The Lessons Learned From Lockdown

So before we get into tips and strategies to get us through COVID-19, let’s just take a moment to look at the lessons learned so far to date as at the time of recording. So lessons from lockdown life are part of thing, six months in. I’m in the UK, it was I believe it was the 23rd of March lockdown the whole economy, the whole nation was ordered to stay indoors. And there’s a few things that sort of came to mind. First thing that struck me, I have to say is the amount of people and the amount of business who businesses who were broke, skinned, I mean, literally immediately, no surplus. No, no reserves, literally, by the end of the week, they were like, well, we can’t continue, we’ve got no money left. I found that not shocking, a little bit surprising at the speed with which people are wanting money. And I mean, like literally straight away. So I thought that that was very interesting. And then there’s a new word to learn. furlough, I had never, and I’ve got some I’m someone with a background in accounts, never heard of the word furlough before and I do payroll, never heard of the word furlough before. So that was a new word for my vocabulary. I also learned or realized, and and not just me, but I think other people too, that there’s actually a lot of jobs that can be done remotely. So you might have been working in a business whereby people have always resisted you working remotely. But now all of a sudden, when the government says, Well, actually, those who can work from home need to work from home, all of a sudden, a lot of those are working from home. And what I did find shocking, and I was pleased. But you know, what I thought was amazing, in a sense was that even the homeless were taken off the street, so I literally no one was outside the homeless can be housed. And what that taught me is that we’ve had a homeless issue, especially in London, forever for years. But yeah, at the drop of a hat, click of, you know, the fingers, everyone can be found a home. And you see, this is the thing. What I learned really, is that when there’s the political when, when people want to do something, something can be done, homeless people could have been housed all along from the beginning. There’s no need for homelessness in a in a Western economy with the amount of money splashing about, but no one wanted to help. But now as soon as oh my gosh, there’s this dangerous virus on the loops, everyone’s got to be indoors, the homeless all of a sudden, found were found somewhere to stay somewhere to live, some sort of they were housed. So that our four was, was interesting. Other things is that not everyone suffered. Some people quietly enjoyed the isolation, hum, almost put my hand up and admit that I was one of them. But it wasn’t an endurance test for me was actually alright. And you’ll see from the picture here, drawing quarantine, the extroverts find it difficult, what the introverts were like, laughing I yeah, my life stem lovely. So this is the thing, you know, we talk a lot about mental health and how difficult it is, and you know, isolation and all the rest of it. Maybe that’s half the people, but no one’s really talking about the other half who really quite liked it. But that said, what we also have learned from lockdown is that your home is either a happy home, or somewhat like a prison. And so if you’re living with an abuser, or in difficult domestic circumstances, your situation was very different from someone who was just at home nice and cozy feet up very happy. Some people really enjoyed it. So what sort of meme here eighth day of self isolation, and it’s like Vegas in my house, we’re losing money by the minute cocktails of acceptable at any hour, and nobody knows what time it is. So people literally were in their pajamas and stayed in them. That’s it. I’ve seen some funny things, whereby, you know, I saw one which said, to make sure you try on your outside clothes now and again, because the job is very comfortable. You don’t know how much weight you’re putting on. And some businesses did very well. And I have got a picture here of zoom. I mean, a lot of people hadn’t heard of zoom before this lockdown. And I think zoom has done particularly well because people need to stay connected. And it’s Zoom Zoom. It was, I mean, I did webinars on zoom, I actually signed up in just for a month I did a subscription to zoom. Because that was useful for what I was doing. So I’m sure the zoom sales did extremely well, even like on TV, and you know, all the places were mentioned in the zoom. So nobody really talked about Skype or zoom, it was all the lessons learned on lockdown is that some people found that they could actually save money. And oftentimes this was for the first time. And it was usually due to reduced travel costs, and non essential shops being closed. So all that money that you waste, you know, nipping into the coffee shop before or after work, or at lunchtime, or whenever just non essential things that you’re buying. When you don’t have that to buy, then you have more money. So that was an interesting lesson for some people. Some people turned that their misfortune into fortune very quickly. So you had some ingenious people who started making masks maybe masks with a flagon with company logos on some sold toilet roll because they had bought it all out. And then we’re selling it for like five times the price. Same for hand sanitizers, but others, and it’ll be in exposed overnight. So for example, there are a group of people out there who are in property. And what they do is they have a strategy called rent to rent whereby they will rent a house off someone and then put that on Airbnb, hopefully with the owners knowledge. When doing it on Airbnb is maybe furnished accommodation, they’re marking up the price and making a handsome you know, return on it. But Airbnb, literally when this whole lockdown was introduced, canceled all bookings overnight, and gave the money back to the people who had booked. And so all the people who were hosts who had accommodation who had property, didn’t receive any compensation. And a lot of them were very angry about that. But I think Airbnb did the right thing by giving the traveler back the money and not penalizing them. For him. What there are people who literally lost thousands of pounds in confirmed bookings, because the whole calendar to spot cancelled overnight. So that expose a lot of people, because for those particularly in rent to rent, they still had the rent to pay to whoever they were letting off letting from so that their landlord, but they have no guests coming over to stay with them. So immediately, their strategy one, which was I think, you know, being pushed was very popular, was immediately exposed. And then the government’s rescue package, I believe 80% of wages in the UK, I think was one of the most generous out there. And obviously, that opinion will vary depending on if you were qualified to receive that package. But I thought that the UK government, the UK Chancellor, Rishi soon UK, was very generous. And I think anyone who received their 80% furlough wages, I haven’t heard anyone complain about getting 80% of their wages, I think it was very, very generous. And those who have been paying themselves by dividends were the ones who suffered. But if you were on a payroll, even if it’s your own business, and you run your own business payroll, and you’re paying your taxes each month, as you’re going along, you received something if you’ve been filling out a self assessment tax form, you received something, but not those who pay themselves dividends. And so that there’s a lesson. The lesson there was that when you were on the payroll and you’ve been paying this this tax as you’ve gone along, it’s actually for once worked in your favor, if you like all the lessons was that and this is particularly for the UK market. Those who voted conservative, which was the majority of the population because the Conservative government got in with their I think it’s an 86 seats majority at the in the last election. It was surprising how many of them. these so called Tory voters wanted socialist policies and bailouts. Traditionally, the Conservative government there’s a leader there, Boris Johnson, UK leader of the Conservative Party, they’re very much for business and very much For Okay, you know, we are right wing so therefore, you know, every month for themselves type thing. But when this happened, the amount of people I really want our furlough scheme, we need a handout, we need a grant, we need help from the government. And I just thought, How interesting how very interesting. Everyone’s out there with their handout, but yet, you don’t vote in for the party, the left wing party who are more socialist by nature. In the UK, everyone was talking about Brexit because there was that deadline on the 31st of January 2020. And all of a sudden, it would seem as though everyone stopped talking about Brexit. And now all of a sudden, we’re all talking about this Coronavirus. So that was a lesson that, you know, the agenda has completely changed. And one thing I’ve noticed, which has surprised me, this has been something that I’ve observed is that conspiracy theorists and I say that quote, unquote, and now making mainstream news and the word conspiracy theory is bandied about a lot more, I find that very interesting. I don’t think it’s necessarily because it’s a slow news day, but it’s because virus and population control and this kind of thing is something that conspiracy people have been predicting or warning against Robert, for some time, David, I’ve been a major name. And what shocked me during this lockdown is that his channel was banned. Now he’s been around for years saying what you’re saying a little bit like Alex Jones years, years, years, and all of a sudden his band and why is that? It’s because there’s a thing called attention. And there’s a saying that attention is currency. They be like during this pandemic, he’d call it a pandemic, was getting a lot of a lot of attention. And when I say attention, I was largely he had the ears, the eyes of people, and he did a YouTube on a channel with David Rose. And I think his name’s David Rose. And London real is the name of the YouTube channel, which also got threatened with being taken down. And I think they had something like 1 million viewers live streaming or they will live to the to the website crushed couple of times. What live watching what David had to say, from all around the world. No way I don’t think ever in the history of everywhere has so many people that millions tuned in at the same time to hear one one talk. And I think that that just got too much for YouTube, who were concerned and for the overpowers who were thinking all you know, everyone’s listening to him, we’ve got to ban him. So censorship seems to be increasing. That’s something I’ve noticed and there’s more and more people online so people seem to have more time to look at these things not I’ve noticed censorship. Lessons learned is that hairdressers really should be in that essential business category. So we can see pre Rowan on got James Brown hair salons are closed his growing out a little bit you can do it himself. And then after locked on and you can see the difference coming out of quarantine like and then you see that the eyebrows? Yes, see the regrow. The nails have grown up and the eyelashes have gone. After quarantine, you will even look like you want to be taller than us or you want to eat up upon us. So one thing I learned is that some people put on weight, a lot of weight, always worked on themselves always use this time to work on themselves. And when I say that, I mean personal development I also mean to work out and this is back to this discipline of what we can do with our time and others just completely because the gyms were shot, they just their their routine was broken. They just sat on the TV and watch Netflix or something. And another lesson that I learned is that some people really can’t cook well not even that it’s just the they they rely so heavily on fast food. So you’ve got a mean my reaction to McDonald’s shutting down completely took forever notice. Some people lost their mind. I mean, like my goodness, what do you McDonald’s is closed until further notice, like some people, whatever your addiction was, whether it was gambling, whether it was fast food, where, you know, a lot of people’s patterns got interrupted. That’s what I learned. And so all those people out there, oh my gosh, I can’t manage without a whatever it is, guess what they managed without a, whatever it is. So those were lessons learned, was also some shocking things. Many accountants did a lot for their customers during this time and some charging and some didn’t. And some of those who didn’t charge have been left feeling a little bit underappreciated, because a lot of these announcements were to do with money. And what you can claim and what help is out there, a lot of people then immediately get on the phone, send an email to their accountants, and a lot of accountants will just slow them down. We’ve just tried to deal with people. So although it was in quarantine, some people it was a quiet time. And for others, it was like all systems go. Unfortunately, because there was a lot of government help and stuff out there. A lot of new frauds became apparent. And this is what I’ve learned, like, no matter what’s going on, there were some people intent on just ripping people off. So out came the fraudsters. So in the UK, we have bounced back loans is an estimate. I don’t know how much millions of those loans are have been claimed fraudulently, because they were released. So quickly, the checks were minimum. So bounced back loans are, have been taken advantage of. There’s a lot of scams that have all of a sudden come out of nowhere. So people are claiming that they’ve got COVID testing kits, send them some money, they’ll send you one, they’re knocking on doors, saying, Oh, we’ve got COVID testing kit, if you want to do it now just need to pay as this amount of money. So it’s amazing how the con artists look and see what’s happening. And then outcomes are scanned. And they’ve been some really high profile collapses, that I’ve really, really shocked me. So you’ve got Virgin Australia went into administration. And in the UK, there’s sta travel. They are global. They’re known as another name in Canada. And America. I can’t quite remember what they’re called overseas, but they’re called sta trouble in the UK. And I just want to make a word say a word on on sta trouble because they are they were founded in 1971. And it took decades obviously to build up this company 40 odd years decades. And they have high street branches all across London in the UK, and in quite expensive kind of areas like Victoria, in I think it’s in Kensington in his LinkedIn. And what they do is they specialize in student and got pa travel and with them I myself I went to Egypt with them. I went to Jordan with them, went to India Taj Mahal, I went to Peru to view the to do the Inca Trail, I was doing my summer bucket list to do the seven wonders of the world. And so I went to, and I’ve been to other places as well. What Amala Colombia, Panama, Central America, so various places. I’ve traveled with them on many occasion many, many times. And in the UK, we had our lockdown in March, and they collapsed in August 2020. So imagine that it’s taken you 40 years to build this chain of sea High Street travel agents specializing in student got peer traveling, doing these tours in these adventures. And then within the space of about five months, it’s all gone. I just amazing. For me, it’s just mind boggling. But unfortunately, they are in trouble. And trouble is an industry that is has been really highly impacted negatively by this virus and is not likely to see a comeback force for some time. So it was just quite, quite sad, really quite shocking how quickly things just deteriorate, and sort of businesses just just have to stop. I mean Primark. I mean this shocked me was to just share this lesson with you that they apparently turnover around about 600 and 50 million pounds a month. And it went to nil overnight in March with the lockdown. And that’s because they said that they don’t really have an online presence, their stuffs too cheap and they don’t have like the infrastructure to really, you know, be sending things out for people to shop online. So they just have these mega stores and people just come in and spend money with them. Because they don’t have that sort of internet base. They went from 600 and 50 million pounds. No online presence. Amazing. On a brighter note, some found the time to write and it’s amazing how, how people have the same idea. So Sue Miller writes this book lessons from lockdown. You’ve got another one by Mahesh Babu. Lessons from lockdown. Yep, it’s crazy. And oh boy lessons from an introvert during lockdown. Seven life lessons from lockdown. So there’s a lot of this lockdown lessons, lessons learned lockdown and all the rest of it. This one here by Phil. It come moss on the new normal. So some people found the time to write. I actually have a podcast called the office podcast, which you can find offers dot pod bean COMM And on iTunes and over platforms. And on my show the office podcast I talked to offers and I talk about how did you manage to write a book and all the rest of it. And I had a interview with a guy called Joshua shear and he managed to write his book called Porter the pandemic, how three months in 2020 changed everything. So people used some people use their time productively over on social media. My question to you is what did you do during lockdown? What did you do? Did you put your time to good use? Or did you sort of waste it away. And I do want this to be an encouraging kind of thing. When we look back, we must always learn the lessons. So if you emerged from lockdown without even new skill, or new side hustle, you don’t lack the time you lack the discipline. Because I think it’s safe to say we all had a little bit more extra time on our hands. Because even if you worked from home, I’m sure there was some sort of saving of time whereby you didn’t have to travel. So time was saved in that aspect. So what did you do with this extra time that you had? That’s the question. And discipline is all about doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to do it. So even if you don’t want to go for that run for that jog, you got to do it. That’s discipline. And I see the thing is history repeats itself endlessly for those who are willing to learn from the past. And that’s a quote by Leon, Leon Brown, or Ian Brown. What the key thing is that chances are, we may have a second lockdown, maybe not as global and as extensive as the first but chances are, it will happen again. Because they keep talking about the second wave and this, the numbers are going up. So we’ve got to do a lockdown again, etc, etc. So, I just do this bit just to encourage you to learn the lessons of the first lockdown. And just understand that there is a window of opportunity. And if we do have a second lock down wherever you are in the world, wherever you are listening to this, learn the lessons of the first one and do put your time to good use. Second time round might even be a third lockdown, a fourth lockdown. You know what, just put your time to good use