#100DayReset: Tackling The Lockdown One Day At A Time

The #100DayReset is my new passion project. The goal is to make the next 100 days count fully even though I am basically holed up in my apartment. But if this is what it takes to make the lockdown exciting, I’m all in.

Which means?

It means that I’m now in the “Acceptance” phase of the lockdown.

According to Monash University Psychiatrist Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, I’ve entered the 5th phase of self-isolation which is acceptance. That’s when we start to accept our “new” world and find it easier to manage our fluctuating emotions. It also means that we’re starting to live in the “now” and finding new ways to navigate the experience.

I definitely now fully accept that I will not be traveling for months (or even years!), I will not be checking out any new restaurants and I will not be having a birthday party or a holiday party this year.

But, most importantly, I’ve come to terms with the fact that NY and California and many other states, are going to “stay the course” until we have zero COVID deaths. In other words, until there is an approved vaccine. (Anything short of that would signal that the current strategy to save lives but put 30 million people out of work was not the ideal tactic.)

Bill Gates just wrote in his latest GatesNotes that a vaccine could potentially be available within 9 months. But it would be a miracle! Much more likely scenario: 2-4 years. Per Gates, the fastest time a vaccine has ever been developed is five years.

But I refuse to let that fact defeat my spirit
With the #100DayReset I’m challenging myself to make daily discoveries.
  • Some will come from trekking around, exploring my neighborhood (discovering what’s surreptitiously open is exciting for me).
  • Others will come from my customized Google news feed (what would we ever do without the internet?)
  • Some will come from my friends and neighbors and our daily FaceTime videocalls.
What kind of discoveries?

I’m seeking out things that spark my curiosity. For example:

  • New behaviors, e.g., putting together lists of people you want in your Top 10 Isolation Circle
  • COVID trends from around the world, e.g., how the Brits are planning to keep over-50’s in lockdown for months with hefty police fines if they catch you sneaking out of the house
  • New retail/marketing trends, e.g., face mask vending machines
  • New forms of entertainment, e.g., SNL Home Edition

So strange to realize how small my world has gotten during this lockdown and yet my appetite for discovery is still so massive.

Scroll down to catch up on this week’s 7 discoveries.

Fascinating piece from the UK’s Daily Mail.

The UK Government is considering allowing its citizens to choose ten people with whom they can socialize during the lockdown.

Who would you choose and who would you leave out?

I have so many questions about this, e.g., must these 10 people sequester with you for the entire lockdown or can they come and go?

I actually enjoy being by myself but there are definitely 2 or 3 people (and you know who you are!) who I could see having a lot of fun with for the duration of the pandemic.

An interesting concept to play with, right?

2. What can we learn from monks and nuns in isolation?

Nuns and monks in Novia Scotia who have embraced isolation at a Buddhist monastery and an Orthodox hermitage have some powerful insights.

“It’s almost like you’re not alone, because you’re constantly with yourself. I’m sure a lot of people are experiencing that now: this boredom with oneself. It was a really powerful experience, because I had to learn how to be friends with myself. I had to learn to love myself. But over time, that boredom with myself was replaced with a fascination with the freedom to explore the human condition. I discovered something about reality, discovered something about my mind. At this point I find it incredibly liberating.”

Lodro Gyendon, Buddhist Monk at Gampo Abbey
3. Walking, it turns out, is the best exercise for the lockdown

Which is why I am adding an hour of walking to my daily schedule (weather permitting).

  • Walking improves muscle strength: It counters the effects of aging on muscle strength. Builds muscle mass and tones muscles, especially in the back and legs.
  • Promotes stronger bones: Bones become weaker as people age. It’s why posture and gait change as we get older. Walking strengthens bones.
  • Burns body fat: Walking regularly helps us lose weight by burning fat.
  • Stimulates good mood: We’re all suffering from anxiety and mood swings right now but walking is a proven way to boost your mood.
  • Boosts heart health: Walking makes the heart stronger. Since it is an aerobic activity, walking promotes greater efficiency of the heart by increasing heart rate and blood pressure.
4. There’s a face mask vending machine in my neighborhood
  • I’m going to check it out on Monday when I visit my podiatrist (who happens to be right across the street from this place).
  • They sell KN95 masks for $4! Note: These are not the N95 medical-grade masks that we keep hearing so much about. It seems a bit sketchy to me.
  • As a side note, the face mask vending machine operation replaces an electric scooter store. Opportunistic and trendy!
5. Podiatrist Vs. Pedicurist?

With all nail and pedicure salons shut tighter than a drum, I had to find an alternative for footcare since my osteoarthritis makes it impossible to easily take care of my feet. TD Podiatry offers “medical pedicures.” I will report back next week.

Consider this a PSA: Footcare has never been more essential.

6. Working remotely sucks! Hearing more grumbling every day (Source: NPR and Planet Money)
  • An estimated 37% of American jobs could be done full time from home — but, before the pandemic, the total percentage of American workers that worked “at least half the time” from home was only about 4 percent.
  • A big part of the problem is that virtual communications technology remains glitchy and awkward.

“People have very dedicated personal norms about the proper space one should leave between oneself and others. But when you’re on a video call, your personal space is defined by how close the camera is to your face. In real life, this view of someone would be crazy. If you were regularly this close to a colleague’s face in a physical office, you’d probably have serious problems with the HR department.”

Jeremy Bailenson, Psychologist, Stanford
7. In the UK, Over-50s to be kept in lockdown and FINED if they cannot prove their age when out and about in public
The ‘relative risk of death’ from coronavirus for each age group compared to those in their 20s – based on being released form lockdown before a vaccine is available. Not to be confused with the rate of death
  • A Warwick University study found that a ‘rolling age-release strategy’ was the best option to end the lockdown.
  • The strategy is based on the fact that death rates from COVID-19 among 50-year-olds are 20 times higher than the deaths among 20-year-olds.
  • Based on Chinese data, they say releasing over-50s early without a vaccine could see 40,000 extra people die.

In the study ‘Age, death risk and the design of an exit strategy’, the Warwick researchers shared five benefits of basing the end of lockdown on age.

What’s kind of amusing about this 50-Plus lockdown is that every politician in the world (almost) starting with our own President and his Democratic challenger would be out of commission. Mother Nature has a killer sense of humor.

Bottom Line.

I’m happy to report that I’m no longer stuck in the anxiety, frustration, and anger phases of the lockdown. Making it to the “acceptance” stage is a big deal. Although truth be told, I still get flashes of anger about what’s going on. Most days, however, I am in good spirits – and credit my friends and our FaceTime catchups for this positive outcome.

I’m super excited to get started on the #100DayReset project. It will provide me with a new perspective and a fresh outlook on life.

Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve been through a lot – and overcome a lot. This is not my first rodeo. But I will readily admit coronavirus has turned our lives upsidedown like nothing I have ever experienced. That said, I’m also increasingly confident that this Beast (as Cuomo likes to call it) will not have the last word on how I live my life.

Have a good weekend everyone!

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