What is prepper’s lifestyle? What does a day in the life look like?
The COVID-19 Pandemic has shown how our society can be turned upside down in a matter of weeks. As I write this article today, it is a totally different world from what we had just a few months ago. Most thinking people do not expect the life we had to be restored as it was. Too much has changed for things to be as they once were ever again.
A poll this week in the UK showed that 9 out of 10 people wanted specific changes to continue; they feel that our new way of doing things is in some ways better than the old ways. I tend to agree with this thinking, and I am hoping that society can learn a few lessons from what has happened.
Who can fail to be moved when we see photos of animals, no longer scared of the traffic levels, coming back into the towns. Deer grazing in public areas, for example. I have seen the clear water in the canals of Venice. Water that was previously polluted and dark. This slight reduction in the amount of CO2 we are pumping out has made a radical difference to the air quality and views across cities that were once obscured by smog are now cleared.
Possibly one of the biggest changes will be people’s attitudes towards prepping. No longer an obscure concept, the spotlight has landed firmly on how unprepared most of us are.
As more of us venture into the world of prepping, let’s take a look at the lifestyle of a “prepper” in light of all that has happened recently.
A day in the life of a Prepper
Obviously, no two lives can be the same, so for this section, we will take a look at the life of George, a single guy living in an apartment near his work in the city.
George wakes up early each day; he tries to get some exercise before work. Usually he would go to the gym, but now he has decided that he will no longer go there as it is really quite an unhealthy place with equipment very close together. He has doubts about how well they clean the place. So he goes online with some of his friends at the same time each morning. George has a video conference call where they all run through some exercise under the direction of a trainer who joins them.
He used to travel on the crowded subway to his office, pushed up close with others in a crowded train. However, since the lockdown, he works from home and no longer has to endure this.
Working from home has proved successful, and he tends to get a lot more work done and enjoys it more, as he has the freedom to stop for a coffee whenever he wants and adjust the hours he works to suit himself. His bosses quite like the idea, too, as they realize that he can work just as well from home. They are seriously considering closing down the office and letting everyone work from home. They would save a fortune in building costs and local taxes.
George tries to work a standard working day as he used to when he went to the office, but he saves on traveling time, so his actual working day is much shorter. He makes a point of getting into casual clothes and does not remain in his pajamas; after all, he will occasionally have video meetings.
Lunchtime George goes for a run in the local park, just to get some fresh air. He finds it is less busy on the jogging path as most people go in the morning.
George is seriously thinking about relocating out of the city. His apartment costs a fortune, and he does not like urban life. Now he works from home; there is no reason why he cannot go live in a small community out in the sticks.
After work, George meets up with some of his friends online (fellow preppers), and they drink coffee as they socialize and talk about their shared interests. He picks up some great ideas this way.
This meeting they have been chatting about building food stores of essential items, and George is full of enthusiasm for this idea, and promptly goes online to start building a shopping list of what he wants to order. He rarely goes into supermarkets anymore. George hates the crowds. He shops online mostly or goes down to the mama and papa store on the corner where he picks up things he has forgotten.
George finds his new online life very satisfying, and the knowledge that he can live and work anywhere gives him a great deal of comfort.
Next, we will look in more detail at some aspects of the “new norm.”
Suddenly confined to their homes, those under lockdown have had to reassess how they maintain fitness levels. We have all become aware of how gyms are potentially a dangerous place to visit, where sweat and saliva are commonly found on surfaces, and people exercise close to one another. Far from being temples of health, many gyms are, in reality, a place where germs and viruses can be shared all too easily.
Will gyms recover from this enforced closure that has taken place in many parts of the world? Will they recover from the change in the way that many people now perceive them? I think we will see fewer gyms in the future as the demand is reduced.
Many people are now joining with friends via video links like Skype and Zoom, exercising at home where they are isolated from contamination. New online trainers are popping up to fill the void. Will this be a permanent change in the way we exercise?
Jogging in the park instead of on a treadmill in the gym is a far more healthy and natural option, and it is free. Just as the informal groups who meet together online to carry out exercise programs are free. Even the paid personal trainers now working online are working much cheaper than they did when paying gym fees.
Budgeting personal finances
It’s hard to be very precise when discussing lockdown as the word has a different meaning depending on which country (or even city) that you are resident. One thing that is common in all places, however, is that there has been an increase in, and higher uptake of those who choose to work from home, online.
The need for social distancing has meant that it has been judged unsafe for people to congregate in places of work, and to travel back and forth on crowded public transport. Those who have been forced into trying homeworking out are discovering the benefits, and many are planning to continue, even when permitted to return.
Those who study urban planning are already predicting a mass movement from the cities and suburbs to locations that are both cheaper and more desirable places to live. This could result in people paying a great deal less for their housing than historically they have when daily travel to a place of work was a consideration.
With people choosing to congregate in public places less, this has also resulted in a significant decrease in personal expenditure – think of gym fees we discussed in the previous section. Socializing with friends in virtual environments is a far cheaper lifestyle.
It is too early to say precisely how all this is going to pan out, but experts agree that changes will be, and are, happening.
Taken to the extreme, if someone were to continue doing their same job online but relocated to a low-cost economy, they could more than half their cost of living while living to a higher standard than they could back at home.
Improving home and personal security
Fortunately, in the COVID-19 Pandemic, in most places, there has not been any significant breakdown of society, and it has not become any more dangerous living in our present locations. However, imagine what would happen if the lockdown continued, and businesses started to collapse in large numbers, leaving people destitute and making crime much more appealing as an option.
With people at home most of the time because of the lockdown, there has probably been a drop in break-ins to properties, but this could change oh so quickly.
In a future pandemic where society did start to fall apart, or in a natural disaster where potentially millions were left homeless and destitute, substantial portions of this population might regard “redistributing” food, and necessities from those still fortunate enough to have homes. Home security and the ability to protect your family would be of critical importance.
Think back to the panic buying as soon as it became clear how serious the COVID-19 Pandemic was going to be. Many things became unavailable, as the distribution network failed to cope with sudden demands.
Yes, over time, these shortages were resolved, but consider an event that disrupted transport (like an earthquake), and these temporary shortages might take substantially longer to fix. This is why it is incredibly important to think ahead in times of plenty and ensure you have a stock of essential items to, at least short term, see you through.
It is the same with security devices like enhanced locks, grills, and door bars. These may not be available if you leave it until security has broken down. Improving home security is something to be doing now.
Improving relations with neighbors
One thing that has become apparent during the current COVID-19 crisis is the importance of community. In our neighborhood, we see people looking out for one another.
A friend of mine living in the Philippines, in a suburban subdivision, reports that they have had a severe lockdown that stopped most people working. He is fortunate enough to work online, and to be honest, the lockdown had little impact on his family.
He has the money to ensure that he has a stock of food and essentials, and when my friend saw the way things were going, he bought several sacks of rice and other essential foodstuffs. His neighbors are not so important, and with no savings, no income, and relying on family to assist, they have relied on the weekly delivery of rice and essential foodstuffs from the government.
His neighbor has nine children, and this support is not enough, so my friend, who also gets the food handout, passes his delivery over to the neighbor. She, in return, occasionally cooks delicious specialties for him (he gives her the raw materials). Generally, the community works together to overcome their difficulties.
I have seen neighbors working together in the UK to protect their homes by diverting flood water with sandbags. In Australia, neighbors are working together to evacuate their homes and fight off bushfires. There are many things where you can achieve more by cooperating.
You may also face problems in the future and appreciate help or advice from neighbors. You may also be in a position to help your neighbor or the community with skills. Building good relationships now in good times is a great start.
Improving survival knowledge
Being a prepper is an ongoing learning process. Learning new skills and developing yourself as an individual is just so rewarding. Having the confidence that you can cope in any number of difficult situations is very comforting.
There are websites such as this one where you can be guided through a wide range of topics. A place where you can be taught how to do the thing that may become essential to your survival in the future. The videos are great as well.
As a prepper, there are many resources there for you, but best of all, there is a sense of community between people who share the same outlook on life. Chatting and socializing with others who share your interest can be addictive.
These are exciting times for preppers. You have known for some time that events can happen without warning.
Last year who would have believed that the Pandemic would occur? Many preppers were all set and had stores of essentials and plans in place for continuing their lifestyle. Others were caught out by the panic buying and will have learned valuable lessons for a future, more severe scenario that might occur.
How has lockdown affected your day to day living? Is a prepper’s lifestyle something you’d like to try?