What You Can Do

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m scared. I’ve seen some crazy stuff in my life, but never did I think I’d ever see us all quarantined in our homes to protect us from a killer virus. Once again the old adage rings true, you just can’t make this stuff up. What can you do to make the best of this time we’ve all been given over the next few weeks and months? How can we preserve our sanity, while insuring we come out the other side of this crisis better than we went in. I don’t have all the answers. Below I’m going to talk about some of the things I’m doing while under quarantine.

I lost my job, just like many of you I was told to go home and not leave the house. Unfortunately that means no money and no income. While the government is promising checks and increased unemployment benefits in April, it’s really not enough. I’m not eligible for unemployment benefits. My company didn’t lay me off or furlough me. Neither did they fire me, it’s more of an indefinite wait and see. So my state denied my unemployment claim and rather quickly. I am far from alone. That $1200 check the president is promising is roughly a quarter of what I make in a month. After I pay my rent that’s it. I’ll still owe my utilities, credit cards, car loan, and need groceries.

I’ve decided it’s finally time I get serious about financial independence. Many of us are now broke and searching for answers and income because we rely on others for our paychecks. I thought my industry was safe from economic downturns and emergencies, and it is. But it’s not safe from viral outbreaks and when my company’s 2 largest customers stopped production because of Shelter-in-place orders in their respective states that left most of us in the Flatbed fleet without freight and stranded where we were. I was lucky to be close to home and able to make it back, many of my fellow drivers did not. They were instructed to return to the home terminal in Iowa to park their trucks and clean out their stuff. They were then packed onto a bus and sent home to wait this out without pay. Never again. One way or another, I’ll be managing my own enterprise but the time we recover from this.

One thing I’ve seen a lot of these last few weeks, is people outside exercising. Being under quarantine has suddenly given many Americans the time and opportunity to exercise and we should all take advantage of it. Viruses are deadly because there’s really not a lot you can do to combat them. It all falls onto your body’s own immune system and resilience to fight off the infection. That’s why doctors get so exasperated when people with colds and the flu come rushing into the ER demanding a pill. There is no pill. Sure you can take over the counter medications to relieve the symptoms but there is no pill to stop it or kill the virus like there is with bacteria or fungal infections. A virus turns your body against itself. The best thing we can do is take steps to avoid contracting it in the first place, and second, help our body build the strongest immune system we can.

Get in shape America. Stop smoking, quit drinking, stop eating garbage and start moving and exercising. Take cold showers in the morning, it’s been proven to not only instantly wake you up, but it strengthens the immune system and helps fight stress and inflammation. Partake in intermittent fasting. Fasting has been shown to help your body and immune system eliminate weak and dead cells, rebuild others and in general improve the quality and response of your body’s immune reaction to invaders and abnormal cells, including cancer. Stop smoking I say it again. Smoking and Vaping destroy the protective layer of cells and mucus that line your respiratory tract from your nose and throat all the way into the depth of your lungs. These mucus layers are there to actually trap foreign particles and organisms and keep them out of your blood. Smoking also increases your blood pressure, and the likelihood of numerous other diseases that could leave you weak and unable to fight off even a simple cold. Please stop slowly killing yourself.

I used to make fun of germaphobes now they seem to be snickering behind their little paper masks. First off stay home as much as possible. This will drastically reduce your potential exposure to Covid-19. If you do go out be smart, avoid touching things that others have touched, shaking hands, hugging, or getting close to other’s faces, noses, and mouths. Teach your kids to cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough and to keep their hands and fingers out of their noses and mouths. This was a problem before this virus was even a concern and strangely enough it’s still going on. Wash your hands whenever you’ve been in contact with outside objects, people or environments. It’s not rocket science and we should have all been doing this stuff before this even began. If you feel sick stay home! Most likely it’s just a cold or the flu, yeah, we are still in the middle of flu season, the worst we’ve had in decades. Stay home! The last thing anyone needs is for you to give them the flu and then contract Covid-19 with an already weakened immune system.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, turn off CNN, Fox News, and all the other bullshit. I’m telling you having watched them all, I am disgusted and sickened by the behavior of these so called journalist on all the networks. First let’s all remember while we will all be struggling to make money and survive over the next few weeks and months these assholes’ jobs are secure. This crisis has actually benefited them. Second they all seem to be hell bent on putting words into other’s mouths, quoting things out of context, and twisting facts to promote hysteria and panic. It’s not helping any of us. Tune in to your local news for a change and this is part of my final piece of advice; make your world smaller. Retired Navy Seal and extreme athlete Andy Stumpf delivered this nugget of wisdom last week on a podcast, Make your world smaller.

What does this mean? It means stop worrying about things beyond your control and ability to influence and start focusing on those things you can control. You can wash your own hands, stay home, get in shape, read more, learn some new skills, and improve your situation while quarantined in your home the next few weeks and months. You cannot save the world. You cannot even save people in the next state or county. Indirectly you may be able to help them by doing all you can to stop getting it yourself. We all need to come together as a nation by turning inward for a change, by looking after first our families, then our neighbors, and then our local community. We worry so much in this nation about what everyone else is doing. Time to start paying attention to our own actions. How can you stop the spread of this virus? Stay home, be sensible, be smart, and be rational. Don’t panic, and don’t give into hysteria. Store shelves are empty because people are reacting emotionally not rationally. Crisis requires, calm cool headed people who can make good decisions when everyone else are loosing their minds.

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