I’ve been watching social media from the safety of my home the past couple of days as I avoid unnecessarily exposing myself to crowds. This means not supporting local businesses by frequenting restaurants, venues or any place where the Coronavirus (COVID-19) may be present. Not so much out of paranoia for my health and safety, but more so to be sure I don’t become a carrier and potential cause of my family contracting the virus. This leads me to this carefully constructed explosion of thought that I felt compelled to share with you today.
With the closures and cancellations of schools, businesses, sports, public events, and the entertainment industry, we are going to slowly witness a new world. Speaking for myself, my lively hood is predicated on the concept of community. I’m not the only person facing challenges at the moment. Freelancers, business owners, hourly employees, or anyone that depends on people showing up and spending money to earn a paycheck is at risk of starving or having their phones, power, water, or internet shut off. This is especially true if you live paycheck to paycheck. This is where the challenge to remain calm, cool and collected kicks in.
So rather than going over why the sky is falling, I will take a deep dive into what I plan on doing in hopes that I inspire someone else who may be secretly losing their mind about the prospect of what’s to come. So if you are still reading, welcome to the think tank.
Solution #01: Government Assistance
The government gets to kick in and start providing assistance so people don’t lose their ability to communicate, purchase food and stay healthy. If you have savings and a garage full of supplies to last until the Summer of 2021, then you are in good shape for the time being. But, let’s say that this pandemic lasts longer than a few days, weeks or even months. Unless they find a vaccine, it’s safe to say we will remain in a state of lockdown and paranoia. How long will your savings sustain your current way of life?
It’s not like a hurricane where FEMA can provide preloaded debit cards so you can buy food, gas, or even pay bills. Part of the challenge is not going to places with large groups of people. Having the majority of the population congregate at stadiums and arenas to wait in line for hours is not a wise idea.
So what is the solution? I propose state and federal agencies provide relief to communication and utility companies for at least 90 days so everyone can be granted a break if they miss payments. Even if you can afford to pay these bills, you can then transfer these savings to your employees, family or friends that aren’t able to work because of potential shutdowns or slowing business.
Solution #02: Support Loved Ones
Another solution is to support your friends and family by reaching out and providing financial assistance if you have the means to do so. It keeps some people from reaching a point of no return. I can honestly say that I’m closer to this point than I care to admit. Don’t ask, just give what you can.
Solution #03: Get Creative
My last solution is to get creative and provide services that people would be okay with supporting financially. If millions of people are willing to pay for movies, sporting events and concert tickets for strangers and millionaires, why not contribute a few dollars each month to people you know that could really use the support. At the same time, it’s up to us to America’s Got Talent our way into the hearts and minds of our potential supporters.
So with that being said, I am choosing the last option, because this is the only option I can control. My gift is being able to communicate effectively through any medium and that’s how I plan to survive until things get back to normal.
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Thank you and best of luck.