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The Pandemic Case for Self-Reliance

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The story of 2020 is a textbook study of system collapse.  It was the biggest international disruption since World War 2.

COVID-19 taught us that what we believed about security...food security, financial security, security of health services and one's own sense of security...was an illusion.

Millions died...and many lost friends and loved ones.  Many that caught the virus (but survived) will experience ongoing health issues. Many more millions suffered complete financial ruin as wage earners and small to medium businesses lost their incomes.  We saw food stampedes as the international trade machine ground to a halt and got to see just how tenuous things could get when the planes, ships and trucks stopped moving.  Many of us have lost our homes and our businesses.  

All of us lost freedom of one sort or another.

For those generations that came after World Wor 2, it was the defining experience of their time.  They had never experienced war like those who lived through that conflict.

In many respects, COVID-19 was worse than war.  This time, the enemy was/is indiscriminate, amoral and invisible.

There is a general sense of anxiety and insecurity...and a loss of faith in the institutions in which we placed our trust and reliance.

The systemic failures in food production and distribution saw food stampedes and riots as the 'kanban' (just in time) ethic of modern industries revealed its major flaw as the supermarket shelves lay empty within a day or two.

Local economies toppled like nine pins as businesses ceased to trade and the employment system toppled very quickly resulting in massive job losses and the failure of entire local communities.

COVID-19 hijacked the health system...and the media hijacked our minds and what was left of our sense of security.

And this brings to me to point of this article.

All of our security systems...(for food, transport, health, finance) failed us...in short order and large measure.

But while millions suffered - and contine to suffer - it doesn't need to be this way.

The antidote for insecurity is self-reliance.

If we...

  • grow our own food
  • provide our own shelter and utilities
  • design, make and mend those things that we need in our day-to-day lives
  • start and grow our own micro-enterprises

...we can insulate ourselves from the negative effects of even something like a global pandemic

Doing even one or two of them can improve your sense of confidence and your power to influence your own outcomes.

The antidote for anxiety is action.

Relative to others, 2020 was no big deal for me because I've been pursuing self-reliance for a long time. Indeed, my lifetime has been a series of career blocks each punctuated by self-employment. Even when I worked for other organisations or people, I usually had side-hustles of some kind or the other.

When I resumed ownership of Aquaponics Nation in early 2021, I knew I had the vehicle for my emerging vision.

While Aquaponics HQ - and then Aquaponics Nation - has always been about food self-reliance, I sensed a need to broaden its relevance.

To that end, this place is now committed to assisting people to achieve greater self-reliance and a more satisfying life.


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