Saturday, February 29, 2020

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - What we need to know about the Coronavirus

I've continued to do research regarding the current pandemic.  It has helped put everything in perspective.  I have numerous links below but the video on the CBN link is very good about how this virus differs from past pandemics.

First, most people have nothing to fear even if they get the virus as it stands now.  Statistics on those who have had it say approx. 80% of the patients survive it with no problems.  The other 20% are those who are at risk when getting influenza, those with already compromised immune systems.

Of course, that means I fall into that category as a Type 1 diabetic but I started looking toward my real Home long ago.  That is the only way one can live in peace on this planet.  I am just passing through.

Fear is going to be the biggest problem and already it looks like this is going to be politicized.  I don't mention politics on the blog hardly at all but we do have to have discernment.  President Trump and Vice President Pence are in position to be blasted however they handle this pandemic in our country and our media would come against them regardless of what they do.  We need to keep them in prayer always.

Whatever you think of a specific politician, I always say that you need to look at what the political party stands for and I am on the side of saving babies and keeping traditional marriage.  I have a soft heart for those who have had abortions and have a family member who lives an alternative lifestyle that I am very fond of... but when it comes to what is being pushed politically, I defer to Biblical values.

All that to say... we need discernment when we have any information coming to us from the media.

The areas we need to be prepared for are being quarantined in place and temporary loss of income.  I have seen numerous reports of people in affected areas who are trying to stretch what little food they have because they are not allowed to leave their homes.  The last I heard, there were a couple places in Italy that have towns whose roads coming into the area were blocked without warning.  When this happens, trucks carrying food and supplies cannot get in.

I accidentally saw a report coming out of Japan (I think it was a God wink, though) of how many factories there have had to shut down because they lack parts coming in from China.  They depend on them even more than we do.  Also, they depend on Chinese tourists and there are massive layoffs due to a sudden shutdown of tourists.

It doesn't take a lot of money to do a basic stock up for a possible quarantine.  I've mentioned these suggestions before but here are some of them again.  Remember, only stock for an emergency what you would eat in a non-emergency situation.  If your family hates beans, they will not like them any better if they are forced to eat them.  That is why it is best to deepen your current pantry.

That's also why I suggest trying food that has been prepared for an emergency like Mountain House ahead of time.  Over the past few years, I tried various meal pouches before making a further purchase. I have loved a few of them, liked a few well enough that they make the cut, and wouldn't want to eat a couple unless I was starving.  By trying them ahead of time, I know that what is in my Emergency Bucket are products I would like.

Should you decide to peruse any emergency food product on Amazon, always read the comments.  They usually give you a lot of feedback as well as how the food should be prepared.  I wanted to share a couple more specific Mountain House meals but as I looked through Amazon, even the pouches are now sold out with at least a minimum one to two month wait for shipment.  It is a good thing (at least at the moment), the store shelves are stocked!

Here are some grocery store suggestions that can easily be rotated to have on hand in your deepened pantry.

  • Canned soup (Be careful about aseptic packages.  They are great for the short term but you definitely do not want to use them after the expiration date for mold has been known to collect in the bottom of some of them.  Same for juices and such in aseptic packages.)
  • Canned vegetables
  • Fruit in cans and jars  
  • Dry milk
  • Oatmeal of all kinds (Old fashioned, Quick, and instant packets)
  • Converted Rice (like Uncle Ben's and I think perhaps Riceland)
  • Other favorite kinds of rice (bags of brown rice should be kept in the freezer if you don't use it often).
  • Mixes such as rice blends, stuffing blends, etc.  (They can have high sodium contents but will make an emergency easier, I always check for MSG which we cannot eat.)
  • Various kinds of pasta and jars of pasta sauces (marinara, Alfredo, pesto, etc.). 
  • Foods such as your favorite cold breakfast cereals and crackers do not store for long periods of time well but if you are rotating them, they are fine.  When I had preschoolers in the house, dry Cheerios were a favorite snack.
  • Cans of food you can combine for a meal without cooking - a friend of mine made salsa from Rotel style canned tomatoes, a can of black beans drained, some corn from a can drained, and a few other of her favorite items.  She lived in an area with few grocery store options.
  • Other foods that your family already has in their pantry.
  • Water... you should always have extra water stored.  (Ask me how I know.)

Non-food options will be what your family already uses, just some extra packages kept for emergencies.

  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Paper Plates, etc.
  • Trash Bags
  • Dish Washing liquid
  • Laundry Supplies
  • Disinfecting Supplies
  • Prescription Medications
  • Over the Counter Medications
  • Baby Supplies
  • Sanitary Supplies
  • More items are mentioned in links below.

I found it best to walk through my house and look at my grocery lists to decide priorities since I am on a budget.  I found some good links that have excellent information below.

Get Pandemic Ready website... here.
Get Pandemic Ready (Survival Mom)... here.
The Coronavirus Pandemic (CBN News)... here.
Get Your House Ready for a Pandemic Flu PDF... here.
How to Prepare for a Quarantine... here.

Image:  AFP Getty Images 


Cheri said...

Thank you for the sensible, non- panicky information, Brenda. With hubby's stage 4 cancer, we have to be extra careful about his exposure. Right now, I feel like our shelves are pretty well stocked, the freezer is full and I have a farmshare order to pick up next week.

As far as masks are concerned, I don't have any plans to pick up any N95 masks, but I have fabric and elastic on hand to make some of the simple masks one sees.

Two weeks ago, our pastor, during the announcement portion of the service gave us 'permission' to not shake hands. I appreciated that. I especially worry about our older folks. And my hubby. It is nice to be made to feel as thought refusing a handshake is not rude.

Now if I could only get the elementary age kids I teach to not sneeze on the table, pick their noses, cough all over everything....

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

Such a good article and the links are great, too!

I’ve started to stock up on extra foods, and your idea of canned soup is a good one! I need to get some of those! I was also thinking about stocking up on flour and yeast for making bread. It would be easy to make rolls, or loaves.

Vee said...

Leave it to you, Brenda, to have good, practical, sane advice. Some of the hysteria over this one is off the charts and one doesn’t have to be brilliant to figure out why. Psalm 73

Carol said...

With my husband having health issues, my daughter having chronic Lyme Disease and my other children working in high risk exposure fields, this one has me a little freaked out. I plan to make a stock pile soon of things that we might need. I usually am very cautious about getting too concerned about these types of things, but this one scares me a little more.

Kathy said...

But Rush Limbaugh says that coronavirus is a version of the common cold. And the President says that there is no reason to panic since it is just a hoax by the democrats. :p

But seriously, thanks for the links. They are more helpful than the information that is coming out from the administration or the media.

Bonnie Schulte said...

My husband and I are pretty well set. We have almost every thing you have listed, on hand, if we should need it. Also canned tuna, salmon, Spam, a few of these, that we don't have as a rule.Bottled water for sure, toilet paper, etc. like I said, everything you have mentioned. And we get our flu shot every year, so that helps. Also, I too, pray for Trump and Pence.May God watch over them, and all of America.