Saturday, March 14, 2020
Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Yikes!
I must admit that there are weeks I am not very excited about writing the Saturday Pantry Posts. I feel a little bit like the movie Ground Hog Day except for me it is saying the same thing over and over... stock up and be prepared.
Last week I was feeling in an "I told you so" mood. This week, however, has gone so far beyond my wildest imaginations of what could happen (and I'm good at end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenarios) that even my "I told you so" has been silenced. I feel like I haven't warned people enough to stock up in the good times in case there is a not so good time... and we all have them in life.
Who could have imagined a few weeks ago that everything would be shutting down? Everything from schools to Broadway to basketball championships to Spring Training. Closed signs are up all over the place. Even most of the churches in the area have decided to stop their regular services, keeping only their small groups going in individual homes.
I went to Kroger early yesterday morning, thinking I would get there before there were a lot of people (I stay away from large crowds during flu season, anyway). It was so busy that I had trouble finding a parking place in the huge parking lot and there were only two grocery carts available when I walked in the door.
I only went there to purchase some fresh veggies so I quickly went to the produce section, put what I needed in my cart, and went to an empty self check out machine to pay and get away from the crowd. Later on the local evening news, a reporter was standing outside of that store interviewing people who had stood an hour in line later in the day just to check out.
I hope people will remember these empty shelves and long lines when this emergency situation is over. Except for items that are perishable, it is an excellent idea to keep a basic stock of food and essentials at all times and rotate in new items on grocery days (bringing the oldest items forward, placing the most recently purchased items in the back).
I filled in a few places where there was a need a couple weeks ago while the shelves were well stocked, items like gallons of water that I kept forgetting to buy. I'm also keeping a list of those things I hadn't thought of before to purchase after this pandemic is gone. Especially more First Aid and health items.
There are a lot of instances of price gouging, which I'm pretty sure in the state where I live is illegal in a time of emergency. However, those of us who are people of faith should see this as the best time to care for others. Which is possible if we did some stocking up ahead of time.
I was going to suggest doing some grocery shopping or purchasing a grocery store gift card for those people you know are on a fixed income and do not have the ability to stock up. You may live in an area where the store shelves are empty so it may be necessary to take a sack of groceries and essential items (and perhaps prepared food and a baked goodie) from your own pantry shelves to someone who could not stock up ahead of time.
If necessary, place it on their door step and knock to let them know you dropped something off for them... and wave! It is possible to be a carrier of the virus when you have no symptoms. Which is why the country is shut down.
If you are still in need of essentials, remember that the most obvious stores sell out first like Sam's Club, Costco, Walmart, Target, etc. You may be able to find some items at hardware stores, small grocery stores, and other places people may not think of right away.
In many ways, this pandemic has been like having a Hurricane Watch or a Winter Storm Watch for there was time to prepare. You know, back when people were teasing you about stocking up "just in case". However, the events of last week were more shocking than I think any of us anticipated.
The lesson we will take away from this is... be prepared. Keep alert. Be aware of events that may signal what is coming... like when China and then Italy shuts down. Keep a basic level of necessary items in your pantry, etc. Do not wait until the President declares it a National Emergency to go to the grocery store.
I believe a lot of good can come out of any crisis situation, if we ask God what He wants us to do and to learn. Stay calm, read the Psalms, and wash your hands.
Note: Annabel has some very good information about making your own hand sanitizer or wipes... here.