I have been thinking a lot about -“what’s the lesson in all of this? (is there a lesson? Does there always need to be a lesson?) What will the outcome be in all of this?” as people talk about what might come out of living in pandemic conditions – will it lead to revolutionary changes in business travel, healthcare, education, the ability for rural areas in the United States to be able to access the Internet better, etc? Will it cause people to re-evaluate their lifestyles, their level of consuming, their level of using home as a launching pad to other areas of their life – or will they just rush back to how it was before? And, since a pandemic typically lasts 12-18 months with fewer number of cases and then spikes, what can we do to make life seamless as things may teeter between open and closed several more times?
I am not sure of any of those answers at this point. Some people have the privilege to “re-invent” their lives or lifestyles, and some people don’t. That’s the unfortunate reality. But, I think to a certain extent I hope we all come away with ideas that could at least enhance our lives wherever we are. Here are a few ideas-
- Live below our means as much as possible and have savings so when things happen and work is disrupted, we have cushion and the ability to pivot if we need to.
- Food storage is a real necessity, and it is important to build it up slowly and over time. Just adding one or two extra things into your shopping cart each time you shop can be an easy way to build up stores and not cause too much financial stress or descend into hoarding.
- Automate the high demand items. I automate (have delivered) panty and cleaning items, toilet paper, etc.
- Learn how to garden and can food. Nearly everyone can have some containers if you can’t plant in the ground or grow sprouts and microgreens in the kitchen
- Get to know your farmers that are in your area and buy direct from them. This really saved us during this. Drive through pick up of an order placed through the Internet!
- Get outside and get in physical shape. The sunshine and Vitamin D and higher levels of fitness help everyone’s stress levels and immune functioning. Use all the free workouts available through You Tube.
- Shore up your immune system in whatever way that looks like for you. Most of what I have been reading suggests at least Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc. Read up on what could help you during times of illness for support as well.
- If you are ready, think about your lifesyle. If you lived more simply, could you work less? Can you work from home? Could you have something that makes you money while you sleep? This book is an oldie but a goodie: “Your Money Or Your Life” available on Kindle or Audible, updated 2018 – https://www.amazon.com/Your-Money-Life-Transforming-Relationship-ebook/dp/B0052MD8VO/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_
- Lifestyle can extend to school. I don’t think everyone should homeschool, but I do hope that people can see from this pandemic experience that learning can be more broad than just going to a school building (and that some families don’t have the tools they need to be successful at home and we need better solutions for that as a society). I would love to see more equity in school funding and more diversity toward if some children do better in a smaller setting.
- Understanding that family and our children are the most precious things and that time really isn’t replacable. The simple things like walks, board games, cooking together are all so valuable. I hope people come away from this remembering how to be together again – how to eat dinner all together again, how to just be together.
- The outpouring of help i have seen toward others needing food, needing help, checking in on one another and encouraging one another, the connection of friends old and new through technology and amazing and interesting socially distant but creative ways in neighborhoods has been unparalled. I hope that continues.