updated July 21, 2020
My husband is a veteran, and is someone who has been to war. I imagine that soldiers initially feel something like we felt in April of 2020. Confronted with the reality of an enemy (COVID-19) that we could not see, some of us were worried and fearful of the unknown. Maybe still are. Others are face to face with the enemy on the front lines in hospitals and nursing homes. They have been trained to deal with this current enemy. But, we need training ourselves.
Do soldiers wonder how they got into such a horrible situation or are they steely-eyed and determined? From my husband’s experience, I think that it is both. Soldiers do what they know to do, what they train to do. So should we. It isn’t just illness that we need to be prepared for. We live in strange times. We need to be aware of our surroundings, live a little differently, take care of our families in new ways.
Train yourself & train your family.
Training helps those in combat or crisis to keep doing what they need to do even when they are surrounded by the unimaginable.
Anyone confronted with illness, attacks, death, or destruction will not walk away unscathed, so we need to learn to stand even when we don’t want to or don’t feel like it. Clearly, we need to be prepared.
In general, teaching your family to be self reliant, dependable, trustworthy, and to be a team is invaluable. But, those things are just the start.
If a child can’t even make his own breakfast or pick up after himself, how do you expect him or her to make it in the real world? Start now. You are forming your team in life.
Overall, I know of no other way to combat fear, anxiety, trouble, or an enemy than to pray with scripture filled lips and a pliant heart, and couple that resolve with physical training and thoughtful preparation.
In moments like these where we are confronted with enemies that we cannot see or understand, we must stand. Do what we know to do, then stand. Prepare, pray, and stand.
So, first, we train as warriors of the faith.
Filling our hearts, minds, and speech with scripture and positive thoughts is our weapon to wield. Not allowing ourselves to wallow in despair or allow our faith to waiver takes effort. It is intentional.
Secondly, we prepare by getting ourselves physically ready. Train the body.
Taking care of your physical person makes more sense if you realize you may have to confront virus’, disease, run for cover, or use your physical strength in times of crisis.
Get outside and hike. Walk with your kids. Get bikes, go camping.
It is also important that in the meantime you get your finances in order.
Living moment to moment and hand to mouth has created crisis for many. If you live in such a way that this situation has destroyed your daily life, then you should have many conversations in the next months over the way you live. Stop living on credit, start a savings account. Conserve.
Do without the immediate to create breathing room for the future. Even ten dollars or twenty a week adds up. In fact, make it automatic. Each month increase your automatic savings amount by five dollars more. I get that this is hard, but it is not impossible. You need that rainy day fund. The time we are living in is proof.
We also prepare by back stocking personal items and keeping our food stores varied and filled.
Buy less unnecessary items. Make it a family focus. However, keep several of things you use all the time on hand such as deodorant, shampoo, and dogfood. Buy a little extra each week until you have enough to cover a few weeks to a few months in a pinch. We don’t have to hoard items to save ourselves, but keep extra on hand. Also, we all need a few things that are nonperishable or shelf stable for emergencies.
Even a few items in a planter can be valuable as a garden. I wanted to do this for years, but it took being home for a while this spring to do it. Gather some seed packets and plant a few tomatoes and something green. We ordered some heirloom seeds several years ago, and kept them cold as directed to extend their life. I started them in a tray and now I have garden items coming up. My daughter did the same and we traded photos while sheltering in place in early April.
Be calm and teach your family to be calm.
You are the parent, the adult, the leader. Act like one. Lead your family in a way that makes you feel better about yourself. Be trustworthy.
Require children to mind and make your own behavior something they can mimic. Be reasonable and check your own emotions.
If you are a mess, why do you expect your kids to be awesome? Get yourself and your home together. You can do it. Focus on being the parent you have always wanted to be. Instead of being glued to the television, take this time to make a great family.
Train your family to conserve, help out, be financially responsible, and get along. Also, train your family to not expect others to take care of them.
Teach every member of your family to fend for themselves and shoulder responsibility. No other skill will serve them throughout their lives as self sufficiency.
Every age person should have some responsibility. Dad, mom, or Grandma/Grandpa can’t take care of everyone.
Kids need to be more self sufficient. We are training them to be adults. Ask yourself what you needed to know when you were young. What do you wish someone had taught you?
Consider what worries you right now and do something about it.
I have moments of fear concerning the unknown future, but preparation and focus helped me weather it. As each crisis came up, I touched base with my family, gathered supplies, and we talked through what might happen.
For instance, the second week of March when the virus dominated the news, my husband was still at work every day. Once we understood what was happening, we made preparations in the way of food and supplies for the next few weeks and talked about our own response. Since we are both high risk, we were advised to stay home. Like many, we took that advice seriously.
I didn’t get much sleep the third week of March 2020. Concerned, I checked on my family, read articles, and continued preparations in case things got more serious.
But then everything got serious. With rioting in May and June, disease, and crazy weather, our lives were disrupted and uncertain.
Our Covid 19 response:
In March, everyone seemed to be going about their business as usual. Other than the initial lines at stores I saw in the news, the country just didn’t respond to the virus directives in the advised ways at first. On the news and social media, we saw people at the beach, on vacation, hanging out at parties, and having family reunions. All the research I had done early on showed me we were all in trouble. If we did not mitigate the spread of the virus, then many people would die.
We sheltered in place, but essential services were still open. Essential at the moment covered a lot of ground, but slowly the country shut down. People finally took things seriously. It was supposed to be for a short time.
Between hand washing, social distancing, and quarantine, we slowed it down long enough to get the medical services time to catch up.
As of April 4th, there were 261,000 cases and almost 7000 deaths in the United States. April 5th, over 330,000 cases and over 9600 deaths. Then, May 2020: Over 1,000,000 cases and 63,000 deaths.
Later the news trickled out that many of these cases were not Covid deaths at all, but just listed that way. Hospitals and states received more funding based on case and death totals, so the numbers were inflated by including most deaths in the Covid numbers.
Covid inflation of number is suspicious, but added to riots, looting, violence, weather, and constant political chaos, staying home as much as possible doesn’t seem so outrageous right now. And, training your family is vital.
What all of that says to me is that we should all be prepared for the unexpected and teach our children to be self reliant, self sufficient, and part of the solution in a crisis.
So, take this time to train yourself and your family and teach them how to flourish in difficult times.
Remember to gear up and strengthen your resolve with scripture and prayer too. Your inner man or woman needs the weapons to be the steely eyed warrior as this things goes into the next months and the unknown.
In training as a steely eyed warrior,
and barefoot and writing,
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Recent favorite: Trade anxiety for scripture and move mountains.