So, this is how it’s going to be for the time being… Social distancing means that Airsoft is (or damn well should) be effectively off limits for the foreseeable future. Its a tiny price to pay and anything we can do to slow or stop this virus, is worth doing.
I won’t get into the pros and cons of social distancing, but I will say that it’s the only thing that’ll prevent a shitload of deaths over the next few months. Don’t expect an ambulance to turn up within 30 minutes if the NHS is overwhelmed, triage is a very real thing and you definitely don’t want to end up being sat in a hallway with the words “Terminal” and “palliative care only” written on your chart just because you thought a game of footie down the park was a good idea at the time.
So, Coronavirus is going to affect each and every one of us… Some will have a much reduced income and others will probably end up earning more. Whilst pubs and clubs might have shut their doors for the foreseeable, the rockstars of 2020 will probably end up being multi-drop delivery drivers, shelf stackers and hospital porters. Those “low skilled, low paid” jobs all of a sudden have better prospects of being paid (and indeed paid overtime) than the usually in demand chef and bar jobs of recent years.
Some of you might struggle to find things to occupy your time, some might struggle to find the time. One thing is definitely for sure, we’ll all struggle more than we’ve had to before. So how can we keep ourselves from going nuts between now and such a time that things get halfway back to normal?
Firstly, take a deep calm breath. Whilst it takes 3 weeks to die of starvation, 3 days to die of thirst and 3 minutes to die of a lack of air, it only takes a mere 3 seconds to turns positive state of mind into a negative one. A positive mindset is the only thing that’ll cost nothing yet become your most valuable tool in the months to come. Also, and this will help massively… Stop reading and sharing bullshit, it helps no one. Also stop panicking every time you cough or feel like shit.
Our collective mental health is going to suffer and we’ll have less tools to deal with it, old wounds and insecurities might raise their head, new chinks in your armour are quite possibly going to make themselves known. It’s absolutely normal for your head to be going 100mph in several directions, but you must look after yourself.
When issues arise, pause and work out if it’s actually important or just appears important now. Will it affect you in a months time or is it a minor inconvenience for today? Once you’ve worked that part of the problem out, is it something you can effect change in, or is it something beyond your ability to control? Is there another solution you haven’t thought of yet? You’ll be surprised at how many issues can be resolved with a little lateral thinking, like joining all the below dots with only three straight lines… EASY, but only if you’ve been shown how to before.
Eat the dated food first and for fuck sake, do not throw it away. I predict some odd meals over the next few weeks for some of us but if you can’t cook, Now’s the time to learn. Also, keep your diet varied and balanced… A healthy body keeps you at a lower risk of other ailments, it’s not just coronavirus that’s a killer. Heart disease kills ten times the amount of people that Coronavirus does, if you were ever looking for a reason to knock off a few pounds or inches, this is it. But there is evidence to suggest that even with coronavirus, the healthier you are, the less affected you will be.
Keep yourself motivated, nothing hits a persons mental well-being like a lack of motivation. Just because you can’t go to work, meet up with friends or family and play airsoft doesn’t mean you have to be bored. Work with what you’ve got at home, find little projects to work on and get those replicas back up and running.
If you are fortunate enough to to be able to work from home, try and keep to a schedule that breaks up your day. Also designating areas of the home for work, relaxing and games is essential. Keep to these times and areas, once you blur those lines it’s easy to become distracted from your work or possibly worse, not be able to switch off. Try and give those homeworkers around you the space and time they need to get in with their work.
Switching off is also something that’s vital for those of you who are key workers throughout this period. If your job requires you to carry on as normal or potentially even step it up a notch, remember that you need to make the most of your time away from the grind. When you’re not at work, phone that person you’re concerned about, open up and tell them what’s on your mind. Look after yourself and make sure you look after your colleagues too, very one is going to have their struggles and fears to deal with, just don’t kid yourself that you don’t need help… even the strongest of minds needs a little TLC sometimes.
So aside from the mental aspect of this situation we find ourselves in, what can we do to positively pass the time?
Read a book or two, an actual physical book might seem like a less immersive experience than TV, but it’s actually such an escape from the all consuming digital overload that we’re used to, that reading a book (or blog 😉) can give your brain a little bit of stimulation and allow it the freedom to create the visuals of the story you’re reading.
Avoid excessive gaming/binge watching of Netflix etc. As tempting as it might seem to crack on with three weeks of uninterrupted entertainment, spending even more time than usual doing these things might not be the best thing for your physical or mental health.
I’m not gonna lie, I’ll probably game a little bit more than usual and maybe re-watch a few old classic series (Justified, Deadwood, The Unit, Generation Kill, The Sopranos, Band Of Brothers, X Files to name a few), but I’m certainly not looking to spend more than a couple of hours a day doing something that only has a limited benefit.
So what will I be doing? Well aside from the many little jobs and endless cleaning my wife has in store for me, my major aim is to learn a couple of new skills throughout this period (I’m already a pretty good cook so maybe the garden will get a little attention). I’m lucky enough to have access to the internet, and if you’re reading this, so do you.
There’s a wealth of talent and information out there, learning how to do something you’ve not done before has never been easier. If you’re locked in with someone, do something with them… I don’t mean watch TV or just shagging endlessly, find something you can do together that’s fun and productive (seriously, humping isn’t the only option 😂) try and bake something, you never know… You might find a new passion.
I aim to leave this period in a better state than I started it, fitter, healthier, stronger (physically and mentally) and with all those jobs I wanted to get done, finally complete.
Keep in touch with your friends and family, but not via face to face contact. As tempting as this might seem to go and visit people or host an impromptu BBQ, it absolutely goes against the common sense advice to stay at home. As infuriating as it might seem to talk through on the phone and help Granny Goggins to download Skype on her iPad, that’s exactly what you should be doing.
Do your bit, basically this means becoming the “sheepdog” you claim you aspire to be. Shelter the weak, work with the strong and don’t take any unnecessary risks.
Don’t be a dick. Allow your health professionals and key workers to do their jobs, keep the infrastructure running and to not become overworked and sick themselves. The shelves are slowly starting to become replenished, the electric, gas and water is still running, you still have internet and you still have a decent shot at getting through this without losing at risk those around you, don’t take the last pack of Penne unless you genuinely don’t have any at home, the same goes with anything.
If the old guy who lives alone and takes the incredibly terrifying decision to go shopping after running out of essentials or the Nurse or hospital porter going hone off the back of a double shift can’t get something to eat, those who shopped beyond their needs are directly to blame.
Keep yourself safe, write a list of things you want to achieve and make sure you do something worthwhile each and every day. Take care of yourself and see you soon (with a non virus related blog, I promise!)