Oman’s 5 Steps to Dealing with COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

People are going through the 5 stages of grief with COVID-19 and I’m here to bring you to acceptance:

Denial – “It’s not going to affect me, it’s overblown by the media. The flu is worse! It’s only old people that have to worry. All I need is a lime in my corona to beat this.”

Anger – “Idiots eating bats are destroying my 401k, ruining my trip to Italy, and screwing up work!”

Bargaining – “I’m a good person, I won’t be infected. I donated to that guy in the office’s Boston marathon fundraiser, I should be okay. Maybe I will just get Corona light and not full-blown Corona. ”

Depression – “We are all screwed – F it, my 401k is done, I’m going to get fired, what’s the point in washing my hands. I’m just going to bunker down with a few tubs Ben n Jerrys and wait for the world to end. ”

Acceptance (where you want to be) – “This sucks, but this is where we are now. What can I do to limit my exposure, help others, and get through this together?”

I’ve definitely gone through the 5 stages, including a heavy dose of paranoia, and would like to think I’m at the acceptance stage mixed in with a bit of denial (still holding out for our Italy trip in late June). 

I like many of you, was hoping this was overhyped, and everything would go back to normal in a few days. And then I watched this:

Hearing the expert made me confront reality (after I conferred with my nurse wife and scientist sister to doublecheck there wasn’t a slight possibility he’s wrong, he’s not). This is going to suck, affect our everyday life, and while we should hope for the best, we have to prepare for the worst.

So here are the steps you can follow now that we are in this COVID-19 pandemic:

1. Limit Exposure – Follow the safety guidelines provided by the CDC. Wash your hands, practice social distancing, avoid crowds, and don’t put yourself at unnecessary risks for exposure. If you can work from home, do it.

I like to work tons of side jobs for extra cash. However, I’m going to put them on hold for now because working them will expose me to tons of people and put me at risk to infect my family and coworkers at my main job. I work in the accounting industry and the next month is crucial for our business year, so I don’t want to be the one jerk that sinks the ship.

2. Don’t be an A-hole –  I was at the dentist this morning and another patient came in coughing and sneezing, while not covering up her face. She said, “It’s just the cold.”

Yeah right, lady. I got up and moved to the other room.

Don’t be that person and also don’t miss the whole point of why we are trying to slow the spread. People downplaying corona, saying that it’s just another flu, don’t get that it’s not just the sickness that is the problem, it’s overwhelming our healthcare system by everyone getting sick at the same time that’s the big deal.

Right now in Milan, they do not have enough resources to treat all the patients and have to decide who’s going to get treatment — and who is going to die. We have to avoid that as much as possible and although you still might get sick, we need to spread it out as much as possible, so the maximum number of people can be treated.

Think of everyone trying to get on only one train at once vs. an orderly line with multiple trains.

*Again, if you are not feeling well, don’t come to work and be patient 0 for your office. My usual modus operandi is to shrug off anything and tough it out. However, you have to realize, as I did, that you can be doing much more harm than good by going into the office.

3. Check-in on family + friends

My parents are old and my friends are stupid. I’m lucky my mom lives on an isolated island, Nantucket, where there are 0 cases (yet), but they are in the age range where they have to be worried about being sick.

Make sure to stay in contact with the vulnerable people in your life, calling and texting them daily, and encourage them to seek treatment if they are feeling sick.

As for my dumb friends, I’m sure they are dumb enough to get through this.

4. Get your Quarantine Ready

As all the doomsday preppers laugh and say I told you so, it’s time for you to get your doomsday bunker ready. Don’t wait to get sick to have enough medicine, food, pet food, and supplies on hand to make it through a 14-day quarantine.

Make sure your TV’s are working, your internet connection is strong, and you have all the passwords to your friends’ Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and other streaming accounts.

4. Stay the Course in the Market

I max out my 401k and IRA every year and I just lost a buttload in the market. It may be the masochist in me, but I’m ready for more. If you are very close to retirement, I’m sorry, for everyone else, see this as a discount buying opportunity and continue to buy, buy, buy (make sure you have an emergency fund first and enough cash on hand if your job may be affected by the pandemic).

5. Be Thankful it’s 2020

I have tickets to the Celtics Friday, Opening Day tickets to the Sox, a trip to Austin in April, Aruba in May, and a 10 day trip to Italy in June that may all be canceled and not refunded. A part of me is selfish and thinks that sucks, but I realize it’s trivial compared to people dying and we have to work through this together.

And thank God it’s 2020.

This pandemic would have sucked in 2009 (wasn’t Netflix still DVDs?). We now have computers in our pockets, tons of streaming services, on-demand movies,  and 12-year-olds to play against in Fortnite to pass the time. This pandemic could not have come at a better time (well maybe after April 15 for us in the accounting field).

We also have the best doctors, nurses, and scientists in the world in Boston, so if there any place to get sick, it’s here (we also have the worst public transportation, so corona is a good excuse to avoid the T like the plague).

This will continue to get worse and suck, but we will make it through it, and if you want to play me in Fortnite add me @thephenomodizzle.

Also, here are my movie/tv recommendations for you to pass the time:

  1. JoJo Rabbit
  2. Ford vs Ferrari
  3. Doctor Sleep
  4. Knives Out
  5. Train to Busan
  6. Naruto, Naruto Shippuden
  7. Narcos, Narcos Mexico
  8. Friday Night Lights
  9. The Wire
  10. Better Caul Saul
  11. Altered Carbon
  12. Slobbys World (just kidding)

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