Discussions
Prepping strategies for larger families
1
3

Good topic A few thoughts to add: 1. In the absence of medications and evidence based therapies like CBT from trained providers, alot of people are going to have to revert to the old time mental health remedy: relying on community networks for social support. Simply hearing others stories and knowing you aren’t alone in a struggle can be a huge relief, especially when dealing with irreparable problems like grief caused by the loss of loved ones. There is no fixing the loss of a family member, but if you are surrounded by others who are going through it too, at least you aren’t alone.  2. In terms of prepping a regular person for extreme physical situations, there is a bit of precedent for this in the general public: childbirth classes. Women are encouraged to attend childbirth classes and speak to friends and family who have been through it to familiarize themselves with what they might experience. This is because labor and delivery are often very unpredictable and unmedicated labor is extremely, unimaginably painful in most cases. No amount of classes or discussions can fully prepare you mentally or physically for such an intense physical event, but seeing and hearing about what to expect can at least decrease anxiety and help people develop realistic expectations. I also found personally that I never feared childbirth pain in large part because most of the women in my life had all experienced it and were very open about their experiences. In a way, I just accepted the pain as likely inevitable and didn’t “emotionally fight” it by worrying about it so to speak. So there could be merit to preparing yourself mentally using resources and training classes meant for aid workers, paramedics, and the like.  3. For me, I know there is one thing I am absolutely not mentally ready for: infant and child mortality. We know that infant and child mortality used to be sky high before modern medicine. Babies and little ones died frequently and almost everyone had lost their own baby, sibling, cousin, or neice/nephew. I’m not ready for this. At all. But I know that if we ever revert back to healthcare like we had in the early 1900s, never mind any earlier, the loss of the little ones will inevitably follow. 🙁

Is anyone else here taking the middle ground approach and basing the decision off your local/regional numbers as the deciding factor? Sadly most Americans are currently living in places that are seeing surges, or are in high risk areas, like urban centers. I personally would not send my kids back if I were in these areas if I could help it. We are in a different position though. We are living in a region where there is consistent decline/low covid activity (rural New England). in addition, our region is strong with masking and other precautions, which is probably why we are doing so well. our own local area is also a bit insulated being a rural community with few travelers and no nightlife/bars/gathering spaces to speak of. At this point, the biggest risk to our region isn’t current spread as much as it is people becoming complacent and travelers/returning residents importing virus from other areas. My understanding is that the experts like Dr. Fauci and the AAP are in support of opening schools in areas like ours (ie: ones with consistent declining/very low numbers for weeks/months prior to reopening). Our own town hasn’t had an active case in over 6 weeks and we still have another month to go before school. Provided things continue this way, I feel comfortable (enough) to send my kids to school.  That being said, I will not hesitate to switch to homeschool if the numbers turn. I’ve started stocking up on homeschooling supplies just in case.

Possible food/supply shortages…
28
17

When we moved to our rural, close knit town, we were lucky that we had young kids and could try to build connections with other parents. In the absence of that, social media would be my go-to for initiating connections without knowing anyone. Many rural communities have local community FB pages where people post information, town activities, etc. Volunteering will likely be a big one, and ex-urbanites will have to be willing to branch out of their comfort zone in order to make friends. For example, if you are a non-religious type like me moving to a rural community where the church and local school are really the only community bases in town, you might need to be willing to volunteer and contribute to their sponsored events like suppers, food pantries, book drives, and the like. This may make people uncomfortable if they don’t philosophically agree with the given religion, or if they aren’t “kid people” but the alternative is to be really socially isolated which stinks. Next door/street neighbors are another major social connection in rural areas. In urban areas you have so many people around you don’t really need to rely on your neighbors for socializing. It sounds old school, but trying really hard to build a good relationship with your neighbors is going to be key. Those neighbors will in turn introduce you to others in the community or put different activities/groups/events on your radar that you would not know about on your own.

I’ve got young kids under 5. They are going to in person pre-k as planned. This is a really, really hard decision and there is no right answer for everyone. But here are my thoughts. I still think most people don’t appreciate just how dangerous it is to keep prek-adolescent children away from their peers for an extended period.  People are so focused on covid, they can forget that other factors can destroy your health too. Daily, repeated social interaction with other children is a critical aspect of normal human development. It isn’t a nice to have, it is essential. On top of it, we were already dealing with alarming rises in mood disorders, suicidality, delayed social milestones and other signs of social/emotional dysfunction in children and adolescents before covid hit. What happens if we cut off peer-to-peer social development for a year on top of that? I’m seeing parents on social media already reporting that their kids are crying all the time, begging to see their friends, or just shutting down emotionally and losing interest in life activities. And that is just after a few short months. As a parent, I have to balance the very serious risk of covid19 with the very serious risk of attempting to artificially “pause” my kids’ social and academic development for a year or more. I’m realizing more and more that I can’t “sprint” my way to the finish line of this long pandemic. So I don’t like it, but I’m going to trust the American Academy of Pediatrics, hold my nose, and pick the risks of covid over the risks of extended isolation. I hope it is the right choice for us.

  Mom of 3 here, with a current 6mo old. I second the cloth diaper suggestion. Early in the pandemic there was a run on diapers and baby wipes. Having back ups in case it happens again is important. I would also add: Read to feed (RTF) nursettes and disposable nipples for formula. RTF formulas are best for prepping as they are already prepared (no mixing required, so no need for clean water), shelf stable at room temp (no need to refridgerate or warm up), sterile (safe for feeding very young babies, no boiling water required), and come in 2oz bottles that you can pop a disposable nipple right on to feed (no clean bottles required). And back up formula is very important for first time breastfeeders too, as it is actually pretty common for first timers to underfeed their babies in the first weeks of life due to delayed milk coming in, or slow milk regulation. Underfeeding a newborn is a medical emergency, so having even a single 6pack of RTF formula on hand can mean the difference between a healthy baby and landing in the ER with a very dehydrated one. Happened to me with my first. Some BF advocates will tell you to avoid keeping any formula in the house so it won’t “tempt you” to give it, but if you follow this advice and your baby DOES need more food, you will be screwed (like I was). Better to have this prep and not use it than need it and not have it. As far as breastfeeding goes, a manual breastpump is a cheap, great backup. Sometimes babies can’t nurse well for a given feed (or ever) or aren’t hungry when you need to relieve the pressure, leading to loss of supply or engorgement (which can lead to clogs and mastitis). Other times power outages can throw off your ability to use your electric pump. Another cheap tool is a Haaka silicone “pump” which can relieve pressure or catch the letdown on the opposite side as you nurse.


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Prepping strategies for larger families
1
3
Possible food/supply shortages…
28
17

Good topic A few thoughts to add: 1. In the absence of medications and evidence based therapies like CBT from trained providers, alot of people are going to have to revert to the old time mental health remedy: relying on community networks for social support. Simply hearing others stories and knowing you aren’t alone in a struggle can be a huge relief, especially when dealing with irreparable problems like grief caused by the loss of loved ones. There is no fixing the loss of a family member, but if you are surrounded by others who are going through it too, at least you aren’t alone.  2. In terms of prepping a regular person for extreme physical situations, there is a bit of precedent for this in the general public: childbirth classes. Women are encouraged to attend childbirth classes and speak to friends and family who have been through it to familiarize themselves with what they might experience. This is because labor and delivery are often very unpredictable and unmedicated labor is extremely, unimaginably painful in most cases. No amount of classes or discussions can fully prepare you mentally or physically for such an intense physical event, but seeing and hearing about what to expect can at least decrease anxiety and help people develop realistic expectations. I also found personally that I never feared childbirth pain in large part because most of the women in my life had all experienced it and were very open about their experiences. In a way, I just accepted the pain as likely inevitable and didn’t “emotionally fight” it by worrying about it so to speak. So there could be merit to preparing yourself mentally using resources and training classes meant for aid workers, paramedics, and the like.  3. For me, I know there is one thing I am absolutely not mentally ready for: infant and child mortality. We know that infant and child mortality used to be sky high before modern medicine. Babies and little ones died frequently and almost everyone had lost their own baby, sibling, cousin, or neice/nephew. I’m not ready for this. At all. But I know that if we ever revert back to healthcare like we had in the early 1900s, never mind any earlier, the loss of the little ones will inevitably follow. 🙁

Is anyone else here taking the middle ground approach and basing the decision off your local/regional numbers as the deciding factor? Sadly most Americans are currently living in places that are seeing surges, or are in high risk areas, like urban centers. I personally would not send my kids back if I were in these areas if I could help it. We are in a different position though. We are living in a region where there is consistent decline/low covid activity (rural New England). in addition, our region is strong with masking and other precautions, which is probably why we are doing so well. our own local area is also a bit insulated being a rural community with few travelers and no nightlife/bars/gathering spaces to speak of. At this point, the biggest risk to our region isn’t current spread as much as it is people becoming complacent and travelers/returning residents importing virus from other areas. My understanding is that the experts like Dr. Fauci and the AAP are in support of opening schools in areas like ours (ie: ones with consistent declining/very low numbers for weeks/months prior to reopening). Our own town hasn’t had an active case in over 6 weeks and we still have another month to go before school. Provided things continue this way, I feel comfortable (enough) to send my kids to school.  That being said, I will not hesitate to switch to homeschool if the numbers turn. I’ve started stocking up on homeschooling supplies just in case.

When we moved to our rural, close knit town, we were lucky that we had young kids and could try to build connections with other parents. In the absence of that, social media would be my go-to for initiating connections without knowing anyone. Many rural communities have local community FB pages where people post information, town activities, etc. Volunteering will likely be a big one, and ex-urbanites will have to be willing to branch out of their comfort zone in order to make friends. For example, if you are a non-religious type like me moving to a rural community where the church and local school are really the only community bases in town, you might need to be willing to volunteer and contribute to their sponsored events like suppers, food pantries, book drives, and the like. This may make people uncomfortable if they don’t philosophically agree with the given religion, or if they aren’t “kid people” but the alternative is to be really socially isolated which stinks. Next door/street neighbors are another major social connection in rural areas. In urban areas you have so many people around you don’t really need to rely on your neighbors for socializing. It sounds old school, but trying really hard to build a good relationship with your neighbors is going to be key. Those neighbors will in turn introduce you to others in the community or put different activities/groups/events on your radar that you would not know about on your own.

I’ve got young kids under 5. They are going to in person pre-k as planned. This is a really, really hard decision and there is no right answer for everyone. But here are my thoughts. I still think most people don’t appreciate just how dangerous it is to keep prek-adolescent children away from their peers for an extended period.  People are so focused on covid, they can forget that other factors can destroy your health too. Daily, repeated social interaction with other children is a critical aspect of normal human development. It isn’t a nice to have, it is essential. On top of it, we were already dealing with alarming rises in mood disorders, suicidality, delayed social milestones and other signs of social/emotional dysfunction in children and adolescents before covid hit. What happens if we cut off peer-to-peer social development for a year on top of that? I’m seeing parents on social media already reporting that their kids are crying all the time, begging to see their friends, or just shutting down emotionally and losing interest in life activities. And that is just after a few short months. As a parent, I have to balance the very serious risk of covid19 with the very serious risk of attempting to artificially “pause” my kids’ social and academic development for a year or more. I’m realizing more and more that I can’t “sprint” my way to the finish line of this long pandemic. So I don’t like it, but I’m going to trust the American Academy of Pediatrics, hold my nose, and pick the risks of covid over the risks of extended isolation. I hope it is the right choice for us.

  Mom of 3 here, with a current 6mo old. I second the cloth diaper suggestion. Early in the pandemic there was a run on diapers and baby wipes. Having back ups in case it happens again is important. I would also add: Read to feed (RTF) nursettes and disposable nipples for formula. RTF formulas are best for prepping as they are already prepared (no mixing required, so no need for clean water), shelf stable at room temp (no need to refridgerate or warm up), sterile (safe for feeding very young babies, no boiling water required), and come in 2oz bottles that you can pop a disposable nipple right on to feed (no clean bottles required). And back up formula is very important for first time breastfeeders too, as it is actually pretty common for first timers to underfeed their babies in the first weeks of life due to delayed milk coming in, or slow milk regulation. Underfeeding a newborn is a medical emergency, so having even a single 6pack of RTF formula on hand can mean the difference between a healthy baby and landing in the ER with a very dehydrated one. Happened to me with my first. Some BF advocates will tell you to avoid keeping any formula in the house so it won’t “tempt you” to give it, but if you follow this advice and your baby DOES need more food, you will be screwed (like I was). Better to have this prep and not use it than need it and not have it. As far as breastfeeding goes, a manual breastpump is a cheap, great backup. Sometimes babies can’t nurse well for a given feed (or ever) or aren’t hungry when you need to relieve the pressure, leading to loss of supply or engorgement (which can lead to clogs and mastitis). Other times power outages can throw off your ability to use your electric pump. Another cheap tool is a Haaka silicone “pump” which can relieve pressure or catch the letdown on the opposite side as you nurse.


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