Where Were You When The World Shut Down?



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It didn’t even seem possible!

We had all heard about this COVID-19 virus that was sweeping through China. And then it spread to Europe, Italy being particularly hard hit with its aging population, the majority of whom suffered several comorbidities (underlying conditions). The US responded by shutting off travel in and out of the country.

We thought we were impervious – we are the mighty United States of America! Hubris at its best. Don’t get me wrong, I still do believe we live in one of the greatest countries in the world, but the virus has humbled us all.

COVID-19 has quickly taught us that all humans, regardless of race or economic status, are vulnerable and at the mercy of Mother Nature.

But this is not a time to allow our fears to run wild and panic! As in wartimes of the past when Americans and citizens of many other nations have risen to the challenge of their generation, this is a time to band together and show the world what makes us great. We are a resilient species. I believe in humanity and that we will persevere.

Things will undoubtedly be challenging for a few months (for some more than for others). Even if you are not suffering yourself, you will know many who are, and at the very least, things will be…different…for you. The economy may not jump back to its previous highs right away. Businesses will close. You may even know someone who will be lost to this serious virus.

Nonetheless, we can still seize this opportunity to grow, to home in on what is truly important in life and be grateful for it. This is a chance to remember why we do what we do every single day.

And why is that? In order to spend precious time with the people we love! I know it’s alluring to think it’s the wealth we are all chasing, but it’s not; it’s the time we can “buy” with that wealth, and spend with those we cherish.

Currently, the entire world, including the mighty USA, is taking drastic and uncomfortable measures for the Greater Good. We may not like it, we may have to adjust many things about the way we live, and we may experience fear and worry. But take a minute right now to breathe deeply, and get in touch with the most important things in life – which are not things at all – and spend.

This uncertain time is the perfect opportunity to spend some of your most precious currency – time – with your family at home, and really be present. See those around you who matter to you. If you get a chance, be one of the “helpers,” as Mr. Rogers named them, who emerge in any crisis to make it less painful by going out of their way to ease the suffering of another. In simple ways, or more grand actions, you can help someone, whether in your own home or outside of it in the community. Let’s all commit to emerging from this experience with a new perspective and empathy for others.

I encourage each of you to remain optimistic and think of this as an opportunity to reflect, reset, and rejigger (that’s a real word) our path forward as one people. Let’s use this as an opportunity to connect with our families and our communities now in new ways, and then even more deeply once the restrictions on our daily lives are lifted. Truly, the only way we are getting out of this crisis is together!

This is our “Greatest Generation” moment – let’s show the world how great the human race really is – especially in times of crisis and uncertainty!

Gen Y Finance Guy

Hey, I’m Dom - the man behind the cartoon. You’ll notice that I sign off as "Gen Y Finance Guy" on all my posts, due to the fact that I write this blog anonymously (at least for now). I like to think of myself as the Chief Freedom Officer here of my little corner of the internet. In the real world, I’m a former 30-something C-Suite executive turned entrepreneur turned capital allocator. I am trying to humanize finance by sharing my own journey to Financial Freedom. I believe in total honesty and transparency. That is why before I ever started blogging, I decided that I would share all of my own financial stats. I do this not to brag, but instead to inspire motivate, and also to hold myself accountable. My goal is to be a beacon of hope, motivation, and inspiration, for you, the reader, by living life by example and sharing it all here on the blog. My sincere hope is that you will be able to learn from me - both from my successes and my failures! Read More



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4 Responses

  1. This is a very timely post. Over the weekend I was telling my wife that when I’m bouncing my grandchildren on my knee in 30 years I expect them to ask me one of two things:

    “Grandpa, where were you when the planes few into twin towers in New York?”


    “Grandpa, what was it like when the world shut down because of the Corona virus?”

    To the best of my knowledge, this sort of total economic shut down hasn’t happened outside of a wartime setting. It’s hard to overstate the impact that shutting down bars, restaurants, and other local businesses will have on the local economy. If the shutdown lasts for another few weeks it’s entirely possible that many of the smaller local businesses just won’t be able to ever open up again.

    We are making the best of the situation and, as you said, I’m trying to enjoy working from home and getting to see my wife and kids throughout the day.

    Financially, we are in a great position, and we’ll almost certainly emerge from this situation in an even better financial position (we’ve been sitting on quite a bit of cash that we are ready to invest at firesafe prices), but I’m worried about the vast majority of Americans.

    1. MC – I’m right there with you. I’m very worried about the majority of American’s. I don’t even know how to think about what a recovery looks like. It’s hard to imagine that even if/when this $2T stimulus package is passed, that things just go back to normal. They are also talking about the potential for a second act of COVID-19 in the Nov-Feb time frame.

      Although my business is okay for the next 3-4 months, I worry about the people who work with me once that backlog is worked through. Luckily, we pre-collect so it’s solid for the next few months. But the pipeline when from overwhelming to crickets overnight. Prospects are punting due to uncertainty.

      At the same time I’m enjoying a silver lining in that I get to slow down a bit for the next few months.

      Best to you and your family.

      Stay healthy!


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