Return of the Prepper #6 : Coronavirus – am I bothered, am I prepared?

Pandemic looming or storm in a teacup?

I am sure everyone has by now heard about the growing outbreak of a new coronavirus.

The new virus emerged apparently from an animal market in Wuhan in eastern China just before Christmas.

The number of people infected is now nearing a thousand. The large bulk of these are in China, but isolated cases are beginning to appear in other countries in south east Asia, and increasingly around the world.

The first outbreaks are now appearing in Europe with three cases in France, and there have been two cases now in the USA.

To date 26 people have died, all in China.

The World Health Organisation has so far declined to declare a Global Health Emergency, and the Chinese Government claims it has the situation under control.

The outbreak however has come at the worse possible time for China as today is the Lunar New Year holiday when many millions of people travel to be with their families.

The Chinese government has implemented strong measures to contain the spread of the disease including cancelling major public events, closing visitor attractions like the Forbidden City in Beijing and Shanghai’s Disney Resort and banning travel in and out of a growing number of cities across the country.

In the UK there have been a number of suspected cases but so far all have tested negative.

It is however widely accepted that it is only a matter of time before confirmed cases appear in Britain.

Until that point concern here in the UK is likely to be moderately subdued.

Social media, particularly Youtube and Twitter, is beginning to light up with reports, updates, projections and speculations – some measured and well researched, others easily drifting toward hyperbole and sensationalism.

This report from DW gives a measured update on the situation…

As a prepper my concern level is a little more heightened than most. Receiving an unexpected email this evening from the teacher saying that my daughter’s Chinese lessons on Sunday have been cancelled has done nothing to lessen my prepping alert thoughts.

The big question is how do you prepare for a disease outbreak situation like this?

The number one answer of course is to stay away from people, and particularly large crowds, as much as possible. That is a bit easier for us in rural Wales but two of our daughters are studying in big cities, and our younger one is still at school.

I don’t forsee the wearing of masks happening in the UK yet awhile, but I already have some N95 masks in stock just in case. However experts suggest most masks give very imperfect protection as they do not form a full facial seal.

Washing of hands very regularly is reported to be more effective. Carrying hand sanitiser is also useful.

Canadian Prepper on YouTube gives a good rundown on ways to prepare for a potential pandemic if it goes that far…

My best advice – keep informed, stay alert, be prepared.

If you want the official line keep an eye on the World Health Organisation…

And their Situation Reports…

In the meantime I am just hopping on to Amazon to order a few more face masks…

Goodnight and stay well.



[ image from pixabay.com ]

Return of the Prepper #4 : Prepping in Old Age – how to prepare for that?

I am not old, but I am not young. I will be 60 this year and I know life is changing.

My health is not too bad, no major life threatening ailments for either my wife or I. But we both have minor issues that have the potential to get more serious and more impacting on our lives and lifestyles.

Part of our prepping is planning for all eventualities. One of these is declining health, and particularly mobility.

Our style of prepping is very much focused around the bugged-in, homesteading, grow your own, self-sufficiency model.

That does require quite a bit of physical labour – chopping wood, shifting compost, digging beds etc.

While I can still do most of it, a back injury is already preventing me from lifting and carrying heavy weights for any distance. This is likely to get worse over time.

So we must plan, and adapt. Find ways to achieve the same but with less manual labour.

In the garden for example I am, as much as possible, moving to perennial crops that will stay put in one place and continue to produce food year in, year out without much physical input.

I am also moving over to the ‘no-dig’ method of growing food as promoted by Charles Dowding…

At some point when funds permit it would be useful to invest in a powered wheelbarrow to allow me to move heavier loads more easily.

I didn’t even know these these existed until I did a search on Amazon and found there are quite a range of models available. Alas mostly in the region of $1000 and upwards. They are mostly battery powered so potentially could be charged from solar PV.

Something like this might be good…

If we really want to go to town, my dream list would include an electric gator type vehicle for moving around our property. I don’t know how much these cost but an adult sized one of these would be good…

There is probably a whole bunch of equipment we might want to get in the coming years to make prepping lighter on the body. A log splitter for example would be useful.

Perhaps the ultimate older person’s preppring gear will be an exo-skeleton. In my Future Diary 2030 series I thought these were a thing of 10 years time, but I have now discovered they are already arriving in Japan…

The physical labour side will be a major part of prepping in our advancing years but there will be many other areas to consider. Some I am already aware of, some I am not.

Building up stocks of any medications we may need to take regularly is one thing to plan for.

We might also need to consider how our diets might change. Also our mobility and what sort of vehicles might be best suited for us.

Most of these issues do have something of a negative twist to them.

However one area where I think there might be some positive gain with getting older will be community networking.

As I gradually move to retirement and cut down my employment, I should have much more time to get involved with local organisations and activities. I am looking forward to taking on some volunteer roles in local community groups. This will be a great way to improve our connections in the local area.

Having a strong and diverse local network is a key element of a good prepping strategy.

As this is a fast approaching area of prepping for me I would be interested to hear of any tips and ideas from other older preppers and homesteaders of how they are adapting in their advancing years.

Thank you.



[ image from pixabay.com ]

Planning for 2020 – Is it too late to make New Year’s Resolutions?

Maybe I’ve missed the boat by a couple of weeks for making New Year’s resolutions, so I’ll just call it planning for the year ahead.

2020 is going to be an important year for me personally and for my family. It will be a year of significant change – some for the better, some not so.

I will be turning 60, our youngest daughter will be joining her two sisters away at university, and our work and financial situation will be undergoing significant shifts.

So it feels quite critical that we have some plans and some points of reference for the remaining 50 weeks of 2020.

I started thinking about this in the polytunnel this afternoon and as soon as I pressed the play button multiple random thoughts and phrases came rushing into my head.

There hasn’t been sufficient time and space to sort, prioritise and synthesize them yet into a meaningful plan of action so before anything leaks from my memory I am just going to throw everything on this page.

In no particular order, these are all the things I want to change and want to do in 2020…

  1. Get more sleep
  2. Spend more time outside than inside
  3. Spend less time in front of a computer screen
  4. Work on getting healthier again
  5. Eat better
  6. Grow more food
  7. Meet more real people in real life
  8. Get involved in building resilience in the local community
  9. Learn to make videos
  10. Get rid of a lot of stuff
  11. Return to the ways of the Prepper
  12. Help people

I am not sure of the how’s and when’s on some of these. They will evolve in the coming days and weeks.

Some – sleep/eat/health – are largely up to me. Decide it – do it – stick to it.

I did manage 8 hours of sleep time last night (for the first time for ages). Tonight I’ll endeavour to repeat that feat and move to an earlier sleep/wake pattern.

Weather and work permitting #2 is an easier one for me. I love being outside – particularly doing #6.

The others are works in progress – more to follow on each of them.

I feel slightly uneasy about including #12 – it does sound, look and feel pretentious.

Everyone wants to help people. Don’t they?


So that’s my dozen Points to Self for the year.

Comments and input welcome.

If anyone is at all interested, and just for self monitoring, I will report back on progress at some intervals through the year.

Thank you and good night.



[ image from pixabay.com ]