When Covid-19 swept across the world, Bob and Charlie were both blindsided by it. People getting into fights over toilet paper! Lockdowns, businesses shut, shortages everywhere. Bob and Charlie both learned hard lessons.
Oddly enough, both of them learned bird lessons.
Bob embraced the idea that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.
He wanted to be prepared so that if anything like it happened again, he wouldn’t be caught completely off guard. And by like it he included natural disasters, an economic collapse, and the loss of essential services like electricity and running water. At first he thought that might be a bit extreme, but fool me once… made him think about different birds he might want to have “in hand” if things went south again.
So Bob started stocking up on some supplies. First off just canned goods and things he’d had a hard time finding during the early phase of the pandemic. Then a few hundred pounds of rice and beans. His wife thought it was a bit much, but they were cheaper than dirt so she said okay. Bob thought about a Big Berkey for purifying water, but they were more than he wanted to spend so he ended up making a DIY one with a couple of 5-gallon buckets and ceramic filters he bought on Amazon. Concerned about the security of his family in the event of civil unrest, he bought a Ruger 10/22 and went to the range every few months. Thought about trying to build a rocket stove in case fuel was scarce, but ended up buying one. Got a small solar generator; big ones were just too spendy. Bob didn’t do it all at once, just here and there when he had the ability. And not just stuff, he acquired skills, expanded his garden, learned how to can what he grew and save seeds, and picked up some basic emergency medical skills. He met a few like-minded folks and traded ideas with them, learned a few tricks, and made plans to help each other if needed.
When news broke about Covid-23, Bob made a latté and went out to his back deck to listen to the goldfinches on an April morning.
Charlie had learned a different bird lesson: the early bird catches the worm, so when news broke about Covid-23 he drove straight to Walmart to beat the rush of fools who’d wait too long. The parking lot was pretty full, but it always was Saturday mornings. Charlie went in, grabbed a cart, and started filling it up with canned goods, hand sanitizer, flour, yeast, all the things that he knew would soon be scarce. He almost forgot about toilet paper but turned the corner just in time to put his hand on the last 12-pack. At the same time as another guy did. They argued briefly and it quickly escalated. Charlie found out that his old Margaritaville t-shirt was not up to stopping a 115-grain 9mm hollow point.