Episode 62 Transcript

Welcome to Episode 62 of the Business of
Morocco Podcast today we're going to be
talking about how to stay physically and
mentally healthy during this lockdown
under the Covid 19 but before we get to
that we're just gonna talk a little bit
about life that's going on now and its
current updates Ryan how you doing? you
look you look dapper
! this morning yeah
when I first came on you asked me if I
have a job interview today oh man yeah I
haven't been wearing a tie in a long
time I still have slippers on so I'm
still you know I'm still in home mode my
business shoes still have dust all over
them but yeah I've got a client I'm
conducting a zoom webinar for this
afternoon so it felt like the perfect
occasion to dress up and I just did it a
little bit earlier before we record this
podcast so yeah it feels good to have
something on the calendar that's
hopefully a sign of things to come if
you know if this continues and we're
working from home hopefully there's more
businesses that recognize okay we can't
just postpone our training indefinitely
we need to invest in our employees
especially if they've seen productivity
dip and so yeah I'm hopeful that there's
more more work to be had but yeah things
are things are going well I I heard
yesterday that my son had one of his
friends that got a haircut at home I'm
not sure who his barber is but somehow
somebody came to his house to cut his
hair and it got me thinking about so
many businesses that operate out of a
physical location they their bricks and
mortar businesses that have no ability
to contact their customers directly and
this is something I think will will
shift a lot in the future that
businesses are going to recognize that
customer information phone numbers email
addresses the ability to initiate a
conversation with the customer to share
information to invite them to purchase a
product or service that's going to be a
huge shift in
this owners mind I think they'll
recognize the importance of having your
customers details as as an asset that
that business possesses because I'd be
open to getting a haircut you know it's
it's been a while and I could could use
a trim and there's ways to do it safely
you know wearing masks and gloves and
disinfecting your equipment and so
there's these possibilities that you
could still make it work but I'm sure
most barbers have no way of contacting
their customers even though I've been
going to the same barber for six years
they've never once asked for my phone
number or my email so they have no way
of letting me know actually my barber
moved locations just this year early in
2020 and I went to my old barber
location and it was the doors were shut
it was locked up and I thought what you
know what's going on and I fortunately
the way that I walked home I was walking
right by the new location but I didn't
recognize it it has a different branding
different image everything and one of
the barbers opened the door and said hey
like we're in here now you know just
letting you know and and I went right in
and had a haircut
but they had no way of contacting me and
letting me know and I think that's
something that's definitely going to
shift in the future and we'll have to
record an episode about customer
relationship management software and
collecting your customers details
communication sales tactics how that
will really ramp up and explode after
after this is over so that's a little
thought that I've been thinking about
what about you what's new how are you
doing well I'm certainly getting tired
of this confinement it's all things
considered I think we have it pretty
good in Morocco the number of cases or
or not that high I think it's about two
thousand and the number of deaths is
very low compared to other countries you
know the weather is is fairly nice and
the food supply seems to be doing well
and electricity
water and sewage and trash collection
all those things are right on track and
and there's been no misstep by those
companies or the government so I'm very
happy about that
I am starting to get worried about the
poor about very poor people and the
working poor people who who need to work
every day to eat I honestly have no idea
what they're doing right now I don't
understand how someone like that can can
go from working every day to not working
for an entire month
and and still like be alive I mean I I'm
I guess it's something I don't
understand about the culture or the ways
that you're happy but as far as I know
the government is not just like paying
people directly like the way they're
doing in Europe or the United States
like that's not happening so I am
concerned for people I am reading
articles on lameta and like kaanum East
and I'll write on the front page these
journalists are questioning their
situation I mean they understand the
confinement at the same time this the
financial instability of people is of
course it gets worse every day that the
that we're shut down
and you know as of the recording of this
podcast you know France is extended
their deadline to me 11th and Morocco
has not announced whether or not April
20th will be the last day or not so I'm
hoping that there'll be a gradual
reopening on April 20th and and remains
to be seen but you know as of right now
they still don't have testing so I tried
to figure out if I could get tested to
see if I ever had the virus and just
didn't know it to see if I'm now immune
but apparently you can't do that it's
interesting to see economically what's
happening during the shutdown especially
for for businesses that are not
providing services some of them have
decided that they're going to
charging like the school's apparently
private schools are basically telling
parents look we know the school is
closed we know that we're not teaching
your kids but we're still gonna charge
you tuition and then for me like I'm not
even thinking about charging my clients
during this time like their businesses
are closed they're getting zero revenue
I mean how am I going to come to them
and be like you need to pay me for doing
nothing also so I guess if you can
charge your customers even when you're
not providing anything you have a pretty
strong business model and your value
proposition is very very good I guess at
least that's what the schools think I
don't know if that's gonna turn out to
be true or not I'm honestly like
deliberating my wife and I were
deliberating whether or not we send our
daughter back to the private school
because it will be a hard hard pill to
swallow if they say we're gonna charge
you tuitions for a theme for the
basically half the year that we've been
closed down because III personally don't
think schools are gonna open for the
rest of year but well I mean there's
gonna be a ton of attrition with private
schools because they if the schools
decide not to open like if if that
happens and they basically write off the
rest of this year then as you said
that's like a whole trimester completely
wiped out which allowed a lot of schools
that will cover the entrance fee for a
new school you know the new inscription
fee at a new school and so if anyone was
even on the fence considering we might
move to a new neighborhood or we haven't
really been happy with the school we're
thinking about switching our kid this is
a perfect opportunity to do that just
don't pay for this last trimester and
start somewhere new in the fall and I
think there'll be a huge shift in
movement amongst private schools going
back to what you were saying about the
poor I wonder if they'll be a big push
by the government coming out of this to
get more people registered you know to
get more people kind of living on the
grid per se because
in the past I can imagine people being
resistant to it and recognizing all the
government just wants more taxes they
just want me to register and get on on
the grids so that they can take some of
the the money off me that I'm making
each day working working hard but in a
crisis like this you can recognize that
when the government's wanting to help
people there's no system in place to do
it so the government was very quick to
offer some some salary subsidies for
people that are registered you know for
employees that are in the CNSs system
and small businesses have been able to
access that to have their employees
receiving I think it's a couple thousand
dirhams a month or 1500 earrings a month
to subsidize them a little bit to try to
help keep these businesses afloat but
for any business operating under the
table or any employee that is living off
the grid they can't access that money
because as you said you can't just walk
into an office and say hey I collect
recycling or hey I go door-to-door
selling fruit you know they're not just
gonna hand you deer um's
there's no system to to register that
and so I think there could be a real
influx of ideas for how are we going to
get people on the grid to prevent things
like this from happening so we can help
them in the future mm-hmm yeah well I
mean look it's very it's not complicated
I mean it may be difficult but it's not
complicated you cut taxes I mean it's
pretty simple basically tell every every
company out there that that a hundred
percent of your employees up to five
thousand dirhams net pay zero taxes
that's it you want to you want to
encourage companies to hire you want to
encourage people to because right now
they're big companies even like
Carrefour Marjan that have black market
employees mm-hmm you walk into a car for
those people they're at the cashier a
lot of them are not on the payroll they
get paid in cash every week they don't
exist when it comes to the government so
it's not just your little hanuta that's
not on the grid it's these big
corporations too that are
paying taxes and they're not declaring
their people so if the government wants
to bring people out of the black market
and they want to encourage employment
and they're gonna need to do something
after this virus because the economy is
going to get slammed I mean you and I
were doing math before we started this
call but it's it's safe to say that that
every single month the Moroccan economy
is losing a hundred billion Durham's
in activity just from tourism yeah
that's a very conservative estimate
for sure right and and so the economy is
gonna get slammed and you need to cut
taxes you need to cut taxes and
regulations they need to do a moratorium
on these whole like business statutes
that you have to have in your statues
what activity can do you know that's
it's crazy during times like this the
economy is going to change dramatically
you're gonna have businesses that have
zero customers coming out of this and
their statutes are locked into what they
were used to do mm-hmm
but they can't do that anymore so they
have two choices either I like closed my
business or I go through the whole you
know bureaucratic process of changing my
statutes we can take weeks or months and
oh by the way the government office has
to be open to do that yeah open and
functioning and we just know there's
gonna be a huge backlog of things for
government since they've all been closed
for this whole month everybody leave Li
this is a catalyst for them to put a lot
of these processes online as well yeah
because there's gonna be lineups out the
door at every single bureaucratic office
in the country when this all ends and
you just think so many of these
processes could just be automated and
online and people don't need to come in
physically but hopefully this is a
catalyst to make that happen
yeah so yes we don't do and I'm this is
hard it's hard not to work
I mean I've still been - in trying to do
brainstorming and doing zoom calls with
potential partners so I am thinking
about the future and and what it will
look like but it's still stressful the
kids can find at home
not able to go out you know they know
something's wrong but sometimes it
manifests itself in in different ways
maybe they're crying for some reason but
it's not really the reason yeah you know
I can only imagine what it's like for
some of these families that have two or
three generations and the family and
they're all in the same little apartment
and you know they can't get out to me
that's got to be psychologically very
damaging and the longer it goes on the
worse it gets
yeah well that's why we wanted to have
this discussion today which is like how
do you take care of your mental and your
physical health well on lockdown what LM
confinement because there's obviously
the the stress of you know seeing the
death toll rises just knowing that
there's a virus out there that's
contagious and can be really deadly then
there's also the economic stress added
to it many of us have lost income or
we're facing financial pressures and
then there's all this uncertainty we
don't know what's gonna happen coming
out of this where the economy is gonna
go how long this is gonna last so much
is unknown but then in addition to that
well we're at home there's all these
stresses as you mentioned were confined
with with our family some people in very
limited spaces so amidst all of the
challenges we're facing how do we take
care of ourselves how do we make sure
we're we're physically and mentally
healthy so what would have been some
things that have have helped you you
know this is obviously difficult and
there's there's challenges but what have
been some of the positive things you've
done that that have been an asset to to
your mental and physical health I think
it's absolutely essential to get outside
every day I mean if if people are
staying indoors all day long that is
that is a terrible idea and as far as I
can tell from the law you are allowed to
go outside and exercise now you're not
allowed to do it in groups like sporting
activities but you're allowed to go
outside and walk or
or ride a bike or scooter or something
like that to get outside get fresh air
get sunlight walk around to me that is
absolutely essential and honestly I
don't think people are doing it because
when I go out I don't see them so I
think that would probably be my number
one recommendation it has been proven
that that sunlight and fresh air is
actually antiviral meaning it kills the
virus mm-hmm and one of the ways to
essentially help the virus is to stay
indoors out of the sunlight I mean that
is a bad idea so what do you mean when
you say you as far as you can tell from
the law like if I just go on a bike ride
and I'm wearing a mask but I'm not
headed to the grocery store I don't I'm
not going to pharmacy I'm just riding in
circles around you think that that's
okay the police won't have a problem
with that I mean again I don't know I
mean according to the rules you are
allowed to exercise now what point are
you violating it how far away from your
house can you get before you're
violating the law to me this is one of
the the things that's not clear you know
it seems like you should be able to go
outside and get exercise and as long as
you're staying away from other people
and wearing a mask it should be allowed
but yeah I don't know I don't know what
the enforcement is it's one of the
things I've been really wondering about
because I do have a bicycle and I I
really miss riding around like I I just
use it to get around beat traffic and
you know get a bit of fresh air and
exercise just going from meeting to
meeting but since this happened I've
been thinking I would love to just go
for a long bike ride just to like see
the ocean again and yeah get some get
some Sun get some fresh air but I've
been hesitant to do that I have been
going for runs but I've been a little
bit nervous about meeting a police
officer or something and so I've just
been going around my block like very
close to my home
and the other challenge is you
definitely can't run with a mask on you
know like you're breathing far too
heavily and sweating too much so I'm
running by myself I'm not touching
anything I'm not coming in contact with
any other people but I'm doing that just
to try to keep active and yeah that's
it's kind of one of those things that
crosses over both to physical and mental
health now even for people that that
live in an apartment or don't feel
comfortable risking a run-in with the
police you can open up your window and
spend time you know every window there's
certain times the day that it has the
most access to sunlight you're going to
want to be strategic with that so spend
time sitting inside that window when the
Sun is on it so that you're getting that
vitamin D looking up at the sky just
feeling the fresh air
these things are hugely impactful on
your mental and physical health so
you've got to take advantage of that
yeah and getting exercise and sunlight
promotes sleep so that would probably be
number two make sure you get a rest
don't stay up all night like watching
television get enough sleep get enough
you're already under enough stress as it
is if you're not getting enough sleep
then you could just get sick from that
not even Kovan 19 so you know yeah you
want to have your body as strong as
possible during this time and so sleep
is essential the other thing I'd say is
don't read the news all day long
maybe check like once a day but in terms
of mental health like look we get it the
world is in a really bad place right now
you don't need to remind yourself of it
every 15 minutes yeah it's not going to
change and you're not going to benefit
so focus on things that can benefit
when we've talked about this yeah how
you spend your time this is an
opportunity to learn a new skill to
develop a new capacity to to learn
something new so yeah spend your time
reading or consuming content that that
will help you either now in your
business or in your work or help you
after this lockdown and stops yeah yeah
yeah you need to kind of monitor your
own mental health and ask yourself if
the media that you're consuming is
helping you is this benefitting you if
you're struggling with anxiety if you're
you know finding that you're excessively
checking statistics or just you know
scrolling through and looking at new
stories or new information about the
virus and how it's progressing you may
need to detox a little bit if you're
compulsively refreshing these things you
probably need to take a break and even
from screens in general even if you're
just spending too much time staring at a
screen you may need to just unplug you
know even if it's just half a day you
say I'm gonna go for half a day without
using a screen I'm gonna turn off the
internet or I'm just gonna plug my phone
in somewhere else or shut it off and try
to go for several hours in a row without
using a screen these things can be
really beneficial to our mental health I
would also add laughing we need to have
some some fun we need to have some
laughs and there's been studies that
have proven that a real good hearty
laugh can relax your muscles for up to
45 minutes afterwards and it actually
boosts your meet immune system so if
you're nervous about getting sick or
that's one of the ways you can protect
yourself is by making sure that you're
laughing that you're spending some time
really laughing at something and we do
have access to great comedians and funny
shows whatever it is that that you find
hilarious make sure you work that into
your life so it might mean choosing to
watch a comedy
rather than you know following the scary
or you know intense series or movies
that you typically watch yeah completely
agree comedy is essential during this
the season of life I also think that
having a routine will also reduce stress
getting up in the morning maybe doing
some physical activity doing some
reading getting in the habit of doing
something so that when you get up in the
morning and there isn't the stress of
like what am I going to do with myself
this day because the uncertainty and the
having to make a plan and make a choice
every day it just adds to your level of
mental stress which you could avoid
start your day one way do have a routine
you know get to the afternoon do
something else pick up a new activity I
mean I wasn't in the habit of doing a
lot in the kitchen before this this
crisis but I've been experimenting on
baking things so you know try to learn
something new develop a new activity to
to bless your family and to pass the
time and and have it be sort of a stress
release I mean my personality is I
thrive off of getting things done and
that makes this season especially
difficult because it's like can't get
anything done I can't go and gauge a new
client sick there's no advertising
campaign to do there's no I mean there's
some work but but 90% of it has been
eliminated so you know try and check off
those activities we've been doing some
reorganizing around the house painting
fixing things I've got a bird that wants
to nest in the in the in the shutters of
the window in our bedroom and man it is
loud like 4:30 in the morning I mean
it's just squawking so there's a project
you know I got to figure out a way to
keep this bird out of the Raptors
you know yeah yeah yeah that's good so
you've you've got a creative outlet
that's another way that we can assist
our mental health is doing something
that's that's creative that's
challenging you know baking or cooking
or writing code or editing photos or
sewing something or making music
creating art you know all these things
are a creative element that really can
lower our mental stress and it's fun to
to use that as a hobby or as something
that you're developing that might have a
purpose coming out of this from from an
economic perspective it might be useful
in in business I love the idea of having
a routine you know I'm a big a big push
push share of the habits so having a
morning routine having a schedule these
these positive things and then also
there's ways to to be spontaneous and do
something out of the ordinary to keep it
fresh you know we're spending so much
time locked into the same spaces with
the same people that if you think
outside the box you can make something a
little bit special and do something
unique or different so it might be
playing a new game that you've never
played before it might be you know doing
a special meal like we we did like a
picnic lunch so instead of just sitting
at the table we put out a blanket and
just ate on the ground just to make it
special and different my kids and I last
weekend we slept outside you know just
put some sleeping bags and blankets and
and just did something just different
you know like camping kind of we can't
go out to the forest or to a beach
somewhere but this was a way to you know
see the stars and and just do something
fun and unique or my wife and I we went
to the grocery store but we went early
like we went and we brought coffees in
the car and we just parked in the
parking lot of the grocery store and
just had like a date so just the two of
us we left the kids at home and it was
like going to a cafe except it was just
our car at the grocery store
that's kind of what we're working with
right now so trying to think creatively
about how can we still have fun still do
things that are different and unique
keep it fresh and lively break the
routine a little bit too to make the
day's a little more exciting yeah that's
uh that's a good idea you got to keep it
going to keep it fresh you got to have
things to look forward to you got to
have sort of breaks from the routine so
having a good routine but also changing
up it's good idea I mean the last thing
that I'll mention is if you do have one
of these sheets from the government and
you are allowed to leave your house
should really consider like how you can
help your neighbors there are approved
activities you know grocery store
pharmacy Brico deco like bricolage there
are things that you can do that are
allowed and you may have neighbors that
that need help with things and so one of
the great ways to reduce stress is to to
bless other people to help them so you
know go around ask your neighbors do you
need me to go to the store do you need
me to I don't know try to repair your
shoes or are you having a plumbing
problem you know just go around and ask
your neighbors what's going on how are
they doing
can you help them in certain ways and
you know if there's a spirit of
assistance and and being a good neighbor
that will reduce stress universally
around your neighborhood and around
around the country so I'm sure that
there are people who are vulnerable to
this disease and they don't want to take
a chance of going out and you could help
them by doing the activities that need
to get done yeah that's fantastic
that's a really good point generosity
just boosts our
it gives us hope and when we fixate on
other people and focus on them it helps
take our eyes off ourselves which can
reduce our anxiety and our stress so
that's an excellent point and my last
one is just about maintaining our social
connections so one of the reasons why
our mental health can be really
challenged is because we just don't have
the same social interactions that we
used to we don't have a variety of
connections in our life colleagues at
work just even people that we're seeing
on the street or a lot of people aren't
in touch with their friends and I just
encourage people to make use of the
tools we've got like FaceTime and Skype
and zoom to to hang out and to to chat
we have some some colleagues that we
played like a game games night over zoom
and we're all you know different parts
of the world but we just enjoyed doing
that as best we could even though we
can't be together physically it was an
opportunity and there's been other
friendships that I've kind of rekindled
because of this crisis because people
are at home because people have maybe a
bit more time on their hands but more so
that you're just thinking about digital
connections and who you can reach out to
that's rekindled some friendships which
has been a huge boost to my emotional
health and then even with family you
know I've spent time chatting with my my
family people that I don't live with
directly just using these tools and so
make sure you're getting a lot of social
interaction because that's been proven
to be something that we need as humans
we thrive on it
and it's a big impact on our anxiety
levels and our mental health clearly
agree so I think that's all we got for
this week stay safe stay healthy out
there by this time next week we'll know
whether we're allowed to leave the house
whether the state of emergency has been
lifted or whether it's been extended we
can hope and pray that this virus
continues to decline or at least plateau
and that economies around the world will
open up and we can we can get back to
talking about business

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