I contracted some sort of a viral infection in the past few days and am spending time at home focusing on recovery. I don’t know if it is Coronavirus or a common cold. I have a cough (it’s tickly and incredibly annoying) and a headache. My joints are sore and the energy is very low. I don’t have a temperature at the moment, but maybe it’s because I have been taking paracetamol to ease the symptoms. In any case, I am glad that I don’t.
The promised testing kits for antibodies are still far off, so I don’t have much hope to find out whether what I have is what I think it could be. So in the meantime, I am not risking it in terms of making contact with other people. I’ve been staying at home, mostly in bed, sleeping, drinking water and taking things easy. Food isn’t on my mind at the moment – it never is when I am sick.
With so much time at my disposal at the moment, I’ve had a lot of thoughts too. I try not to be dragged into a state of desperation and panic. I think we have enough pasta and rice in our cupboard and frozen food in the freezer to last us for 3-4 weeks I think, especially considering that we aren’t eating much at the moment.
I could do with some more paracetamol but our local shops have run out and I don’t have the desire or strength to go to a supermarket, especially considering a recent attack on their stocks by people who were panic-buying. That, in fact, has emptied the stores not only of paracetamol but also of toilet paper, pasta, rice, canned food and other essentials with a long shelf life.
So what am I learning from the pandemic?
- Keeping extra stock of essentials for a rainy day. It’s important to keep an extra stock of food (including for our pets), medicines and household essentials enough to last for 4-6 weeks. Not to hoard but have some stock in case of a calamity like this one.
- Panic-buying doesn’t serve well anyone. It harms everyone and not only the vulnerable, even though they are the first ones affected. Panic is infectious. Today we’ve participated in a shopping spree for toilet paper, and tomorrow we won’t be able to buy something that others have emptied the shelves of. I am not judging, just saying that using the rational part of our brain, and not the emotional one, serves us much better in such cases.
- We cannot win on our own in times of adversity. Our ancestors knew this which is why they always used to come together in times of crisis. We have forgotten this simple truth.
- The world has survived the Black Death and the Spanish Flu, even though with huge life losses. We can survive this too. No need to panic, just doing the simple things is what’s going to help. Our science is not standing still and constantly searching for answers. Let’s hope that an effective answer will be found for Coronavirus too, and in fact, all viruses. In the meantime, looking after our health and strengthening immunity has never been more important.
- Some governments are more efficient than others. It’s a fact of life. This means that we need to have masks, sanitisers and other relevant essentials in stock just in case. And the “wash your hands often” mantra should definitely stay. It’s a good habit to have.
- Checking up on and helping the vulnerable (this ties up with what I’ve said in 3). Unless we are sick and self-isolating, we can and should do more for the community, especially our vulnerable neighbours. Avoiding panic-buying is one such thing, and so is checking on people who live on their own, especially if they are elderly or have health problems. With luck, we are all going to get old, so how we treat the elderly now is how we ourselves will be treated in the future.
- Doing something good for the community. This issue was a subject of discussion at today’s Brainstorming Hour by my mentor Lynn Terry who is an incredibly inspiring human being I have total respect for. She is also an amazing coach in helping people succeed online. So, what Lynn was saying was that we should all do something for free for the community. And we don’t even have to leave our houses since the internet provides so many options for free classes, tutorials, publishing etc. Plus, if you see yourself as a blogger, start writing about what’s going to be of interest to others. Find your market and start serving the people in it.
- Now is the best time to start building or grow your community. Referring to the previous point, Lynn was also stressing how important it was to build your community. If you don’t have one, now a good time to start. My nephew’s wife has just started a blog to help people who suffer from autoimmune disorders – she has recently developed one. What are YOU good at? What can YOU do to help others?
- Don’t forget to chill out. Stressing ourselves till we are sick is only going to weaken our immunity and deprive our body of much-needed strength. Being calm will help you make rational rather than emotional decisions. It will also keep us sane longterm. Meditate, watch your favourite movie, sleep when you need to, talk to friends who inspire you, start a video channel – whatever inspires you.
- Financial health and stability. Many people (especially in the UK) struggle on zero-hours contracts, unable to save. Life in the UK is expensive. But we can start thinking of ways to bring in extra income into our households now since our financial health determines how we respond to situations when people are getting laid off work because businesses depend on people coming to their shops and buying.
- Homeworking is going to explode. Many workers are being offered an opportunity to work from home. Perhaps you aren’t one of them. But why not start creating an online business where you too can work from home, on your own terms? It can be a monetised blog, information products you create or great affiliate products that you promote for 50% commission. Or how about a shop – with you selling your own or somebody else’s products?
I have set up this website so I can offer a variety of work-from-home options for people who are looking for them, including blog setup, product creation and other great ways to start making money online – including where you don’t have to create products but sell other people’s. Some of what’s coming will be free and useful for people just starting online (it will be my own contribution to the community and I will also think about what I can share with you here).
I’ve learned a lot in the 12 years I’ve worked online and I believe I can help others. I will let you know when it goes live. In the meantime, do keep well and remember that we all have something useful to share and become useful to others. 😉