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  • April 1, 2020

A Coronavirus Survival Guide for Concerned Millennials

The millennial generation is often mischaracterized as being lazy, pampered or indolent. But the reality is that we are among the hardest workers, the most motivated self-starters and outside-the-box thinkers of any generation that has walked the Earth.

Millennials have had the deck stacked against them from the moment they entered adulthood. Entering the world of work saddled with student debt they quickly found that the assumed truths they grew up with were lies. They fast learned that it didn’t matter how hard you worked, how ambitious you were or how prepared you were to go the extra mile. The work was hard, the pay was low and the opportunities for development were sparse. It’s little wonder that so many have chosen to eschew the traditional career path for the path of entrepreneurship and online business.

Just when this generation thought it was starting to tread water, along comes the coronavirus.

Take Every Precaution – Your Age Doesn’t Guarantee You Immunity

If you’re in your 20s or 30s and in good health you may assume that you’re young enough to weather the virus’ effects and come out stronger on the other side. But youth is no excuse not to take every precaution. Even the young and healthy are not immune to its effects, with healthy teenagers in London among the youngest and most recent losses.

Remain in self-isolation, even if you feel fine. Go out only when absolutely necessary and practice social distancing. And remember to keep washing your hands. This is even more effective than using alcohol based hand-sanitizers, and here’s why. Viral cells have an outer layer of fats called lipids. Soap disintegrates this fatty layer like washing up liquid on bacon grease, tearing viral cells apart. Literally. Just remember your proper hand washing technique.

Even those lucky enough to have avoided exposure to the virus will face serious economic and sociological fallout from the virus. Here’s how you keep yourself secure and sane until the world reverts back to something resembling normality.

Can’t Make Rent? Tell Your Landlord

Many banks all around the world have put mortgage payment holidays in place to support property owners whose income has diminished. For landlords, this is something that can be passed on to tenants. Millennials are often referred to as generation rent because property has been prohibitively expensive throughout their working lives. If you’re worried about paying your rent, don’t suffer in silence. Talk to your landlord or, if appropriate, the property management company that looks after your home. They will be able to negotiate a payment holiday for your rent.

However, it’s important to remember that this is a break, not a waiver. You’ll still be liable for the rent arrears, although there will likely be no charges. In most cases, you will be allowed to pay off back rent in instalments as long as the amount due is settled by the time your tenancy ends.

Make Sure You Apply for Your Stimulus Check

Digitally savvy millennials often work from home. And if you generally work with a computer, you may well have been asked by your employer to work from home or have been placed on temporary furlough with some or all of your wages paid. However, if your employer has simply let you go or put you on furlough without pay, you may be understandably concerned about how you’ll pay for bills and other essentials. Especially if you’re a freelancer or small business owner whose income has dried up in recent weeks.

You may, however, be eligible for a stimulus check from the government of up to $1,200 as well as $500 for each child you may have. If you have a social security number, you’re entitled to this check so make sure you apply now. This article from the Wall Street Journal explains the stimulus package in greater detail.

Look for Opportunities Online

If your employer won’t give you the means to make money through the pandemic, you’ll have to find your own. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of places where self-motivated millennials can use their skills to find enjoyable and rewarding work doing what they love from home. Check out sites like Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer.com and you’ll find lots of opportunities for writers, graphic designers, web developers, coders and all good folks in-between.

Remember, for a lot of businesses it’s still business as usual and someone out there might just be willing to pay you the fee you deserve for your particular set of skills.

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