Corona Virus a Global Saviour?

Ok so that is a little controversial and of course I would never suggest that the suffering and loss of life from this virus is a good thing, the world is facing a terrible silent killer right now and my thoughts and feelings are with everybody at the minute trying to assist in this global time of need or are living through the virus itself, I wish everybody well and hope to see the end of this global tragedy as soon as is possible.

The focus of this statement is that we have seen an unprecedented drop in pollution since the lockdown, if you look out of your window and think for a moment the air is cleaner the sky is clearer and the atmosphere actually seems less turbulent.

This is not just perception the Guardian ran this article recently see here there is an unprecedented drop in pollution and even ozone levels are up in the UK since the shutdown, these are all positives and things that ecologists have been asking us to do for as long as I can remember, the charts below illustrate what I am talking about.

Lessons to be learned

Nobody and I mean NOBODY would ever suggest that this Pandemic is a good thing but you cannot argue with the very real statistics provided above, this is not to say that we brought this on ourselves or that mankind deserves this for ruining the planet, rather it is a very important lesson, 1 in 6 people in the UK dying from lung cancer are NON-Smokers, this is starting, our children are affected in town centers while we are shopping and there are smog clouds gathering over cities around the world, since the lockdown these have dissipated almost overnight, this means that while this is not some form of divine retribution it is a valuable lesson we can learn,

The way we lived before was killing us slowly !

When we get through this, and we will get through this we need to take a look at the effect our stopping the pollution has had and start to think about sustaining our future, Corona Virus has made us all react as a global community because we have a common enemy to fight, that does not care about profit and can not be paid off to look the other way, we need to apply that to industries that pollute at will and then simply pay the imposed fines or offset the perceived harm by buying pollution credits from other countries.

Conclusion

I am not a raving green eco warrior, I am actually a petrol head IT consultant that has a thing for V8’s, I have in the past treated arguments such as the one I have presented here with disdain and have even openly mocked extinction rebellion and groups such as that, as they have dared to hold up my day with their protests, but I was wrong, very wrong the facts do not lie and the facts are that as a global race we need to re-think the legacy we leave for our children, we need to concentrate on the speed with which mother Earth responds to us stopping our constant bombardment of fumes and fossil fuels, and maybe just maybe we can provide a better future for all.

Staying Sane During Isolation

So by now the reality of the situation has set in for most of us and the harsh reality that life as we knew it only a few weeks ago is now over, movements are restricted and monitored, and we are not even being given any indication when this may or may not end, people are losing their jobs already as an economy largely built on debt and the management thereof fails almost instantly the “just in time”repayment money fails to appear.

It would be easy to fall into depression, in fact that is one of the things that is worrying governments around the world, people will take longer to recover from the effects of having their lives taken out from underneath them slower than the world will take to beat Covid-19.

The important thing to remember at this time is that although this seems insurmountable it is not, it literally is just a matter of time, and frankly the conspiracy theorists out there claiming that governments have a cure but aren’t letting on are dreaming, there is no government anywhere in the world that would allow the demise of millions of registered tax payers if they could help it.

After the Boxset

Initially I think the majority of people will turn to Netflix (and other streaming platforms) with time on their hands, but once you have binge re-watched your favorite series what then, twiddle your thumbs? the reaction that the world had to being told they should stay in doors was almost completely uniform.

Majority of people had to get out and see other people, not because they suddenly had the desire to be social but because they were frightened about losing the ability to do something.

Our minds need stimulation and leisure activities are designed to give us a break from the stress and planning of normal daily modern life, if you think about what you would normally do in a typical day it is quite a long list, juggling work, home, activities, money, emails, social media, planning holidays, dealing with children and their problems, worrying about children the list is endless.

But these worries are starting to diminish we are not going out as much, balancing all the activities that we would normally do in a day and a night aren’t there any more and our brains are struggling to slow down, this is where the boredom and the frustration comes in.

As we become bored we become aware of the lack of stimulation, and that frustrates us more, the lack of stimulation is the biggest change we can go through at this time because people with a normal active life are, if anything, over stimulated, modern life has dictated that we become 24hr people and suddenly we have been thrust back into a time long gone where there is very little to do and a lot of time to think about things.

But it doesn’t have to be this way, you do not have to succumb to the boredom and ultimately the cabin fever, all you need to do is find a source of stimulation, a path of mental and physical occupation that means you are expanding your mind, believe me it will make that boxset even sweeter in the evening if you have been busy all day.

My Tips to Stay Sane in this Insanity

  1. Start a course online, literally pick a subject and start to learn it, if ever you needed the time to learn a new skill this is the perfect excuse.
  2. Spend time with your family (in your household of course) you would be amazed how little you know about each other really, as modern life forces the “ships passing in the night” on all of us.
  3. Make good use of Social Media, I hate it personally but not because of itself but rather the applications that humans find for it, usually the instrument of either hate or bullying or pornography, instead we now have the opportunity to use it for face to face communication, and to catch up with people you possibly haven’t had time to before.
  4. Read, reading is by far and way the easiest way to lose some hours while engaging your mind, read fiction and your brain will conjure images and emotions as well as improving skills that can be useful for education purposes, most of us fall out of the habit and struggle when we pick up educational books, not because of the subject matter but because we are out of practice with reading.
  5. Enjoy the time together, partners, children and pets are awesome we rarely (in most cases) get the opportunity to really enjoy time as it is always so finite but now the rushing around is out of the way you can truly enjoy the time together.

I hope this helps to at least give confidence that the way people are feeling is normal, and that there are ways to ride this thing out, it will be (and is being) a very challenging time for the world, but we will get through it, and who knows, with a helping of luck come out the other side a bit better connected and with a better prospective on the life we were living and how important some of the priorities we had were.

Quick Word on Staying Fit in these Difficult Times

I have seen and answered quite a lot of questions recently on Quora regarding training while in isolation, so I thought I would put a small post together just to help with this subject.

First things First

You don’t really need the gym, or at least not as much as you thought you did, the vast majority of us that are looking to stay in shape can do so quite easily from home, but we are sold the Gym story because it makes money for others and we buy it (on the whole) because it gives most people the best excuse for not working out, if I can’t get to the gym I can’t train, but the reality is (and if we are honest with ourselves) this is exactly what it is an excuse, I am not knocking Gyms, far from it but right now in this moment you haven’t got that as an option so let’s work a way round it, I put a previous post on about working out with an old log or tree stump located here but you don’t even have to go to those extremes, there are a few simply rules to remember and you will be just fine.

  1. if you no longer have access to a wide range of weights, slow down your repetitions and use increasingly concentration exercises, so this would mean concentration curls resting your elbow on the inside of your leg, or lunges instead of squats.
  2. Anything can be a weight if it weighs something, sounds simple but it doesn’t have to be a bar with plates on it, logs, stones, paving slabs anything that weighs something and you can pick up will work, just remember to be careful of sharp edges and any dirt falling into your eyes and so on, apply common sense.
  3. As long as you stress the muscle or you push cardio capacity till you are out of breath you are going to adapt it is simple, so go out for a run (on your own or with members of your household) and push yourself.

Desperation is the Mother of Invention

Remember that you can think a way through anything, in fact a little time having to invent movements will probably do us all some good, consider the muscle group you are wanting to train and think about what movement involves that muscle group, then perform the movements slowly and deliberately, try and feel the muscle group working under the weight, not only will this help with the mind muscle connection when you go back to the Gym but you will find that using heavy objects that are not always completely centred or are awkward to pick up will help recruit supporting muscle groups as well meaning that you can push more weight with the main group as it now as much more support.

Sticking Points

Chest, is always going to be a difficult one, as the normal way of training is to be on a bench allowing greater movement of the elbows, but you can just as easily lay on the floor and do flys, again just slow down and feel the movement, press-ups are of course the staple and see if you can get someone to place a weight on your back while you perform them, cross bench dips can be replicated with two chairs just be careful that one of them does not tip over, I would say just use one and place you feet on the floor. elevating your legs during press-ups will also help engage your upper chest, but not too much as your blood pressure will rise easily in this position.

Yoga, Yoga, Yoga

I cannot stress this enough, if you are looking for a way to improve overall health and wellbeing as well as improve muscle tone and burn fat and you only have restricted space, you cannot beat Yoga, there are a million and one videos on YouTube that you can just put on and work along with, you will feel better for it, I know that for some the idea of Yoga seems a little hokey but believe me I have such an admiration for the strength, flexibility and durability of Yoga practitioners since I started doing it, and my flexibility has improved no end.

Above all

This time is unavoidable, you cannot do anything different because this virus has taken those options away, but although it is controlling our lives now, don’t let it win in the long run, think a way round the limitations and work to emerge better, stronger and more educated when all this is done, and reap the rewards of a bit of time away from keeping up with the virtual Jones’s

Another Casualty of Human Nature – Every Man and Woman for Themselves.

As this continues we have started to see (and I suspect will continue to see) the true nature of mankind, the underlying motivation in any society would appear to be one of greed, and at a time like this it seems incredulous to me that as a race we appear to still be looking out for ourselves, companies rushing to find ways around the restricted opening, looking to still sell as much as they can to a population that have nowhere else to go right now, here’s the thing, if there is nobody left to spend it then money is wallpaper and nothing else! you see money and wealth are not mutually exclusive, although we are taught this through countless morons on social media, making money from using whatever they think they can sell, and of course the powers that be want us to equate the two as equal as well as it serves their purpose, after all if you have lots of money then you are wealthy right? no, No and F**K NO,

It is not only perfectly possible to have money and be broke as well as have no money and be wealthy and in fact in most cases that is the status quo, think I am talking rubbish? think about it, how many people living lavish lifestyles actually have money? the vast majority of them are living with eye watering debt and yet they live lives of personal Jets, Yachts, huge houses and extravagant vacations either to elite destinations or in some cases destinations they own, and the reality of it, none of it is theirs, they have become what the Mafia refer to as “A good earner” that is to say their debts are so huge that they never repay a single cent or penny of the original sum, simply the interest they have become essentially an investment by the bank and a dividend payment at the end of each month, if they screw up then they lose all the loaned goods and lifestyle and the bank moves onto the next entrepreneur.

During this time there will be job cuts, people will lose their livelihoods due to the chaos that is going on around us, and they will find it difficult if not impossible to find another one in a short space of time, after all they can’t even leave the house to attend an interview!

Stuck in a mountain of debt this is where the lesson will be learned that human nature is to cut loose anything that is no longer profitable and ignore it till it goes away.

What then ?

Well the first instinct is the emotional response that sends most people into a pit of either saturated fat or alcohol self pity, but there is nothing to stop you from taking action and becoming the top of the pile, hell if you make enough noise the people that turned their backs on you will come running again you’ll see, whatever you did, whatever your shape of cog within the machine of the larger organisation is your way to work yourself back up the ladder, you can start a business, because now you have nothing to lose, if you are already in debt and you have been cut loose by a company trying to save money in this time when we have a global need for stability then you will eventually lose what you have anyway, so if all is lost then why not gamble what you don’t have on a future a million times as bright as the one you have now?

Finally….

I want to wish everybody around the world the best of luck with this because that is what we are going to need, my whole point is that although your landscape may be changing every day and seeming to just get darker, with the right motivation you can turn the tables on the establishment and secure your own seat at the top, there is shameless display of profit over human life evident in most quarters of the globe, maybe your empire will change that and value your fellow human.

Finally some calm amidst the chaos

Finally after we all got told not to go out and meet up with old friends and to strip the shelves bare like a plague of locusts the message appears to have hit home, finally there is stock back on shelves, not all stock is back admittedly but there is a good chance that when we go to the shops tomorrow there will be food and toilet roll, so what have we learned ? nothing, not a damn thing in my opinion as the time frame so far is to small to effect a change in human nature, you see the problem is that we still have companies doing everything they can to stay open, bending the rules and attempting to subvert the government at every turn, all in the name of profit, and this (to some) is reason enough to doubt the validity of this pandemic, there are demonstrably those among us that need to feel that if they are disobeying advice, coercion and ultimately instruction that somehow makes them free, even if that freedom endangers the lives of themselves and there loved ones and in this case can go onto to infect and destroy the lives of others not even known to them.

Define freedom

Unfettered, ungoverned freedom is a flawed concept, it simply cannot exist within a civilized society, the very fact that we are civil is based on rules and etiquette we do not simply voice an opinion or carry out a threat every time we feel like we could kill somebody for a wrong they have done us, and many of our freedoms are afforded to us due to these rules, the fear of recourse from breaking a rule provides the barrier to the vast majority of human impulse.

The past couple of weeks in the UK have been surreal, the lack of constructive advice from recognised authority figures and the mass dissemination of opinion presented as fact on social media caused panic and mayhem in the lives of ordinary people, it stripped us of our freedom the freedom that can only exist with rules and guidelines, the freedom to eat when we want and to drink when we want, to feel the comfort and assurance that living in a rich western country provides through abundance of resource, there was no supply chain issues other than the ones caused by the panic buying, this situation will pass and hopefully it will take some of the values of the human race with it.

Fresh Start

When the dust settles on this and we look back, I would hope that we will see money and the acquisition of money for what it really is, nothing, money and wealth are nothing unless they are applied to a situation, my point is that if you never go anywhere and never do anything but you have a million pounds in the bank then you may as well not have it, if you don’t believe me take out a note right now, it is a piece of paper, nothing more and nothing less, but imagine that there are no more people, what then ? what if there were no more food to fill the stripped shelves ? what is you had all the money in the world but your family were sick, if there is no cure then believe me one cannot be bought, I am hoping this makes us not stop the pursuit of money, but rather make us pursue the things that money provides, freedom of movement, cultural and academic education for our children through travel, time to relax and enjoy what is truly a beautiful planet, sure pursue money start your business, buy your stocks and shares but when the money starts coming in apply it to life and enjoy the freedom of controlled and grown finance.

You have a choice

Just because certain shops are open and trying to entice people to gather make a choice for you and your family as well as the rest of the human community that you are likely to be in contact with, you do not owe these retail giants anything, and they will not turn you away when this is over, in fact a drop in profits may very well make them realise the value of their customers and maybe they will change how they operate in the future, becoming fairer and more focused on the person rather than the value of a persons spending power, above all you must preserve your life, and that does mean staying as far away from this silent killer as much as possible, sure humans have always gone out to hunt and provide food since time began but the sports equipment or a pair of jeans will not feed anybody, leave them today and ensure you are alive and well to buy them tomorrow.

Above all stay safe and look after yourselves.

Don't fall victim to virtual Corona

As the world comes to terms with the new way of working and of course the huge loss among our number it would appear (as if it is a surprise) that there are certain quarters looking to profit from or use this pandemic as a way to push their message, we personally have already seen fraudulent transactions on Paypal, ordinarily not really a problem just call and they will fix it, but this time PayPal customer services are CLOSED yep closed, even in this age of distributed call centres they are closed, and this is the real problem, as some businesses just simply pack up and shut their doors others seem determined to put profit over and above public health, not a huge revelation but there you go.

So for the foreseeable future you should really pay attention to the following.

  • Check Bank accounts for unauthorised payments
  • Be very wary of visiting websites that provide information on Corona stick to easily verifiable sites
  • Don’t spend a fortune on supplements to boost the immune system, some help is good like vitamin C and so on but companies are already selling “immune packs”
  • Remember that it is going to go on for a while, so stay alert and always check who you are talking to before handing over any credentials, companies will use messaging apps during this time make sure it is the company you want to talk to on the other end.

Stay SAFE

First Day of UK Lockdown

So we did it, the Great British public managed to bring the pain of lockdown on itself, best thing for us really, the stupidity of the human race as a whole has never ceased to amaze me, even faced with the prospect of an early and painful death people still believe more in their own home spun wisdom than the advice of any government or governing body, life however from the window looks no different the birds are singing and the sun is shining (sort of) but life is now so very very different.

Why ignore the advice ?

You see this feeds into a lot of what I have been saying about all these books on the subject “of not giving a f**k”, in fact I will go one stage further, you should (if you own these books) find them and carefully take them outside and burn them, every single one, listen the human race has a pack mentality it always has that is why we gravitate to other people, it is in our DNA and in the programming from the very first conscious thought right up to today, after all it is how we breed and sustain the Race, so when somebody writes a book about not giving a f**k they are ultimately lying, sure there is some element of truth in it, but the ability to live that way is a luxury that stems from a stable society, literally the society these people are advocating against, “not giving a f**k” is what drove hundreds of thousands of people to seaside towns and parks this weekend, and it has probably helped to spread the infection by some tangible number, and I am not claiming that I have never considered that way of thinking, but it is only good for selling books, it goes against the nature of Humans and in this particular instance, believe me it could be our undoing.

Opportunity in isolation

Now is the time to start reading, not popular tripe designed to be “controversial” simply to get people buying it, after all if this thing goes much further there will be no need for money, and it will become worthless, I mean pick a topic, programming, language, fitness whatever it may be and take this time to educate, the vast majority of the planet will simply sit back and binge watch shows on Netflix, or busy themselves hoarding beans, pasta and toilet roll, and emerge no better than they were before, any global event is signal and an opportunity for change, take that opportunity and run with it emerge stronger and more educated than you went in, then as life goes back to a steady pace you will enjoy the benefits of your labors even more.

Choose Wisely

But this is not without it’s pitfalls, choosing the right path now is paramount to how this comes out, and the only way to effectively make the right decision is to do what you want to do most, pick what you are passionate about not what you think will make money in the next 24hrs, because money in the next 24hrs will be worth what it is now, sod all, so pick something that you have always wanted to learn, and learn it, inside and out, but I cannot stress enough that going down the “not giving a f**k” route is partially to blame for the situation we find ourselves in now, so don’t do it because it’s bullshit.

Overall stay safe

Stay safe, follow guidelines and remember you are not missing out, if people are gathering then great for them, hopefully they will get beds together in hospital, or all club together to pay the fine (UK) for the first time in the history (for most of us) this is literally a bid to stay alive, so do everything you can, regardless of any distrust in governments and their minions, and even with all the conspiracy nuts claiming that they are testing biological weapons or preparing us for the end of the world, the only truth you need is that if you don’t get it it can’t affect you simple.