I've been getting emails asking how I survived China's COVID-19 lockdown and my recommendations.
It's been over 70 days or so. The pandemic — indeed even in China, the epidemic — is far from over, as stated in #iTHiNKLabs 2020 Security Predictions. And sure, not being in Wuhan helped. But first:
Condolences if you lost or lose a loved one. Avoid the latter by taking this piece (links, resources and all) seriously. Also, sorry for late sharing. The best way to stay ahead of the curve, and rise above abysmal, ignorance and irrational fear-inducing coverage and leadership on this pandemic and similar issues indirectly affecting you before you know it, is simply to read #iTHiNKLabs Weekly every weekend. Why? Because in this case, #iTHiNKLabs was preparing its readers long before the outbreak was officially declared a pandemic.
Which is why following my own Coronavirus Prevention, Crisis, Response and Health Security Guides, among the most searched on Google — also click/tap feature image above — I planned ahead, prepared, kept clean, and having giving my last 10 or so face masks (I carry face masks on me year round everywhere I go) to my Chinese best friend whom I warned would get stuck if she left for the lunar year, I simply:...Activated my self-imposed house arrest/hermit lifestyle, living on: canned tuna, sardines, oatmeal, bread, butter, milk, eggs, rice, Milo & Ovaltine, self-rationed nuts, long-lasting fruits and veggies (see below), raw ginger and Taiwanese ginger drink, lots of meaningful work, plus edutainment. Why the image above? Click/tap to find out what I have to say about face masks.
Fortunately, another Chinese best friend replenished my face mask supplies 20 days later. Moreover, being a Christian Scientist helps as my mindset is very different, hence, no stress, anxiety, or illness whatsover. Not taking medication is NOT compulsory. Plus, by God, I'm rarely ill anyway. You can, too. If you really want!
No. I'm not a #COVIDIOT. Not many in East Asia either, apparently. And Minimalists and pragmatists fare better. As I told one friend: The average insular (mentally fragile) American on social media doesn't realize how bad it's about to get.Mentally healthy introverts, ambiverts, wealthy people or those with good social or family safety nets will do OK. Otherwise, many will die and things will get weird. Good mental health in times like these is more important, and if you're claustrophobic, feel a need to go jogging, exercise, etc. or have loved ones like that, this is a good time to explore the rich self-help resources available.
If at all helpful, I stepped out for the first time for an essential errand since the week of January 13, 2020 only on the week of March 19, 2020. And what was my response to the earliest emails expressing concern for my health and safety after the outbreak was declared?
I'll come coughing and sneezing knocking on your door soon. And if you run away, I'll chase ya! As Tom Cruise says in The Last Samurai:
Katsumoto: You believe a man can change his destiny?
Algren: I think a man does what he can, until his destiny is revealed.
Finishing, I often added:
I've lived a full life, not wasted my days or human relations. Happy to go anytime. God Bless you for making contact. Those convicted by their conscience for malicious things said or done, can't. Much love!
So, no Social Distancing?
No time then, and now, for social distancing blab.
Hong Kong residents weren't using that term either. When you're focused on survival without drama, you keep a low profile, choose your battles (think: priority management), ignore Trump drama and sensational news, and live in the solution. Hence the feature video above, — for perspective.
Regarding basic things (minus toilet paper and whatever people are fighting over) to get, my full response:I visibly lost weight during lockdown. Unlike restless folks itching to go out, responsible, mentally strong people aim for the exact opposite. Why? Because not getting infected or spreading infection is the goal. In fact, my recommendation is: You should be able to last 90 days, if necessary.
So, without knowing how many mouths you have to feed or how spoiled your kids are, my money saver's health-conscious list assumes portion control - EATING HABITS SHOULD CHANGE DURING THIS PERIOD (1 rich meal a day + fruit or nuts here and there) for stuff to last. In no particular order:
Peanuts (cheapest). Higher grade nuts better obviously ... + Long-lasting fruits and veggies (click/tap image above).The rest is all creative cooking and eating healthy. Pasta covered (above) in Business Insider's What to buy for your home-quarantine emergency kit.
Otherwise, the above + plus some high-tech Chinese and Asian food like "no stove needed" hot-pot and rice/curry beaf stuff together with the above were all I needed.
Sure, nice to have beef, pork, fish etc. in freezer if you/wife love cooking... But I was more than OK with the above in a brand new building with no stove... I did all my creative cooking and frying, etc. with a rice cooker!!! [Also, didn't spend more than $120. And before you think well he's not in the States, remember I practice minimalism in the States too and if you ask, I'd be happy to share how the above recommendations will slightly change, plus prices.]
Didn't need Netflix, cable, TV, etc. either. Just internet connection and Youtube!
Whether I was infected and had/have immunity over the last 90 days or so or not is irrelevant. What matters apart from being immensely grateful is: While I stepped out at odd hours to throw out trash and met a Chinese friend bringing me face masks I hardly used, I wasn't mingling and taking chances. I was minding my business. My health. And that's wisdom.
For example, such is the death of American competence at the moment that Americans think New York's Governor Cuomo is doing a good job thanks to Donald Trump's ineptitude when in fact like UNSW's Professor Raina MacIntyre (in feature documentary above), I would support a more assertive lockdown.
Why? Because far from being a repressive State apologist, precisely such decisive leadership much earlier would have saved thousands of lives in China (and specifically, Wuhan) alone, stalling, if not avoiding the pandemic altogether. Yet despite the worst case scenarios (as above), incompetence in the West, from Italy to the UK and Spain to name a few, including Brazil, abounds.
So whatever optimistic, pseudo-scientific or Trumpian "facts" you hear — Oxford epidemiological model suggesting half of UK population MAY be infected but fine included — remember this Sustained Organ Damage ALERT from #iTHiNKLabs #114: COVID-19 Survivors May Have 20-30%' LESS Lung Function, Hong Kong doctors have learned.
Ultimately, those of us without power can only focus on what we can control. One of them being: Talking to the right people and tuning out noise and rot. Hence, anyone taking their own health or public health security for granted won't make you any smarter. So avoid them. Study the above and below (links and all). And live. Happy to answer any questions and share with authentic readers.
Advanced Personal Leadership Series X29