Wow – I did not have Global Pandemic as part of my potential retirement surprises. I won’t make that mistake again…
The key risks are to those over 60 and with certain health conditions, but no one is immune. You and your family need to take precautions and be careful. I thought about it and suggest four areas of actions for you to take.
Action one – prevent further surprises
Personally, we are sheltering in place until at least April 10th – that’s the rule in our state. The less you’re exposed, the safer you are. You benefit the herd by not passing it on. Eventually there will be a lot more testing and a vaccine, but for now, stay low. #StayHomeStaySafeSaveLives
Action two – help where possible
Part of helping is playing your position. As part of shelter in place, you are likely playing right couch, kitchen counter, or center desk. I’m sidelined from my volunteer activity, but am playing left recliner. It’s what we need to do to help. We can get actively back in the game when we get the all-clear.
Most volunteer sites are shut down. You can help by sending money to food shelves. Their demand is up quite a bit, because a lot of people are losing jobs or having hours cut. Blood donations are needed so call your local blood bank. I bet they have procedures in place to have you, and them, avoid COVID-19.
Action three – your mental psychological game
Everyone is a little freaked out by COVID-19, some more than others. The shelter in place limits contact – it’s hard to have a good conversation from six feet away. You can be the ‘reach-out hero’ to family and friends.
We have multiple video conferences now each week, including family, friends, and some people whom we have not talked to as frequently as we should.
Based on our experience, people really need to connect – it really helps.
We have had excellent results scheduling Zoom(sm) meetings from ‘zoom.us’. It’s free. Sign up for an account and you can host meetings. Attendees don’t even need an account. There is an app for iPhone/iPad/Android devices and a simple download for PC/Macs. Zoom even has videos on how to use Zoom. The link is here: Zoom video tutorials
You can use this time as an opportunity for some mental self-care. I’m keeping a COVID-19 diary that records what we do during the day and significant events which I see in the news. It will become part of my book, “Esteemed Grandfather’s Book of Advice and Memoir”.
Online classes are not just for kids who are remote right now. FutureLearn has a COVID-19 class from The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Your library and/or your company may provide some online classes. My library even has some ‘Great Courses’ to stream. Search OCW or open courseware to find classes you might like.
You can also refer to No Surprises Retirement’s Free stuff! or Pre-retirement or retired, why not RAP? blog posts.
Action four – physical self-care
The funniest thing I saw was avoiding the COVID-20 – that is gaining weight while staying home!
Get out and walk, but keep your social distance. I walked around the neighborhood yesterday and we all avoided each other. It was kind of humorous, as it looks like we all hate each other, but people still said hello and waved.
Disclaimer – before you start exercise – start slow, check with your physician. Don’t over do it and become a casualty.
If you’ve got exercise equipment in the house, use it.
If you don’t have equipment, no problem – believe it or not, apparently the armed services (Army, Marines, etc.) do not use a lot of exercise equipment in boot camp – they have the trainees do pushups, front-leaning rests (top of pushup without the ‘push’), and situps. (Pro tip – if you’re just starting doing pushups, use your stairs – start on like the third step up so you’re at an angle. It’s an easy way to transition into ‘real’ pushups.)
Please share your COVID-19 strategies and tips in the comments!
Actions you can take include:
If you have not seen the “Why you should read this blog…WIIFY” post, it’s here
Questions, comments, or suggestions for retirement surprise areas you want to know more about?
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