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Things That Will Never Be the Same After COVID-19

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after COVID

The Novel Coronavirus pandemic came out of the blue and completely changed how the world went about its every day living. It is true that pandemics are generally disruptive and make way for large-scale upheavals. However, the COVID-19 pandemic can be considered accountable for revolutionizing how the human race functioned up until its outbreak. Not only will it have a long-lasting impact on how we behave physically, the Novel Coronavirus pandemic will change how we think about most of the things in our lives. It is expected to alter our perception of the living experience altogether.

The highly infectious virus has claimed millions of lives across the world and continues to do so, without any vaccine ready to fight its spread yet. It has brought about a mental health epidemic for the global population who were largely unprepared to counter the sudden changes that the pandemic effected onto their lifestyle. Several people lost their livelihood during the lockdown measures that were followed in different parts of the world to stem the spread of the COVID-19 infection. Entire industries collapsed and still more are looking at being wiped out due to the pandemic and how the post-pandemic world will likely be.

Acceptance is Key

While most of us want nothing more than to return back to our normal lives i.e. the lives we led before the COVID-19 outbreak, a way back may not be possible. Resuming the lives that we were habituated to pre-pandemic might seems like a comforting prospect. However, we need to come to terms with the fact that the road back to that life may no longer exist. Indeed, the post-pandemic world can be expected to be a lot different from the world we had become accustomed to, before it. Every institution in existence is expected to feel the brunt of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. The government, work, travel and leisure all need to transform themselves to keep pace with the times.

How We Engage in Social Interaction Will Change Radically

Our lives will become even more tech-driven after the pandemic is over. Citizens of every age group are currently familiarizing themselves with smart technology around the world, so that they can communicate with their loved ones with the help of their devices. The strict enforcement of social distancing norms has forced the closure of restaurants, pubs, movie theaters and other public facilities where community gatherings were made possible. Governments and health authorities have recommended people to stay home unless essential. In such a social climate, public gatherings are no longer allowed nor are they desired for their potential to be hotspots of virus transmission.

Remote networking is growing in favor as an alternative to in-person meetings and hangouts. People are beginning to realize this. They are recognizing that they will need to learn how to keep in touch with their loved ones using modern communication technology. Even individuals who prefer to do it the old-fashioned way. Following social distancing practices will impact meeting friends and family in person, even in the rare occasions that such occurs.

The Way We Work Will Possibly Have Changed for the Better

The global novel coronavirus lockdowns necessitated the closure of public and private workspaces for almost every industry sector. Employees engaged in work which could be completed remotely were asked to telecommute to their workspaces online. As a result, “work from home”, which was only an option offered as a privilege to company employees became the standard safety measure all employees of such companies were instructed to follow. Individuals employed in these companies realized that the work that they’d possibly been doing for years, could be completed just as well from the comfort of their own houses. They did not need to subject themselves to their regular office commute. While some people perceived the time they were now spending working from home as a means to achieving better work-life balance, others discarded it for how isolated they felt from their office peers.

The Concept of a “Work Day” Might Disappear Altogether

Either way, the pandemic put a spotlight on the importance of having necessary infrastructure for enabling remote work in companies. Businesses which didn’t already have the technological tools and know-how to facilitate remote operations really suffered for it. They are currently engaged in building up this infrastructure to cut future losses. Market experts believe this is a wise decision on their part as the post-pandemic world will register an increased demand for remote work opportunities. More and more organizations can be expected to hire employees who will be allowed to work entirely remotely, shall they please. The concept of a “work day” in itself is slated to undergo a massive transformation, as companies increasingly begin to provide employees with the benefit of working flexible hours.

The Education Sector Will Become Unrecognizable

The traditional classroom is on its way out. E-learning may have already been on the upswing, but the COVID-19 pandemic has struck a decisive nail on the coffin for traditional classroom learning. The closure of schools, colleges and universities have moved all learning online. Lectures are now being delivered by professors on live video streaming platforms and academic school and college courses are being offered digitally. Not only is the medium of delivering academic lessons changing, entirely new educational ecosystems are being formed.

On the whole, academia is becoming less formal and more accessible for students. For e.g.: Educational institutions are beginning to extend students with the freedom to engage in flexi-learning, where they can study their course on their own time. Essentially, this means that students can now log in to their virtual classrooms from practically any part of the world anytime and trade notes with their peers located on a different geographical hemisphere.

Non-traditional Learning Approaches Will Be Favored

In addition to the changes in traditional learning exercises, self-learning will gain further in popularity. The global pandemic lockdown enforced already registered an increase in the number of people signing themselves up for online academic and skill-training courses. The COVID-19 lockdowns enforced as a safety precaution to safeguard the health and well-being of the people by governments across the world brought the global marketplace down on its knees. As industries had to grind their operations to a halt, management teams all over businesses had to cut down several jobs in their organizations to keep their business enterprises afloat. Hiring was frozen across companies and it was widely understood that the next market Recession was underway.

Individuals about to enter the job market or those who found themselves laid off realized the need for upskilling themselves to make themselves job-ready in such an economic climate. Consequently, e-learning services and course providers found themselves subject to unprecedented demand and continue to do so. The trend is unlikely to change anytime soon. Flexible digital learning will probably replace traditional classroom learning in the years to come after the pandemic.

How We Entertain Ourselves in Our Leisure Will Now Be Different

The Novel Coronavirus pandemic has instilled an appreciation for the outdoors and nature in people. We often forget to appreciate nature in our busy city lives, rushing from one engagement to another. However, the Novel Coronavirus has forced all of us to slow down our busy lifestyle. Air quality has improved in several areas spanning the civilized world with the severe limiting of traffic on the roads. The public has been forced indoors to observe social distancing and this forcible stay indoors has helped them cultivate a fondness for the outdoors. It is almost like our society is now perceiving nature with a different set of eyes. Even individuals who would never leave the comfort of their homes for a walk around the neighborhood are committing to running routines in their locality. All in effort to break the monotony of isolating within their homes at all times.

On the downside, commercial avenues for public gathering such as theatres and concert venues are shutting down. Content streaming platforms are receiving more business than ever and industry experts believe that even in the post-pandemic world, home-entertainment will continue to be preferred over attending live community events. Medical experts have warned that even after the world becomes risk-free of any more immediate COVID-19 cases, the virus will continue to linger around. Community events and gatherings will continue to be unsafe and inadvisable.

Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Germany. Copyright 2014 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Local Travel Will Trump International Travel

The tourism industry, too, will suffer inordinately. At the peak of the global pandemic lockdowns, all travel was banned. As the lockdowns eased, gradually local and international travel was made permissible. Even now, most countries are not permitting international travel and even if they are, only essential travel is being allowed.

Nobody has taken a vacation for leisure in a long time and there is little hope for the situation to change in 2020. Travel and tourism operators and the hospitality sector are trying their best to tide over these times, but their woes are unlikely to end anytime soon. Traveling for work or leisure will decrease in volume in the years following up the COVID-19 pandemic, especially internationally. Local travels will be preferred instead, following strict hygiene and safety norms. Hotels and businesses that can provide ample opportunities for social distancing and following health safety regulations will profit over those who don’t.

The Only Way Ahead is Forward

Yes, the world will have changed after the Novel Coronavirus pandemic and so we will have too! Resisting this change will only make it more difficult for us to acclimatize and adjust to the new ways of leading our lives. The best possible approach for us to take now, is to keep an open mind and embrace the transformations we notice being introduced into our life. Afterall, any changes being brought about will be devised keeping our societal betterment and wellbeing in perspective.

Source – https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-five-things-that-will-never-be-the-same-again-because-of-covid-19-11968739

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7 Ways to Survive an EMP Attack

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An electromagnetic pulse, or “EMP” for short, is a sudden burst of energy that overloads the fragile components within an electrical system, causing them all to short out. It causes actual hardware damage resulting in the failure of any unprotected electrical devices. Typically EMPs are generated by technically advanced devices such as nuclear weapons. 

The least realistic but most dangerous scenario that can take place is that someone detonates many EMPs over a nation, or crazier, the whole world and renders all the technology and electric grids everywhere useless. If this happens, you should know how to prepare for it to ensure your survival during this unprecedented attack.

Lighting 

Candles are the obvious choice in any scenario like this. We have them handy; they are cheap and readily available everywhere in quantity. The only few negative things one might mention are the strength of light the candles can provide, how unstable they can be depending on which type of candle you use, or how the wind can blow them out anytime. 

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If candles just don’t cut it for you, let me introduce you to an alternative. Oil lamps; works under any condition. No weather or atmosphere is strong enough to keep an oil lamp down.

Faraday Cage

A Faraday cage, named after its inventor, Michael Faraday, is a device or structure made and used to protect the cage’s contents from electrical impulses. It’s an excellent option for security, and easy to make. Nevertheless, an old microwave or a metal cage, i.e., a safe, can be as good.

The Faraday cage may do well against an EMP attack, but we can’t be too sure. We cannot foresee the impact of the electromagnetic pulse or the level of damage it might cause, so it is pretty much impossible to predict if the cage would protect the devices or not.

Communication Devices

Communications would be an arduous task after almost everything is rendered useless because of the EMP attack. It is always good to have many backup options to communicate with those important to you if a situation like this ever strikes. Devices such as a two-way radio, CB radio, or long-range walkie-talkie can be handy. If you find any of these devices in good shape after an EMP attack, put in some batteries and see if it works as there’s a high likelihood it will.

Communication is one of the more essential tasks after any disaster, and it is the very thing that you’d probably overlook. 

Backup Electricity

The primary issue after the attack is the question of electricity and how to source it if the grid becomes empty. Well, one option is to make electricity from solar panels by installing the panels around your home. Another is to set up wind turbine generators and produce electricity. 

Luckily, there are many backup electricity options, but they require preparation and hard work.

Defense

Any type of gun, be it shotgun or rifle, is useful for defending yourself. You can use these weapons to protect yourself and hunt animals, and depending on your preferences, for game. Another resourceful thing to do if you want alarm systems around your house would be to hang bells on the inside of your doors. Even if they seem like nothing, they are very consistent and can make you aware of intruders if they try to sneak in. Try to do this for every entry point in your house so you and your family can rest assured of your safety.

Sourcing Food

Sourcing food will be another significant problem if the restoration of power takes months or even years. Therefore you should know how to grow your food and manage your livestock. Books on farming and breeding livestock will help enormously with this, and there are countless out there.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-harvesting-apples-5528986/

Be Ready, So You Don’t Have To Get Ready

Many preppers already know how to live off the grid because they have started living that life to be ready if and when the time comes. All of this will eventually prepare you to survive an EMP attack if you go off the grid entirely and learn not to rely on anything that works with electricity.

Keeping a stock of first aid kits and bare medical essentials is also a requirement if anyone needs medical attention. The EMP attack is often called the ultimate doomsday attack that will eventually happen.

You can always do things on an individual level to help protect you and your loved ones better. The practices and ways that we discussed above are known by much of the preppers community, so if you’re new to being a prepper, now you know how to survive an EMP stack.

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What to Do When You Can’t Afford Food

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The times are tough, and as the pandemic continues to affect us all in many different ways, this article feels like a necessity to show all the other options out there you can opt for to make your life that extra bit more worth living.

Families are struggling, and on the top of the list of struggles comes the challenge of buying food. This is a growing problem, and it seems that the end is not in sight. If you cannot cope and cannot afford even the essential food items, there may be some other options that can help you out.

Ask

Sometimes, the easiest thing can be the most challenging thing to do. Asking for food is the hardest decision that someone can take. Nevertheless, you can always ask restaurants, grocery stores or markets and many such places. While asking, also make them understand your situation very clearly and explain that the circumstances are challenging for you. Some organizations go from restaurant to restaurant and take leftover food from there and distribute it later to people who don’t have money or are homeless in dire need.

Basic budget

Mapping out your budget is the first thing you should do. List all of your living requirements on paper or digitally, and start with food. Only think about the things that you genuinely need to live and budget accordingly. Once you have a budget set, make it your duty to never go outside of this budget.

SNAP benefits

This is primarily a USA program, but you can find similar programs for your country. SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that helps people get benefits based on their state and income. People will apply to this for many reasons and can be eligible for many reasons, so don’t take it from here but go directly to the Government website and get more information. Suppose you can apply and get approved. You will get a notification with all the information and details, including the period you will continue to receive those benefits. 

WIC

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Another program is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Congress is the one who controls this, and it gets funded through individual states. 

There is a list of criteria that you must meet if you want to qualify for WIC. The requirements include categorical, residential, income and nutritional risk. 

Free lunches

There are many programs specifically made to help people who cannot afford food in their houses. Free lunch summer programs, soup kitchens, or 24/7 kitchens that stay open solely for people to get food are some of the most important options that you can take advantage of. You need to be aware of these programs as they are placed there specifically to help you. 

Food banks

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If, by chance, you do not meet the eligibility criteria for any program, the above solutions will come to your aid. Another organization that helps is local food pantries. They are charitable and not for profit organizations that give away food to people without money or with very little and still cannot afford to buy the absolute necessities. A statistic to put things in perspective, food banks in the UK are helping up to a million people not starve, and the number in the United States of America is probably even higher. 

No matter how you may feel about going to food banks and asking for help, be reassured of your health and safety. 

Coupon expert

Become an expert coupon collector! These are your best friends during trying times. Stores give you coupons, and there are apps on the play store that have coupons for many stores in your neighbourhood. Vouchers can also give you advantages like buying in bulk at low prices or having discounted items that will expire in a week or so. 

NGOs

There are many not for profit governmental organizations that have a scheduled time and place where they distribute food. Going there and having your lunch or dinner is always a good option. 

Apart from NGOs, there are churches, mosques, gurudwaras and various other temples, depending on where you live, which will offer you free food and other benefits if you go to them and ask for help. 

Dumpster diving

As weird as it sounds, dumpster diving is a legitimate thing that people engage in. Dumpster diving is basically what it says. Dive into a dumpster and find sealed packets of food that many restaurants and hotels often throw out, or even grocery shops. These products are usually thrown out because they seem or look bad or are past their sell-by date. 

Nevertheless, however harmful this option may seem, you are doing what you need to do because you need the nutrition and the strength to get through the hardships you are facing right now. 

Stock on pantry items

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If you have even a little money, you can stock up on ramen noodles, crackers, flour, beans and rice. Such items go a long way in feeding you and keeping change in your pocket. These items can also be kept for a long time, so there are no chances of them going off anytime soon, and you can ration them out with no problem at all. 

Social services

Another measure that you can take is contacting social services or their offices, letting them know of your predicament, and asking for their help. They will usually give you food assistance by giving you an EBT card which works like a debit card and is primarily for buying groceries and related items.

Getting a job

Getting a job is the most challenging solution, but if you can make it happen, it will not just solve your food problems but also your living. Even if you get little money from your job, there’s always some food worth eating that you can buy from loose change.

Many people have to decide between giving up food and giving up on other basic needs, and sadly, they believe that giving up food is the way to go. One might think they can live without food but cannot live without shelter. You shouldn’t have to decide between either.

The above solutions are just some suggestions to help make your life a little easier if you ever have a food issue.

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Setting up Your Survival Backpack: What and Why?

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A survival backpack or survival kit is a kit that contains every necessity that you may need in the event of an emergency to survive for an indefinite period until everything gets better again. 

Survival backpacks need to be durable to withstand the four elements, i.e., rain, water, fire, and earth. You should also be comfortable strapping it on yourself and trudging through the wilderness. It should be compatible with your body size. 

You are now coming to what you should include in your survival backpack and why.

Water 

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Water is an essential survival element, without which you would not last more than a couple of days. What you should put in your backpack are two things, a water container, and a water purifier. 

While finding a natural source of water like a river or a lake, you should also keep in mind that water will most definitely be contaminated with all kinds of viruses and bacteria. The first thing to do would be to treat it with either purification tablets or use a water filter. Whichever is handier and more comfortable to get. After that, you can pour the now purified water and put it in the water container or bottle you brought along.

Shelter

Come nightfall, you will need a place to rest and boost your energy. As much as you may like fantasizing about sleeping under the stars with nothing but the grass beneath you, it is a little impractical. This is precisely why you should carry items such as a space blanket, which helps you keep warm. The next solution is a sleeping bag. A sleeping bag will also keep you warm and comfortable throughout the night without any issues. 

You can also go ahead and use a tent. When choosing a tent, you should keep in mind that it should be lightweight, waterproof, and spacious enough to accommodate you and your friends.

Food

You should pack ready-to-eat meals and packages that are easy to take care of and lightweight not to affect the backpack’s weight. Canned meats, soups, canned fruits and vegetables, and more canned stuff are excellent options. Ready-to-eat canned meals are also available. Pack many energy bars, granola bars, and candy bars because they are high in nutrients, especially calories and carbs.

A fishing kit might also be a good idea if you want to carry one. It is an easy way to get fresh food whenever you might want to ration out your meals. All you need for the kit is some bait, line, and hook, after which you can tie the line and hook to any decent-sized stick you may find.

Cooking Utensils

While talking about food, you should also have the necessary utensils to prepare it. A regular cooking kit contains one small pot, a cup, two to three metal plates, and some fork and spoons. In almost all the methods, cooking food requires heat, for which you need a stove and, give or take two to three fuel canisters. 

A fire starter is also needed as it helps build the fire for cooking while also providing heat. Bring along matches and a lighter in case the matchsticks do not work. Do not forget to keep the matchsticks and the lighter in a waterproof container or a waterproof package.

Clothing

Clothing takes a vital place next in your survival backpack because you never know what weather you may face. Some suggested clothes include two pairs of underwear, woolen socks, thermal wear, extra shirts, a rain jacket or fleece jacket, or preferably both, and hiking boots.

First Aid Kit

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First aid kits are another must-have for your backpack. They can be used to treat injuries in an emergency. It should include items like bandages, tourniquets, scissors, antiseptic wipes, a roll of gauze, aspirin, sutures and needles, antibiotics, and allergy medicines.

Knife

A knife is both a useful tool and a good option as a self-defense weapon. It has many uses and should be added to your backpack. It has various usages, from cutting bandages to opening cans to prepare food and so on. 

Shovel

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A small shovel makes all the difference in the world. You can use it to dig holes or dig trenches, even a fire pit. It comes in the handiest when you are attempting to build a shelter. 

Saw

Another great tool that should be kept considered is a small saw. A saw will make the cutting branches and gathering wood that much more comfortable and less time-consuming. For example, sawing wood logs to build a campfire or sawing long branches from a tree to help in making a base for the shelter.

Tape and Cord

Duct tape is an excellent addition to your backpack. It is the ideal go-to for any repair because it is waterproof and durable. You can use it instantly to temporarily fix your clothes, your tent, or any other materials that need repairing. 

A cord is a rope that is used to tie anything together. You can use it to connect your wood or tie together a tent making it a temporary shelter. It can also be used to hang washed clothes on; you just need to find two suitable trees and stretch and tie the cord from those two trees. 

Personal Items

Last but not least, the things that you should carry in your backpack are:

  • Identification documents
  • Money
  • Phone and charger
  • Self-defense items (might include pepper sprays and stun guns)

Identification documents include your passport, identification papers, driving license, contracts, cards, and so on. 

One may never know what lies ahead, no matter how hard you try to be prepared for anything and everything that comes your way. But the above list details all the essential things that you should have in your survival backpack or kit, and it is always handy to make a list yourself and check the items off one by one as you put them in.

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