Spread good vibes, not the virus8 min read

Spread good vibes, not the virus8 min read

Reading Time: 5 minutes

This is a personal note from my sober, grounded self to my more vulnerable, fearful, panicking self. Some data and opinions may update.

Created by Adam Hruby on 03/11/2020 in Berlin. Updated 19. 3. 2020

1. Stop

Stop running around, clicking on links, speculating your future life and trying to crack the future. Stop consuming the news, listen to opinions of friends and smart people on internet. Drop everything. Yes. 

2. Breathe In 

Identify five objects you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. Become aware of the distance between your eyes and your belly button, your knees and your forehead, the buttock cheeks and your heart. Sense the mass of your body and the spot where it gives weight to the ground. Look around. 

You are here. Welcome.
Also, don’t forget your towel.

3. Fear Is The Mind Killer

  1. If your fears are unknown to you use the stoic method. 
    • Write down the worst scenarios.
    • like… You will die. Your parents will die. Your loved ones will die.  News: these all will happen anyway, be it by virus or not. 
    • You either already are infected or will be within next 6 months. 
    • etc.
  2. Get past the dread and imagine how things will develop further. What will happen after the things happen. What will change? How will you adopt? Speculate on future scenarios and how you will adapt to them. Find comfort in those new situations. You will have new problems, new experiences, new ones every day. 
  3. Why you should define your fears instead of your goals | Tim Ferriss
  4. Isn’t life an interesting experience?
    • Do what you can right now.

4. Trust Yourself Less

  1. You are not so smart. You are a victim to a whole load of cognitive biasses. Read or listen to the classic
  2. Do not conform. Overcome the Normalcy bias. In cases of unprecedented events people who haven’t been drilled or don’t have previous experience, tend to behave like nothing special is happening. This is new for most of us so we don’t know how to behave. 
  3. You don’t know how much you don’t know. You are not an expert. Remember the Dunning-Kruger effect.
  4. Do not use intuition on probability statistics. There is a lot of ambiguity, and modelling the pandemic has got too many variables. Your brain sucks at probability. 
  5. Do not extrapolate from random facts and numbers. Find people who do understand working with systems, risks and predictability. Not your smart friends, not your evening news, not a blogpost with a lot of charts. 
  6. Beware the Availability heuristic: Events easily imagined come to mind more easily. Do not explain everything by what you recently heard. E.g. not all sick people have corona. There still is flu, common cold, aids, ebola and hypochondria. Business as usual. 
  7. Planning
    • Plan decisions based on current models and the life you want to live.  Know the prediction limit. (2-4 days max)
    • In exponencial crisis the choices you have today may not be possible tomorrow. Plan for unpredictability, not trend curves. 
    • Do not dramatize decisions to breaking point situations.
      (“The trousers of time.”) 

5. Keep a Healthy Information Diet

  1. Do not binge on corona news.
    It is an endless pit. You don’t need most of that information anyway, because it probably won’t effect your decisions. 
  2. Do max 20 minutes and outsource the rest. 
  3. It is wasted energy to try to change things beyond your agency. Influence what you can. Adapt to the rest. 
  4. When you make conclusions, make sure that you are probably wrong. It is OK to be wrong. You can make new conclusions tomorrow and be wrong in a completely new way. 

6. We are all in this together

  1. Solidarity kills the virus. 
  2. Becoming a healthy castaway is not a solution. You need a society to thrive. Your motivation is not just personal survival but social survival. 
  3. You are part of a global interconnected human network. Just like the virus. 
  4. Life will change, adapt and carry on. Even human life. Your life will change, your dreams will change, your options will change.
  5. Compensate the lack of social contact with more eye contact. Smile. Dance. Play music. Stream. Spread the good vibes not the virus. 
  6. The best way of being of use is to be you. You are capable of contribution, so remove the obstacles, do try to fit in some pattern, but rather allow yourself to go full on. 
    • Always be learning
    • Explore the particularity of experience, pushing the boundaries is and bring messages from the outskirts 
    • Allow yourself to share and a teach
  7. Help and ask for help.

7. Stay Negative

  1. Remain Indoors – That Mitchell & Webb Look – BBC Two
  2. Do not get infected, but also avoid other consequences of the new normal. 
  3. Don’t be a vector. Break the chance of transmission. Decrease risks of propagation by taking precautions, but maintain your quality of life. Every interaction with another person increases the risk
  4. Adopt to new precautions and turn them into a routine. 
  5. Be as healthy as possible. You are strong enough not to fall back to your habits and addictions. Avoid anything lowering immunity. 
  6. Sleep a lot. Preferably at night.
  7. Exercise.
  8. Get as much sunshine as possible.

8. Shop biweekly

  1. You don’t need toilet paper, but get ready to be sick alone. Food and medicine. 
  2. Don’t use the quarantine to binge on junk food. 
  3. Eat less. You will spend much less energy, but the anxiety and stress will delude you and turn you into a survival mode with a tendency to overeat.

9. If you feel sick, forgive yourself

  1. Most likely you have psychosomatic hypochondria from reading about the pandemic.
  2. If you get sick and diagnosed positively on COVID-19
    • Forgive yourself. Stop feeling guilty for being sick. But feeling like a victim won¨t help you also. It’s ok to feel sorry for yourself, but only for a while. 
    • Tell your friends that you are sick. Protect them from your infection. 
    • You may get ostracized and witness some shitty behavior from them. But that’s just their fear taking over. In core they are not bad people, they might just get scared. 
    • You probably won’t get much hospital care. Get over it. Have compassion for the overworked medical staff if they treat you like shit.  
    • Get ready to have some difficult experiences. Share your experiences. Use it for art, for transformation.  

10. Do not moralize

  1. Do not judge people based on their approach to risk. 
  2. Do not shame people who are under/overreacting.
  3. Do not judge people who are dismissing the risks. Just avoid them.
  4. Rather than trying (and failing) to change their opinion, “wake them up” or change their whole ideology, just practically introduce and help them adopt a set of low-risk behaviors. Show that your life is still fine and you didn’t turn into a bean-hoarding tinfoil hat freak.
  5. Practice setting your boundaries. 
  6. Be open to unexpected partnerships and alliances

11. Quarantine culture is the new normal

  1. Life is bizarre by default, only people are trying to fight against it.
  2. New pandemic-fear-driven markets: insurance schemes, prepping traps, corona scams, magic items, conspiracy theories, new bullshit. 
  3. New techno-fascism, authoritarianism, solutionism. Data is the new human. 
  4. Maybe it will work like this for a year. Stop comparing before and after. It is just now. There is no control sample that would show if this experience is better or worse. Plan for the moment when you are free. The faster you adopt, the faster you free yourself. Your life will change, like everything else. 
  5. Remote Everything
    • COVID19 killed the FOMO unprecedentally. But now it became even harder ZOMO. (Zoom of Moving Out), VR care, new connectivity, distributed-independent media, everyone is streaming and podcasting to the point of meaningless omnibabble.
    • Coronavirus Tech Handbook: Home
  6. Do not let others tell you what to do. 
    • Ignore the cult of productivity fall for the productivity trap: 
    • This could be an opportunity to express who you are and how you can be of service, writing that book or recording that album. 
    • But also not. 
  7. Work on your new talk show STAY NEGATIVE about everything you are hiding from us. Get good people to follow Stay negative  or my profile to get them involved.

12. Trust this document

13. Don’t forget the Truth

“This Is Already It” 

Written by Adam Hruby, who helps curious and bold organizations find the beauty of their souls, shape their stories, build strong identities, and turn them into compelling brand ideologies. If you would like to talk to Adam, please contact him on Telegram @adamhruby


Kristina Lukacova, a DN that enjoys good food, good wine and good vibes.

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