Which category do you fall into? In this instance I am suggesting that caring means you take charge of your own life, make positive and thoughtful decisions and try to contribute in a meaningful way to the well-being of your family, friends, associates and other people around you in your community. You understand that nothing happens in isolation and even the smallest action has an effect. Apathy, meaning you think or care less, is the opposite of action. It means that you think your participation is unnecessary and you are willing to allow things to happen, permit them to be done to you or for you with little interest in the outcome, even though you will react to something you don’t like. 

Societies work best when everyone is engaged in the process and the outcome. Participation and understanding means you have ‘skin in the game’ and you care enough to take positive action to ensure a benefit or a reward for everyone including yourself. The current challenge of this coronavirus epidemic and trying to control its progress is up to each one of us. It requires action and actions from all of us to protect ourselves and each other. It will not do to be apathetic and indulge in wishful thinking that what you do or don’t do as one person makes no difference. The point is it does. Every single one of us has the potential, knowingly or unknowingly, to contaminate someone else or be infected ourselves. For the time being anyway, we must wear the masks when in public and not remove them to speak which I have seen people do thus making the use of a mask pointless. We must remember the social distancing rule not just when we are outside dutifully forming a queue but once inside, before we get to the cash register markings, in the aisles where I see or have had people stand right next to me or lean over me to reach for something. This is not the time to be apathetic or careless for yourself or your family – the virus doesn’t discriminate although you are especially vulnerable if you have heart, diabetes or weight issues. Again, if action is required to deal with health problems, now is the time to do it not just for this situation but for the rest of your life – don’t be careless about your health. You only have this one life why not make the most of and live it to the fullest?

Having said all that, my personal concern has been with the irresponsible media and the semi hysterical and non-stop dramatization, real news and fake news, about the coronavirus. Certainly we need facts. But we need balance and perspective. Not one day has passed since the onset of this illness that it hasn’t featured daily world-wide, it’s become an obsession. If you want to know how to frighten people, make them panic or behave badly, then this was the primer. I am not a conspiracy theorist, nor do I discount the fact that this is currently a difficult challenge to deal with. Caution and fear are legitimate concerns and will certainly stop us getting injured or killed but so often we are being manipulated without realising it. I am concerned at the manipulation of people en masse which is, as has been demonstrated over these past months, easy to do. It’s brainwashing and whilst we usually associate that term with horror stories about evil people or countries torturing others, we are in fact brainwashed every day on radio, television, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the others. Every day you are assaulted with an advertisement for this fast food or beverage, this car, that makeup item or, more significantly, a pill with an instant cure for whatever ailment you have. Even though you don’t think you are taking it in, you are, because your brain is being saturated with images that sink into your subconscious and soaks it up like a sponge. Yet very few of us seem to understand or care enough to take action and protest. Surprisingly, if we did in large numbers, that particular ad or product would be removed or modified. It has happened. No corporation or seller is gong to risk alienating potential customers.

The same thing applies to the virus news – be discriminating and apply some rational thought  to what you see or hear. Keep a sense of proportion and take note of all the larger number of recoveries. We have had 14 deaths so far and I am not diminishing the tragedy of them but over the same period we have had 41 murders in the country and logic says this should be the statistic you care about. Why are you not as frightened about this? Answer: because it is not pushed in front of you every minute of every day in every conceivable way. The truth is the virus will eventually subside and life will go on but the negative effect of persistent anxiety will linger unless you learn to discriminate and control the good or negative input into your mind. Care more, not less.