Prepping is a fun hobby! Buy guns and ammo and plot how to wipe out the hungry hoards of neighbors trying to steal your MREs in a grid down WROL scenario. But, like life, the fun stuff is not really useful when SHTF happens in SHTF. This short article is designed to make you think about your circumstances as I go on and on and on about mine and what I would do.
Life in 2018 was different from life in 2017. I got up at dawn and went to bed at dusk. In between exhausted sleep in my smelly sleeping bag I find, chop, haul, and carry all day long. Wood, soil, water, and parts of wrecked houses all need to be gathered each and everyday as I try to build a life again without the aid of prepping videos or Final Prepper. I wish I’d downloaded that site before the War started! Too late now. What will your life be like in SHTF after the bombs stop falling and after the first Winter has seen the largest die off in human beings in our short and terminally stupid history? More to the point of this article, safely printed out and sealed in plastic, is what can happen to you and how will you prepare to deal with it after all the fun stuff has ended? Prepping for Year Two is a good mental exercise as it is too easy to get caught up in the first few weeks however stimulating that is (Check out BZA RZA GZA for the best shtf story of all time ).
Good health is more valuable than gold but is ignored until it is no longer there. Year Two I had some bad luck but I lived and we restarted civilization thanks to the Borgs (funny we called them that and they still do not know why!) so I can post my experiences in case another SHTF happens! SHTF ended by an alien invasion, now why did no one else think that would ever happen.
Huples Gets A Cold
Despite years of being a vegan and eating mostly vegan in SHTF I got a bad cold while trading some amaranth seeds for seed corn at the community market. I felt tired all day yesterday but I feel tired everyday. This morning I ache all over and my throat and head are killing me. I think I have a fever but there are no thermometers left working. Oh how I wish I’d kept those mercury ones I had when I started my nurse training.
Dragging out of bed I light the BioLite with wood stored in the hut. Love this stove but the electricity no longer is produced and the fan is dead. Still it reminds me of happier days camping. I drink mint tea and go back to my bed. Later I have a sneezing fit and green snot shoots out of my nose. Still I know I have a cold so two to three days rest and keep hydrated should fix me. No need to panic as I have several weeks worth of wood stored in the hut along with a lot of water. I’m not that hungry so I break out my emergency rations and have soup and oatmeal. I’m glad I kept pre War rations for when I’m sick. Going out to fish and forage would be very, very hard especially as I am not thinking very straight.
I also use some of my stored honey and apple cider vinegar to make a gargle. I also add in some dried raspberry leaves. Sadly I have no lemon juice anymore as a dash of that would help. I do have some single malt scotch and I have a generous amount of that at dinner time with my stored black tea. Helps me sleep and I know I have to keep drinking fluids all day despite feeling like death warmed over. I keep the fire going as well as warmth helps a lot. To help sleep I have placed two of the Winter blankets under my pillows as the elevation really helps the congestion.
I am not that hungry but I snack on dehydrated foods to help my body fuel itself to kill these nasty cold bugs. Blueberries slightly reduce fever and I like them and carrots for the beta-carotene. I drink a lot of my stored black tea as it contains catechin which is a mild antibiotic. 48 hours later I literally feel the fever go and bounce out of bed raring to go and start the day’s labors.
Huples Gets the Flu
Being a sociable sort I go to the community market again a few weeks later. I really want some baked beans and have been dreaming of them. I have a few buns I baked and almost no one has any flour anymore so I am hoping to be lucky. Nope. There appears to be no more safe baked beans in Canada. This truly is the apocalypse!
Two days later I wake up after feeling totally fine and I think my cold is back again. Until I try to get up out of bed. This is really bad. I am drenched with sweat and shivering. I ache all over like I did when I had the fight with the neighbor just after the War and had to kill him. My back, arms, and legs are so sore they hurt even if I just think of moving them. My throat is sore and I think I am having a stroke as my head is exploding in pain. The sudden and painful dry coughing fit seals the deal. Huples has influenza and that can easily kill me.
If I had any Tamiflu left now is the time to take them but I traded them for a bow last July when the Creeping Death flu hit the area. The bow has been a great gift but I also got the Creep and then had to use my remaining supply of Tamiflu. Tamiflu can cause nausea and vomiting and should be taken with food to reduce those effects. If you are reading this and have some Tamiflu I envy you. It is dangerous to use if you have asthma or any respiratory disease so those heavy smokers out there really should not take it. It can cause delirium and suicide in teenagers. But I have no Tamiflu left.
If I had my family still living I know that I would have already infected them the day before symptoms appeared. I do know that if I live I will be contagious for at least the next five days and maybe ten so no one should come anywhere near me without an N95 mask on and great hand washing.
I cannot light the fire as I am beyond weak. Luckily I can use my store of Winter blankets to cover my stinking, sweating, and shivering body. I immediately implement my illness protocol and use my stored water. I premix bottles with my stored Gatorade powder and really try to drink as much as I can. Once a day I throw my sheet onto the floor and wrap myself in a new one. Truly having a large store of linens was a game changer in SHTF for me.
Of course I survived and can happily tell you that flu had me in bed for about 5 days and as weak as a kitten for a month afterwards. This wasn’t the Creep and no one else around me had it. Still someone must have had it and infected me. Probably the trader whose baked bean tin I picked up even though it was obviously damaged. I never shake hands anymore after the Creep and stay one meter away but flu viruses are hardy and hangout on stuff as well as people.
Huples Breaks His Ankle
Still weak from the flu I was running after a turkey I had hit with my bow in the back woods near where the 767 crashed, near the burned out Costco when I crashed down. I heard the snap and looked at my twisted foot but felt nothing until I tried to untie my boot. Pain. My world was pain. I stopped trying to see what was wrong and started looking for a stick. I could not feel my toes which is not good. I really hope I have sprained my ankle and not broken it. Luckily there were loads of sticks near me so I found two good enough as sort of walking sticks and then broke open my back pack to get to my EDC supplies. I wonder if I am the only prepper who carries an EDC in this new and not improved world! Carefully I tie four sticks to my boot and then attach them above the knee using paracord. This splint will have to do as I have to get back to my hut and get the boot off and do a visual inspection. The 600 meters to home took me three to four hours and I think I passed out a few times.
At the hut I regret not forcing the boot off when this happened as the foot and ankle are really swollen. I manage but barely and again passed out during this. I have opened the first aid box and ignored the precious aspirin as I they will interfere with inflammation and I need nature to work uninterrupted.
Visual inspection tells me it is a fracture. The foot is swollen and the inner ankle is rock hard and bruised but very pale everywhere else. My toes are numb when I prod my knife into them and I cannot move my toes at all. I wish I was not living alone as I really need help with this. I try to tape and straighten the foot but I just cannot do it. I blow my air horn, three short, three long, three short, pause, repeat. Keeping that seemed odd but now I am toast if no one comes a running to save me. I am guessing the population of our small town is around 400 now. 86000 dead but no one does a census and no one collects taxes so there is some good news I guess! Mike shows up after a few hours. He was really puzzled to hear the air horn when out hunting. He’s a good guy. Everyone is these days as the bad ones ended up among the 86000 by the end of the first Winter. Still he’s not happy at being asked to do foot care on Huples so he leaves after having a shot of rare scotch with me and send his 13-year-old daughter Kitty to ‘nurse’ me.
I am a nurse and proud of it so having little Kitty ‘nurse’ me is funny. She broke her wrist during the War and I fixed her up at the time using my great store of medical gear including a cast. I have her get the supplies ready including medical tape, gauze, and my last role of casting bandage. I have been thinking of clay casts but I am glad I have one roll of the real stuff left. My main issue is when the medical tape runs out. Duct tape works but ruins the skin as it does not breathe.
Kitty pulls my foot straight and I hear and feel the grinding. Kitty does not care and has seen and done worse but who of us has not? She tapes and wraps the foot like a pro. Casting soaks and then goes on and the warm heat of it setting is wonderful. I thank Kitty and gift her a Mars Bar (mini one) and a gold RN pin (my old nursing association sent me one a year and I hoarded them). She tells me she will come once a day and help out for half an hour but otherwise she cannot spare the time. Kitty should be a real nurse and I decide to ask her and Mike if I can apprentice her once I am literally back on my feet. So many old skills have literally died.
Thanks to Kitty and my SHTF prepper freeze-dried stores of food carefully hoarded these last few years I make an okay recovery but my days as a ballet dancer are over. My carefully carved ‘crutches’ are a lot heavier than those nice old aluminum ones that burned when the house went up but they do the job.
Anyway as we all know the Borgs invade before the third Winter. Humanity welcomed our alien overloads with open arms and they turned out to be decent enough for orange hairy lizards. I am sure I’d have cut myself, got an STD, had an eye injury, and maybe had one of the births end up as a c section (mortality about 99% I reckon) if the new world had not been forced on us by the Borgs. Yet I have the skills to deal with those things even without modern medicines and equipment the Borgs have given us in exchange for the Sahara and Australia. Still life would be a lot harder and shorter without electricity and powered ships and vans.