Preparing for Indefinite Lockdowns - Ecotrain's Question of the Week

in ecoTrain2 months ago (edited)

Warning: What follows here is a bit of rant, where I didn't hold back on my gloomy cynicism. Spreading negative energy is the last thing I want to do, especially in this wonderful @ecotrain community. At the same time, I feel a bunch of suppressed emotions under the surface, just begging to be shared. So here it is, my honest opinion. Please treat it as such. I never meant to blacken anyone's hopes, but I do want to share my feelings. It may resonate with some of you too.

This Week's Questions: Indefinite Lockdowns

One of the reasons I enjoy Ecotrain's Question of the Week is because oftentimes it confronts me with thoughts and notions I just can't ignore. This time the case is even sharper, as it's asking us quite specifically: What can you do to prepare yourself for indefinite lockdowns without having to leave your home or move location?

Indefinite Lockdowns??? You mean this situation is not going to end anytime soon, maybe never? Okay, this is the first shock we must overcome, realizing that there is a good chance this insanity will continue for years to come. But wait, hadn't we been complaining about a number of ongoing insanities for a while? Sure, for as long as I can remember. So what's different about this current one, then?

We Just Don't Know Where We Are

Before Covid, we knew about the degradation of soil fertility around the world, the massive disappearance of species, the incredible amounts of plastics in even the remotest regions, and the fact pretty much every year is a new record breaker for temperatures. Still, there was a sense of normality, and we knew what we could do, and what we couldn't. And that was enough to give us a map of the situation, so we could come up with a strategy of getting where we wanted to go: to a sustainable lifestyle, self sufficiency, renewable energy and appropriate technology, sharing resources as a community and letting them grow further, and last but not least, living in, of, and with nature.

These points of destination are still the same. What has changed is simply our place on the map: where we are and how we could get there. After all, the curious thing about this destination, is that you can't arrive alone. It takes at least a community, preferably a society, but ideally everyone to a certain extent. And we've been moving in the right direction, even if at such a slow pace that it may not even be apparent.

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Sometimes I imagine being back in the 50's, where dumping your picnic trash into the pristine lake that you came out to see was the most accepted thing in the world. How could I address global environmental issues to a culture with such a mindset. At the same time I like to imagine I'm talking to people two generations in the future, who are hopefully so amazingly conscious about the life around us, that building fertile soil is what all of them do without thinking. (And yes, we could do that too...!)

Seeing this gradual progress in the right direction, it becomes especially sad to see how after arguing about plastic straws for weeks, suddenly we're ditching more plastic trash than ever before, as a result of a surge in take-out food. Half a step forward, then two back? That's not even salsa dancing!

Making Connections

So what I'm getting at is this: At a time when we are all locked into our own little worlds, the most important thing we can do is connect with everyone we can, who is also moving in the same direction. Maybe they are further ahead, which will inspire us to get there too. Or they might be just starting out, looking for someone to encourage them or show them the way. And since we are generally restricted from traveling, spatial location is becoming less important, so we need to focus on keeping connections in other ways.

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In recent months at least three of my favorite Hive bloggers have relocated to Portugal, precisely as part of their journey in this direction. As excited as I was about their plans and ideas, I did not move to Portugal myself. Instead, I got involved in two other projects on the American continent, which helped me avoid much of the Covid craze, but at the moment I find myself in Mexico City (again and still), seemingly faaaar far away from sustainable life.

Doing What You Can, If You Can Do It

For people stuck in consumerist, urban situations, I can only repeat what I'd been saying all along: Do what's in the realm of your possibility: grow a rooftop garden, herbs on your windowsill, mushrooms in your bathroom, spirulina, kombucha, water kefir. Sell your sprouts at the local market, harvest and filter your rainwater, and compost your kitchen waste with worms.

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All this hasn't changed, only the appearance. Sure, the local market may be closed, and we won't get to see all those inspiring folks out there who have been practicing one aspect or another of what we ultimately want to do ourselves. But this is all just the looks. Thanks to the lockdown(s) there may be many more people heading our way, we just can't see them out there. So let's get back to my previous point, and start making connections!

Looking on the Bright Side

No, this is no ironic remark here. I'm serious about trying to look for positive things all around us. Take the new Covid mutation called B.1.1.7 which is wrecking havoc on the British Isles these days. Far more contagious than the original strain, it has already made its way around the world, so within the next few months we can expect a similar surge in infections worldwide, as in the UK right now. It's not easy to find a positive thing about this, other than herd immunity. Since this new strain is so fast spreading, it may just as well have completed its rounds before the vaccine. In other words, we won't need the vaccine any longer, since 2/3 of the population will have been infected already.

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I'm not making any predictions here, since this would obviously cut into the projected profits of those interested in vaccinating us, and who knows what alternative scheme they will come up with instead. My point here is: we should be ready for change, embrace uncertainty, and deal with whatever the world throws at us. If we can continue our journey into the right direction, we'll be okay.


Thank you for this fantastic post! It has been featured in our weekly tie up post, along with a summary of all the things WE think we should do to prepare for.. indefinite lockdowns.

Please stop by and check out the list, were such a smart bunch! much love

On the last point, from what I've been reading, we won't get herd immunity - because this works more like a common cold than chickenpox. That is, you might be immune for a few weeks, but that's it - not like the chickenpox where once you've had it, you won't ever catch it again.
Now to be sure, I haven't looked up if there are any updates on that research, but just putting it out there.
The most worrying part of the vaccine thing that I've read is that if people skip the second dose (which a lot of people do on other vaccines that require more than one dose), it could lead to even more mutations or the virus becoming more resistant - so, a super bug, like we see due to overuse of antibiotics in our world.
So yeaaah, either way, I don't see this being over by summer like some people are hoping.
On the first, overarching point: one of the things I like about being in the city IS the opportunity for connections. Buy nothing groups and neighbors with backyard chickens and swapping seeds for the garden and little free libraries and free community distributions and all that? That's hard to do if you're all miles apart. So there are pros and cons to both circumstances!

Oh no!!! Just what I needed to hear... not! :-) Okay, so the only notion to save my worried mind is that we really don't know enough to make any kind of prediction whatsoever. (Sorry, I know, this is probably the worst reaction to hear, but at least it puts me at ease...)

As for mutations, from what I've heard, the B.1.1.7. is only one of hundreds if not thousands of mutations detected so far. The one they found in South Africa is another different one. And the vaccinations have only just begun. So once again, we'll just have to see what happens.

Yeah, all those nice things about cities you mentioned... I wish we had more of that in the city where I live. Hahaha! But at the moment these things are even more impeded by the Covid restrictions.

I hope I'm not coming off as negative here. I really appreciate your comment, and the points you're raising. But I guess this is my general attitude to all things Covid related. So just like mentioned in the first paragraph: don't let my cynicism cloud our conversation.

BTW, do you like !BEER ? I wonder if there is any more of it.

Ha ha ha, no worries at all. I'm a bit cynical about it myself. Like, sure, maybe the vaccine will work great, but - will enough people take it? Will enough people get both doses? Will it do beans against the different mutations? Etc. So I feel like, yeah's a little impossible to know how any of this is going to pan out yet. Maybe it'll work and it'll be another triumph of science, or maybe we'll get one of the mutations running rampant and be back to square one. I'm not holding my breath. And then if it all goes the best way possible, I can be pleasantly surprised. ;)
!BEER to you, too! :)

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Learn how to earn FREE BEER each day by staking your BEER.

Hey @phoenixwren, here is a little bit of BEER from @stortebeker for you. Enjoy it!

Learn how to earn FREE BEER each day by staking your BEER.

Your post has been submitted to the OCD community curation initiative for some great upvotes! OCD are currently supporting posts in HIVE communities!

Congrats and keep posting great content!

Nice post. You touch on so many things, I do believe we can all do our little part to make our world a better, cleaner, place. To promote community through working together to become more self reliant, appreciating nature and all that is being offered to us. There is no question, we must take action to curb climate change or we will see mass extinction of so many species. What a shame.

This pandemic was never factored into my retirement , but I feel blessed to live where I do. Small town, low population, large property and the ability to grow my our food .

Looking at the bigger picture, I feel the pain of others who are really suffering and not so much with the virus, but from the isolation. It's tough right now all over the world.

Stay positive and ride it out, there's got to be a silver lining.
Or when you see a big pile of horse manure, jump in and find the pony. 😉

Thanks for your comment! Nice to hear that you are in a good place with lots of nature and food growing around you. Of course, we don't need a virus to realize how good that is. I agree, the isolation has probably worse effects than the actual virus. Oh, and your last advice.... let me take you up on it (maybe not literally). :-)

I really love your rants @stortebeker and I especially love your "warning" at the beginning of the post. Yeah man, things will probably get grim and than a little grimmer before they're better... But I think you're right this whole covid thing will bring out more people who think forward and take regenerating soil as a common thing to do, they're out there! Connections are definitely very important right now, build community however yo can, but build it because we can't do this alone... life is much easier together!

Well said on the vaccine brother, we probably don't need it. Those interested in vaccinating us probably already planned on having a new vaccines for the covid-20-22 anyway, because this one will not work on the next variant!

That was nice to read, I should read your stuff more often, I miss it.

Oh, and as for me, I love reading your encouraging comments. It really feels great seeing the resonance that I am not the only one out there who looks at things this way. Thank you.