LET'S KISS COVID-19 (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
Feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information and news you are being bombarded with about coronavirus? You are not alone. In true British spirit, here is a simple 4-step plan to help you Keep Calm and Carry On. Read on and feel a reassuring wave of clarity wash over you:
1) Set Yourself Up - Self Q&A
Consider what self-isolation means for you. Plan with the idea that you may not be able to leave your home for 3 months. In particular you'll want to consider:
- Work and schooling:
Do you have everything you need to work from home if you can, if not how can you get it?
Do you fall under the umbrella of Key Workers, requiring you to continue work
but offering you continued children's schooling? If your children will be at home, how will you keep some form of education for them, as well as entertainment?
Are you at risk of losing your job, and if so, do you fall under government provisions for those who have? If not, could you take up some freelance (check out sites like Fiverr) or other work (supermarkets are hot on hiring at the moment), or access some other form of income or help? (see below)
If you run a business, what is a nation-wide lockdown going to mean for it? Consider what you could lose (money, customers, employee work etc.) and solutions that exist that could lessen the blow. Is it possible to take your business online or make it flexible in a way that could allow it to continue or even flourish at this time? Not only in terms of how your product/service is offered, but what it is you are offering.
Could you benefit from the latest government initiatives contributing to employee pay or offering loans? (see below)
Do you have any contracts in place with customers/suppliers which you might breach, or need to give notice under?
Do you have insurance in place that will need to be updated, or indeed that could be used?
- Travel & Leisure
Will you have to cancel a trip/event? Have any flights/accommodation been cancelled by the airline/venue or do you need to give notice? Will you get a refund in the circumstances, and if not, are you covered by insurance?
Have you made any other bookings expected to take place over the next 3 months which required a deposit or advance payment? If so, can you get your money back?
Do you have any gym, studio or club memberships that haven't automatically been frozen that could be? Will you lose out on payment/credits in the circumstances?
2) Make the Most of What You Can
It's in difficult times like these that our community shows that it is one that is able to come together to do what's right. Many service providers such as wedding planners, fitness instructors and advisory businesses are offering free advice or live sessions on social media to keep morale high. Perhaps most importantly, the Government has introduced a number of policies that you could benefit from. Here are just a few, outlined very basically, with links to where you can find out more:
- Delay of introduction of IR35 for contract workers until 2021
- Delay of removal of TV licence exception for over 70s
- Other tax payment deferrals: See Coronavirus: Implications for UK tax payments
- Pause on mortgage payments for 3 months
- Ban on evictions for 3 months
- Check out this Coronavirus Information page from Zoopla for more guidance and additional initiatives
- Government scheme to fund 80% of employee salaries up to £2,500 monthly for businesses through HMRC
- New government grant scheme for self-employed individuals, covering up to 80% of lost profits
- Those who lose their jobs can apply for Universal Credit and may also be entitled to Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
- Increase in the amount provided under Universal Credit for the next 12 months
- Citizens Advice Bureau has a handy guide to Coronavirus -Check what benefits you can get
which brings us to...
3) Give Back What You Can
"We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone".
Of course the simplest but most important way to do your bit is to follow government advice on spread prevention, and to check up on loved ones and neighbours without unnecessary risk (contact by phone/email rather than in person).
If you want to go further, a number of special initiatives exist such as:
- Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK - nationwide local groups set up especially for the case, organising volunteers to organise to help those most in need in the local community however they can
- Neighbourhood Watch groups on Facebook or various other social media platforms
- NHS Volunteer Responders - answer the NHS's call for 200,000 volunteers needed to help in various ways, including as a 'Check in and Chat' volunteer providing telephone support to the lonely
4) Treat Yourself
Last but not least, to assist in preventing further spread of the virus, and maximise your and others' chances of staying healthy, keep washing your hands and avoid social interaction, maintaining the 2 metre rule if you must go outside. Eat your fruit and veggies, get some exercise, and stay in touch with others using social media and the greatness of technology. Mental health is important too, and this is a great time to do some DIY, read that book you never got round to, hone your chef skills, or even YouTube how to do that thing you've always wanted to try.
We hope this helps you find some clarity in what is an extraordinary and confusing time. We believe that we all have a duty to do what we can during this time, so leave a comment below or contact us if you have any questions you think we may be able to help with...or if you have any more tips on how others can KISS COVID!
Your KYR Team