I don’t know of anyone that hasn’t been touched by the disaster we call 2020 but it has also a time of learning. I want to share 7 things I have learnt in 2020
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I learnt in 2020 the importance of social distancing. I think many people know about social distancing and most people are practicing it Social distancing is keeping at least 2 metre apart from people who are not in your household. Another thing I have learnt in 2020 is queuing. I have queued before to getting to the cinema, I have queued to get into a gig or play but now I have learnt that sometimes we have to queue to visit the shops, your GP practice or even the dentist.
I sometimes get very uncomfortable when I am queuing and someone behind me is getting closer and closer and I know they are no longer social distancing and they probably know that too. This happened to me the other weekend when I was queuing up outside a Costa Coffee shop for a takeaway coffee and this guy was getting nearer and nearer. I just looked around and stared at him as I was trying to fathom out if he realised he was putting both me and him at risk, he didn’t know if I had COVID or not!
Mask – Face – Space
Mask-Face-Space unless you have not watched TV or listed to the radio you will be familiar with this phrase. Wearing a mask is something that is fairly new to us. People in other countries have been doing for years. Again for some people they don’t seem to be able to get the hang of it.
I don’t think it is difficult or and harder than wearing a seat belt in a car but some people just don’t or won’t wear a mask. The mask has a two fold purpose 1. To protect the wearer from breathing in the COVID virus 2. To stop you from breathing out the COVID virus.
One of the things that does annoy me is when I see people wearing a mask over the mouth but have their nose over the top. That is like someone pulling a seatbelt over them and then holding it place rather that click it in. If the car stops suddenly then they will go flying towards the window screen. If they sneeze with mask just over their mouth they will spray the virus if they have it into the air, or breathe it in through their noses. If someone doesn’t know how to wear a face mask then point them here
How to make a good Latte and Cappuccino
People who know me or have read some of my blogs would be well aware of how much I love coffee. Since the first lockdown I have made a latte every day. I even make a mean coconut cappuccino for my partner.
To make a good latte or cappuccino you do need some equipment. You need a coffee machine that can build up a good head of steam for frothing or as they say in the trade creating microfoam for a good latte.
You also need a metal frothing jug. I have tried other kinds of jugs like ceramic and pot and they don’t do a good job as a metal, preferably stainless steel jug. I found that once I started using a metal jug the my frothing skills improved 100%
There are a lot of YouTube about the best way to froth milk, check some of them out. When I froth milk for a latte I place the steam nozzle into the milk up to half way. Once the temperature of the milk reach 60C then I allow just the tip of the nozzle to kiss the top of the milk to improve the thickness of the microfoam. Once it reaches 70c it is ready to pour into the espresso coffee. When pouring hold the milk jug a little higher than the cup and pour slowly, this allows the milk to get under the crema and then let the foam settle on the top of the coffee.
New ways of communicating and meeting
In 2020 we learnt that there are now many ways of meeting and communicating with people. It isn’t just texting and calling now. You can Zoom, Teams, Webex, FaceTime and Skype. I know that some of my family use the Facebook Portal to communicate.
This Christmas we could not all get together as we were in different COVID tiers and I was in tier 4 which meant we could not meet with and other household; so I used FaceTime to chat with my family during this time. I agree that it isn’t the same as face to face but it helped seeing them.
At work we use Microsoft Teams for our meetings, I know other use Zoom. It is whatever you are comfortable with when using.
The importance of getting outside the house
One thing I have also learnt in 2020 and that is the importance of going outside for fresh air and a little daylight. We don’t realise it but daylight is essential to good health. It helps us with our sleep patterns and it helps to boost our mood.
When I working in an office I would going in and out of the office going to meetings and walking to the café for coffee and so I would get some sunshine or daylight in the movement times. Working from home we don’t have to go out as often if at all. It is still important to get out and look up to the sky and get some daylight or if you are lucky some sunshine
If you wish to look a good article on sunlight and sleep look here Light & Sleep: Effects on Sleep Quality | Sleep Foundation
Maintaining good health
I leant in 2020 the importance of maintain good health. I do have some comorbidities’ that make me more susceptible to having complications if I catch COVID. I do now taking vitamins to help with this. I ensure that I take vitamin D3 and I take probiotics has it has been shown to help with the immune system.
Walking outside for a while also has a beneficial effect on health, not just the exercise which is good for the heart and body but also mental health.
Again going back to something I said earlier and that is the importance of good sleep, that helps strengthen the immune system, mental health and improves memory and the retention of information.
I Learnt in 2020 the importance of staying motivated during this pandemic. I have said before that I am fortunate that I can work from home and that isn’t always has easy or as ideal as it seems. to successfully work from home you have to maintain motivation and not fall into bad habits
Bad habits are easier for me to fall into than good habits but during 2020 I have tried to maintain standards and motivation. to do that I needed to establish a routine, which I think is important to stay motivated.
One of the tempting thing is to climb out of bed just before you start work, put on the nearest piece of clothing and jump in front of you work computer with a cup of coffee and breakfast. this will not work and will not help your routine.
I get up at the same time each morning during my work week. I allow to times to wash/shower, shave and dress. I have breakfast at a reasonable time. unless I am doing intermittent fasting, then I will have a black coffee.
I switch my laptop on around 7:55 am and let it boot up and i sign in ready to begin work at 8am. If you want to know more on how to work successfully work from home then see my tips in a previous blog.
To maintain motivation take regular breaks. I normally have a latte in the morning which I make for partner and I.
I always have a 30 minute lunch break away from the computer. I finish work on time too. I have a specific finishing time, unless I have a meeting which runs over. then when I finish I close down my laptop, turn my work phone off and move away from my work area.
At weekends I always pack everything away so that there is no sign of work so that I can concentrate on having a relaxing weekend.
2021 – Happy New Year
My final thought for 2020 is to wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2021. Keep safe, keep your distance. Don’t listen to fake news that will put you in danger of this virus.
Let us hope that by this time next year that we will be able to put the disaster that we call 2020 behind us. for many people that will be difficult as they will have to live consequences of the pandemic. For them I wish them future peace and happiness.
Take care all and stay safe.