What Lessons Did You Learn From 2020?

They say if we don’t learn from history, we will repeat its mistakes. That’s probably very true.

Winston Churchill stated it this way. “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” 

Today we’re wrapping up 4Patriots’ Pandemic Prep Week with a look at lessons we learned in 2020.

Thank you very much for tuning in each day. I hope you feel even more prepared than you were last year for whatever 2021 throws at us. 

Last year took the cake 

I’m sure it won’t surprise you that I believe the number one lesson to learn from 2020 is to be prepared for any eventuality. After all, 4Patriots is a preparedness company.  

During December, I heard a number of people say they could hardly wait until 2020 ended. Last year was one for the record books, for sure.

It brought us a global pandemic that has infected more than 22 million Americans and killed more than 375,000. 

It also featured extreme weather in the form of record-breaking numbers of hurricanes and wildfires. Not to mention tornadoes, blizzards and a derecho. Plus plenty of civil unrest.

Be ready for supply chain breakdowns

It’s impossible to say whether 2021 will be as bad as 2020 was. We pray that it won’t be, but we prepare like it will be.   

So, it’s logical that the importance of preparedness this year would be a key lesson from last year for all of us. But preparedness can take many forms.

One of those forms is to be ready for supply chain breakdowns. These can occur due to illness of workers, violent weather and other causes. 

We received an unpleasant taste of this in 2020. Many of us witnessed empty store shelves and rationing for the first time.

Here’s what to stockpile

Let’s think about which items disappeared from store shelves in 2020. As well as which ones could be in short supply in 2020. Stockpiling these types of items now could save you major headaches later.

Among them are: 

  • Personal protective equipment. This includes face masks, disinfectant wipes and cleaning supplies. All of them and others can help us stay healthier in 2021.
  • Paper products. Many stores went from shelves full of paper towels and toilet paper to empty in a very short period of time. Even if your local store is still rationing these items, you can grab one of each whenever you shop.
  • Meat. A number of meat-packing plants shut down or had reduced staffs last year due to the coronavirus. That made it a challenge to find enough ground beef, chicken and pork to feed our families.
  • Survival food. You knew this one was coming. Stockpiling plenty of survival food will not only give you nutritious meals when shortages occur. It will also provide you with peace of mind.
  • Water. Bottled water runs out quickly during an emergency, so don’t wait for another one. You’ll need 1.5 gallons of water per person per day for drinking, hygiene and cleaning. It will help you stay healthy if contaminations occur.

Just the facts, ma’am

Another lesson we can take away from 2020 is this. Don’t believe everything you hear people or the media say.

During 2020, conservatives criticized liberals for exaggerating statistics and other data from the pandemic. 

Liberals then criticized conservatives for reacting by downplaying the severity of the coronavirus. 

On social media, people echoed the positions of the party they identified with. Take everything you are told with a grain of salt. Focus on factual information rather than opinions.

We surprised ourselves 

A lesson many of us learned in 2020 is that we are more resourceful than we thought we were.

Just look how well we adapted to some of the most trying times of our lives. And how we’re still adjusting.

Many of us went from earning a living in an office building to earning a living at home. We turned a number of face-to-face relationships into virtual ones.

We got creative with the way we handled gathering necessary supplies and acquiring food. Some of us learned how to homeschool children and grandchildren. Others even discovered how to create their own products, including cleaning agents.

Appreciating the great outdoors 

Another lesson some of us learned in 2020 is that we should spend more time outdoors. 

Too many of us were in the habit of only going outside to hop in our car and drive somewhere. With more free time – and with fewer indoor places to go – we spent more time outside.

For some of us it was getting into the habit of a daily 30-minute walk. For others it was hiking in a nearby – or not so nearby – wooded area.

There’s just something about getting outside and staying out there a while that makes us feel better. Getting in touch with nature is good for the soul. 

Honing our hobbies

Yet another lesson learned for many people was how important hobbies are. Prior to the coronavirus, some of us filled our days with busy work.

We didn’t take time to revisit a hobby or start up a new one. But the pandemic eliminated our commute times to and from work, grocery stores, theaters and many other places.

And so we got back into hobbies. Such as stamp or coin collecting, or knitting and sewing. 

Or we explored new hobbies. Including learning a new language or how to play a musical instrument.    

Getting and staying healthy

Last but certainly not least, another lesson from 2020 is to make health your number one priority.

Even before any of us had heard of COVID-19, we knew getting and staying healthy was important. But after learning that the strength of our immune system could make the difference between life and death, our health became even more essential.

There are some basic rules to follow here. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Get plenty of sleep. Exercise daily. Try to control stress. And during this pandemic, wear face masks in public, maintain social distancing and wash your hands frequently.  

You can add to your safety precautions by learning how to make your own masks, hand sanitizers and cleaning supplies. That way, if stores run out, you won’t. 

For a number of us, last year presented the biggest test of our lives. This year could be just as rough. But the lessons learned from 2020 should help us better deal with the challenges of 2021. 

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