200506 flowers

Blossoming: Mrs Mike, being disabled, doesn’t have much of an opportunity to develop a new career – but she has been doing her best to make our garden look good. I don’t think she’s alone in this during the lockdown. Here’s a (rather poor) shot of the results of some of her efforts.

How many businesses – or indeed industries – are going to go bankrupt because of the coronavirus lockdown?

Quite a few, one suspects.

I know many owners/managers of hotels and pubs are in fear for their future because the longer the lockdown, the less likely they can afford their overheads.

I’m a big fan of comic books but the specialist shops are in trouble because there are no new comics coming out. You can read about what this means for that industry and efforts to minimise the damage here.

And of course we know about the usual big-business scroungers who have been trying to get the UK’s Tory government to give them a bung so they don’t have to spend any of the money they’ve been squirrelling away (in tax havens?) for the last few decades (rather than paying their taxes?) – Richard Branson springs to mind, after he got out his begging bowl for his airline Virgin Atlantic, after paying no tax for 14 years.

Forget all the rhetoric over the last 10 years of Tory rule – it is people like this man who are the real scroungers.

The point is that a lot of people may suddenly find themselves without the jobs they had when the lockdown started in the middle of March.

What are they doing about it?

The good news is that some of them are finding other things to do.

This Writer’s good buddy Jack has started a YouTube channel (called 12 for reasons best known to him) and is making inspirational video clips, which he is posting at the rate of one a day. He admits he’s on a learning curve but who knows – by the end of the lockdown he might have a bright new career ahead of him.

Here’s his first (published) clip:

As an online journalist/blogger, of course, my own career is doing quite all right, thank you very much. I had a slight dip in income last month – but that is the usual seasonal drop that I tend to get around Easter (it lasts until August) and it hasn’t been anything like as bad as it has been for the last two years.

I started the online journalism – and I dare say Jack started vlogging – because there was an opportunity to do something more interesting than the usual 9 to 5.

I remember some good advice that I was given many years ago, which I’ll paraphrase here: it was that very few people start out in life doing the job they really want to do; they get stop-gap jobs that pay the rent while they try to find something better for themselves.

The way to find something better is to work on it in your spare time – not all the time, mind (I’m sure all work and no play would make Jack’s vlog a dull experience in no time). But a couple of hours’ effort every day isn’t going to kill anyone.

And we all have a bit of extra time at the moment, right?

So what do you want to be?

The coronavirus lockdown could be the biggest opportunity you’ve ever had to make a difference in your life – and possibly the lives of the people around you (these things all have a knock-on effect, even if we don’t notice them).

Perhaps it’s time to dust off those old ideas you had, read through them again and see what you can do to put them into practise as the restrictions start to get lifted.

It’ll be better than waiting weeks on end for a Universal Credit payment (that will probably never arrive)!