We are facing difficult and unprecedented times with the COVID-19 pandemic as regular life has ground to a halt, or at least an enforced pause. Motorsport along with other let’s face it, non-essential activities have been postponed and we are all searching for answers while hoping that “normality” will return as soon as possible. With that in mind here are a few things that you can do as citizens of the communities where we live and as members of the motorsport family.
Stay Informed and Take Care of Yourself as well as Your Family and Friends
Make sure that you are properly informed about what is going on with this pandemic by staying informed from reliable sources and certainly not social media. I suggest the World Health Organization’s comprehensive COVID-19 website which has both general tips, myth-busting facts and country-specific information.
In addition to staying informed, please take care of yourself by practicing proper hygiene and make sure to check in on family and friends, especially if they are in one of the vulnerable groups. And please use common sense when buying groceries and toiletries so that your neighbors can also purchase reasonable quantities of essentials while we struggle through this together.
Help Out Your Community
The financial impact of this pandemic will be significant, at least in the short term and quite possibly longer and those that will suffer the most will be small businesses and freelancers. Do what you can to support them by purchasing their goods and services. For businesses such as restaurants purchase gift cards from them now for later use or order for delivery. Every little bit helps.
Take Care of the Motorsport Community
The motorsport community is an incredibly tight-night community that always comes together in times of need and this is no different. A large part of our community is made up of small business owners as well as freelancers and what I discussed above also applies. Do what you can to purchase their goods and services, even if you will not be using those goods or services immediately. A great way to get a head start on this is through Daily Sportscar’s Let’s Get Though This initiative. If you are a freelancer contact them and post your services. This is just one example of what can be done to help our community weather the long weeks ahead.
Take Care of Your Sponsors
Jess Shanahan over at the Racing Mentor has just written an excellent post called How to look After Your Sponsors When Coronavirus Stops You Racing which has some helpful tips on how you can take this opportunity to further engage with your sponsors, even though you are not racing.
Stay on Top of Your Racing Game Online
While there is no true equivalent to actually racing on a track, but you can still hone your racing chops while having to stay at home. Sim Racing has evolved incredibly over the last few years and you should look to get involved. Something like iRacing or Project Cars are incredibly realistic and are used by many drivers to stay focused and learn new tracks. Check them out, start simple and get racing!
Stay in Shape
Just because the gym is closed does not mean you cannot have a decent workout. Alter your workouts by starting a program that uses only the basics while you are at home until you can get to that gym. Explore online options like PitFit Online or discuss with your trainer a modified program while you need to stay home. At the very least go for regular runs or walks and use things like fitness bands and barbells to stay active and fit.
Be a Role Model
These are unusual times, there is no denying this. Looking after your health, both physically and mentally is of the utmost importance. Paul Pfanner, the founder, President and Executive Publisher of RACER magazine and RACER.com published an excellent commentary on our current predicament called The Day the Earth Stood Still and I would like to quote from it:
Victory travels at the speed of thought, so remember that we are all in this together. Now more than ever, racing’s future depends on our collective optimism and resolve. We must recommit our time, our reputations and our resources if we wish to see racing succeed and prosper in this new decade that is certain to define the relevance of our century-old sport in a fast-changing world. From the beginning, racing has been about bravely embracing the challenges ahead and learning faster and better than the competition. This is our moment to shine so let’s win this race.
Let’s take care of ourselves, our communities and our motorsport family so that when this is all over (hopefully sooner rather than later) we can recognize two things; the first is that we did all we could to ensure that we contributed positively to society’s response to this pandemic and the second is that we did so radiating positivity and optimism.
Take care of yourselves. We will be back on the track soon. Until then, be a beacon of light and hope wherever you are, not a prophet of doom and despair. Be safe and be nice.
All the best.