To say that 2020 came with a lot of surprises is an understatement. Even though the first cases of COVID-19 were reported back in December 2019, not a lot of people had foreseen the impact it could create on the rest of the world. But it’s not like 2020 is an exemption to the rule. Yes, it has been an incredibly tough year across the board, but humanity has contended with a lot of natural disasters, conflict, and a host of problems since time immemorial. So yes, 2020 has been hard, but so can many of the years to come.
Lest I sound defeatist, let me say that human beings are incredibly resilient. Despite everything that we have gone through and everything that stands against us, we’re still here. And we can continue to fight as long as we’re alive. And if we’re going to survive whatever storm may come, we need to have certain skills. Whether it’s a recession, another pandemic, or misinformation, we need certain skills to be able to continue moving forward. Here are some of them.
Financial literacy is simply the ability to handle and manage money with confidence, which entails being able to effectively allocate one’s earnings to reach their goals and to limit financial deficit or debt. To be financially literate is to know how to budget and manage debt; it’s to have an emergency fund and a concrete retirement plan. Everyone who earns needs to be financially literate so that in the event of a global recession, like the one we are currently going through, we are prepared to shield what resources we do have and so that we can protect our future, and that of our loved ones.
Basic home maintenance and repairs
Learning how to fix certain things in the house is a necessity in 2020 because we no longer have the luxury of being able to call anyone to do some repairs anytime. What constitutes an essential service varies from state-to-state, and if your state or city imposes another lockdown, you might not be able to call in repairmen anytime you need to. Here are some home maintenance and repair skills you need to learn:
- Fixing a leaking bathroom or kitchen pipe
- Unclogging your garbage disposal
- Replacing a faucet, but only if it’s centerset
- Fixing a running toilet
- Cleaning gutters
- Re-grouting a tile
Of course, not all home maintenance repairs are created equal. If it involves electronics, wait until you can hire specialists to do it for you—especially if you don’t know the difference between alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC), or what a variable transformer or voltage control is.
Cooking your own meals presents a lot of health benefits. For one, it gives you more control over the ingredients you allow into your body, for another, it also helps to boost your self-esteem whenever you’re able to create a meal that you and others find delicious. In 2020, it’s an even more essential skill since the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) discourages people to dine out at restaurants. Since staying home means you have plenty of time on your hands, consider taking up cooking to help improve your health.
Growing your own produce
The Washington Post reported that America faces a food shortage of up to 8 billion meals in the next year. Another report suggested that millions of Americans won’t be able to afford enough food as the pandemic rages on. You may think this is a problem that may not affect you in the long run, but once again, we never know what tomorrow may bring. The way to combat food shortage is by growing your own produce. Having your own garden or learning how to farm will not only give you regular access to your favorite vegetables and fruits, you are also helping the environment.
Statistics is simply the science of learning and understanding from data. At a time when false information is rampant and more people are peddling fake news, we need to be able to discern what is correct from what is inaccurate and more often than not, sensational.
Being able to tell fake headlines from accurate ones is a basic life skill every adult with access to the internet should learn. If we want to be able to survive this pandemic and many other global challenges in the future, we need to know how to fact-check and double-check, and to have a proper understanding of how scenarios can play out based on the information presented to us.
Being an adult entails being able to learn basic life skills. We need these skills in our arsenal if we are to survive 2020 and beyond.