The start of 2020 has really been a wild roller coaster ride. In just the first quarter alone, we saw key personalities pass away, natural disasters destroy cities and of course, the novel Coronavirus spread like wildfire. All these, combined with our personal battles, dealt us with major life lessons; life lessons that we definitely wouldn’t have learned the easy way. Big or small, we must take these things by heart and pass it on.

1. Plan ahead and plan well

When the times call for very limited movement due to sparse resources and stringent rules, every small action counts. The extra item you take from the grocery shelf or the quick grocery run can have huge impacts (especially during the enhanced community quarantine). Remember to always plan well, don’t spend time and money with nuisances. Make a list of things you have to accomplish, prioritize the essentials and snip out the unnecessary. You don’t know how long we’ll be in this situation, plan for sustainability and nothing less.

2. Have reserves, just in case

No, we are not talking about keeping a huge stash of toilet paper in the cupboards. We are also NOT talking about hoarding supplies. (We should know better than take things we know we cannot consume). We are asking you to invest your resources in the right places. Don’t go spending all your money in fear-stricken panic and having nothing to spend in the future.

It’s OK to spend for yourself every once in a while, but make sure you set aside a part of your budget for emergencies and urgent responsibilities. We know the importance of making other investments such as insurances and stocks (to name a few) but this reserve cash we are referring to is the one you will have easy access to whenever you need it. Cold cash, no matter how small, can make all the difference in times of dire need.

3. Choose the right leaders

They say your leaders are tested when they are put in the forefront of a crisis. Needless to say, we are seeing this happen on a national scale, people frantically looking up to their leaders, waiting for them to make community decisions. Some people have gone as far as making ‘Missing’ posters of their institutional heads for their inaction towards alleviating the masses’ difficulties.

It’s easy to pay for your place or to bark orders; it’s easy to be called a leader, but not everyone can be one. Choose leaders that you trust enough to manage not just resources but also people.

How well you get through a crisis is also a reflection of how well your leader handled the situation. Everyone gets to do their share of the work but the other half of a group’s success is reliant on how well your leaders organize and mobilize.

This is not just for organizations, this is for your governments as well.

Choose well enough so you may never have to second guess them when worse comes to worst.

4. Always have a contingency plan

We never know when disaster will strike and one thing we have learned from the past ones that we have experienced is: people will sometimes be left to their own devices. Help may not come as fast, food may not be as available, people may not be as helpful.

Channel your inner Sheldon Cooper and prepare a disaster plan before it even happens. Here are some things that you may want to look into:

-If an earthquake should occur, set a location where you and your family can meet if in case you are not together when it strikes.
-Keep emergency food that you can take with you to evacuation centers in case rations come in late.
-Talk to a neighbor about making their residences a temporary shelter if yours is ravaged by a natural phenomena.
-Have a ‘Call List’ and choose people to reach out to when you need help.
-Have a secondary source of income if and when you lose your job. One great idea here is to have small buy and sell businesses to keep yourself afloat whilst looking for a new job. For good buy and sell options, check out this another article outlining the best things to sell online or be part of MD Gruppe’s group of resellers through the application form here.

5. Choose what you read and listen to

We remember a circulating photo in Facebook showing a supposed Executive Order from the President that claimed that the entire country will be put on lockdown. This was quickly refuted by the Department of Health, citing this as fake. Of course, for people who don’t know better, this served as a go signal to panic buy, panic travel etc. While this was moot, it did leave non-emergency areas with limited resources when there shouldn’t have been any reason to panic.

In the age of hyperinformation, we are often overwhelmed by the number of things that we see and read. It’s sometimes hard to distinguish between real information and fabricated articles. It is important to know which sources are reliable because heeding data from the wrong vines can sometimes cause panic and bad blood.

Articles or shows that are well written with no errors (spanning grammar to philosophical) is one way to spot credible sources.
Good sources are also ones that cite references.

Check links too! Just because you saw it in YouTube, it does not mean that your data channel is reliable, remember, open platforms such as YouTube and Facebook allow anyone to publish information without supervision.

Follow credible links and media outlets, listen to people with legitimate expertise in topics.

6. Besides your family, your neighbors play a big role in your survival too

We learned this the hard way. Many people bought so much for themselves and left nothing to the next person. From buying boxes upon boxes of disinfectants to hoarding perishables, we saw people take so much advantage of the crises for their own benefits.

Then we were flooded with photos of senior citizens and less fortunate people scavenging for whatever squished and rejected products all the able bodied left behind.

We understand how tempting it must be to prioritize your family above everyone else, and there is nothing wrong with that. But at the end of the day, no man is an island. Acting like your safety is more important than that of the person next to you is nothing less than dangerous.

Consider this: If your neighbor gets sick because their resistance is not strong enough for the virus that could’ve been killed by the disinfectant you hoarded, then you are more likely to get sick too.

See? It’s a zero sum game.

7. You are fortunate to have survived all of these

Do us a favor. Once we get through this unharmed, hug your family, reach out to long forgotten friends, share good vibes and most of all say a little prayer. Not everyone will get through this, but you did. There is a lot to be thankful for.