5 Types of Small Businesses Getting Hammered Right Now

With COVID-19 forcing millions of Americans into their homes on virtual lockdown, small businesses everywhere are already struggling to keep the lights on. Others, meanwhile, are being forced to close in an effort to limit COVID-19’s spread. Here are a few types of businesses that may really be feeling the pain right now.

1. Bars

Many bars have been forced to close for the time being, which means owners and employees alike face weeks on end without a paycheck. And while inventory spoilage may not be a huge concern, as liquor and wine can hold up well in storage, it’s not very helpful when there are no customers to serve and the rent comes due.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

2. Restaurants

Many restaurants across the country have been forced to limit their services to takeout and delivery only, and that’s hurting their bottom lines. Among the hardest hit are higher-end establishments that take in a lot of their revenue via liquor sales; when they can’t serve customers, they can’t serve drinks. Also, while it’s common practice to order in pizza or similarly low-priced foods, most people don’t want a $30 steak entree to go.

But even restaurants that already do a lot of takeout and delivery may be struggling, as customers are more hesitant to trust food preparers to take precautions. And waiters who rely on tips are certainly feeling the pain — with no one to serve, there’s no way to earn money.

3. Beauty salons and barber shops

The need to self-isolate has made the once simple act of getting a haircut less safe, and salons and barber shops are seeing much less foot traffic, if any at all. And given that in-person socializing is on pause, those who’d normally pay for manicures or other types of grooming are now skipping these services.

4. Event-planning companies

Event planners can do very well under normal circumstances, but when gatherings are banned nationwide, there’s not much planning to do. As such, companies that specialize in events, and the people who do so independently, face untold financial hardships in the weeks ahead.

5. Independent gyms and personal trainers

Gyms have largely been ordered to temporarily shut down across the country, and while corporate chains may have the cash reserves to withstand long-term closures, small, private training facilities most likely do not. Meanwhile, personal trainers who do a lot of in-home appointments are facing mass cancellations, leaving them stuck for the time being.

COVID-19 is, unfortunately, hurting a lot of small businesses and putting them at risk of shutting their doors permanently. Those who have already been laid off from their small business jobs can try filing for unemployment benefits in an effort to replace some of their former earnings.

Small business owners, meanwhile, should, when possible, get creative about ways to generate revenue. Bars should aggressively push gift cards that customers can order online or by mail and use later on to maintain some degree of cash flow. Restaurants with the ability to transition to takeout should consider changing their menus — and business models — to accommodate our new reality. Waiters can become food delivery personnel, and personal trainers can offer discounted remote sessions using online technology to earn some money rather than none.

It’s certainly not an easy time to own a small business. With the right strategy, however, some local establishments will hopefully manage to ride out the storm.

 

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11 Coronavirus Facts That Will Debunk Most of Those Myths You’ve Been Hearing

Starting with the fact that you can get definitely get COVID-19 if you’re younger.

As more information about the coronavirus pandemic develops, some of the information in this article may have changed since it was last updated. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit online resources provided the CDCWHO, and your local public health department. You can work to better protect yourself from COVID-19 by washing your hands, avoiding contact with sick individuals, and sanitizing your home, among other actions.


As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, there’s plenty of new information to pay attention to each day. While the number of confirmed cases continues to rise in the U.S., what doctors and scientists know about how COVID-19 behaves becomes both clearer and murkier, and tips on staying busy, working from home, and caring for our mental health abound. But what’s also swirling are truths, half truths, and untruths about the coronavirus crisis. That’s why we went straight to the experts to find out what you need to know to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe. Here are the expert-verified facts about the coronavirus that you need to know.

FACT: You should be careful while having sex.

The virus isn’t considered a traditional sexually transmitted disease since it’s not spread via contact with genitals — but because it’s transmitted through respiratory droplets, kissing can spread it. “Be careful in the bedroom and consider modifying your sexual routine for now — and one thing’s for sure, now is not the time to find a new intimate partner,” says Raj Dasgupta, M.D., a pulmonologist and critical care physician working on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis at Keck Hospital of USC in California.

How else is it spread? Coughing and sneezing and through close person-to-person contact that might transfer those droplets — i.e. if a sick person coughs or sneezes into their hand and then shakes yours, or from hugging and kissing an infected individual. It’s now believed the virus can also live on certain hard surfaces, such as plastic or stainless steel, for up to 72 hours.

FACT: If you’re healthy, a disposable mask won’t keep you safe from the disease.

The disposable masks you find at the drugstore aren’t able to filter out germy droplets that might get you sick. If you are diagnosed with coronavirus then yes, a mask will help prevent your respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze from infecting someone else — but if you’re sick, you should be staying home and away from people. “I would urge people to please stop buying masks and leave them for the people who need them most, which are healthcare workers who are around coronavirus and other sick patients,” says Ashwin Vasan, M.D., Ph.D., an epidemiologist and president and CEO of Fountain House in New York City.

Woman Hand Holding An Allergy Mask
JAVIER ZAYAS PHOTOGRAPHYGETTY IMAGES

FACT: You can’t catch coronavirus from your pet.

“Right now the CDC says there’s no evidence that pets, livestock, or wildlife can transmit the disease to humans, but we’re still unsure if humans can pass it on to their pets,” says Dr. Dasgupta. “I have two amazing dogs, and my advice if you’re sick is to avoid snuggling your animals and keep them at a safe distance without completely isolating them from you, because that’s not good for them either!”

FACT: The coronavirus pandemic won’t end once warmer weather arrives.

Not to be Debbie Downers, but here’s the reality: Rising temperatures won’t bring the coronavirus spread to a halt. “The idea that this is just going to blow over once spring and summer arrives is incorrect — warmer temps won’t kill off the virus,” says Dr. Vasan. “The spread may slow slightly simply because there tends to be less coughing and sneezing during the warm months, but it’s so easily transmissible that it will continue to circulate if we don’t get a handle on it now. That’s why social distancing is so important.”

FACT: Over-the-counter meds won’t make COVID-19 symptoms worse.

You may have heard that OTC pain meds like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can make coronavirus worse, but the World Health Organization has debunked that notion and other medical experts agree. “That rumor just adds to the panic — there’s no scientific evidence to back it up,” says Dr. Dasgupta.

In general, choose whichever option best treats your symptoms, says Dr. Vasan — if you have a fever, acetaminophen is generally best for that, but if you have inflammation or aches, ibuprofen works better.

FACT: Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can still be contagious.

It’s possible that 70% to 80% of people may have mild to no symptoms, but I would still be very cautious because you may still be infectious,” says Peter Gulick, infectious disease expert at Michigan State University.

What common symptoms should you expect? That landscape changes by the day, but as of now a high fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, and loss of sense of smell or taste are biggies to look out for. Some people are also thought to exhibit gastrointestinal signs like diarrhea, body aches, and upper respiratory symptoms like congestion. Keep yourself healthy by washing your hands regularly and staying inside.

FACT: If you’re younger, you can still get coronavirus.

In the early days of the pandemic, older adults and those with underlying or immunosuppressive health conditions were the populations considered to be most at risk. That’s still true — those demographics will be hit hardest if they do get sick — but we now know that people of any age can get coronavirus, including children. In fact, The New York Times recently reported that nearly 40% of hospitalized coronavirus patients in the U.S. are under the age of 54.

FACT: A vaccine won’t be available anytime soon.

Scientists are hard at work developing a vaccine that can effectively fight the coronavirus, but it will be a long time before one is available to the general public. “We want a vaccine, but there are multiple phases to reach FDA approval, and it’s important a vaccine passes through all of them. Plus, this virus will continue to mutate so we really want to get this right,” says Dr. Dasgupta.

FACT: There are drug therapies being tested to fight coronavirus.

As of now, there is no drug approved by the FDA to specifically fight the coronavirus. However, there are several existing drugs typically used to treat other inflammatory conditions that the CDC states are being administered to some coronavirus patients on a trial basis. Those include hydroxychloroquine, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and chloroquine, used to treat malaria. New York State is also launching a clinical trial to see if the rheumatoid arthritis drug sarilumab can effectively treat COVID-19.

FACT: No home remedies will kill the COVID-19 virus.

If you’ve read that gargling with hot tea or vinegar will kill the virus, know that that’s not true. “These home remedies might ease your symptoms to help you feel better, but they do nothing to fight the virus itself,” says Dr. Dasgupta. Another coronavirus combat tip to avoid: Spraying yourself with household disinfectants. “This is dangerous and should never be done,” Dr. Dasgupta says. “You should never ingest these products or apply them to your skin.”

FACT: It’s not a “Chinese virus.”

This term has been thrown around a lot lately, but it’s absolutely incorrect — and just plain wrong — to do so. “Characterizing a virus based on a specific ethnicity or nation is racist,” says Dr. Vasan. “COVID-19 is part of an existing family of viruses called coronaviruses and has nothing to do with geography. In theory, the first case could have started anywhere.”

Dr. Dasgupta says he’s seen the impact this type of language can have firsthand. “Some of my residents and nurses are worried about the stereotypes and discriminations they might face while doing their jobs because of this xenophobia,” he says. “This is not the way we should talk about a virus or disease.”

 

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Six reasons why some people refuse to stay home during a pandemic

CNN spoke to psychologists to find out why some people refuse to practice physical distancing during an epidemic. They give 6 reasons:

  • They think they are invulnerable. “They aren’t following social distancing because they believe they won’t get sick, even though it could prevent more vulnerable people from becoming infected.”
  • They won’t let a virus boss them around. “Exercising their defiance makes the virus seem smaller.”
  • They think it’s not their problem. “People who live in communities where infection isn’t widespread or officials haven’t imposed lockdowns may be less willing to distance themselves from others.”
  • They’re numbed by info overload. “When people’s media diets, social media feeds and conversations with loved ones consist of nothing but Covid-19, they may become desensitized to its severity.”
  • They favor individual freedom over the good of society. ” The Western world, and the US in particular, has long prized individual freedoms — sometimes even over community benefit.”
  • They’re lonely. “Human beings crave connection, and being denied social interaction for extended periods can sting.”

 

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SOCIAL DISTANCING IS RESETTING ONE BEHAVIOR MANY OF US HAVE GOTTEN VERY WRONG

The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting daily routines around the world. Overwhelmed hospitals, desolate schools, ghostly towns and self-isolation echo a campy horror flick, but an all too real one.

Companies are laying people off by the thousands, the service industry is teetering on the brink of collapse, and socialist ideas suddenly don’t sound so bad to an average citizen. According to a recent poll by the University of Southern California, around 40% of individuals feel anxiety about the pandemic, and more than half have been avoiding some or all other people.

As a psychologist who aims to understand the role of sleep in what makes us tick, I focus mostly on how the sleep-wake cycle impacts our day-to-day social lives. This makes me think of one thing we can do, especially for those of us at home. That is to SLEEP.

This reversible state of disengagement with the world is one of the most important protective and restorative factors in human life. Slumber is essential for thinking clearly and staying upbeat during any time. Moreover, sleep is indispensable for maintaining the immunological function, which is key to preventing and recovering from infectious diseases like COVID-19. Losing sleep makes people more susceptible to viral infections, and it undermines recovery from the common cold as well as more serious conditions. For this lethally stealthy bug, it may be even more important.

Unfortunately, it is exactly during times of social uncertainty and anxiety, when we need to sleep the most, that it is most disrupted. Anxiety over the future and fear for the health of loved ones threaten calm nights and impinge on sleep by increasing hyper-arousal and rumination – reactions known to intensify insomnia. Isolation from regular social rhythms and natural light will further mess with our body clock, confusing us about when we are supposed to feel tired and when to perk up.

Most Americans are not meeting this crisis well-rested. Research we have conducted over the past few years using CDC data on hundreds of thousands of Americans suggests that the smartphone age has led to a substantial deterioration in both duration and quality of sleep. A case in point, a recent analysis that my team conducted suggests that over the past five years, millions more Americans report sleeping problems.

And the psychological toll is not too far away, but it will register most forcefully after the infection rates start to decline. Once the pandemic peaks and the physical damage to bodies start to wane, only then will the full consequences of this pandemic on our well-being be apparent. Inevitable increases in psychological complaints, suicide, and substance use disorders need to be anticipated and mitigated now. Recall that after the “Great Recession” of 2008-09 there were millions of more people with health and psychological problems in both the U.S. and Europe.

So how to go about protecting our sleep? Besides the threats and challenges, this time actually provides hidden opportunities as well. When is the last time that the majority of any population stayed at home for days, often without the need to use alarm clocks?!

Besides connecting with those closest to us, many of us can sleep in and organize lives in ways that suit our biological ticker. Larks can go to bed earlier and owls can snooze in. Families can synchronize their meal and play routines in new ways, honoring the time of their internal clock (what chrono-biologists call the ‘circadian’ phase’). For most of our history, we slept with one another when our bodies told us too, not by ourselves and only when work allowed. This may be an unprecedented opportunity to embrace a basic human need to switch off on a regular basis, helping human bodies fight the wars only those bodies know-how.

 

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Predictions: What Will Happen Next in the Corona Crisis?

Sometimes it isn’t all that hard to predict the future. All you have to do is listen to what the social engineers are telling you they’re going to do.

For example, when the neocons tell you that we need a “new Pearl Harbor” to justify a transformation of America’s military, you can bet a new Pearl Harbor is going to arrive as soon as they get into office.

And now, after years of Bill Gates warning us that a pandemic was going to strike and utterly transform the world as we know it. He even went so far as to “simulate” the exact scenario we’re living through just before we started living through it.

So, you see my point. Sometimes seeing what’s coming next is just a question of listening to what the planners are telling us. Keeping that in mind, let’s look at four predictions for how the coronavirus crisis is likely to proceed from here.

1. The “Second Wave” Will Be Blamed on the Protesters

There is a second wave of Covid-19 coming in the next few months. We don’t have to speculate about this. Not only have we heard this from all manner of politicians and health “authorities” over the past few months, but it was an integral part of MIT Technology Review’s now-infamous “We’re not going back to normal” article, which revealed how the waves of lockdown and release were going to restructure our lives and condition us into the Corona World Order. And, lest there be any doubt that this is an important part of the plandemic narrative, Bill Gates just reaffirmed it in his latest “GatesNotes” on “The first modern pandemic.”

In fact, the pandemic planners have warned the public of a second (and third and fourth and fifth . . .) wave of this crisis so many times now that we can virtually guarantee that such a “second wave” will occur. Now, such a second wave of sickness could actually occur, if only because—as Dr. Dan Erickson notes in his recent Covid-19 briefing—people emerging from their lockdown isolation will have lowered immune systems and thus be more susceptible to pathogens of all kinds. But this dreaded “second wave” doesn’t even have to take place in reality; the statistical chicanery of the fraudsters can always be relied on to conjure up the impression of a fresh round of infections in the minds of the public. Heck, if the Japanese government can magically conjure a “surge” of SARS-CoV-2 infections into existence the very same day they announced the postponement of the 2020 Olympics (precisely as I predicted), you better believe governments around the world can deliver on the “second wave” narrative regardless of how many people may or may not be ill.

Here’s the rub: Whatever happens, the plandemic agenda-pushers are going to blame this second wave on those evil, dastardly protesters who complained about being put under house arrest. You know, those horrible, heartless grandma-killers who dared to oppose the orders to shutter the business they’ve spent their entire lifetime building up and those detestable, disgusting disease-spreaders who refused to meekly accept their sudden enforced unemployment.

You can see the outlines of this narrative already being planted in the type of coverage surrounding the growing lockdown protest movement. It’s those stupid, ignorant yokels who are out there protesting to “open Fuddruckers” who are putting the lives of those valiant medical heroes on the line by daring to exercise their right to peacefully assemble and demand a redress of their grievances!

So when things are opened up eventually (even just a little bit), you better believe that “second wave” is going to hit full force . . . at least in the media. And every single death in the daily death tally is going to be blamed on people who complained about their house imprisonment and forced unemployment.

2. The Alt Media Are Being Given the Rope to Hang Themselves

This next prediction is based on some observations:

  1. About a year ago, YouTube instituted a new system for displaying subscriber counts that corresponded with a flatlining in new subscribers for many alt media channels (including mine).
  2. Around the same time, they began implementing changes to the recommendation algorithm ensuring that “harmful content” (read: alt media) would not be recommended to viewers nearly as often.
  3. Around the time that the corona crisis really began to kick off six weeks ago, these restrictions seem to have been lifted, with my own channel’s subscriber count surging and my work being routinely recommended by the YouTube algorithm.

Now, I have no insider information about any of these changes here. I can only work with the observations that I (and some of the other alt media figures I’ve talked to) can confirm from my own experience. But there is no doubt in my mind that some of the filters that were artificially suppressing my channel and alt media content in general have been removed.

Yay! Score one for alt media truth, hey?

If only. No, I believe that what we are seeing is actually a push by YouTube and other tech companies to ensure widespread promotion of certain views questioning the official Covid-19 narrative precisely so that they will have the excuse to move ahead with the online purge, probably during that second (or third or fourth or fifth . . .) wave of the crisis. My theory is that we are being set up for a “deadly second wave” not only in the “viral pandemic” narrative, but also in the “deadly infodemic” narrative, and this sudden “flowering” of online conspiracy theorizing is going to be used as an excuse for purging any and all information that does not comport with the official government narrative of the pandemic.

Think of it as an information warfare false flag: push all sorts of “conspiracy” content—from the well-grounded to the utterly outrageous—so that it is a very visible presence in people’s online experience of this crisis. Then, as the pain deepens and things go south, the conspiracy theorists can be blamed (much like the lockdown protesters) for having muddied the waters with “misinformation.”

We’re already seeing the beginning of this narrative playing out. The social media giants have already committed to “combating fraud and misinformation” regarding Covid-19, and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has just outlined exactly what they mean by “fraud and misinformation,” namely, anything that challenges the pronouncements of the World Health Organization.

Personally, I’m going to take advantage of this brief window of opportunity to reach as many new people as I possibly can, but I’m under no delusion that the promotion of truth-related information on the controlled Big Tech social media platforms will continue for very long. As I predicted back in New World Next Year 2020, this is likely to be the year that the internet as we’ve known it ends for good.

3. China Will Be Blamed

Isn’t it funny how just a few weeks ago it was a verboten thoughtcrime to suggest that this novel coronavirus could have anything whatsoever to do with the biosafety level 4 laboratory in Wuhan, and now such theories are mainstream headline fodder? Why do you think that is?

I’ll tell you why: It’s because this is World War III.

If that assertion sounds familiar, that’s because it’s exactly what I wrote in these pages last month. I know you’ve heard me say it before, but it bears repeating: Historians of a future age may just mark the great “coronavirus crisis” of 2020 as the first salvo in the Third World War.

As I’ve also said before, those historians would be wrong. At least, assuming they are writing about the surface-level 2D-chess version of “WWIII,” the one involving “China” vs the “US.” As I laid out here last month, the real World War III is already underway and it’s a war on free humanity by the oligarchs who seek to rule over us. But one can rest assured that if and when those oligarchs decide to truly plunge the world into chaos and let slip the dogs of war, the mis-leaders will use a “coronavirus-was-made-in-a-lab” narrative to justify that war.

The war of words is already underway. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has already raised the possibility that the US Army brought the virus to Wuhan during last October’s Military World Games. In return, Senator Tom Cotton is suggesting that the virus is a leaked Chinese bioweapon, a claim that is now being doggedly pursued in certain parts of the American mockingbird media.

Now, a number of lawsuits are proceeding on the theory that this is a Chinese biological weapon and that the Chinese government should be held liable for all damages caused by Covid-19 and the ensuing shutdown of the global economy (a cool $20 trillion in one suit’s estimation). Naturally, no one is expecting that Beijing would (or would be able to) fork over $20 trillion on a US judge’s order, but if such a ruling were ever made, one can bet that it would add significantly to the case of the China hawks dwelling in Trump’s swamp.

For the millionth time, let me hasten to add that any such China-US war that develops will be a contrived and manipulated conflict, much like the contrived and manipulated Soviet-US conflict of the 20th century. But the lives lost in such a squabble would be all too real.

Make no mistake, you have not heard the last of the squabble between Beijing and Washington over who is to blame for this mess.

5. The Real Bioweapons Are Waiting in the Wings

Speaking of bioweapons, let us not rule out the possibility that we aredealing with a bioweapon of some sort. In fact, there are compelling reasons to believe that, and the knee-jerk dismissal of the idea from the usual crowd is easily debunkable as unscientific claptrap.

Yet another interesting clue along that particular cookie-crumb trail is emerging in the work of Li Lanjuan at Zhejiang University, who is now reporting the discovery of 30 separate strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Some of these strains, including the one prevalent in parts of Europe and in New York City, are capable of producing 270 times the viral load of the weaker strains. The research also uncovered an unusual development in one of the patients studied:

The researchers also found three consecutive changes—known as tri-nucleotide mutations—in a 60-year-old patient, which was a rare event. Usually the genes mutated at one site at a time. This patient spent more than 50 days in hospital, much longer than other Covid-19 patients, and even his faeces were infectious with living viral strains.

Take this research—along with everything else we’re hearing about this virus—with a hefty grain of salt. But, if true, it certainly could add more weight to the theory that we are not dealing with a naturally occurring virus.

Whatever the case, we know that every major military power has spent vast amounts of money developing biological weapons of various sorts. Officially, these biological weapons programs are always done under the pretense that they are for “defensive” purposes. After all, if we don’t develop these weapons then how will we ever be able to defend ourselves against them . . . you know, if the enemy also develops them? (Don’t think about it too hard.)

Of course, Corbett Report listeners know better. The truth is that biological warfare programs are pursued for offensive purposes, too. The fact that the anthrax that terrorized America in the fall of 2001 came from Fort Detrick is just one indication that these programs exist. Heck, the Project For A New American Century even put race-specific bioweapons” on their wishlist in the “Rebuilding America’s Defenses document (see page 60).

The sad truth is that the possibility of a bioweapon being released—and, inevitably, used in a bioterror false flag event to blame on an enemy—has always been there. But now that we are transitioning from the “age of terror” into the “age of bioterror,” that possibility has become orders of magnitude more likely.

So, on that note, I leave you with this bone-chilling observation: Remember that latest “GatesNotes” that I mentioned way back up in Prediction #1? You know, “The first modern pandemic“? Well, here’s how Bill  Gates talks about this current crisis in his conclusion:

Melinda and I grew up learning that World War II was the defining moment of our parents’ generation. In a similar way, the COVID-19 pandemic—the first modern pandemic—will define this era. No one who lives through Pandemic I will ever forget it. And it is impossible to overstate the pain that people are feeling now and will continue to feel for years to come.

Yes, not only does he liken this “fight” against the “invisible enemy” to World War II—as every politician and pundit seems to be doing these days—but he even goes so far as to call this Pandemic I. Yes, “Pandemic I.” As in part one. The obvious implication here is that, just like World War I was followed by World War II, so, too, will Pandemic I be followed by Pandemic II.

Kind of makes you wonder what else he has up his sleeve, doesn’t it?

 

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45 Life Lessons Written by a “90-Year-Old” Woman That’ll Put Everything Into Perspective

Regina Brett knows a thing or two about handling life’s many curveballs. The author wrote down 50 life lessons the night before her 45th birthday after being diagnosed with breast cancer and turned them into a bestselling book, God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons For Life’s Little Detours. In the decade since then, these lessons have gone viral numerous times on the internet amid claims that Regina is 90 years old (she’s actually in her 60s) because of the wealth of knowledge she possesses. “I’m officially an urban legend,” she jokes on her website.

These universal lessons are relatable to anyone who needs a little reminder of what’s important in life, so keep scrolling to read them now, and remember to soak up the little moments whenever you can.

  1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
  8. Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.
  9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  10. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  11. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
  12. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  14. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
  15. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
  16. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
  17. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
  19. Burn the candles; use the nice sheets; wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  20. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
  21. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
  22. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  23. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
  25. Forgive everyone everything.
  26. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  27. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  28. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  29. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  30. Believe in miracles.
  31. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  32. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
  33. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
  34. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  35. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
  36. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  37. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful, or joyful.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  40. The best is yet to come.
  41. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
  42. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  43. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

 

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How People Are Maintaining Affairs While Social Distancing

When Melissa*, 43, began social distancing with her spouse, she knew she’d quickly grow restless in her relationship. What she didn’t anticipate, however, was that her long-term affair would begin to thrive. While self-isolated, she’s been sexting an old lover, sending them daily pictures and videos, unbothered that her husband could be peeking over her shoulder. “I would say the cadence is freer, lighter, more intimate, and filled with deep longing,” she tells Bustle. “It’s all oddly romantic, like a fairytale, or a dream of a magical reunion.”

Melissa, who reconciled with her lover amid the pandemic, says the mutual acknowledgment that the two will be unable to see each other face-to-face has added a “sexy element” to their relationship. But she isn’t sure the affair will last in the long-run, once quarantine is over. “I sometimes wonder whether or not I am in it for the build-up to the post-isolation hookup, or if I really care [for them],” Melissa says. “It’s been hard for me to distinguish between the two.”

It’s that excitement — the longing for physical contact, the edging without a release — that has many igniting old flames or embarking on new affairs. According to a representative from Ashley Madison, a dating site for married individuals that has long helped facilitate infidelity, over 17,000 new members have joined daily since shelter-at-home orders began across the United States.

If you’ve been in sweats for more than four weeks, it can be reassuring to meet someone online to flirt with who can make you feel sexy.

“People are curious and looking for something to distract them from their current state of lockdown,” Dr. Tammy Nelson, Ph.D., a sex and relationship expert and author of When You’re the One Who Cheats, tells Bustle.

According to Nelson, joining a site like Ashley Madison, swiping right on a dating app while fielding texts from your partner, or simply sexting with an old acquaintance while on a Zoom call with your SO can add an element of intrigue and a much-needed twist to an otherwise mundane and predictable daily schedule.

“If you’ve been in yoga pants or sweats for more than four weeks, it can be reassuring to meet someone online to flirt with who can make you feel attractive and sexy,” Nelson says.

The allure of an affair may be even more intense for those who are not getting along with their partner while sheltering at home together. Ashley Madison reports that 41% of its members have become less attracted to their spouse while quarantining, and 62% are no longer having sex. Nelson says this comes as no surprise. “If the isolation of social distancing at home isn’t helping your sex life, it makes sense that you might try to find it elsewhere,” she says.

But William Schroeder, LPC, NCC, a professional counselor and co-owner of Just Mind, believes that emotional or physical cheating while confined to a small space might not be worth the cost of a cheap thrill. With so many people’s routines disrupted, so little space for direct contact, high stress levels, financial concerns, and family pressure, the ability to maintain an affair may cause more grief than relief. In fact, some folks won’t have the energy to commit to multiple relationships.

We have been maintaining [our affair] through daily phone calls, disguised as meetings.

But others are bored, horny, and coming up with clever ways to cover their tracks. “For people who are currently having affairs, it makes sense that Zoom provides a virtual outlet to cheat,” Nelson says.

That’s exactly what Julia*, 28, has been doing to communicate with her lover. “We have been maintaining [our affair] through daily phone calls, disguised as meetings,” she tells Bustle.

Social distancing has also offered people different avenues to experiment with infidelity if they’ve always been curious about having an affair, but aren’t ready to fully commit. While unable to leave home, people have the time to reach out, form cyber relationships, and test the waters of infidelity, without having to risk actually meeting up in person, or charging a hotel room to your credit card.

But in spite of the temptation to continue thrill-seeking, Schroeder says some couples are also using the time at home to focus on their relationship, and iron out problems. It’s when all else fails, and there’s nothing left to say, that eyes (or, rather, mousepads) begin to wander.

“I feel like I finally have something exciting to look forward to,” Melissa says.

 

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These 3 Couples Got Engaged While Social Distancing Together

The dog looks surprised…

While stuck inside and self-isolating together, some couples are realizing they don’t have long-term potential, and others are enjoying spending a little extra time with their partner. But then there are a few who are actually getting engaged while social distancing. Instead of waiting to pop the question after the stay-at-home orders are lifted, they went ahead and did so while quarantined.

Kelsi, 26, and her fiancé, Russell, 31, knew they wanted to get engaged before the coronavirus pandemic began, but being stuck inside further solidified what they were both feeling. “We found the person that we not only loved deeply, but could be with 24/7 and still laugh constantly,” she tells Bustle. “Right now felt like the right time to get engaged because it felt like this ray of light; something that brought excitement for the future.”

For some, popping the question while quarantined instead of waiting for the pandemic to be over, may feel inherently counterintuitive. Why would you swap candles and violins for sweatpants and takeout? But for Jill, 24, and her fiancé, Casey, 25, self-isolating together for three weeks pushed the proposal to the forefront of their minds. Finally, they decided enough was enough.

He fashioned a ring out of a black twist-tie and copper wire. I said yes to this humble little ring and it means so much to me.

“I woke up one morning and I just knew I was ready to be engaged,” Jill tells Bustle. “Thankfully, he thought the same thing, so we decided to go for it right then and there.”

The two went for a socially-distant walk, and found themselves under a row of blooming cherry trees. “We weren’t fully prepared,” Jill says. Casey had custom-designed a ring, but since the jeweler was closed, he couldn’t pick it up. Instead, he fashioned one out of a black twist-tie and copper wire. “I said yes to this humble little ring,” Jill says, “and it means so much to me.”

Liana, 30, and her fiancé, Trav, 28, also had to think fast. They knew they wanted to get engaged, and Trav had been secretly planning a big event — he booked flights to ensure all their friends would be in town, and had even chartered a boat to celebrate on after the fact. But once the two began isolating, he had to rethink their plans and quickly come up with an alternative.

When Trav asked Liana to take a walk by the river, she became suspicious. “I knew something was [up] on the day,” she tells Bustle. “I had no idea I would get so nervous. So, while I was laugh-crying, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.”

Even though the experience of getting engaged while self-quarantining was “oddly romantic,” as Liana puts it, some couples still plan to redo the whole thing once the self-quarantine is lifted. “When this is all over, [Casey] plans to propose the way he intended, with a real ring,” Jill says, “so we get the best of both worlds!”

The same is true for Kelsi. “My birthday is on April 14, and we are doing a big Google Hangout with my friends and family,” she says. “Russell plans to propose again live on the video call.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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