COVID-19: Day 19 … How Long is this Gonna Last?

How are you fairing during the COVID-19 pandemic?  Have you ever seen anything like this? We’ve gone through SARS (2002-2003), the Swine Flu (2009-2010), Ebola (2014-2016), MERS (2012 – present) AND nothing of this proportion, this magnitude.

Have we ever witnessed anything quite like what we’re living through with this pandemic?

I’m now at day 19 of physical distancing and 24 days since I haven’t been able to leave for my year long adventure to South East Asia.  I’ve been fortunate that I was able to rescind my resignation from my employment and stay with my daughter for a short period (until the end of this month). Things are still feeling topsy turvy, no real stability and what I am able to do is roll with the punches — it’s just what’s so and I’m unable to control what’s happening nor the outcome. All I can do (like all of you) is make the best of the current situation.

As we all know by now, Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease which causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. I found myself with a sore throat and a cough a few days ago my mind quickly went to “is that you Rona?” –  nope just seasonal allergies – it’s amazing that my mind immediately jumped to coronavirus though – it’s been top of mind for weeks and it’s pretty much all we see plastered all over the news and social media outlets.  

These are most certainly unprecedented times. Things we have not experienced in our lifetime.  I’m a huge documentary nerd.  I’ve been watching docs on The Spanish Flu (which actually did not originate in Spain), the SARS outbreak and other really interesting pandemics. What I got present to, is that just as I am watching documentaries on the Third Plague and the Smallpox epidemic, some day future generations will be looking back on the COVID-19 pandemic and watching documentaries on precisely what we’re living – present day!

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In Canada and local communities these are some of the things that are making headlines.  This is not my list in totality, I added to and amended some.

-Gas prices are down to $0.64 in Kitchener, Ontario!
-All schools are cancelled until May 4 2020.   I don’t see kids going back till September
-Social distancing measures in place – STAY HOME!
-Tape on the floors at grocery stores and other essential service stores to help distance shoppers 6 ft from each other.  Cashiers are working with gloves, masks and behind plastic barriers.
-Limited number of people allowed inside stores, causing huge lineups outside the store.
-Non-essential stores and businesses mandated to be closed.
-Parks, trails, entire cities locked down. Children’s outdoor play parks are closed.  City of Kitchener is implementing $750 fines for those not obeying the laws.
-Entire sports seasons cancelled.
-Concerts, tours, festivals, entertainment events – cancelled.
-Weddings, family celebrations, holiday gatherings – cancelled.
-No church services.  Pope delivered Good Friday service to an empty church.
-No gatherings of 50 or more, then 20 or more, now 5 or more.
-Mandate to not socialize with anyone outside of your home or let others in your home.
-Shortage of masks, gowns and gloves for our front-line workers.
-Shortage of ventilators for the critically ill.
-Panic buying sets in – people hoarding toilet paper, disinfecting supplies, paper towel, laundry soap, and hand sanitizer.
-Grocery shelves are bare when it comes to certain products.
-Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesses retool so as to make visors, masks, hand sanitizer and PPE for front line staff and essential workers.
-Government closes borders to all non-essential travel, calls Canadians home.  Makes it mandatory to self isolate for 14 days under the Quarantine Act.
-Fines are enforced for breaking the rules.
-Stadiums and recreation facilities open up for the overflow of COVID-19 patients.
-Daily press conferences from Prime Minister Trudeau.  Says this is our new norm for the foreseeable future or until a vaccine is found!
-Chief Medical Officer, Dr Hinshaw, gives regular updates on new cases, recoveries, and death tolls
-Government incentives to stay home – emergency employment benefits for those who’ve lost their jobs or are asked to stay at home due to COVID-19.  Currently 5.08M people are receiving the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).
-Barely anyone in the street or on the roads.
-People wearing masks and gloves as if it’s our new norm
-Essential service workers are terrified to go to work.
-Medical field workers are afraid to go home to their families.

This is the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, declared March 11th, 2020 (and started in December 2019 in Wuhan, China).

COVID-19: My 12 Month Trip of a Life Time Was Canceled, I Quit My Job, Sold My Car & Rented Out My Condo !

In the words of sexy hotness, Matthew McConaughey, “alright alright alright”.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted … so I just want to bring you all up to date on the current lay of the land -> the status of my year long adventure to South East Asia, the COVID-19 pandemic and the world of social distancing.

What a crazy time we are living in at the moment! COVID-19 has turned our world into 4 walls and a ceiling.  Hundreds of thousands are infected, thousands have died and the whole world is living in a circle of physical distancing and a certain degree of fear. We’ve started hoarding hand sanitizer and toilet paper!  Some of us are following the rules established by government and others continue to act like this is not the global pandemic that it is.

I live in Canada, the province of Ontario – I live in a community in South Western Ontario called the Region of Waterloo – which is comprised of the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge and the townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich.  Region of Waterloo Public Health has reported another 26 cases of COVID-19 in the region, bringing the total to 58.

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Canada is making unprecedented use of the federal Quarantine Act in a bid to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting tonight at midnight, all travellers returning to Canada are now legally required to go into self-isolation for 14 days rather than simply urged to do so.

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Emergency alert from the government sent to our phones

I’m currently held up at my youngest daughter’s house while I wait for coronavirus to become a thing of the past.  I was supposed to leave on my year long epic adventure all over South East Asia last Wednesday.  Not gonna lie, I was crushed.  I spent the better part of 12 months prepping, planning, plotting and organizing.  I had plans to travel to 12-14 different countries in 12 months — Vietnam – Phu Quoc and climbing Mount Bà Đen, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia – climbing Mount Bromo volcano (in Java) and relaxing with both of my kids in Bali.  I was going to spend the month of July in Japan and had plans to attend the Summer Olympics with my friends Linda and Mark (and their kids) – I was going to climb Mount Fuji. Northern Thailand was on my list prior to heading over the New Delhi and meeting up with my friend who is supposed to be flying over from Canada – we’re supposed to spend 4 days in New Delhi and then fly up to Nepal to climb Mount Everest Base Camp – from there I had more plans to spend time in India, head down to Sri Lanka and then I wasn’t quite sure.  I am hoping that I’m still able to do the last part of my adventure.  

I sold my car, rented out my condo, resigned from my job and put all of my worldly possessions in storage, ready to take off and live a year of a lifetime – only to have that all change 5 days before my departure date!  I was CRUSHED!   I went with it, I allowed myself to feel whatever it was I was feeling – upset, anger, fear, disappointment. I lived with it for a bit, didn’t make myself wrong about it and then I was ok.  It took 6 days.  I am able to stay with my youngest in her townhouse until the end of the month. I was able to rescind my resignation from my job and I was able to postpone my flight for a $69.00 fee and get reimbursed for my travel insurance.  

After I got complete with that,  I decided that if this was happening and it is out of my control, I’m going to come out the other side ready to set my world on fire.  I don’t have to sit here and mope.  I can do all of the things that I’ve been wanting to do – here, now.   My new favourite saying is a Buddhist saying, “Relax, everything is out of control”   

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SO ….. 

I enrolled into two courses 1) The Science of Well Being through Yale and 2) Leadership in 21st Century Organizations via the Copenhagen Business School.  If you’re looking to take some continuing education courses to further your career, your life, your well being – consider taking some courses, here’s the link to a bunch of Ivy League Schools Edx courses which are FREE!

I also decided to face one of my biggest phobias head on … finances, stocks and investments. Ask my financial planner how much the word “taxes” sends me into a downward spiral.  I never file my taxes on time, ever.  I’m decent with money, and that’s thanks to the trust and faith I put into my planner.  So, just like I’ve been tackling all of my fears head on this past year (remember when I jumped out of a plane in September? Or when I did the Polar Dip in January?).  Last November I took Phil Town’s Rule One Investing Course.  What’s Rule #1?  DON’T LOSE MONEY. The best investors in the world use this rule to invest with certainty. I learned how to not just invest in stocks, and rather invest in a wonderful business at an attractive price to generate consistent returns.

What did I do after I was so gung-ho post-course?  Nothing, I did nothing with it!  I did what I always did when something is out of my wheelhouse and frightens me, I ignored it.  Enter the novel coronavirus and event-driven investing, now is the time, markets are low, so I decided to tackle it once and for all (I mean I have nothing else to do than catch up on 5 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy – which is getting really awesome btw – I’m at Season 11 ep. 10).  I set up my brokerage account and talked to a couple of friends who invest and trade and off I went.  I’m trying to remember 2 things — 1) I don’t need to be an expert to invest like one and 2) Don’t lose money.  

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Photo by Lorenzo on Pexels.com

I’ve popped into some free concerts that musicians are hosting.  I’ve joined a Being In Communication: Time With a Landmark Forum leader call with Forum Leaders who are keeping the community connected.  I’ve had daily Facebook Messenger calls with my oldest, who lives in Vietnam, she wakes me every morning with a new song she’s learned on the ukulele, I love this!  I take extra long walks with the dog and binge watch my fave shows that I’ve long ignored.

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While we’ve been sequestered, the world continues to spin, people are living and sadly dying (this breaks my heart) and no matter, the sun comes up and the sun goes down. The earth is starting to heal itself – the canals in Venice are again running clear and there are minnows, dolphins have returned. Forrests and plants are regenerating. COVID-19 has decreased air pollution. The ozone layer is starting to repair itself. There’s an unlikely beneficiary of coronavirus: The planet.  Is this the earth’s way of dealing with what we’ve chosen to ignore?  

Many are binging pandemic like movies: Contagion, Steven Soderbergh’s strikingly realistic portrayal of the modern world scrambling to contain the fictional virus MEV-1. Outbreak, inspired in part by the AIDS epidemic.  Stephen King’s “The Stand,” Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain and Max Brooks’s World War Z, have proliferated on social media as of late. In a time of real crisis, many of us are spending our time watching fake crises.  Why?  We’re living in ONE RIGHT NOW.  I’m a documentary nerd. I prefer fact over fiction any day.  I’ve been watching documentaries on past pandemics, the plague, the Spanish Flu (which contrary to popular belief did not originate in Spain). The 1956-1958 Influenza Pandemic, the 1968 Flu Pandemic, SARS and H1N1.  What really lands for me is that as I’m researching these past pandemics, what we are living through right now, at this very moment, will form part of the future generations history.  Just as I’m watching and reading about pandemics in the last 100 years, future generations are going to be watching, reading and learning about the 2019-2020 novel coronavirus COVID-19 global pandemic.  

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Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I tell you bizarre times …

Where in the world are you and practicing social distancing?  How are you occupying your time? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s The Connection Between INTEGRITY and LITTERING?

I spent last weekend in New York City (NYC), I was attending a leaders course in Manhattan with 350 of the eastern seaboard’s most brilliant, inspirational beings, like no kidding – this powerful group is up to big things!

While we were out and about enjoying our lunch break, we spent some time walking about Madison Square Garden, walked up to the Chelsea High-line and had a awesome chat about “getting your life” in front of The Vessel by Thomas Heatherwick.  During our strolls, however, I couldn’t help but to notice all of the refuse that littered the ground. Like, it was everywhere and I could’t help to think that all of this trash was caused by “civilized” human beings.  And, to be frank, it infuriated me.

And then I got to thinking about the different places I’ve had the pleasure of traveling and about the different cultures, the way we all live our lives.

I visited Japan 2 years ago and I tell you (if you haven’t been), it’s one of the cleanest, most organized, respectful places to visit, and live apparently.  I have two friends who live in Japan and the love it – they are both Canadian – and they both suggest we have a lot to learn about different issues of our Western societies.

This is what my friend Linda has to say – she lives in Mitaka, a suburb of Tokyo.

“Living in Tokyo Japan for over 2 years and it still surprises me that a city of over 35M is so clean with such a big focus on recycling. Similar to most residents, I often carry my recycling back home with me for proper disposal, and as a foreigner still learning the Japanese language, I have received notices from the recycling officers when my recycling doesn’t meet the proper standards. I am grateful to be living in this beautiful country”.

I don’t understand why people litter, honestly I don’t, it’s just not necessary.  And, I’m not making anyone wrong here, I’m looking more for what’s missing, rather than what’s wrong.

Could it be a lack of integrity?

So what is integrity?  The Cambridge Dictionary’s definition is:

  • in·teg·ri·ty : “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness: “he is known to be a man of integrity”

Could it be the level of integrity in which we operate in life?  Could that be out?  Of course it can be! And, what I’m really present to is that WITHOUT INTEGRITY NOTHING WORKS! Literally, nothing works!  Now, integrity is not morality nor is it ethical – they are not colapsable.

I started taking a hard look at the level of my integrity, I always viewed myself as a rather integrous person.  I always try keep my word and when I can’t keep it, I try to honour by letting the person know ASAP that I cannot keep it.  I’m never late (my philosophy is that if you’re on time, you’re late) and people have always said that they can count on me to be there.  I’ve always made that a priority in my life, then I started looking at what’s missing – where is my integrity out? And, I had to actually say to myself  “Self, admit it you have no integrity” and I was like boom – face slap!

I got real with myself, confronted myself with some real truths — for example, I am pro-environment yet I still continued to use plastic utensils and don’t use carry a reusable coffee cups = lack of integrity.  I had a terrible falling out with a friend, because I was a drunken twerp last year and took MY crap out on her and I never got complete with that.  I never called her to apologize, I sent her a quick text and then left the friendship slide, complete lack of integrity.  I had convinced myself that these things were fine, and that I was ok with it.

Everywhere I looked I came to see that I had things I needed to clean up with people in my life and what that allowed me to do was have true authentic conversations about where I was out of integrity and being really committed to cleaning up the “messes” the better I felt – like a weight had been lifted off of me.  I started by apologizing to people, by connecting with people I had lost contact with, by buying reusable bamboo cutlery and napkin and keeping them in my purse (I also gave a set to a friend of mine – and enrolled 2 other friends to start using bamboo or carrying their own metal cutler.  Another friend agreed to purchase bamboo toothbrushes).  I literally started restoring integrity with velocity.  Folks, I literally have never loved being so wrong (to be clear my actions were wrong, I wasn’t making myself wrong and holding onto it) LOL – it really was empowering to get complete with things.

And, you know what I got out of cleaning up this LACK OF INTEGRITY? I really got the impact on the other person, I really got to see what it was like over there with them. And when you really get to get what’s it’s like for someone else, it’s empowering and you start to change the way you want to behave.

“An important aspect of my word to myself is my word to others. For example, when I give my word to someone to meet them at a given time tomorrow, in effect I have also given my word to myself to be there tomorrow at the appointed time and place. Likewise with any time I give my word to others, I have also given my word to myself to be good for my word.
If I hold myself up as a person of integrity and do not honor my word to myself, it is highly unlikely that I will be able to be in integrity with others”.

~ Werner Erhard 

So, What Does Lack of Integrity Have to do With Littering?

Everything!  Integrity is what you do when no one’s watching.  It’s when you do what’s right, even when it’s difficult.  It’s in taking a stand for what you believe in. It’s throwing your trash in the litter bin.  It’s recycling your bottles, paper cups and newspapers. It’s in taking your trash home when there isn’t anywhere to properly dispose of them.  It’s in picking up the trash when you are able, tidying the public washrooms counter before leaving them and by leaving the people you talk to better than when you met them —  it’s about being an extra ordinary human being!

📷:  from last weekend in NYC

And, just like that, without even realizing it – I managed to intertwine two of the things I love and that I’m passionate about – integrity and the environment – and the ability to be fully self expressed! WOW!

What would your life look like in the space of living a life of more integrity?

How freaking powerful of a human being would you be?  

Who are you going to go clean up with right now?  

Oh, and PS:  as human beings, we’re never 100% in integrity – there’s always somewhere in our lives that integrity is out or missing. The difference is, we can always live life more integrously.

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Product Review: Freshii Juice Cleanse

It’s Monday night – I just competed my coaching call, did some work, just finished some research on a new project I’m working on …. and about 5 days ago I finished a 3 day JUICE CLEANSE …

I’ve done juice cleanses in the past, but, honestly it’s been a hot minute since I did my last one – likely about 3 years – I know, I know right?

So, while I was grabbing my Buddha Bowl (yassss, OMG Buddha bowls are AMAZING!) at Freshii I saw their advert …

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I had put it off long enough and decided to GO FOR IT!

Right there I decided between one of their 3 plans.  1 Day, 3 day or 5 day.

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Prices are in Canadian dollars 

I didn’t want to chintz out out at 1 day, 5 day seemed a bit too long for a my first attempt in 3+ years, so I went with the 3 day!

What Did My Day Look Like?

Per their recommendation I commenced each morning with a glass of warm lemon water.

Then I started my day by drinking the following drinks in order, about 2.5 hours apart.

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They also encourage you to drink 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day in addition to the Freshii juices. Herbal teas are also allowed.

If you’re hungry during your cleanse, they suggest you try to increase the amount of water are drinking throughout the day, that includes herbal teas.  But, you also need to listen to your body.  If it’s telling you to eat something reach for raw or lightly cooked fruits and veggies.  You can check out their FAQ sheet here.

Taste

To be very honest, I really enjoyed the Freshii juices. Of all the juice cleanses I’ve done, these were BY FAR the best.  I didn’t have to dread drinking them, or drink them slowly because I didn’t like the taste when it only prolonged the agony.  I enjoyed drinking them as a refreshing drink.

My faves were the

  • Charcoal Lemonade
  • Reset

Least fave

  • Recharge

Outcome

Day One:

As with any juice cleanse you will find day one the hardest, well I do anyway.  But, the more you can prepare your body for the cleanse, the easier your cleanse will be.  They suggest reducing caffeine intake and not eating processed foods.  I don’t typically eat processed foods, but I do drink coffee and mandarin green tea, and I did not prep for this SINCE my decision was spur of the moment, quite literally.

As expected, day one I had a headache, my stomach was rumbling and I was hangry!  I was able to stay true to my word and NOT eat food.  As much water as I drank, I couldn’t shake the headache and opted for an Advil and an early night’s sleep.

Day Two:

The following morning, I woke up feeling like a rockstar as I packed my juices in my free Freshii new cooler bag (see pic below) to take to work.  My hunger pangs were gone, no more headache and my stomach wasn’t aching for solid food.  Today was going to be a good day!

I took the first 5 juices to work, plus some herbal teas I had here and a large 72 oz bottle of water (reusable).  That day at work was pleasantly easy – despite the fact that one of the doctor’s we work with brought in a pack of Timbits (doh!).

 Was able to finish my juices at home but I was feeling hungry and did opt for a 1/4 of an English cucumber.

Day Three:

I was hoping day three would be a breeze when in fact I found it difficult.  Because I knew I could eat tomorrow …. I don’t remember finding it so hard to maintain my willpower – it seems to escape me more as I age.  I was super hungry this day.  But otherwise, I felt great.  I didn’t have a sweet tooth.  I wasn’t craving coffee anymore and I was drinking LOTS of water.

Overall

As far as juice cleanses go, I liked the Freshii one.  I really liked the taste of the juices, I actually grabbed two more just to drink as juice today.

I did feel that it helped me hit the reset button and super charge the nutrients going into my body.

I haven’t had any coffee since the detox,  I’m back to tea.  I haven’t had much of a sweet tooth at all actually.  It kickstarted me drinking ++ water again, which I definitely needed.

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So if you’re in the market for a juice cleanse I would definitely give Freshii a try, in my humble opinion.

Enjoy!