Covid Wave II is well and truly here. Is this still the ‘new normal?’ or does this become the ‘new new normal’ or the ‘new normal normal?’ Whatever the ‘normal’ we’re living in, the world has changed. And while we can’t affect the circumstance we find ourselves in –mass inoculation being between 6-18 months away– we do get to choose how we respond to this new world.
As we’re at about the midpoint in this story this is a good time to take stock of how you’ve used your time so far. The popular conception is that most people are sitting at home ordering in and watching Netflix. Is that you? Or sitting at home wanking your way through the coronavirus – it is a stress reliever after all…* While Netflix might run out of good content, you can’t film after all, home delivery and porn aren’t going anywhere.
Or were you one of those people that everyone loves to hate? The person who spent Wave I posting your home workouts on Instagram. Emerging into the summer sun glistening and looking like a Greek God, but unfortunately with nowhere to show off your new-found gainz.
Whatever your approach to the first round of Covid that moment has passed. This kind of change in our everyday life is a tremendous opportunity to shake up the way we do things. But first a story…
*Netflix added 10 million new subscribers worldwide, and Just Eat (the parent company of Thuisbezorgd, among others) reported a 32% increase in orders this year. While Pornhub reported a ~12% worldwide to their site with countries like Italy and Spain having 57 and 52 percent increases during the initial lockdown. Thankfully we probably won’t be shaking hands for some time to come, as shaking the hands of our, now phenomenally strong, Italian and Spanish cousins doesn’t bear thinking about
Target on your back
The year is 2012 and an American man stormed into his local Target store in Minneapolis*. He was clutching a flyer that Target had mailed to his teenage daughter.
“My daughter got this in the mail!” he said. “She’s still in high school, and you’re sending her coupons for baby clothes and cribs? Are you trying to encourage her to get pregnant?”
The manager, unsurprisingly, didn’t really know why the man’s daughter had received the advertisement and apologised to the man. He called the man several days later to apologise again, where it was now the man’s turn to apologise. His daughter had been pregnant unbeknownst to him.
What the father hadn’t known was that Target head office had a very sophisticated data collection and analysis programme. The goal of the programme is to predict when customers were going through major life changes, like going to college, moving house or having kids. These bigger life events are moments when people change their habits and therefore the way they shop.
You might be wondering why I’m telling you this? Well in Target’s case they were trying to predict lifestyle changes to change your behaviour, sneaky eh? But data collecting supermarkets aren’t the only people who can benefit from knowing this.
If you know that you’re habits become more flexible during larger lifestyle changes you can use those moments to make positive changes to your habits. A crisis, literally in this case, is a terrible thing to waste. So from Netflix and wanking, to working out and ordering in, let’s look at other ways you could be spending Covid Wave II – the habit changer.
*You can read this story in more detail in this New York Times article by Charles Duhigg, or check out the book The Power of Habit from the same author.
We’re at month nine (at the time of writing) of the coronavirus pandemic. Any babies conceived during the initial lockdown phases of the virus would now be being born. And if you’re an expecting parent none of the following will apply to you, you’ve got enough on your hands.
For most of us, we’re nearing the end of the Netflix road. Sure there are a few good shows left, but could that time be better spent. Browsing YouTube for tutorials is a good way to trick yourself into thinking that you’re learning something, but what about actually learning something?
There are plenty of video education platforms where you can take on a new course. Google is looking to launch a certification programme, and there are plenty of other platforms available. Coursera for instance has courses from over 150 universities all over the world and offers financial aid if you’re unemployed.
This could be the moment to level up your career or tackle some personal development, or maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to Become a Sports Agent or develop your intellectual humility. Well, now’s the time.
Spanking the monkey
Porn viewership has skyrocketed thanks to the ould ‘rona, and despite the Dutch government suggesting singles should find a covid ‘sex buddy’. A government announcement allowing you to proposition your hottest friend with “We need to sleep together, it’s an international emergency!” Assuming that didn’t work, or your local government wasn’t as understanding of your sexual desires you may have been spending more time than usual giving yourself a hand shandy.
With Wave II upon us maybe it’s time to spice things up a bit… then maybe a sex toy is for you, sex toy sales have skyrocketed since March. And while long a mainstay of the female sexual experience, they are making more and more inroads for men.
You could go with a Fleshlight. Pornstar Anikka Albrite (who’s husband, Mick Blue, talked to us about shaving his downstairs hairs) has her own one, along with several other pornstars. If you really want to go all-in, a company called Autoblow even sells a… well you can guess the rest.
Not looking to pony up, and prefer to stick with the old faithful? Try 50 Illustrated Masturbation Techniques for Men. I can’t even guess at what the 50 techniques are. So whether you’re just getting your eye in, or are an old hand, there’s bound to be something for you. Or you could follow Mick’s lead and give your undercarriage a trim up, change how it feels. See our article on how to shave your balls to guide you through the process.
And remember if anyone tries to give you a hard time about spicing up your alone time make direct contact and say: “We’re in the middle of a pandemic, I’m doing this to save lives!”
Going out is out, ordering in is in. With food delivery apps reporting a doubling of orders since the start of the pandemic. This is great for the restaurants and apps, but probably bad for your bottom line and your, ahem, bottom line. Now is an ideal time to up your cooking skills in the kitchen. You’re staying in anyway, you may as well make the most of it.
Not sure where to start? Take out your favourite delivery app and see what you’ve been ordering most, then give that a crack. You could learn in any number of ways. Cookbooks are a good way to go if you’ve already got some cooking chops. Or maybe you need a bit more help.
Companies like HelloFresh will send you regular deliveries of full meal kits. So you can prepare your food from scratch at home without having to shop for ingredients. If you’re able to get hold of the ingredients yourself? Then a cooking course from Udemy could be for you.
To really stretch yourself you could try a private lesson via The Chef and Dish. It’s a platform that connects you with chefs from all over the world. So whether it’s burritos, pad thai or homemade pasta there’s someone there to get you cooking.
Ride that wave
So there you have it. Those are our tips for rocking yourself into a new groove for Wave II. If none of that takes your fancy? You could always try some of our other articles on personal care:
- Journaling: The art of getting out what’s in your head
- Morning routine – 6 steps to start your day the right way
- Why invest in yourself?
Or if all else fails you can always give your skin and bit of love <3
Whatever you choose to do, you do you.
Let us know what you think.