Corona virus, a blessing in disguise

 

There is this myth called the American dream, or at least it has been for most of my life. What has been pushed on the public is a need for debt and over abundance to the point of crippling citizens into an endless cycle they will never crawl out of. When there weren’t enough people maxing out credit cards the next scam was to tell everyone to go to college. When there weren’t enough people going to college with student loan debt the need for an over priced house was sold to us. When the housing market crashed and people refused to invest in the market, car loans became the new get rich quick scheme. People in all of these categories are now out of work and behind on payments. The American dream, what was sold to us as that dream, came crashing down, again.

After 2009, I learned what was real and what wasn’t. This fascination with expensive cars, shoes, watches, cell phones, houses, jet skis, and all the other shit people don’t need no longer caught my eye. These were things I could not afford before and afterwards I knew that the majority of the public was not supposed to have them. There is a trade that takes place with owning things that we are told we should have. My step-dad always had to have a truck. He didn’t have a job that required a truck. He rarely ever hauled anything in it. The most he drove these things was to work and back, the most expensive ride to work one could ask for when it came to gas mileage. When I was growing up there were things that the family needed that we didn’t have, because of the cost of that truck. When people buy things they cannot afford, they trade what their family needs and the future for that item. Trucks came and went but the debt never went away. I hear about people getting married and finding out later that their new spouse has a ton of credit card debt. Again, future happiness was traded for long forgotten drinks, nights out on the town, shoes that were donated to goodwill, you get the picture.

With the unemployment numbers skyrocketing eyes are starting to open to what people have been doing since the 1980s. the version of free market capitalism that the US is dependent on will have to disappear. This desire to watch the stock market as a meter of the wealth of the country is a crummy system to use. It only accounts for how rich the rich are and leaves out the little guy who’s only option to buy into this pyramid scheme is to invest for their retirement which is stolen on a regular schedule.

Around me more people are panting gardens. They are looking for local sources of meat and poultry. Backyard chickens are becoming a new lawn decoration. People are starting to learn and while the stock market will cringe at this, I can only hope that the people pushing this old system will have their own eyes opened. Slow growth is manageable and to expect anything else is playing with fragile house of cards. There were old no nonsense rules of finance that people once followed and those had been traded away for greed in the form of fast wealth. It wasn’t just people but the government as well who started to live this lie, taking the future wealth of the country and charging it on a credit card knowing that someone else down the road will have to deal with it. Who cares as long as their families are taken care of? What matters beyond the rich having their fill and the rest of us being left with the bill?

A trump check was deposited into my bank account and that money was used to pay bills in advance and make sure my family had a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. The economic stimulus that the politicians thought they would see didn’t happen. The trick that was supposed to fix the problem failed and now the only other option they are left with is opening the economy and having more people die because of their fucked-up priorities. The rate of incompetence in this matter is astounding. The Chinese government had people locked in their apartments with the doors welded shut and somehow these people in suits don’t appear to understand what this disease is. Natural or not it is a weapon and its job is to kill. Horrible diseases like this one once plagued the planet on a regular basis. Smallpox wiped out the majority of the native population on North and South America. The black plague swept through Asia, Europe, and Asia again. Polio, typhoid fever, malaria, and measles were common enough to have known someone that had died of it during your lifetime. This is a fear that several generations have not experienced and now it is back. The party is over. The adolescent age of man is over. It is now time to grow up.

Everything has become too easy in our lives. Television has us clicking our next show with a remote to watch at any time. Phone calls are too inconvenient replaced with texting. Relationships have been replaced with quick hookups and relationshits. Money is no longer earned but given to the most recent meme to hit the internet. People who were deadbeat bums are now referred to as influencers. The last person to create a life changing invention is forgotten over someone who plays sports ball.

The president told people at a news conference that one way to cure Covid -19 was to inject themselves with Lysol. This is the level of intelligence that is running the country. It is safe to say we are on our own.

Several people I know are either at the same level of preparation or they are heading that way. Gardens are being planted. Chickens are being ordered. Sources for local meat are being found. Gas tanks are left full. Bills are paid in advance. Weapons are carried at all times. The only person we can rely to save us is… us. The message from the government is clear, they have no idea what the hell is going on. “its just a flu, nothing to worry about.” “As of today, we are on lockdown.” “there is no need to wear a face mask in public.” “it is illegal not to wear a face mask when in a public place.”  If there was a sign that they have no idea what they are doing, I hope this would be it. Down play, over react, repeat.

Along with a disease that nobody knows anything about there is a Great Depression that everyone is forecasting for the future. If there is one thing that this country has completely forgotten it is what being poor is like. Our poor people are obese with diabetes. We don’t know what hunger is. As for jobs, we have outsourced all of our work to foreign countries, buy their products at the local Walmart and then bitch about how they ruined the country. Come to think of it, we deserve this. We had this coming for a long time. Our lack of foresight will be our undoing. We talk about the future of the country only to keep pushing the same ball of debt up a pile of shit that will one day crumble underneath us. Our sins are catching up with us and we can’t deny that we deserve what is coming. I see the litter covering the side of the street, the needles littering the parks, the homeless that joke about scamming people, the politicians who keep their jobs by winning a high school popularity contest, the cash advance centers around town, the liquor stores on every corner, the churches taking their 10% (a nice even price for the cost of a soul) the piles of belongings sitting on the side of the road from the latest eviction, the road kill left behind because someone was to lazy or too stupid to clean what they killed and fill their freezer, the morons who check Twitter before bed instead of reading a book, and the lazy assholes who would rather scam unemployment instead of applying for a fucking job.

There was a man who lived by himself in Alaska for over thirty years. When asked about his own safety he replied that if the water on the lake was rough, he didn’t take the canoe out. When you are responsible for your own safety you tend to be careful about what you do. These days everyone expects a bail out and someone else to flip the bill when they screw up. Those days are over. They have been for a long time and now the bill is coming due for everyone. Governments are in debt. Citizens are in debt. Companies rely on debt. The entire world owes someone and it is the poor that will be stuck with the tab. In Michigan, a person on unemployment can make more in the system than they did at their previous job. Why would anyone want to go back to work after this? When the hammer falls things will be rough. People will panic and try to play the blame game but that bill will still be sitting there and those who it is owed to will want something in return. We have become slaves to debt and for some reason we agreed to it. Those who didn’t follow this example will be caught in the crossfire. Those at the bottom of the ladder will want to be supported and the government will tell the middle class to pay the bill. All hell will break loose and it is only then that all involved will figure out that the system is broken. Something needs to change and unless those above us are smart enough to know this nothing will happen and that big ball of debt will continue to be rolled up that pile of shit.

My bills will continue to be paid. The garden will grow. The chickens will provide breakfast for years to come. I see canning in my future. Hunting season is coming in the fall. Tin foil can be reused if it is cleaned. I’m sure my Toyota has another fifteen years in it. I could care less about the last sports game, who was given a rose on the bachelor, which Kardashian called another useless person a bitch, where the stock market is, or who is running for office. I have my priorities set and my family comes first. If anyone tries to tell me otherwise, heaven help them. I’m tired of people trying to force me to play the same stupid game because they say so and I am not the only one.

 

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Back to basics

 

As of today, I am not supposed to go back to work until May 15, maybe. The governor extended the stay at home order and my place of employment still has to make several changes to the building before employees can return to work. Meanwhile, I am still at home, still trying to stay busy, and still being paid. I’m lucky, I know that. With all the people filing for unemployment and crossing their fingers for another Corona Virus check I am still ahead of the game and looking to the future for what will likely transpire in the coming months.

I made a run to the grocery store the other day and found most of the meat unavailable, as I expected with all the processing plants shutting down across the country. I wanted some Cornish hens for easy to bake meals at home and found none. My old bachelor food of choice was no longer in the freezer. I left Aldi with a full cart of food and racked my head for the next day trying to figure out where I could buy meat that would stay in stock.

A small family owned grocery store downtown only carries locally sourced meat and produce. I made an appointment, the only way they do business these days, and went in. Amish chickens were in the freezer, along with elk, wild boar, cured bacon, and several cuts of beef. One of the owners of the store is a third-generation cattle rancher and I was told beef would always be available. The only thing they could not guarantee was pork. The garden is growing, I can still buy food, and the chickens are growing quickly. At the moment life is good.

I keep myself busy these days. Since the lockdown has started, I have built a chicken coop, a new shifter for the compost bin, cleaned out the garage, kept the pantry filled, fixed several small things around the house that have been buggy me, planted a garden, and refurbished a crossbow from the 1960s. I can’t help but wonder if this is how people are supposed to live?

There is a man on YouTube that I started following after this whole thing started. He has a prepping channel and was in the navy for 20 years as a SEAL. He went in to get tested today for Covid 19 after feeling sick and having shortness of breath. He is young, about my age, in better same than me and has been on top of this thing like me since the beginning. In his last couple of videos, he wasn’t looking good and I had to wonder if that was going to be me in the near future.

I need a new project. The chickens are doing their own thing, needing little care except for feeding and a weekly cleaning of their coop. The crossbow is almost finished. The only thing I can do with the garden is wait for it to grow. I’m sure there are a few old projects I can dig out and start working on. With the new space in the garage it would be a lot easier to get things done and have easy access to tools that I didn’t have before.

Cooking is becoming a new favorite pass time. Cookbooks are becoming my new best friend with thousands of recipes to go through and plenty of time to try them out. Having a three-year-old daughter to likes to help makes it an activity that lowers the stress level in the house instead of the usual chaos that comes with cabin fever. I need a new list of things to do. Netflix isn’t cutting it anymore.

If there is one thing that can be said about this virus, the situation it created, is that it gives one time to think about many things. I doubt things will go back to normal. What ever has been unleased on the world will have a lasting impact and I have a feeling many people are considering what they have been doing with their lives and what they would like to do instead. I have three weeks, three more weeks to things to do. Most of the projects I have going on are waiting games now to see how plants will grow and feeding chickens. It’s time to find other things to do.

The late Philip Roth, the under-appreciated writer, once said that the road to hell is paved with unfinished projects. Maybe its time to dig a few of those out and take care of things once and for all.

 

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Prepper’s Log

 

April 12, 2020 Easter

The movies are full of shit when it comes to these things. The long boring days and the high tension in the air is enough to make you feel sympathy for Jack Nicholson’s character in The Shining. How does one keep from losing their mind, constantly wondering what will happen next and questioning if things are as bad as the government keeps telling us they are?

It is the middle of April and the power company issued a warning that the power might go out from a windstorm coming through along with the last winter storm. Planning for next winter might have been an unexpected plan for next week considering the container of kerosene I picked up for the portable heater. The loss of power could be a breath of fresh air, unable to listen to the news or check my phone every five minutes to see the latest numbers. The best entertainment throughout this whole thing came from the crazy conspiracy theories flooding the internet. Then Trump considers pardoning at Netflix character and suddenly those theories don’t seem so crazy anymore.

I watched one of my neighbors point a pistol at his old beagle today while yelling “I told you to shut the fuck up.” I never heard the dog, but I did hear the man. People are starting to lose it and the stories of home invasions is piling up while the news keeps telling us that crime is down. There was a triple shooting the other day that left one dead and who knows what else is going on that doesn’t make it to the news?

We bought chickens. The garden is growing in. The chicken coop is almost finished. Gas tanks are full. Pantry is worth bragging about. Somewhere along the way I drank myself out of drinking. It turns out a man can have too much beer or wine before he gets tired of it and needs a break.

I need something to do. This notion of sitting in front of the TV and waiting for the world to end is complete bullshit. Half of my day is spent feeding am eight-week-old while waiting for my wife to wake up after being awake most of the night doing the same thing. By the time I can move most of my day is gone. While planning for the end of the world try to not have a three-year-old that you are responsible for, just a tip. The parks are closed, and I am paranoid these days about going for a walk considering the reports of a man arrested for throwing a ball in a park with his daughter. I’m starting to debate which is worse, the virus we all fear or the reaction from our government.

There is a question floating around about what is really coming, that the virus isn’t the big event but that there is something else that is on the way. Who knows? Either way I have a feeling that things will not be going back to normal. Walmart might disappear considering that they depend on Chinese goods. At this moment everyone is thinking “fuck the Chinese.” The Chinese government lied. Our government lied. The only people we can believe these days is the Italians and the South Koreans. Who would have thought that would have been the case? All the distrust makes me want to stay at home. I’m surrounded by rednecks, half of the governor’s orders don’t make sense, and the world, as a whole, has literally gone bat shit crazy. I knew this was going to happen one day, but I never thought I was going to be right about it. Who would trust my crazy ideas? I don’t even listen to my crazy ideas and they are my ideas.

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