Businesses are closing, events are being postponed, and the market is crashing as Covid-19 is spreading. I’m not alone in that fact that my calendar is full of crossed out gigs and indefinitely free days as my budget has changed color from green to red.
Option one is to panic. Go buy enough hand sanitizer to last 6 years and stay home all day every day in a depressed, vulnerable state of fear with the news on 24/7 for the latest updates.
Option two is to roll with the punches and make the most out of it.
The shut downs and mass hysteria surrounding the virus are nothing short of extreme. Unless you are over the age of 70 and in an area with poor health care, your odds of catching Covid-19 are low, and the odds of dying are even lower. Globally, every day around 26,000 people die from cancer, 21,000 die from starvation, 3,200 die from vehicle related accidents and 500 die from gun related deaths.
The total death toll for Covid-19 is 5,083 (as of 9am on March 13th, 2020).
You’re statistically more likely die through a car related incident than the coronavirus, yet you probably don’t think twice about crossing the street multiple times each and every day.
You and I may be able to approach the epidemic with rational, clear thought, but that doesn’t change the fact the rest of the world is in a panicked tizzy of turmoil that is killing the economy and severely impacting life. I can’t wrap my held around what people are possibly doing with the 50 rolls of toilet paper they are stockpiling, but it’s happening, so we have to deal with it.
The world’s setback is offering you one of life’s most valuable assets: time.
Here are 6 things you can do to turn Covid-19 from an enemy to a friend.
1.Take a Staycation
How many times have you contemplated calling out of work and how frequently do you complain and exclaim, “I just need some time to myself!”
Well, if your office has shut down or gig has been canceled, congratulations, down time has just been handed to you on a platter.
Read a book, binge a tv show, bake some muffins, take a bath, do a facemask and turn lost work into an opportunity to relax and unwind. Refresh a jaded mental state so you can return to the grind with a new sense of focus and added productivity.
2.Catch up on life and get ahead of the game
To-do lists have a tendency of getting overwhelmingly long. Tasks like deep cleaning the apartment, updating your website, creating a performance reel, organizing your desktop, and finally building that Ikea bookshelf tend to come second to work and sleep. Now is your chance to check off each task and even get ahead of the game. Revamp the resume, write update emails, clean out your closet, so on and so forth.
Productivity and progress shouldn’t solely be measured with a monetary paycheck, and completing tasks now will save you time later.
Use extra time to work towards your fitness goals. Hit the gym and actually do a full warm up, tackle longer and harder workouts, add in extra cardio, and spend extra time stretching and foam rolling.
If my numbers and facts didn’t convince you that the Covid-19 threat isn’t as deadly as the media makes it seem and you are weary of being in public places, do an at home workout! Dancers Who Lift has got you covered on this one with daily at home workouts like this one:
4.Take a trip to see family
Flights and travel are outrageously affordable in the midst of the crisis. Spend the unexpected time off seeing your parents or visiting those cousins you haven’t seen in 3 years to avoid the guilt trips that come with “well when are you visiting next?!”
5.Work on a side project
If you’ve had a budding business idea, this is your perfect opportunity to start making the dream a reality. Whether it be knitting scarves to sell on Etsy or taking steps towards monetizing a blog, get the ball rolling. Compose a musical, write a book, put together a submission for a guest entertainer act. In this new gig economy, the possibilities for how to make money off of your ideas, passions, and hobbies are endless.
The market has crashed and stock prices have plummeted. If you’ve lost money, my condolences. If you have some saved cash reserves, consider investing. Historically, the aggregate market has always bounced back. I am no financial advisor, but when stocks drop by more than 50% for mega-companies, chances are the value will go back up when the drama is over.
Take time to educate yourself on how to invest by reading books, blogs, and listening to podcasts, and consider taking the leap. Just be sure you have enough liquid cash available to support yourself for a few months as the pandemic fades.
It’s easy to succumb to mass media-induced panic. Turn off the news, look at the numbers, and remind yourself that the odds of being just fine are massively in your favor. Having work taken away and seeing that budget in the red is stressful and upsetting, but you have the ability to flip the switch and be productive.
Embrace the productivity and progress you can achieve due to Covid-19, just wash your hands first.