As scary as it may seem, it looks like due to a surge in COVID-19 cases across America, there’s a high chance that many states will implement a second lockdown. Even though the coastal states are fairing better than the heartland states for now, it seems like an inevitability that the virus will spread everywhere again.
It’s kind of sad that the stock market is melting down again. I feel bad for businesses who spent money to open up and now have to close. It is also disappointing that our freedoms will once again be taken away as curfews are implemented, at the very least.
When the first lockdown was implemented, we didn’t have much time to prepare. After more than eight months, at least we’re all lockdown veterans now!
To prepare for what seems like the inevitable, let’s first discuss some things we should do before the second lockdown occurs. Then let’s discuss some things to do during the second lockdown.
Things To Do Before The Second Lockdown
Before the government wields your gates and doors shut, here are some things I recommend doing before the second lockdown occurs:
Go on a vacation.
You don’t have to get on an airplane if you don’t want to. Instead, I recommend getting in a car and going somewhere within a several hours drive. Even if your vacation only lasts a couple of nights, at least you will get the vacation bug out of your system before the lockdowns begin.
The more you get out and about, the more you can contain your inner werewolf that starts clawing its way out after several months of lockdown. Further, once the pandemic ends, you can look back and say at least you took a vacation. This way, you won’t be as frustrated or angry at the pandemic or the government.
My wife and I traveled almost like gypsies for three years before we had children. We traveled so much that we were content with staying at home for years after our son was born. It’s too much of a PITA to travel by plane with kids under three, especially if you’ve already traveled a lot.
Stock up on all necessities.
Instead of having to go through the anxiety-inducing process of buying enough toilet paper like last time, do so now before the potential rush. Better yet, get a Toto bidet already for goodness sake! Just make sure you have an outlet close by to plug it in.
Most people always wait until the last minute. For some reason, few people can break out of the herd mentality. You have the power to prepare earlier.
Other necessities include canned goods, dried goods, toothpaste, cleaning wipes, hand soap, hand sanitizer, dental floss, contact lenses, glasses, underwear, shoes, mouth wash, diapers, and bottles.
Go to all your health care providers.
If you feel comfortable going, it’s best to get your annual checkup before the second lockdown. This way, you can figure out if there’s anything wrong with you and treat the symptoms.
Cancer, for example, is something that’s best detected early. By the time you feel discomfort, it may be too late. Hopefully, the second lockdown won’t last longer than a year.
Go to the dentist to get your teeth cleaned and your gums and teeth checked out. Once the second lockdown occurs, you’ll feel good knowing that your dental needs were taken care of. Teeth cleaning is usually covered by insurance every six months. Double check.
Go to the optometrist to get your eyes checked. If you wear contacts, it is recommended to get your eyes checked once a year. Once you’ve determined the health of your eyes and your prescription, you can rest well knowing you’ve got the best care for your eyes as you wait for the second lockdown to lift.
Finally, go to whatever type of doctor you need to treat a health issue. Once the second lockdown occurs, it may be much harder to schedule an appointment.
Find a much better place to live.
Your lockdown experience is partly dependent on the quality of your home. Obviously, if you have a large home with lots of amenities plus a vacation property mansion with a helipad, you’re going to enjoy the second lockdown more than if you live in a studio with a view of another building.
If you prefer renting, try and find a larger and nicer place if you can afford it. If you want to finally own or upgrade, then buy a larger home with more outdoor space and more views.
I promise you will love living in a nicer place during a lockdown. More separation of space between family members will really help your sanity as well.
See your loved ones!
Out of all the things you should do before a second lockdown occurs, seeing your loved ones is the most important. The worst-case scenario is if you don’t see a loved one before he or she passes away.
I’m somewhat lucky in that I saw my parents between December 2019 – January 2020. They came to visit for the birth of my daughter. We generally only see each other once or twice a year. However, each month that goes by, I worry a little more that I may never see them again.
Therefore, I plan to visit them no later than 1Q2021! I pray by April 1, 2021, there will be major progress towards treatment. Stay safe and healthy mom and dad!
Things To Do During The Second Lockdown
Now that you are thoroughly prepared to stay at home for months again, it’s time to go through some things to do once the second lockdown begins.
Review your investments.
If there is a second lockdown, your investments might get hit or have already gotten hit. It’s time to ensure that you have an appropriate amount invested and an appropriate asset allocation.
Another 32% decline in the stock market in one month can absolutely happen again. If you found yourself OK with such a decline back in March 2020, you’re good to go. Leave your asset allocation the way it is and prepare to buy more if there’s another sell-off.
If you weren’t OK with such a massive decline so quickly, you need to get more conservative since we’ve rebounded so much.
I’ve currently got about 25% of my net worth in stocks, which is my limit. My comfortable range is between 20% – 25%, so I’ll probably lighten the load next year to spread out my tax liability.
Start your side business already.
The internet is your best friend during a second lockdown. Establish your web presence by starting your own site. From there, you can start a consulting business or any number of other web businesses. The cost to operate an online business is so cheap and it’s easier than ever to launch.
Starting your own web business is a hedge against further lockdowns in the future. It feels good knowing that your website can stay up 24/7. Due to the high certainty of staying open relative to other businesses, online businesses are increasing in value.
Get in the best shape of your life.
After the first lockdown, it was easy to eat more and exercise less. We blamed COVID-19 for our weight gain. Now, we don’t have any excuses. If we end up gaining more weight during the second lockdown, we’re probably just lazy!
Instead of gaining weight during the second lockdown, we should get into the best shape of our lives. Years from now, when we look back at our pandemic pictures and videos, we’ll be so proud of our weight loss accomplishment.
Keep a journal and a disciplined schedule.
One of the problems with a lockdown is that the days start blending together. How many times did we confuse one day for another? Keeping a daily journal or blog is one way to recollect what happened during the lockdown. It’s why I started doing monthly recaps instead of just semi-annual or annual recaps.
Another way to help the time go by smoother is to create a routine. Perhaps you can play tennis or go for a run every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. Maybe you can make every Tuesday and Thursday evening the time to call your relatives. The more you can keep a routine, the easier you can make the time go by.
Do relocation research.
Thanks to more work from home opportunities, it’s easier to move and find new work than ever before.
If you prefer to live in a state that emphasizes health safety over personal freedoms, the coastal states tend to more closely follow this ethos.
If you prefer to live in a state that emphasizes personal freedoms and the economy over health safety, heartland states more closely follow this ethos.
Ideally, you would have relocated to a new state that fits your life philosophies already. But we didn’t have enough coronavirus and economic data to analyze until about eight months after the first lockdown began.
Having so much shut down in San Francisco for so long was not enjoyable. However, I made it work because I still played tennis at least two times a week and went to the beach often. With San Francisco likely to be one of the last cities to enter a second lockdown, I’m just going to stay put for now.
Also, it’s worth looking for a new job anywhere in the country or world since we’re all stuck at home again. Although I’m not looking for a job, maybe I should be.
The ideal job for me is probably Chief Content Officer of a small-to-medium size company. If you’re interested in hiring one, let me know. I’ve got 11 years of experience.
Do some home remodeling.
Given you’re stuck at home more, you might as well do some work to improve your home. Painting is the easiest home remodeling work to do. The next easiest thing to do is landscaping and gardening.
Other home remodeling work that can improve the value of your home is changing fixtures. You’ll be amazed at what new door handles, lampshades, and cabinet handles can do. Finally, you might want to treat yourself to some new appliances like a washer/dryer or range.
Set up a COVID-19 pod network.
To improve your lifestyle, you may want to set up a COVID-19 pod network. This pod network includes a few families and friends you enjoy hanging around with. You guys can all agree to a set of health safety conditions. This way, you can hang out with each other with less stress.
Alternatively, if your house is big enough, you may want to have multiple generations under one roof. However, the risk is that you guys end up resenting each other for being always in each other’s space.
Start a family
There may be no better time to have a baby than during a lockdown. It’s much easier to time the cycle when both of you are always at home. After all, you really only have a 2-4 day window once a month.
If you are pregnant during a lockdown, life is better at home than having to commute and work in an office. Pregnancy can be uncomfortable and hard on your body. Thus, it is wonderful to be able to go to the bathroom and fart any time you please.
If you give birth right before or during a lockdown, you won’t want to get on a plane for the first 6-12 months anyway. Therefore, a lockdown won’t feel nearly as bad. When you look back, the positive memory of raising your baby will trump the negative memories of the lockdown.
When I look back on the 2008 – 2009 financial crisis, the number one thing that always pops up in my mind is my wife and I getting married. We had a small 16-person wedding on the beach.
Rolling Lockdowns For Life
Besides death, the worst thing that can happen during the next lockdown is that you end up losing a lot of money, gain a lot of weight, lose your job, break up with friends and loved ones, and not do anything productive.
To motivate yourself to make some changes, mentally expect to experience rolling lockdowns for life. Now do everything possible to make the best out of a suboptimal situation.
If you can’t get rich, get fit. If you can’t get fit, get rich. In the unfortunate situation where you can’t achieve either, then improve the most important relationships in your life.
There is no way I’m going to let a potential second lockdown defeat me or my family. I will maximize the next lockdown by spending as much time with my children and writing a new book. I’ll also treat the second lockdown as an injury timeout to let my body heal after playing too much sports.
Use the next lockdown as an opportunity to change your life for the better!
Readers, do you think a second lockdown is coming? What are you planning to do differently before and during the next lockdown?
Originally posted at https://www.financialsamurai.com/second-lockdown/