Twinkies, Golf, and Digital Nomads: Aftermath of the 2020 Pandemic

I was going to include cockroaches on this list, but the CDC can’t tell me with any degree of certainty that Covid-19 won’t kill them. Shocking. I know. Twinkies, on the other hand, will definitely survive the pandemic, but don’t get too excited. Contrary to all the stories you’ve read, the actual shelf life of the Twinkie is only twenty-five days.

Now is a good time to separate fantasy from reality. Once upon a time, an over-eager ad executive spread the rumor that Twinkies were made with only chemical ingredients, giving them a perpetual shelf life. It’s not true. Hostess doesn’t use any dairy products to make the cream filling, but the cakes are baked. The shelf life is longer, not indefinite.

So, the Twinkie tale is “fake news.” You’re probably accustomed to that term by now. It’s been thrown about in the United States since the 2016 presidential election. We’ve been so indoctrinated by it that we have difficulty believing anything we see in print, particularly if it’s on social media. Distrust has become our default setting.

Everyone Lies about Their Golf Handicap

I taught my son the game of golf a few years ago and we play together twice a week. The two of us are also science fiction geeks. Have you noticed that there’s always golf in the future? In some way, shape, or form, the ancient and honorable game of kings survives. I wonder if they’ll lie about their handicap after the apocalypse? Everyone does now. 

A friend told me on Monday, “I shot an 87 Saturday and only took three mulligans.” He believed, in the core of his being, that he finished at fifteen over par. Those three extra shots should have added six strokes, but the level of self-deception was too high for him to accept that. He wanted to be under 90, so he manipulated the results.

Think about this. We won’t believe anything our elected officials, doctors, or the media tells us, but we buy into the perpetual Twinkie myth. We complain about dishonesty, yet we’re willing to lie about a situation for personal gain. Enter a pandemic. People isolate, alone with their distrust and unable to honestly share their fears. That’s how society breaks down.   

Digital Nomads will Survive the Fallout

There’s always someone left standing after the apocalypse. John Connor led a revolt against the machines. Leia organized a counterattack after Alderaan’s destruction. Digital nomads are the best equipped to thrive right now. Their world hasn’t really changed. Accustomed to working alone and often in remote locations, these virtual warriors are our best hope for survival.

Digital nomads and their remote worker counterparts in the W-2 world are members of a new socioeconomic class. While the rest of the world is waiting for factories and offices to re-open, folks who are working online continue to fuel our economy. This trend may be widening economic inequality in the present, but it’s opening up new opportunities for the future.

Every day, more and more companies are switching over to a remote business model. Freelance sites are filling up with quality writers, designers, programmers, and virtual assistants. If you’re a fan of the term “new normal,” this is it. Don’t look for a new job. Unemployment will be high for a while. Find something you’re good at and build an online profile.

My Journey as a Digital Nomad

On January 15, 2020, I gave a two-week notice and quit my job. After making a W-2 income of over $100K a year for eight years. I chose to become a digital nomad. Those closest to me thought I was nuts, but it turned out to be the best move I could have made. When the pandemic hit, I was firmly situated in my home office with plenty of online work to do.

Travel is limited right now, so dreams of writing on a Caribbean beach have been placed on hold for the time being. That doesn’t mean I can’t still be a nomad. While traditional workers struggle through morning commutes and fight for crumbs from the government, I can compose articles at local parks, golf courses, and the lakefront sitting area down the street.  

How did I do it? I built a profile on Upwork and make about $4000 a month there writing articles and web content. I also formed an LLC and created a WordPress website that outlines my web design and writing services for financial advisors, my preferred niche. That pulls in another three grand a month. I’m not quite to the $100K mark yet, but I’ll get there.

In mid-March, I was approached by the firm I had left in January. They did not offer me my old job back, nor would I have taken it. Instead, the CEO contracted me to write an eBook called “Remote First.” They’d been a remote company the entire time I worked there, so I was uniquely qualified for the job. He’s paying me to tell the story. How cool is that?

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