5 Ways to Prepare For The Next Pandemic
How to prepare for the next pandemic should be a life skill training for everyone – that is, if we are being honest with ourselves.
How many of us prepared for coronavirus? Sadly, I didn’t prepare, at least not sufficiently enough. I flew back from business travel the week before the global lockdown and went straight to pouring money into businesses.
Even when the pandemic started to progress, I convinced myself that there was no way there would be a lockdown.
Simply put, the economy wouldn’t survive it.
I found all the excuses in the book to ease my worries instead of preparing. When the government announced the lockdown, I was so sure that it wouldn’t last that long.
Again, because the economy wouldn’t survive it.
I was the proverbial ostrich sticking my head into the sand. Maybe if I stuck it out long enough, this will all blow over. I was wrong, very wrong.
A lot of businesses have closed up, many that will survive this will fly with one wing for the rest of the year even far into 2021.
Many employees have lost their jobs, most people have their source of livelihood affected. The deed has been done, we can only look forward.
You can blame China or World Health Organization (WHO) for downplaying the pandemic until it was too late or you can blame the guys that ate bat soup in Wuhan; but that does not excuse us not prepareing for the lockdown that resulted from the outbreak.
5 Ways You Can Prepare For The Next Pandemic
Could we have predicted this? That’s neither here nor there. However, our generation now has a benchmark on how terrible things can get.
We know we can be on lockdown in one location with no money or a means to get one. Hence, we must plan. Always prepare for what is coming next.
1. Be honest with yourself:
One of the biggest factors in planning for terrible times is honesty. First, you must be brutally honest with yourself. Where are you now? Financially, can you take a hit for up to 6 months?
Are you honest with yourself about your finances or do you hide from the fact with bad debts?
The government will probably not save us, it is up to us to prepare for the next pandemic.
According to information available to news outlets, Covid-19 started around November 2019 and despite humanity having months to plan we were indifference and ignorant at worst.
We have drowned ourselves with reality television, sports, and which movie actor is in an entanglement with another; failing to do what is best for ourselves and family.
It’s time to get real. Are you psychologically sound? When was the last time you had a physical examination?
Without these things being in place, you might rush out not knowing that your body cannot survive the virus. Do you have a good community of friends that will help you when you are falling behind?
Tell yourself the truth; financially, psychologically, socially, and physically. You must be brutally honest with yourself.
2. Stop living paycheck to paycheck:
A report in Market Watch found that half of American households currently live paycheck to paycheck.
How do we prepare for the next pandemic when we do not even have savings?
We start by putting away a percentage of our paycheck in a savings account. The target is to save up to 6 months of living expenses.
This funds saved gives us options and peace of mind in terms of crisis. We can go about our jobs knowing that there is a safety net and no pandemic can bring us down.
3. Having 3 months of food supply:
Having a 3-months food plan means you can have peace of mind.
If suddenly you are told to stay at home abruptly as the fate of the world depends on it, you can start immediately without having to panic buy.
When it comes to stocking your 3-months security food, you don’t have to spend much. All you need are the basics. As the supply goes down, you restock it. With time, it becomes a way of life.
Some foods you will need to stock are rice, beans, canned meat, canned vegetables, oatmeal, honey, salt, vitamins.
4. A side hustle in case you are laid off:
What happened to the bartenders? They couldn’t serve at the bar.
The construction workers that had their work shutdown without pay, what did they do for money? Their bills did not get smaller because money stopped coming in. They still had to pay the bills, mortgages or rent, groceries, etc.
Even if they had money saved, the bowl will run dry if it is not replenished.
A side hustle does that for you. The bartender that is also a YouTuber can still make money from posting their videos.
When it comes to choosing your side hustle, you must select one that you can do from home and that doesn’t require much permission.
5. Learn how to use basic technology:
Private school teachers had to teach their students using the internet. For some, this transition was hectic.
They are still learning how to use social media and now we are asking them to be on a conference call on zoom teaching kids that understand these technologies better than them.
No matter what you do or your job description, make sure you spend time learning basic technology techniques.
Understand how you can work from home and connect to the office using their platform. This will make your transition from desk to remote stress-free.
If a pandemic is this bad, what happens when we retire?
The next pandemic may not come in our lifetime, but one thing that will happen to many of us is: retirement.
When we retire, our bills will increase while our income decreases and there’s nothing we can do about it if we don’t plan now.
According to PurePoint Financial 56% of millennials don’t have any money saved in a retirement account.
The numbers were only a little less bleak for older generations: 39% of both Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers have nothing put away for their golden years.
It’s time to start setting some funds aside for retirement.
Look beyond your 401(k) and start thinking bigger. Learn about real estate and how to invest in it. Devout your time in acquiring new skills to compliment your already existing ones.
In the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
So I will paraphrase him, to prepare for a pandemic, planning may be useless for we do not know exactly what the next one will be but we must plan.
The planning opens your mind to options, getting ready for a pandemic. So embrace it and set things in place.
How has the pandemic impacted you?