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The Self Hack

There’s Always Hope In The Aftermath

With the transmission rate of covid declining and vaccinations rising, it’s time to reopen the land, sea, and air.

One of the Longest Bull Markets in history began on March 9, 2009, then abruptly ended on March 11, 2020. The Pandemic crushed our economy, along with the spirits of millions around the globe. Yet, there’s hope in all dark situations, as long as you’re willing to find it.

Picture of a cruise ship, sailing off into the open ocean, with the sun setting casting a golden beam of rays onto the boat.
Photo by Alonso Reyes on Unsplash

While the Marines protect us from the land, sea, and air, there’s another battle being fought. One with the same objective: To open the land, sea, and air, just in a different way.

Movement of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) between January 2017 through December 2020.

A chart showing the Dow Jones Industrial Average from January 2017 until December 2020. It depicts the pre-2020 crash high, followed byy the 2020 crash and low, as well as the new high the market made to finish up the year 2020 with an all time record high.
Photo From Wikimedia

*The 2020 market crash almost broke America, yet against all odds it ended with record setting highs.

The chart above shows the pre-crash high on February 12, 2020 and then the brutal crash in March, when the Covid-19 Pandemic scared the hell out of the world.

Of all the different outcomes so-called “experts” predicted, the many theories discussed at dinner tables across America, I don’t think anyone could’ve guessed how we were to end the year of 2020

Cruise Ships, Casinos, and Airlines

Last year, around March of 2020, the market experienced a devastating crash. many sectors and industries were hit hard, but some were almost wiped out completely. The Airline, Cruise, and Casino Industries were hit especially hard when the full weight of the Covid-19 Pandemic bore down on them.

The Cruise Lines not only got hit financially, due to the lockdowns and lack of people to use their services, they also got slammed by the relentless media coverage of those first few weeks of the Pandemic.

Remember all those Cruise Ships stranded out at sea for months? All we heard on the news was how the daily infection rates were rising on the ships. Then the debates started about what ports the ships would dock at once they finished up their quarantine periods.

I hate to say it, but it’s like a stigma built up around them. We all prayed for the people aboard those ships, stranded from their families and afraid. God knows that I wanted nothing more than to see those people arrive back home healthy, embracing their loved ones again, but…

When nobody else was around, I’d secretly think to myself:

“I’ll be damned if I want that Cruise Ship with 20,000 covid-infected old people pulling up in the port of San Pedro, California.”

Nobody came out and said that straight up, yet there was a general feeling of distrust about the Cruise Industry. The cruise lines weren’t the only ones taking heat. The Airlines and the Hospitality Industry got their fair share of coverage, but in the early days of the Pandemic, those Ships captivated that nation; the world actually.

Every day, from the first light in the morning to the last rays of the evening, America tuned in for the daily Pandemic numbers update. Everyone listened or watched, through TV, radio, or the internet, one way or another, we all gathered together, waiting for what felt like impending doom.

As irrational as it may sound now, it sure felt like the Cruise Lines were to blame for spreading this virus. Them and the Airlines, carrying people across the world, from China to Europe. Africa to South America, then up to North America only to travel back across the pond to England back in Europe.

That’s when the dominos really started knocking each other over, falling faster and faster as each news story hit the T.V.

Read this quote from ABC News and remember, this was a real interview that happened just last year, not some one-liner from a Quentin Tarantino movie.

“For the past six months we have been struggling to get back home,” Mohitram told ABC News. “We feel like hostages here, being far away from our family and not being on land for so long."Ashchaye Mohitram talking to ABC News

There were over 300,000 seafarers stuck out in the open seas at one point, counting all the different ships and Cruise Lines.

Here’s a video about 100,000 Cruise Ship Workers, stranded at sea during the chaos that followed those first few outbreaks of COVID-19

Due to this devastating virus that wreaked havoc, sparing nothing and no one in its path, the economies of the world began to first panic, then collapse. In March of 2020, America experienced one of the worst Stock Market crashes it had ever seen.

People were frightened, then came the panic, causing a domino effect of selling stocks, assets, and pulling out money to keep it ready and close at hand. At the same time, people began to hoard household items like toilet paper, bottled water, hand sanitizer, etc…

Not only did the shelves of stores empty, but so too did the hopes of the people. We all prayed that this was just a very bad flu going around, that in no time everything would go back to normal.

History Repeats Itself | Unfortunately, So Do We

Events like this have occurred many times, and as history has repeatedly shown us, panicking does nothing to help. It only exasperates the problem, ironically causing even more damage and chaos.

Yet, as much as I hate to admit it, every bad situation usually has a pearl hiding somewhere. Fortunately for us, that pearl wasn’t hard to find in this bad situation, and a great opportunity is starting to present itself.

It’s no secret that the Stock Market was a wild rollercoaster last year, hitting both record highs and lows so often that you’d get dizzy reading stock charts.

I’m sure you’ve read some of the headlines last year. Some stocks plummeted, while others soared to new heights. Millionaires turned into billionaires and amassed vast fortunes, while most of America was struggling to get ahold of the Unemployment Office.

Not to mention actually getting through the process of filing for it, then receiving the card in the mail. They're still people waiting for their claims to get pushed through.

Yes, as in people who applied last year, when the pandemic took their job and they still haven't received a single dollar yet.

But the fabled 1%…

Well, they did spectacular last year. In fact, it’s said that the top 1% had grown their personal wealth by more than 20%.

I’ve got some good news for you though, 2020 also had a beneficial impact as well.

Average People Doing Above Average Things

Look at the influx of new investors into the markets is astonishing, to say the least. We’re called “retail” investors, although I hate that term. To me, it implies that we’re less than, a nuisance and ignorant, messing up the ebb and flow of the markets.

In fact, what did happen is suddenly many people, both young and old, had a lot of time on their hands for learning new things. Especially the millennials.

I never would have thought it possible to open and manage my own stock account. But somehow, I did…

Me? Start a website and a blog? I don’t know HTML or CSS and I surely can’t write… But I learned how to, (front-end programming at least), and now I have a website. I developed my writing skills by practicing every day and now I have a blog, right here on Medium.

Hell, I even have my own Publication now.

The Takeaway From All of This

The point I’m getting at is this Pandemic, as horrible as it was to the world and our own economy, as devastating it was and still is to many families across the US, had provided us with opportunities as well. It’s hard work and you may not have the motivation to do it.

Trust me, at first, I didn’t have the motivation to even wake up in the morning sometimes.

One thing that rings true throughout history is: Out of dire necessity comes dramatic change.

I lost my job and was living in my car, you know, the typical sob story you’ve all read before. At first, I watched the news daily on my phone, (thank god for sprints slow, yet unlimited data), hoping and praying for that damn stimulus check to come. I spent hours, days, weeks, calling the EDD trying to get my unemployment claim processed.

I couldn’t wait anymore. Something had to change, or I was going to die from depression.

I started taking free classes on Coursera, learning how to program. Then I designed my first blog, (also free), using WordPress. A few weeks later I learned about Medium. Now I had a reason to practice my writing skills, so I wrote every day, getting better every time I hit that publish button. When I wasn’t writing, I was taking a free course online, or researching the stock market.

I had nothing else to do and it was surely a better way of spending my time than dwelling on my situation all day, furthering my depression.

Of all the new things I was learning, I took a special interest in financial markets. I was going to be ready when that stimulus check finally arrived. Instead of blowing the leftover money that I had after paying for essentials, this time I was going to put some of it to work.

I was learning how to grow wealth. It may seem impossible, especially to people like me who barely have enough to feed themselves let alone gamble in the stock market.

The first thing I learned is that the amount you start with is irrelevant. It can be $1 or $1,000, simply starting is the hardest obstacle to hurdle.

Just as a farmer starts with a patch of dirt and some seeds, turning it into food for his family, money to survive, I started to grow my wealth. I began with nothing more than the little money I had left and the knowledge I gathered online, during the pandemic.

So I opened my first brokerage account with $100 dollars.

Ended withdrawing $20 for gas after the first 2 weeks… So what? I still had hope.

At the end of the month, I checked my little brokerage account and was shocked at what I saw.

It was back up to $98…

This blew my mind. But I didn’t do anything? I didn’t have to work at all. Just read a few articles and watch some videos to know when the perfect time to buy Zoom was, (fractional shares of course), and poof!

Free money!

Many of you reading this, including myself are still being affected by the residuals from the Pandemic. The Pandemic is still going on, though it’s winding down and very soon the government will forget about us.

When have they ever kept us in mind? We’re lucky this Pandemic hit during an election year. I think we may not have received as much help if not. Politicians will always care about us when their seat is up for grabs.

But once the end of their election season ends and they locked in another 4, 6, or however many year terms, they’s start to forget about us again. Plus, with the Pandemic slowly fading away, so too will their empathy and rescue packages.

We can never rely on the government to take care of us, so please, take advantage of the time you have now.

Learn new things, become self-sufficient, because I promise you this, if the apocalypse came next week, we wouldn’t have time to wait for Stimulus Packages or our local representatives to stop bickering and come to our aid.

They’d already be in their bunkers, families secure.

So please, don’t let the Pandemic get you down too much. It hurts, I know it does. I lost everything, I feel your pain. Others have been affected even more than you or I throughout history, and they pushed through.

Though the unfortunate reality is: The world will move on without us, so we must improvise, adapt, and overcome to survive. Eventually surviving will turn into thriving. If you work hard, learn new skills to make yourself more marketable, you’ll position yourself to be needed. We have all the time in the world right now to make the ultimate change. If a homeless junkie, depressed and not sure if life is even worth it can do it, so can you.

I have faith in everyone. If a person really wants to make a difference, change their life, travel the world, become an author, they can. Work, determination, sacrifice, and pure stubbornness will see you through anything that this mortal world can throw you. At us.

Remember, we’re all in this together.



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Steven Tyler

Steven Tyler


Owner & Editor of THE SELF H@CK Publication | Financial News >Crypto & Blockchain > Life Hacks |Website >