Over 182,000 lives lost.
Thousands of businesses closed, twenty two million unemployed, and the financial health of millions obliterated.
The last two months have been shocking and devastating for humanity as a whole. As we approach what appears to be the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s an appropriate time to reflect back on lessons we should have learned through these trying times.
- Be prepared. Toilet paper and paper towels. Cleaning supplies like Lysol and bleach. Food. Water. Medicine. Money. You should always have a small stockpile of “the essentials” on hand in case of emergency. Just because Amazon Prime can get you whatever you want, whenever you need it doesn’t mean it will continue forever. We are now seeing essential products completely sold out, very limited future stock, and delivery times exceeding three weeks. Say if things get worse? I am not advocating hoarding, but I am suggesting you have a couple months worth of supply at all times. Do you really want to be risking your health to line up at Walmart to buy toilet paper at 6 AM?
- Maintain a sanitary lifestyle. People are gross. Did you really need ABC News to tell you to wash your hands for 20 seconds before touching your face, or to cough into your elbow instead of blasting your mucus into the atmosphere for others to breathe? The world is a dirty place. Don’t assume your neighbor is as clean as you are. Take off your shoes before you walk into your home, because there’s a good chance you’re carrying filth or germs on the soles of your shoes.
- Create financial stability. Want an insane statistic? 70% of Americans have less than $1,000 saved, and 45% have zero. Save enough so you always have a total of one year’s living expenses in your account. To really secure yourself, add a second stream of income. You could get injured at work, or potentially laid off for an extended period of time. If you have a nest egg, you’ll have peace of mind. Without it, you’ll be reliant on your government to provide you with an unemployment check, which is never guaranteed.
- Nothing is guaranteed. Older (and younger) relatives don’t live forever. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. You aren’t able to hug your parents if they’re quarantined. So what does this mean for the future? Take vacations. Take risks. Make time for your loved ones. Chase your dreams. Enjoy life. Just because you’re twenty six years old and healthy doesn’t mean you are guaranteed another seventy four years on the planet. Coronavirus has been terrible, but what if the next pandemic is worse? Say if the hospitals are too full to treat you? What if you have an underlying condition that hasn’t been diagnosed yet? This could be your last day on the planet, so start living the life you want right now.
- Home should be where the heart is. So you’ve been locked in with your family for six weeks or more… how’s it working out for you? I know it’s probably not easy, but if you simply cannot do this, maybe you picked the wrong person to start a family with. With no sports, live events, or social gatherings to eat up our time, I’ve seen a return to the traditional family dinner. There are more discussions about current events and home planning than screen time. Family members and old friends are reserving time to have video calls. We are somehow reconnecting more since we’ve been forced apart. This should continue when things get back to normal.
- Essential workers deserve better. Medical workers, police, fire, farmers, food production, truck drivers, teachers and delivery people make the world as we know it go round. Without them, you’d be scavenging for food similar to characters from the Walking Dead, and unless you are able and willing to eat squirrels, you would likely not survive. These people keep us safe, treat our illnesses, educate our young, provide us with essential goods, and keep us fed. You’re not worrying about who’s pitching for the Yankees tonight or what Kim Kardashian tweeted if you’re trying to find food to feed your family. Maybe this will change the way we worship celebrities and overpay for entertainment.
- Protect your home. Millions of Americans from both political parties flocked to gun stores to purchase firearms and ammunition as coronavirus spread. Due to basic laws of supply and demand, the lucky ones were able to make purchases at very high rates, and the unlucky ones were left high and dry as supplies ran out. If you’re laughing at their behavior, consider this: law enforcement around the US, strapped for resources due to sick staff members, stopped responding to certain types of incidents (like burglaries). On top of that, many jails released thousands of prisoners due to covid-19 ripping through their communities. Inmates on the street with less cops to police neighborhoods means you are likely on your own. Don’t wait to safeguard your family with a home firearm. It’s the ultimate insurance policy.
- Prioritize your Health. Your immune system happens to be a very important part of you. Support it by getting enough sleep, eating right, and supplementing it with vitamins like zinc, and vitamins B, C, and D. Find ways to reduce your stress levels and enjoy life. A strong immune system gives you a fighting chance against a virus like Covid-19 if you end up being exposed.
- Appreciation. Up until covid-19, we were a society that took everything for granted. The world was available at our fingertips, at any time, and yet we still found things to complain about. Now, all that has changed. We can’t see our families and friends. That wedding we were not excited to attend is now canceled. The sporting event we bailed on isn’t being played. The fresh fruit we wasted and threw out is extremely hard to find. Hell, the supermarket we avoided going to is damned near sold out of everything we need. Take a minute to think about all that you have. If you’re able to breathe, walk, talk, see, hear, taste, eat … appreciate it. If you have family or friends, appreciate them. If you have a job, even if it’s an annoying job, be grateful you can pay your bills and support your family. If we spend more of our time appreciating what we do have, we would not be wasting so much time worrying about what we don’t have.
For anyone thinking this can’t happen again, be forewarned. Not only is it likely that the second wave of coronavirus is coming this Fall, it’s very probable there will be another disaster in your lifetime. If you aren’t prepared it’s your own fault.
– Your Big Bro (don’t say I didn’t warn you)