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Freedom in the time of panic
10 small ways to turn crisis lemons into freedom lemonade

I began writing this post after California ‘crats shut down the Bay Area and Governor Jay Inslee of Washington state demanded that all restaurants in his state close their doors except for take-out and delivery.

I also began the original version of this post with a fulmination about the insanity of specific measures (“You oldsters stay in your homes and don’t go out even to buy food.” In other words, “We don’t care if you starve for want of helpers to run errands for you; just don’t clutter up our hospitals or disrupt our attempts to make ourselves look like we’re ‘doing something.'”)

Since that long-ago time, two entire days past, other governments have followed the insanity or threatened that they might. And I’ve realized most of my fulminations aren’t needed; you already know how quickly we’ve entered the crazy times, and why we have.

The measures these (mostly blue) governments have taken to crash the economy protect us against demons and witches Russkies ourselves sin climate disaster killer asteroid strikes acid rain barbarians at the gates global terrorism Covid-19 would be proportional if Black Plague or Ebola had gotten a foothold in this country. They’re outlandish for an illness that’s going to turn out to be nothing worse than a slightly more severe than normal flu (and maybe not even that).

Yes, Covid-19 (or the novel coronavirus or the WuFlu or whatever you want to call it) is to be taken seriously, particularly by the old and the immune-compromised. Absolutely. Wash those hands for 20 seconds while you sing “Happy birthday.” Don’t go on that cruise. Don’t breathe the same air as your neighbors. Don’t mingle in mobs even if your state or city government still “allows” you to.

But for Pete’s sake, we’re a long, long way from corpse-laden carts and “Bring out your dead!” And we would be even if we took none of those extreme (and highly politicized) measures.


I will fulminate about only one or two things before getting to the main purpose of this post — which is once again about holding on to some freedom despite the worst efforts of the worst bastards on earth.

Speculate all you want about the motives behind this highly politicized, media-driven panic. Is it to destroy the Trumpian illusion of prosperity so Senile Joe will have a better chance in November? Is it to punish Trump’s base of small business owners, less-educated workers, and the lowest-level employees? Have an excuse for more corporate bailouts? Cure global warming by having everybody stay in their homes and do nothing? Create more government dependence on the part of We the Little People? Destroy the rural economy (which will,m in general, be harder hit for a longer time than the urban economy)? Distract from the fact that civil society is crumbling or that government is filled with incompetency? Have an excuse to bail out more cronies with more trillions? Is it simply to get more clicks for CNN and the New York Times? More power for politicians of both wings of the great carrion bird?

Well, the latter is a given. Of course it’s that. Whatever else it is, it’s a colossal power grab that, like 9/11, we won’t see the end of in our lifetimes.

Uber-prepper Daisy Luther, in a forthright, thoughtful, but off-target post accused herself of normalcy bias for having such a hard time grokking that the Big Event we’ve all been prepping for has at last arrived. Not TEOTWAWKI, but the serious huddle-in-your-home-disruption-of-the-supply-chain-people-distrusting-people event where preps are extremely practical.

But she makes the error of thinking that the virus itself is the event, when it’s not at all. The hard-to-grasp thing for any honest, practical, ethical person is that the real disaster is entirely caused by overreactive, never-let-a-crisis-go-to-waste politics and their enablers of the media.

How many times have you heard some commentator state, as if it were fact, that “the coronavirus is crashing the economy”? Talk about the power of propaganda! The coronavirus is no more crashing the economy (or putting a demand on our preps) than the totally forgotten swine flu pandemic of 2009 did or a marginally severe flu season does. (Of course, the world’s economy was already crashed when the swine flu hit, but that’s another story about government corruption.)

But when this is all over, the virus will have “caused” the disaster in millions of minds and government will claim to have “saved” us from the very horrible mess it created.

And we’ll have lots and lots of new programs and government powers, new kinds and degrees of dependency, a newly cowed and obedient population, and all the usual anti-freedoms that come of well-managed hysteria. Oh, and an economy that’s even farther down the road to the Big Crash.

And what’s with these now-popular proposals to mail all us Americans $1,000? Or $1,000 a month for the duration? Or (thanks, Andrew Yang) $1,000 a month forever? Or whatever it’s going to end up being?

Why don’t they make it a cool million, since it’s mere funny money, anyhow? How ’bout a billion each? Make us all “super-rich” for a few minutes before hyper-inflation turns our paper into … more paper? Why not? If they’re going to commit financial fraud while attempting to make us dependent and grateful, why not think big?

Where did they get that number? $1,000. How far exactly do these highly privileged, out-of-touch elitists imagine $1k will go these days, after they’ve taken our jobs, closed our businesses, crippled our communities, and rendered us unable to pay bills that for most of us amount to far, far more than an inflation-reduced thou?

Sure, if they’re handing it out, let’s take it. While it lasts. IF it’s ever offered. Their cronies have no problem taking lots, lots, lots more. This way, we can be cronies, too!

But this weak and dishonest attempt to buy themselves clear consciences should be seen for what it is.


Still. So much of our job in these times (and throughout our lifetimes) is to make lemonade (freedom) out of lemons (tyrannical chicanery).

So here’s a few thoughts in that regard:

1. If you’re isolated and can’t get out and do things you usually do … be productive. Get new projects going. Keep a diary. Learn to cook gourmet dishes (grocery stores are still open). Take up painting (you can order supplies online). Homeschool your kids. Learn a language. Possibilities are endless. Myself, I’m making the most gratifying progress of the last two years on my house projects, and not merely because it’s spring.

2. Even if you’re being threatened with arrest for getting within six feet of anyone not a member of your household (where they will put you in jail where you can be much, much closer than six feet away from some really unwholesome sorts), you can still go for a walk, a run, a bike ride, or a drive and remind yourself just how beautiful the world can still be.

3. Do something subversive. (We freedomistas can always find something subversive to do.) Online or in person (your neighbors can still hear you from six feet away), plant seeds of doubt. Cite the latest stats showing how even in Italy and China infection rates are plummeting and death rates have never been as bad as claimed.

4. Go to the store and the next time you see toilet paper, hand sanitizer, or disinfectant wipes on the shelves … buy one. Just one, like a normal human being. Or buy a discreet two or three like a normal, unpanicked prepper. OR, since you already have a pantry full of paper goods, buy something that makes even more sense and seems even more useful to you by your standards, not the unthinking standards of an unthinking mob.

5. Do something subversive, part II. Memes online and Simon Jester stickers in real-life places. Mock those who seek to turn an illness into an empire. Monkeywrench the credibility and conceit of a

6. Meditate. Exercise. Read. Improve yourself. Read, in particular, classics of liberty. Remind yourself of what can be.

7. Go online and take yourself (and/or your kids) on a virtual tour of a museum.

8. Review your preps and while patting yourself on the back for not having to wrestle panicked morons for rolls of toilet paper, make notes on what you need to replace or improve. Once the panic is over, take care of those things. Over at the Living Freedom Forums, Silver has opened a discussion on preps and how you can help others so they won’t be caught in the panic next time (and alas, there will always be a next time).

9. Do something subversive, part III. If you can do so without endangering the innocent, defy a ban. Openly or quietly. But remind tyrants and yourself that they have no legitimate power over you.

10. Know that in the long run, no matter how much governments claim they “helped” us avoid contagion and death, they’ll continue to lose credibility. More and more people are waking up to their manipulations, their destruction of business, their ruination of money, their incessant lies, and the fact that we live in an oligarchy — government by and for the few — not a real democracy or republic.

Remember that people suddenly trusted government for a while after 9/11 (and alas trusted government enough to stand by while the UNPatriot Act, secret courts, and a heightened surveillance state were thrust upon us), but beyond that trust lay only renewed suspicion and disgust with those who would use fear to become our masters.


What are you personally doing to turn crisis lemons into freedom lemonade? What ideas do you have to share for others?


  1. Myself
    Myself March 18, 2020 3:04 pm

    Oh please, the federal government under Trump has been steadily imposing control since he was placed in office, and as I keep saying Trump was placed in office by the same people ho put Obama, Bush Clinton, all of them, in office.

    They don’t even try and hide it, the bailouts, handing money out to everyone most are coming from awful office, and they ere busy imposing totalitarian rule before COVID-19, all they had to do as ave a scary meskin or mooslim at most people and people started crying save us gubment

    If anybody wants to believe in any of that red/blue nonsense, go one ahead, the WWF is more honest, but if you do choose to take part and go get those “KKKonservitves” or dem “libtards” please stop saying the government took your rights, you bowed your head demurely and gave them away

  2. Claire
    Claire March 18, 2020 3:53 pm

    Well, of course, Myself. But that doesn’t mean that animosity between the red and blue wings of the carrion bird isn’t real. Desperation to destroy Trump is real, even if it’s only a matter of which twin faction gets to hold the reins and spend the money. Power is still power.

    And even politicians who are aware of the nature of the game still have to posture and proclaim for their v*ters, who actually believe it’s all real.

    But as to giving away rights, I think you’re addressing that remark to the wrong audience.

  3. Comrade X
    Comrade X March 18, 2020 4:23 pm

    I’m headed to the beach to watch da Bones run crazy.

    Then it’s to the woods to empty a few mags.

    The better half went to our local grocery the other day and said they had plenty of paper goods and since we don’t need any for quite a while she didn’t buy additional.

  4. just waiting
    just waiting March 18, 2020 4:36 pm

    1. Getting a batch of chicks tomorrow. Not in response to the panic, but because we like our own eggs.

    2. Every night Mothers Nature and Ocean get together to provide some amazing sunsets. And can drive right up onto the each to watch them. We may all have access to every piece of entertainment ever recorded, but they’re all reruns, sunsets are fresh every night.

    3&5. Helped thwart attempt by a campaigning public official to grab the panic flag for himself to wave and threw another one under the bus and handed him a flag. IMO, he’s a much more sensible waver.

    6,8,9 and 10 are just given parts of everyday life

  5. david
    david March 18, 2020 4:46 pm

    I’m working 64 hours a week these days tying to tie up ends the don’t quite meet, so I’ve not been able to try to verify this beow, but it is interesting reading:

    Sorry it’s so long a link. It’s an article called ‘what you need to know about the Wuhan Coronavirus’.

  6. Bill T
    Bill T March 18, 2020 5:13 pm

    I have been seriously reviewing my preps I’ve been doing for the last 15 years or so. Nothing like a real world event to show where you’re lacking. Fortunately for me I am a subscriber to Peak Prosperity and they were raising the red flag back in January. That prompted me to go over my supplies and I went on a mini spree filling in the gaps. Still you always feel like there was more you could do.
    I also am worried about all the “temporary” measures not being very temporary. I unfortunately think there will be many willing to go along with it.
    Note to Claire tell me how to renew the cabal if you would be so kind. Thank you

  7. Myself
    Myself March 18, 2020 5:23 pm

    Well, of course, Myself. But that doesn’t mean that animosity between the red and blue wings of the carrion bird isn’t real.

    It is about as real as a professional wrestling match, you really think Stone Cold whoever and Rocky are mortal enemies? Same with Trump/Clinton/Obama et al

    Desperation to destroy Trump is real, even if it’s only a matter of which twin faction gets to hold the reins and spend the money. Power is still power.

    Np it’s not, no more than there was a plan to get Obama, for all the “obstruction” the republicans engaged, Obama still passed everything through congress TPTB wanted, same with Trump, there is no real opposition in the swamp to Trump, that’s just the BS fed to the public, just like there was never any opposition to Obama, though if you talked to “those people” you would learn that most believe the same things happened to Obama that you claim are happening to poor Trump

    And even politicians who are aware of the nature of the game still have to posture and proclaim for their v*ters, who actually believe it’s all real.

    Yes they put on a show, and a huge part of that show is turn people against each other.

    But as to giving away rights, I think you’re addressing that remark to the wrong audience.

    If any person has supported anything done by Trump, or Obama they’ve given away their rights.

    Indeed there were people on your forum giddy over Trump’s wall, so they supported high taxes, the government stealing private land, and a federal police force empowered to go into any city arrest anyone and by fiat claim they are not a citizen and lock them up (spare me the that is only going to happen to those people)

    But guess that’s all orth it because you got to “own those libtards” so you win congratulations
    (I guess)

  8. Pat
    Pat March 18, 2020 10:40 pm

    On a personal level, freedom is what you make it. There’s no more frost in my area, so I’m ready to plant some herbs and veggies. Have been walking, stretching, and some Tai Chi exercises to loosen up my body, and reading (“Self-Reliance” by Emerson) to tighten up my brain and insight. Both activities are working well.

    I’ll let Judge Nap speak to the political mess. He’s not always right, but here he calls it correctly.

  9. maDDtraPPer
    maDDtraPPer March 19, 2020 2:04 am

    Hi Claire. It’s one of those rare times I can’t see your perspective on this one. Sure the economy was going to recess anyways it just arrived a little earlier and a little worse than people who knew it was coming predicted. But the virus is not the flu in any way shape or form. And its disrupted the supply chain (which is why we should not be so joined a the hip with the Evil Empire of China anyways). So the economy is going to be devastated, no amount of money printing can fix that. The flu doesn’t kill 3-4% of the population and it doesn’t have an infection rate of 2.2 or higher. The population already has an immunity factor to the flu, whereas this one we have none. We aren’t speaking of tens of thousands of dead from the flu, we’re looking at close to a million. Of course we won’t know the actual rate until the virus has run it’s course. But health care professionals are having to decide who lives or dies do to respirator shortages, save the 30 year old or the 60 year old?
    I’m worried for our elders, the last of our war veterans, my family overseas. People who have worked hard their whole lives to retire on a small pension, who have done their service. Those are the people most at risk. The overstretched hospitals don’t have the equipment to cope with the rates of infections due to the specific respiratory complications. So yes the message of fear is being spread in an attempt to slow the rate of transmission to allow for hospitals to cope. People unfortunately are ignorant, and selfish and it results in innocent people suffering. (just think of all the dual citizens who got sick and rushed home to Canada to use our health care – risking all those on the airplane and at home)
    If there was ever a case against globalism this is it. China is not the friend of the “free” world. We should not be in bed with them like we are. Ultimately your right about our governments. They already are so far in debt, and living large off borrowed cheap money that when we actually need to react to a global emergency they don’t have the cash to do it. You reap what you sow. Unfortunately it turns us all into slaves because we will need to pay for it eventually.
    My Government is reaching out, where are you, help us locate you so we can help blah blah. My message to them is piss off. I’m fine. I have money, I’m prepared for this, and I don’t need or want your incompetent assistance. My preparations are going to be what helps my family and friends thru this, not my government. Why would I give them $1 so I can get .05 cents back in “assistance” It’s laughable. I have a faint hope, that at the end of this very dark road we are on is that people will wake up to this incompetent tyranny of our current political systems and rise up against it. Unfortunately, I think it will go the other way, like the war on terrorism, where it will be just another event to justify gaining more control over us minions on the slippery road to tyranny. End of rant. Stay safe out there, and for Gods sake please keep blogging!

  10. Jolly
    Jolly March 19, 2020 8:54 am

    We seem to have peaked early with regard to prepping…not nearly as prepared as we were 10 years or 20 years ago…

    That said, we’re still in better shape than average, I suspect. Living in an 18th century house, the very least we can do is fire-up the brick-lined oven in the center of the house.

    We have an Eagle Scout, at least 20 camping stoves in our collection, and a fair number of cans left from original preps. We DID pick up a few densely-caloried things such as SPAM and olive oil. We’re basically reacting to the reaction.

    No electricity would be irritating, but not tragic for at least 2-3 months, as we have ancient kerosene Alladdin lamps and LOTS of books. Water comes from a well, and we can pull what we require manually.

    In the near-term – I telecommute, so my income is safe for now. However, all my wife’s clients are shuttered ( dance classes, karate dojo, bed & breakfast, personal trainer, etc.. ). #1 son’s retail job is cutting staff by 50% ( he’s on the right side of that, currently ) though he’s interviewed for a nursing job at a local humongous hospital…and daughter’s school is canceling clinicals and doing rest online.

    We’ll be hit by the splatter, I think. ( hey, that’s a metaphor, right Claire? ) But, should be OK for a while.

  11. kentmcmanigal
    kentmcmanigal March 19, 2020 12:28 pm

    Panic is never a good survival strategy.

    The true death rate will never be known because no one will ever know how many people caught this cold and didn’t get tested. If you only test those who either get really sick or those who panic you’re going to have an artificially high death rate. So, does this virus have a higher death rate than other respiratory infections? We’ll never know.

    The longer the pan[ic]demic goes on, the less concerned I am.

    I didn’t need to rush out to stock up on anything because I’m a prepper. I’ve been trying to get others to be preppers for years. Some have now admitted that they should have listened– after they said they were going to come to me for treaty paper and other supplies and I said “No, you aren’t”. I don’t want to be mean, but these people make many times more money than I do and I have been telling them they should prep but they didn’t think it was important… until it suddenly was. When this passes (and it will) I hope they will remember and will decide it’s time to prep– I’m more than willing to offer advice. I’m afraid they’ll forget the discomfort, especially because it will pass this time.

  12. ellendra
    ellendra March 19, 2020 12:28 pm

    “Destroy the rural economy (which will,m in general, be harder hit for a longer time than the urban economy)?”

    I disagree with this part. From what I’m seeing around here, the more rural areas are holding up better than the urban ones.

    Just personal observation here, but it seems to me that rural economies don’t grow as fast as urban ones during good times, but they also don’t seem to crack as easily during bad times.

    Maybe it’s because it’s easier to provide for some of your own needs there. Maybe it’s because it’s easier to barter for the things you can’t supply, but your neighbor can. Maybe it’s because most rural areas know that if a disaster hits, they’ll be on their own longer than their city and suburban cousins, so they stock up accordingly. Even something like a particularly snowy winter can mean being cut off for days, or weeks, at a time.

    What I’m noticing happening are things that will make people LESS dependent on government, not more. People are joining forums and discussion groups and asking for advice on how to start their first gardens. People are wondering about how hard it is to keep chickens or can their own food. People who always ate out for every meal are making a point of learning how to cook. People who mocked preppers all these years are looking at empty shelves and realizing that, yes, it CAN happen here.

    I have no idea what the long-term effects might be. But in the short term, people are being shocked out of their complacency in ways that talking could never accomplish.

  13. NuclearDruid
    NuclearDruid March 20, 2020 5:04 am

    When thinning my peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and other plant starts, I usually just pinch off the extra plants. Its just easier that way. Instead, try teasing them out and transplanting instead into whatever extra containers you have (paper coffee cups, cut off plastic soda bottles, etc). You will lose some this way but now you have extra plants to hand out to friends, neighbors, strangers, transplant into random publicly accessible places.

  14. Noah Body
    Noah Body March 20, 2020 10:34 am

    It’s not just blue states. In Ohio, RINO Gov. Mike DeWine issues orders every day closing more businesses. Unemployment numbers reveal he has destroyed 100K jobs in less than a week. They don’t seem to realize that poverty can be deadly. Stress can be a killer.

    He has also closed most BMV offices. So what will people do if they needed to renew their drivers license? That has to be done in person for a vision test. Will the cops give people a break if they drive with an expired license? Or won’t it matter because they plan to shut down driving too?

  15. Noah Body
    Noah Body March 20, 2020 1:26 pm

    Another thought: I am reminded of two fiction books by Matt de la Pena: The Living and its sequel The Hunted. Both involved a pharma company that created a deadly disease in a lab and deliberately infected poor Latino people on the Mexico/Calif border. With the goal of making a huge profit from the vaccine (when the disease made its way into the more affluent Anglo population). You have to wonder if something like that went on here.

  16. Friday Links | 357 Magnum
    Friday Links | 357 Magnum March 20, 2020 6:49 pm

    […] Claire Wolfe of Living Freedom – Freedom in the time of panic – or – 10 small ways to turn crisis lemons into freedom lem… […]

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