The coronavirus is going to be an unwelcome guest in all our homes and businesses for the next few months, so the quicker we can accept that the better.
Here are some proactive actions to mitigate your anxiety from the disruption of your daily routine, by being considerate of others and planning for the future:
Be Kind – Over the last couple of years, most major media outlets reported 40 percent of Americans don’t have $400 in their bank account to pay for an emergency expense. That means 40 percent of U.S. residents, over 130 million people, will struggle to cover the basic necessities needed for survival during the coronavirus pandemic.
If you can afford to, please pay employees who rely on you to take care of their families, even if they shelter in place. That includes the people who clean your homes, care for your children, and mow your lawns. The few thousand dollars you will spend will be a meaningful lifeline to help those who help you.
Don’t Treat School Closings as a Snow Day – This means no playdates, sleepovers or birthday parties. Instead, go with your family, and only your family, to hike a nature trail, walk in a park, or just stroll around your neighborhood. Be sure to practice safe social distancing.
Your children will emulate your actions and take the coronavirus pandemic as seriously as you do, so no cocktail parties for you too!
Look for Efficiencies in your Monthly Expenses – We all squander thousands of dollars a year on inefficiencies in our household expenses.
Now is as good a time as any to shop for cheaper auto and homeowner’s insurance (renters insurance if you rent), refinance your mortgage, seek out lower interest rate credit cards, consolidate debt, find cheaper cell phone service, compare cable TV, streaming service and internet rates, and comb through your credit card bills to cancel subscriptions and apps you don’t use.
Take advantage of this once in a lifetime chunk of free time to streamline your financial life. Then share your savings with your friends.
Shift Anger to Action – The health emergency we are now under was going to happen sooner or later. Yes, our President was slow to get the message out and refused to admit the reality of the problem for a few precious weeks.
You will not change anyone’s view about Trump three years into his term, so stop trying and make sure you vote this November. Keep in mind there are also layers of government that could have also taken charge of the problem on a local level.
Instead, focus on how Gov. Cuomo took decisive action to keep New York State safe. And how can you not love NIAID Director, Dr. Anthony Fauci?
Keep your coronavirus TV and social media viewing to a minimum. Instead binge-watch all three seasons of the “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” You’ll thank me later!
The anxiety of the coronavirus pandemic, the ensuing stock market crash, and the changing of daily routines is all unsettling. Please take steps to be kind to others, be financially productive, and lessen your own anxiety. It will make the next few months more bearable.