Imagine being allowed rest and recovery in the comfort of your own dwelling with loved ones present and a pile of books or a movie that you can’t wait to absorb.

Compare that to the frenzy about potential infection and disaster that is spreading like wild fire on social media and more generally in some of the media outlets. You wouldn’t think that the former was even on offer.

I can’t tell you unequivocally what is going to happen tomorrow but an educated guess is that the sun is going to rise.  

There is value in reassuring ourselves as a community that the majority of us are going to live through this period of time, we are going to rise above it and may even be slightly more evolved when it’s over.

This last week has been a little (a lot) weird. I see more people in masks, more people at any and every store stockpiling supplies like it’s the eve of Armageddon, more jittery people running around. The general population is insecure. 

The Corona virus is affecting us all in some way, shape or form whether it be through incessant national or international news, flights canceling, airports closing, holidays abandoning, stocks plummeting, needing to work from home, thinking we may lose our jobs or businesses, schools closing, sports canceling, health care facilities changing protocols and general activities coming to a temporary halt. 

Everyone is talking about it. You may be a child, teenager, mum, dad, adult or aging parent. The reality of actual infection is variable yet the potential angst around infection and fallout is spiraling out of control.  

Let’s face it, we have a choice. We can listen to the authorities and reduce social interactions and even self-isolate for a period of time. We can be frustrated and vent that we may not get to the gym or attend a social gathering or do some of the usual things we do to manage our wellbeing. This can and will be hard. However, put it in perspective, we will stay alive and have the opportunity to take a little time to rest, recover and even enjoy some stillness. 

That doesn’t mean though that we put our head in the sand. The virus is real and spreading. We must take precautions including the basic hygiene of washing hands more than usual as a simple but important line of defense. We must reduce social interactions where we can.  This supports the greater goal of not spreading the virus. And we need to be conscious around older people who are immune compromised.

There is already a very real global and local economic impact. Supply chains are changing. The diminished workforce is causing productivity to plummet. Medical assistance for all is wavering in some countries.  

We need the best and brightest for the short and long haul to help make these impacts as light as possible, especially for the common person.  

At my home, I have a husband who is usually a rock but whose nerves are being challenged. He’s gone into management mode running an international company that is facing risks all around. On a really basic level though, he purchased antibacterial spray at a store last night to take into his office because their supplies were out. I know he is concerned. 

My youngest of three sons has expressed multiple times he has a stomach ache at dinner this week and wants some extra cuddles when he puts his head on the pillow. As a 10 year old, he understands but senses the increasing frenetic energy around him. Our children depending on their age have a different lens than us. This includes our tweens, teens and young adults who for most of them are experiencing their first real public outcry. We need to meet them where they are at, not expect them to understand on a level we do. We may very well learn more about ourselves from taking the time to listen and discuss what matters to them.  

On a personal level, I have a PhD in public health so I understand intellectually what is going on regarding the pandemic. Great, but this doesn’t shield me from the personal experience.  As someone who has suffered anxiety and depression all my life, I tend to ‘feel’ peoples panic and worry deeply and I sense it all around me. I continue to do meditation and yoga that support me in putting things in a much larger field of awareness. 

Here are some suggestions for the coming days to reduce anxiety:

  1. Stop listening to the radio ALL day but check in for national updates
  2. Read what interests you but not only news on the pandemic
  3. Don’t make the Corona virus the only thing your family and friends talk about 
  4. Utilise staying inside as some forced rest and recovery 
  5. Don’t judge other people’s decisions just because they are different from yours
  6. Value some stillness in your life 
  7. Get some daily movement
  8. Value meaningful conversations with those in your home 
  9. Use the internet for facetime with family and friends afar. I am recently using and loving Marco Polo with my childhood best friends who live overseas (a great free newer app which allows you to video and listen to others when you have time) 
  10. Remember to take some deep breaths multiple times in the day (longer exhale)

Acknowledge what is going on in the here and now but reign in some of the future worry as let’s face it, we can’t control the future. If we stay still long enough, we might just discover something deeper that will benefit us individually and as a global community.  


  • Dr Deb Roberts has a PhD in public health. She is a writer, speaker, yoga teacher and mental health advocate. American born, she lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, three sons and golden retrievers Sparky and Indi. You can read more of her writing on her blog.