By Donna Duarte-Ladd
It has been a rough six weeks or so since the cyclone known as coronavirus COVID-19, entered our world. For many New Yorkers, it’s been hard, to say the least. Now the IMF (The International Monetary Fund) has predicted a warning that the current state of economic turmoil we are in due to COVID-19 means we are entering into a recession. This recession is one that is being compared to the Great Depression. Yup, it’s official, these are hard times.
Here is the good news. When we were young, many of us may have heard stories from our parents, grandparents, or great grandparents on how a hard period in their lives affected them. Britannica shares that “Aside from the Civil War, the Great Depression was the gravest crisis in American history.”
Why is this good news? For one, they survived to tell us their stories. And while the lessons were hard —knock, many would share they were quite valuable. We may not know why grandma overuses a tea bag or learned to make her own bread. Or why great-grandpa had two freezers in the garage full of meat, but many traditions or family quirks we now have are based on these lessons. Here are tips and lessons from past hardships like the great depression that can get us through COVID-19.
Psst..learn about 10 Free Online Resources for Families in Need of Support by IntegrateNYC
Grow Vegetables, Even if it’s Herbs on Your Counter
A big lesson from the depression era that was learned was, if possible, grow your own vegetables. Now we know not all of us city dwellers have a yard, but we can plant a small pot next to the window and grow herbs. Herbs such as mint and basil can be used for meals and tea, which counts as a money saver.
Treating Coughs and Colds With Onion Syrup
Granny may have made this when you were a wee one, or perhaps your health nut neighbor has whipped up a batch of this homemade cough syrup. Onions are immune-boosting and abundant with antioxidants, B vitamins, minerals, enzymes, prebiotics, and antioxidants. The good stuff our body needs. It’s an easy-to-make recipe that can be kept in a jar. Add a sliced red or yellow onion and sugar or honey — which will help draw the liquid from the onions.
Cover and in about 6-7 hours, there will be a rich ‘syrup” that is a medicinal way to treat a mild cough and cold. We have found this tutorial useful.
Food Hacks Work
If looking to save money or work with staples you can find at the grocery stores right now, casseroles and batch cooking make for comfy and inexpensive meals. Not only will cooking these dishes help give you a break in the kitchen, but that one meal can feed the family for two to three days. Another useful trick for a meal to last is to “stretch your meat” by using one large piece of meat to make a few meals. So broil up that roast with the carrots and potatoes, the next day use the leftovers for soft tacos…if you have any left stretch it even further and add it to pasta.
Lean on Your Community
If there is a time that the community is needed, it would be now. And this doesn’t have to be your hardship. You can be doing great, yet perhaps your neighbor has lost their job, or worse, a family member. It is during this time when we have to come together and truly be there for others, especially our elderly, expectant mothers, and parents with children with special needs. The pandemic does make physical help challenging, but local community pages on Instagram and Facebook are a great way to start. As of mid-March, Facebook is listing vetted COVID-19 coronavirus information at the top of their News Feed so that users can receive valuable and helpful information.
Swapping is the New Barter
With millions losing their jobs and humankind experiencing a global pandemic, it is a humble experience to learn what one wants and really needs. If you are lacking funds and have items you can give for things you may need, there are many local groups where you can locally trade or pick up something you need. Two favorites are Freecycle, a free membership that is made up of 5,000+ groups where people give and get for free. And for reading, we love Paperbackswap where you can send books that you have enjoyed and pick new books for you and your family. All you pay is the postage to send your books out. Keep in mind that these sites and groups have new rules and measures to keep members safe such has disinfecting items and adhering to government guidelines.
This story first appeared on newyorkfamily.com.