Everything I needed to know about surviving quarantine, I learned from watching Little House on the Prairie

What Would Ma Ingalls Do?

It has now been a good decade since I watched an episode of the World’s Best TV Series. But from my memory, Walnut Grove had a few good brushes with epidemics, drought, pestilence, and other scary shit. Like bandits, and nitroglycerine. I mean, the prairie is always trying to kill you, so you’ve got to be on your toes. When things get dicey, I always fall back on my Little House education for keeping things together in a time of crisis. Now I’m sharing those time-honored tactics with you.

Get the sod house ready. In other words, get you a PLAN. If Pa got sick, you know he was prepared to sweat it out alone in the sod house to protect his family. We decided that if someone in this house gets sick, they go straight to the sod house (master bedroom) where, only the designated caregiver (me) is allowed to drop food and brief messages of comfort while covered head to toe in garbage bags. If it’s me who gets sick, well, I’m screwed. I’ll have to live off that bottle of Tums on my dresser. Like Ma taking a hot knife to her infected leg, I’ll do what I have to do.

Put some stuff away in the root cellar. When things took a serious turn, I bought one extra of everyday necessities and stuck them in the freezer in the garage. It seems like something Ma would have done. You know, put away some flour in the event the crickets come this spring. Or in our case, a loaf of Mrs. Baird’s, some whole milk, and those no-sugar-added popsicles I like to eat while bingeing Netflix right before bed. I also made extra dinner a few nights in a row and froze the leftovers for when things really get bad. At least I know if I fall ill, my two year old will still be throwing perfectly healthy lentil soup on the floor in a tantrum over god knows what.

Nextdoor.com is the Mrs. Oleson of the Internet. Do not engage with that old bag. Nope, not even to set her straight. You see her coming your way from down the road, you fake an errand at the blacksmith. DO WHAT YOU MUST.

Take care of your neighbors. I’d like to think it doesn’t take a catastrophic event for me to be a good neighbor. But in times like these, it’s just as important that your neighbor has spinach for their smoothies as it is for you to have your morning banana, so before you do that provision run, you might want to check in next door. VIA TEXT. DON’T BE CRAZY.

Dirt and sticks make great toys. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids about gratitude. In the absence of outside entertainment, we’re teaching our kids to make do. You know, with a house full of toys, technology, and endless attention from their parents. Hard knock life, right? I will say I was rather proud when we explained that parks are a no-go right now, my kid, ON HIS OWN, acknowledged that he is lucky to have a playground in his  backyard. He still throws an epic fit when I won’t buy yet another season of Paw Patrol the Plots Just Get Stupider, but we’re getting there.

Brush your hair 100 times before going to bed. Okay, this has nothing to do with our current predicament, but it’s really great for your scalp and let’s be honest, what else are you doing?

4 comments to Everything I needed to know about surviving quarantine, I learned from watching Little House on the Prairie

  • Joy

    Sooo fun to see you back! I remember you posting about “What Would Laura Ingalls Wilder Do” during a big snow storm in New York. ????

  • Joy

    That was supposed to be a laughing face emoji, sorry.

    • thisfish

      I once sent a really rude emoji to my nextdoor neighbor on accident. I’m not sure she even knew it was a mistake, because, let’s be honest, it was me she was dealing with.

  • Isophorone

    Yes, it is a great message of self reliance. You should read about the author’s daughter! ;)