, divorce manifest, social services involvement and court dates. It knocked my self sufficiency efforts out of the window. I did bare minimal in the garden- just lightly digging over half of my usual bed space and growing just a few fruits and vegetables. My usual cherry, pear, rhubarb, blackberries and raspberries gave me a bountiful harvest. I grew a few leaks, brussell sprouts and various beans. AND THAT WAS IT! No where near what I usually grow, but it was still just enough to lift my spirits during low days.

With no sign of the pandemic going anywhere in 2022 and the added paranoia of more shit hitting the fan, my life really does need a kick up the butt getting back to what I love- gardening and writing. So here we are, starting this big journey AGAIN. Nothing would have prepared me for what living hell the last 2 years have bought me, so I really should not be too harsh on myself for not being as self reliant as I normally am.

Watching my passions dwindle, spending less time out doors and suffering the huge pressures of depression just seemed like all I was doing was failing. I had never felt so low in my life. I lost weight, became a hermit, stopped messaging friends. But, looking back I can see that it was life slowly teaching me to gain my confidence again by observing the world. I didn’t quite go off the rails,  but instead I opened my eyes and learned a lot about the people I once loved and lost. I saw the world fall apart, solidarity of family and community strained and often breaking apart. I became secluded, spending my time assessing everything I thought I knew.

2 Choices

This year I have 2 choices- Continue to sit back and watch the world (and myself burn) or get off my bum and make life good again. I suspect I am not alone with this feeling. Many of you will now want to reverse the strife of the last 2 years and make it better for yourselves and your family.

Afterall, the government haven’t done anything to help us. They are comfortable in their houses, with their house keepers, gardeners and money. We don’t have that luxury, so instead we must learn to do it ourselves and not rely on an absent government.

Lets make this year about us becoming more self reliant, spending and wasting less, looking after our loved ones and communities and making our lives as good as we can. Lets also make this the year where we no longer fear what people think of us, or be afraid of speaking out. Say what you want, do what you want, live how you want. Because at the end of the day, this is your life to make better because no one else will be there to help you.

Who’s in?

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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