My, how things can change on a dime.
In the span of a few months, much of the world has fallen from heights of prosperity to fear and economic decline.
Covid-19 is spreading across the globe at a rapid rate.
Stock markets are crashing.
Food suppliers are struggling to keep up with demand as people grow more anxious.
Health services are being overwhelmed in areas where the virus is hitting hardest.
You will remember the events that are unfolding before our eyes for the rest of your life.
The coming weeks and months will redefine our lives in many ways.
My Local Area
As I write this on St. Patrick’s Day, 2020, here in America, we are in the early stages of this pandemic.
We have fallen way behind other advanced countries on testing, and the reality of the situation is still weeks away from hitting home.
In my home state of Connecticut, all schools have closed.
Restaurants and bars have been ordered to offer take-out and delivery only.
All movie theaters have been ordered closed, as have all gyms, casinos and many other businesses.
This is happening not only in my state, but in neighboring states and states all across the country.
And frankly, I’m glad they are taking these steps.
As other countries have shown, only social distancing can slow the spread of this virus.
At this point, slowing the rate of infection is all we can do.
If too many people get sick in a short period of time, it will likely overwhelm our healthcare system.
Just look at the situation in Italy to see what that looks like.
It’s not pretty.
Here’s My Take On The Whole Situation:
I’ve been reading a lot about Covid-19 the last few weeks and in my opinion, things are going to get worse before they get better.
It spreads faster than other strains of the flu, there is currently no vaccine or immunity, and the mortality rate is much higher.
However, as more testing is done, the mortality rate is very likely to come down significantly from the current 2-3% level, (6% in Italy due to their higher percentage of seniors). I agree with top experts who are saying it will settle in somewhere close to 1% or even a bit lower. Yet even if it drops to 0.7% mortality rate, that’s still seven times the mortality rate of the seasonal flu, which is 0.1%.
As more and more people are tested in the US, (finally) the number of cases will likely rise sharply. Anxiety and fear will rise with it. So it’s important to keep a cool head and plan for a new lifestyle, at least for a while.
Remember, the vast majority of people who contract this virus will get better without needing medical treatment.
What I’m Doing:
I’m 55 and my wife is 56. We are not in the high risk category, but we decided last week to change our lifestyles significantly.
She closed her day spa until further notice. She will reopen when the country reemerges from this crisis, and we certainly will.
In the meantime, we are spending more time together, while social distancing.
We no longer go into restaurants, markets or other places where there are more than a few people. We order what we need online.
And we have increased our physical activity. That alone helps with immunity as well as mental health.
We have been hiking in the woods every day with our Yellow Lab.
We plan to start biking and kayaking as the warmer weather is arriving, and she even wants to go fishing.
As far as work, I plan to continue working from home as usual.
Millions of people are getting laid off due to businesses closing. While most can get immediate unemployment benefits from their state, many will be looking for ways to earn from home.
So I plan to keep sharing all the best ways to do that.
What Does the Future Hold?
The near future does not look too rosy.
It’s not out of the realm of possibility that local governments or even the federal government will shut most industries down almost completely, to force social distancing upon people.
Whether you (or the government) call that ‘national lockdown’, ‘shelter in place’ or even ‘martial law’, I know those terms sound scary. But just remember, any measures taken will be in the best interest of the general population, and they will be temporary.
This will pass. In time.
It’s not all gloom and doom unless that’s all you focus on.
In fact, just yesterday a brave volunteer received the first coronavirus vaccine trial in Seattle. While a vaccine may not be available to the general public for close to a year, there is hope.
The country and the world will emerge from these unsettling times.
Health and prosperity will return in time.
What Can You Do Now?
For starters, file for unemployment immediately online, if your company furloughs you.
If you are not a salaried worker, and can’t do that, you may be getting help soon too. The US government is weighing sending checks to most Americans to help them through this crisis.
Next, practice social distancing. It’s not so bad, really.
If you miss friends and family, just use Skype or Snapchat to place a video call.
Get a week or two ahead on your food supply by ordering online then doing it weekly.
Then you won’t have to worry if things get a little crazy for a while.
Keep washing your hands (soap kills the virus) and try not to touch your face.
And above all else…
Use this time as an opportunity to make some positive changes in your life.
Find new ways to get active in the great outdoors, in uncrowded spaces.
Try hiking, camping, biking, or just going for daily walks.
Find new ways to entertain yourself inside too.
Watch an old movie. Read a new book or reread an old favorite.
Maybe spend a few hours a day building up a home-based income stream that covers your bills every month. If you need ideas, just email me!
Try not to watch the news for more than a half-hour each day. Much of what is going on is out of your control.
You can only control what goes on in your own mind. So try to stay positive and know that 99% of people will come through this just fine.
Chances are, you’ll be one of them.
So use this time to come out even better on the other side!
To your health and well being,