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Wellbeing Survival Tips for the Coronavirus Lockdown

I was watching one of those popular news channel shows when they ran a section on wellbeing tips for surviving the Coronavirus lockdown. It got me thinking (which is generally a dangerous thing).

Here are some of the wellbeing tips from the nice lady: 1. Don’t gorge on Coronavirus news and get info overload. And to be honest she kinda had me at that one. I mean how in Ted Turners sake are we supposed to dodge Covid-19 news – it’s friggin everywhere. It’s plastered all over the TV, Internet, email inboxes, Whatsapp yacks, social media, telephone chats with ANYONE and family chit chats. So I guess where she was heading was we should dump the broadband, TV, cable, satellite, mobile phone, land-line AND conversations with the family – OK, now I’m kinda listening. It would also sure take social distancing to a whole new level and presumably leave us talking to the dog which I noticed I was starting to do in any case – I mean how in the world else am I supposed to dodge the inane socio-babble with the teens. It may also prove just how clever this wellbeing lady might actually be. Or maybe not. Take a look at her second piece of wellbeing advice.

2. Make sure you have as many virtual social interactions as possible. Which probably means she’s an investor in Zoom. Or maybe not given we’ve already taken her first piece of advice by now and have no phone, broadband, Skype or Whatsapp. Which is though saving us a tonne of money and reminding us just how powerful ‘the sound of silence’ actually is and how wellbeing smart those Simon and Garfunkel guys really were and maybe they should be giving us wellbeing advice instead or maybe they already have and we just need to listen to all their songs which of course I can’t friggin do as I dumped the goddamned broadband. Mind you thanks to her advice I have at least gotten really good at hacking into the neighbours Wi-Fi and cable box.

Anyhoo, her next piece of wellbeing advice went a little like this: 3. Go out into nature as often as possible. Which is a real kick in the pants for pretty much everyone as let’s face it luvvy we all live in shoebox apartments with windows jammed shut thanks to the smog thing and the closest we get to outdoor space is the cats litter tray. So I guess that means get out onto the streets and parks and hit the yoga mat to meditate which leads straight to getting arrested for ‘sunbathing’, getting ass dumped in jail for kinda screaming that I was actually yoga mat exercising and go catch Coronavirus in jail cos let’s face it it’s kinda hard to do the social distancing thingy in there.

The last titbit I remember was wellbeing tip number 4. Gather as a family as often as possible to generally chat, play and meet. You’re friggin joking right. Have you met my Damian family?? I mean a chat has some friggin way of always turning into some whine or winge or teenage-style-endless-friggin-list-of-reasons-why-friends-are-bitchin-Netflix-ain’t-ever-got-enough-shows-my-buddys-all-have-the-iphone11x-so-where-the-frig-is-mine-oh-and-school-is-just-as-lame-online. So the only possible reason for this last (thank Damian) piece of well(not)being advice is presumably cos the nice wellbeing lady doesn’t have a family or she doesn’t have a brain or she’s hard of hearing and keeps that hearing device handily turned off. Well I can tell you, not in this house. Here we pray for the moment our ears get stood on by a buffalo so we get hearing devices and make sure they’re permanently shut off.

But thanks for those wellbeing tips. Really. Oh, and for the family wellbeing meeting bit see my last post.

The Daily Family Meeting in the Time of Coronavirus

This is a tough time indeed. A time for reflection, meditation and according to Trump a time for hydroxychloroquine. It’s also a time for us all to get a little team meeting cold turkey. You know, that favorite time of the day when we get to sit around a table together and listen to the boss bang endlessly on about the latest goals, objectives, tasks, chores, bores and any other company meeting mumbo jumbo designed to make hydroxychloroquine sound like, well, viagra. Let’s face it, we miss our team meetings. It’s the time of day when we get to genuinely switch off or sketch or cartoon or text each other with memes of boss-man in really scary positions. It made sharing weekend photos and naughty videos so much more appropriate knowing that they were pinged to each other under the table in blessed obscurity all while boss man/lady thought they were getting the better of us mere mortals by expounding the latest corporate mumbo jumbo techno garbage about just how crap we really are. It’s OK, we keep reminding ourselves, we already know how crap we are. Just sit in on one of our damned customer service calls!

Anyhoo, for those of you missing your all too regular fix of company/team meeting and finding that Zoom doesn’t quite hit the spot, we have a simple cure. The ‘daily family team meeting’ to survive the Coronavirus lockdown.

Here are a few rules to the daily family team meeting. 1. It has to be face to face. I know your teenage lovelies will think this a bit weird as they’ve never done anything face to face but tough. 2. EVERYONE has to attend and participate equally – no matter how young they are. You may as well teach toddler now. Even if all it achieves is to put the poor thing off meetings for life and stop them being boring as shit and joining Google one day. 3. Meet every day at the same time, probably in the morning – it’ll really kick the day off with a bang. 4. Think really hard before deciding who should lead the meeting. After all, this could be a unique chance for you to shun the ultimate in hospital passes and nail your partner to the meeting leader abuse wall. 5. Get one of your teens to take notes and then get them to circulate said notes – trust me it’s worth it to hear the daily excuses/whining/unrepenting abuse and read their sheer mastery of passive aggressive note taking. You never know, it might even be a handy tool for you one day. 6. Set key family objectives from the outset like ‘how you all chip in to help pay the rent – you too toddler!’ or ‘who wants to call gran today’ or ‘whoever keeps giving toddler the toilet brush as a chew toy better stop’.

The great thing about the family meeting is you have an instant punishment forum for any particularly bad behaviour. “Whoever just stuck baby Jane upside down in the toilet gets to do a full presentation tomorrow on household productivity stats and recommendations including time spent on said toilet per family member plus peak Netflix utilisation by hour and minute. We expect detailed data and cost/benefit analysis, graphing and trend extrapolation.” Trust me this beats any Guantanamo waterboarding.

And to get you all revved up here’s a miniature snapshot of our daily family team meeting from this morning. “So Dad, (like a friggin muppet I didn’t follow rule 4.) your problemo if I’m a bit noisy this morning but I didn’t get a chance to make my mochachino yet as you didn’t wake me up in time for this damned meetup thingy so I’ll be mixin’ it while you bang on. And that task you gave me last time – sorry what was it again and why should I give a damn in the first place. Oh and someone scream out loud when it’s my turn to bang on about God only knows what as I’ll be headset on till then to drown out the mochachino mixing clatter. Back to you Dad, sorry er bossy/chairmany/lame father thing.”

Oh Christ, where’s that link to Zoom?

Advertising in the time of Coronavirus

Seeing as we’re all stuck at home and TV network ratings are soaring like no Christmas turkey tomorrow I thought that, as an avid viewer, I should publish the Letts offic (blame the daughter-lingo thingy again) guide to advertising in the time of Coronavirus.

Here’s our list of SUPPORTED advertising categories: government health warnings (bring it on baby), food, drink, alcohol (we thought this particularly worthy of being singled out), books, dvd’s (for those of you who haven’t figured out a neat not-so new thingy called Netflix), in-home fitness, any kinda loan (and NOT loan sharks), any kinda government handout (please), any place whatsoever that actually sells hand sanitizers this side of us all being….., hazmat suits, seeds, plants, aspirins (for dealing with the kid thing), cough syrup, NHS gift aid, self-help stuff (no quack is a duck quack quack in my books right now) any environmental causes, wildlife (cos we like those shots of cute animals), kid protection services (mine will need it too if they don’t stop flipping channels and hogging bandwidth), Kickstarter campaigns for Covid-19 vaccines and last but by no means least our very own pre-packed tombstones.

And here’s our list of INAPPROPRIATE advertising categories: guides to price gauging, betting (like we have any money right now), savings products (see betting), banking (cos you screwed the economy last time round so you don’t get to milk us this time too), funeral parlours, cars (too tempting), fashion (see cars), new movies (not until you actually start releasing them again), James Bond memorabilia (see movies), real estate (really), support Trump campaigns (please), support Johnson campaigns (see Trump), support Bolsonaro campaigns (what’s the point he doesn’t have any – support that is – not Coronavirus, they have plenty of that), kids toys and anything to do with Easter (see the no money thing and aspirins to deal with the kids bit), drugs (if only), travel (really), news (Christ we’ve got enough of that!).

Phew, that was a little exhausting. I think I’ll get back to watching the TV.

Surviving the weekly shop during Coronavirus lockdown

The weekly shop during Coronavirus lockdown takes on a whole new meaning. There’s just so much more we have to think about. Can I go in my pj’s? Is it a bit pretentious to wear the hazmat suit? Can I avoid taking the kids as they’re driving me nuts by now and the thought of lockdown shopping without them gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Or maybe it’s that ‘I’ve-got-a-Coronavirus-temperature’ kinda warm feeling meaning its my turn to waste away in basement hell for fourteen days which in turn means we can’t do the weekly shop even if we wanted to.

And what happens if I bump into a police blockade on the way to the shops. Do I a) approach, wind the window down and shout at the roadblock police really loudly while remaining in the car to minimise the chance of breaking social distancing rule/law/rule-of-law, b) freak out cos that broken wing mirror which I can’t get fixed for love nor money since no friggin’ garage is open will likely lead to one of those ass bending body frisks which when you duck to avoid ends in a tazering-cum-incarceration which ensures that the whole social distancing thing goes totally out the window sharing a cell with a bunch of really scary looking dudes, c) chuck a 180 degree handbrake turn (car handbrake not the wife) and head the other way as quickly as I can without making it look tots inconspics (my daughter taught me that one too – I mean the ‘tots inconspics’ bit and not the handbrake part in case any police are reading this).

Then, once we get to the shops how in friggs name do we follow the social distancing rule/law thing. After all, we’ve been told that if we’re out in the streets and we see others coming our way and there’s more than one of us, we should dodge the oncomers by heading onto the road – which presumably means getting run over is now safer than getting infected. But how does that work in a supermarket aisle I mean are we supposed to scramble up the shelving units to avoid people or do we turn-face and rapido head the other way until we bump into another bunch of people coming from the other end of the aisle meaning we have to climb those damned shelves in any case.

And what’s this new advice about walking as a ‘bubble’ on the streets if we’re out as a family – with the head of the family in the middle – creating a whole new argument about who in the world’s the head of this family and even if we could figure that one out which we sure as hell won’t how do we figure out the move as a co-ordinated, cohesive family ‘bubble’ to avoid others and how, in the supermarket, does a ‘bubble’ climb the shelves? Unless, of course, by ‘bubble’ they mean a family size hazmat suit.

I think I’ll just stay at home. We can always eat the dog.

Surviving Coronavirus Lockdown

Apparently a third of the world’s population is currently in lockdown which says a lot about the current state of democracy. But, as my daughter says, ‘anyhoo’, which I guess means means let’s flip the channel from CNN to the Kardashians.

But how do we actually survive our very own lockdown. Not how Tom Hanks or Boris Johnson or that really famous model wandering around in a hazmat suit (which I guess is mobile lockdown). And not how Donald Trump survives lockdown (wishful thinking) but how we, you know, normal folk of the world actually survive it.

Cos from what I can see this is the only bullet proof approach to survival: lock yourself (and your family) in your home, throw away the key so NONE of you can EVER leave, figure out how to make your food last 6 months to be super safe (we hope…), buy earplugs to deal with the kids thing, buy anything to deal with the wife thing just make sure buying doesn’t break rule 1 or 2, call your mother every day so you don’t need earplugs to deal with the mother thing, and when the food runs out eat the cat, then the dog, then the rodents, than, but only then and as a very last resort eat the kids which at the every least deals with the kids thing.

And that pretty much sums up how to survive lockdown. Oh, and if we do survive this Coronavirus thing (and not the drink that sounds kinda like it) then remember you heard it first here. Yep, spread the word on survival like your spreading your last peanut butter sandwich. God that makes me hungry…

Surviving the new, new normal

Since the great depression just a dozen odd years ago we’ve been facing a constant series of ‘new norms’ to adjust to. An endless number of ‘seismic shifts’ to understand and adapt to. Just when we think we’ve mastered one the next major change lurks just around the next corner.

I guess it started with the 2008 great recession when the fear of God was struck into us that we might lose our bank (mmm…) and with it any of our meagre savings (what savings?). Then, of course, the actual recession hit and we lost our savings in any case assuming we had any in the first place.

Following this we experienced an endless wave of new Internet and mobile technology things and apps that confused the living daylights out of us and left us, well, less in control than ever – other than, of course, controlled by our phone. Which I guess is why they called it the ‘smartphone’ in the first place. Think about it, it’s not like we’ve been renamed the ‘smartperson’.

More recently we’ve been consumed by ISIS, then Brexit (let’s not go there), then Trump (let’s not go there either), then climate change (let’s let Greta go there) and now Coronavirus – or is it Covid-19 I’m never quite sure. And that pretty much takes us to today. Right?

Except shifting to today’s new norm of lockdown and Trump/Johnson/Bolsonaro/Lenin (oops maybe that last one’s dead) ‘too real reality’ show on every single friggin’ day seems well, more painful than all the other norms put together. So how in the world do we adapt to this mother of all events?

Well, that’s what these musings are about. Surviving. Cos that’s the new, new norm. Surviving to write another day. So, I guess if this is my last post – at least you’ll know why.