We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Reviews…
If you’re one of the millions who recently lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 shut-down, I feel for you. It’s a tough place to be, and it’s hard to find a new job when nearly everything is shut down (though I hear Amazon is hiring around 100,000 people; it may be worthwhile to check into this if you have an Amazon fulfillment center near you, if you are currently looking for a job).
On this site, I generally review online business tools, training programs, business platforms, and the like, but given the extraordinary times we are currently living in, I thought a change of pace is in order.
While this is being written during a very tough time, I want to bring some hope. First of all, there is a bit of money and support coming your way from the federal government. At the time I’m writing this, President Trump signed this relief bill into law, so you should see your check within the next few weeks.
Most payments are based on the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) you reported on your 2019 tax return. Payments begin to phase out for singles with AGI of $75,000, couples filing jointly with AGI of $150,000, and single parents (heads of household) with AGI of $112,500. The payment phases out at a 5 percent rate. Thus, for example, a married couple with no children and $198,000 or more of AGI would get no payment.
It may not fix your situation, but it’s better than a sharp stick to the eye. 😉
Also worth thinking about is that once this blows over, most businesses will re-open, and many will need to either hire back those they laid off during this crisis, or hire new employees. If you are unemployed now, you will have significant opportunities once the crisis is over. Remember, the economy was good before, and there’s no reason why it won’t pick back up after the shutdown ends.
Sheltered In Place?
It’s likely that some of you are starting to get stir-crazy. Being stuck at home can do that. Pretty much everything is closed, and most states are on lock-down, discouraging you from going anywhere.
Personally, I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s a rather frightening time of uncertainty (and 401K decimation). However, all is not lost. If you want to have something to keep you busy while you’re stuck at home, why not start an online business? If you have a bit of extra time, may as well put it to good use.
Whether you are unemployed or simply not wanting to invest a lot of money into starting an online business, there are options out there that are inexpensive, or even free. Given the current situation, I highly recommend something you can start for free. You don’t want to spend money if you don’t have to, at least not now. (My current recommendation that fits the bill can be found in this review.)
“I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.”
-Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO Amazon
Passive Income Is The Key
If you just got laid off (been there, done that, twice), you may be feeling a bit helpless. You realize just how dependent you are on your employer. And once this is over and you find a new job, or get re-hired back into your old one, you will still be dependent upon someone else for your livelihood. Wouldn’t it be nice to find a way to fire your boss and be independent, while having more time for yourself and your family? To do this, you need to find a way to create a passive income.
A passive income refers to a way you can make money when you aren’t working. Essentially, once you set up your business (Website, speaking of affiliate marketing), you can make money while you sleep. It’s a much better paradigm than trading your time for $$, where you get $X for every hour of your time you trade. You can clearly see the innate limitation, as there is only one of you, and only 24 hours in a day. No such limits are placed on an online business model.
If you don’t know how to build a Website, you’re in good company. It’s not nearly as hard as you think, if you have the right Web building tools (my current recommendation provides these tools).
The affiliate marketing concept is really simple. Find a niche (something you are interested in), create content (write about your interest), drive traffic to it, make money.
There are ways to do this right, so you’ll want to follow a proven system, on a platform that has the tools you need. Make sure the platform includes Web hosting (if not included, this is monthly expense which varies by Web hosting provider).
The platform I use, Wealthy Affiliate, gives you everything you need to get started… for free. There is training, a Website builder, writing tools, research tools, a support network or experienced affiliate marketers, technical support, and even Web Hosting (along with two free Websites).
Yes, there are benefits to move to their Premium account, but in hard times, there’s more than enough available with the free account to get you started. And really, this is the key. The sooner you start, the sooner you can build your business. Why not put your downtime to use?
This may be the perfect time to try something new in the safety and comfort of your own home. After all, it may be a rather dangerous time to go out among people, if the CDC statistics are even close to reality.
Death Rate of Coronavirus
Here are the current statistics from the CDC (by the time you read this, it could be significantly different):
- Total cases: 427,460
- Total deaths: 14,696
- Jurisdictions reporting cases: 55 (50 states, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands)
This makes the death rate of confirmed cases, so far, to be roughly 3.4%. That’s downright frightening! However, the reality is that the real death rate for ALL cases is much lower. It’s estimated by some that there are likely 5 times as many cases as reported, many who didn’t even know they had it. If this is true, the death rate of coronavirus (Covid-19) is .68% (some experts think .4% or even lower), which is still a pretty scary number, when you consider that the flu has an overall death rate of .1%.
It’s definitely worth taking extra precautions – not just for the much higher morbidity, but because it spreads much easier than the flu.
How do I protect myself from the Coronavirus?
How do I protect myself from COVID-19? I’m sure everyone is already familiar with the prevention techniques given to us by the CDC…
- Wash your hands frequently with soap
- Social distancing of at least 6 feet
- Shelter in place (like we have a choice)
- Avoid crowds (no problem there, crowds are pretty much banned at this point)
- Wear a mask (after they told us not to, previously)
- Drink water frequently (helps wash any virus down your throat, so it doesn’t end up in your lungs).
There is something else you can do for prevention, beyond these things. It’s something that has worked for me during illness outbreaks at home, as well as keeping me well through flu season after flu season… without having a flu shot (I’m allergic… found out the hard way). It may just help with Covid-19, since it’s a virus, too. It’s a supplement called beta glucan.
What’s Beta Glucan?
I don’t just research online businesses, I also have a passion for natural health aids/supplements, and have done quite a bit of research in this arena. My conclusion is that one of the best things you can do for yourself is keep your immune system at peak efficiency/responsiveness. Logically, it’s cheaper (and a lot better) to prevent an illness than treat it. Enter beta glucan.
Beta glucan is an immune modulator. What that means is it assists immune response to an infectious agent. There are thousands of scientific studies on beta glucan, like this one, which shows it enhances immune response to intruders. Unlike many immune “boosters” that can cause problems if you take them too long, beta glucan does not “overheat” your immune system. Think of it more like natural training vs. steroids.
I’ve been taking beta glucan for over four years. I can count on one hand how many times I caught something hard enough to feel symptoms, and even then, I only felt a bit down, rather than sick. It wasn’t for lack of exposure, either. For example, my wife and kids caught the flu, a rhinovirus, and at least one cold, all in the same year. I never caught any of it. This is even more amazing, given a medical condition that lowers my immunity.
There are more than a few beta glucan supplements out there. I’m sure they are all helpful, and some may be really good. The only one I can speak to is the one I have been taking consistently for the last 4+ years: Transfer Point Beta Glucan. This brand uses the ‘Glucan 300’ that came out on top in the study I linked to, above.
If you decide to take beta glucan, and are looking for something a bit cheaper, make sure the purity is 85% or better, and it’s 3rd party lab tested. At least then, you’ll be getting something decent.
The first thing I noticed, after taking if or several months, is that my seasonal allergies went away. They have not returned. That was unexpected, and unadvertised. I had to research a bit to put two and two together. Sure enough, I ran across information that suggested this was not only possible, but others have had the same experience. A very nice, unexpected bonus.
I’m not suggesting your results will be the same as mine. I’m not making any medical or treatment recommendations, or claiming that your allergies will magically vanish. I had to take it for many months before I noticed my allergies fading away. Yours may not. We’re are different.
I’m merely pointing out the results I have personally experienced with this product, and that there are clinical studies that put this supplement in the “legit” scientifically tested category. With a pandemic raging on, I thought it worth mentioning, especially to those like me who are in the “higher risk” category in this current pandemic.
Perhaps if more people used this supplement, it would reduce the death rate of coronavirus, by reducing symptomatic infections that go south. Maybe. Certainly wouldn’t hurt.
If my research in the realm of supplements can be used to help others, I consider it time well spent… even if it’s completely off-topic for this site.
Be of good cheer! Bad things pass, and there are always good things ahead. Seize the day, and set a positive direction forward for yourself. Use this down time to reflect on what is really important to you, then set your goals accordingly (work, personal, business, whatever). Work your goals daily, nothing will happen if you don’t act. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish with consistent effort. Most of all, stay safe, stay well, and be a blessing to others. We’re all in this together.
May God keep you safe and well during this unprecedented time.
Feel free to chat, below. Any topic of discussion is open. A lot of people are stuck in their house, alone. If that’s you, and you want to talk or vent, please do. The comment section is open to you. I read all the posts, and will be happy to chat. Like you, I’m sheltering in place.