Be kind, be strong, be responsible-we are all in this together!

My daughter(who is 21) called me all worried this morning and asked if I was okay because she had dreamed that I died from the virus. My other child refuses to come stay with me for the next week because he worries that if he is a carrier of the virus (someone at his university tested positive), he doesn’t want to give it to me, because I have been sick.

It’s such a difficult time for all of us.

The anxiety surrounding the coronavirus, the safety of our friends & families, the fear of being quarantined, lack or change in the work situation, and the empty toilet paper shelves- all these have caused more apprehension to our already stressful lives. The world has always had issues like war, famine, refugee crisis, homelessness, hunger, dumb leaders, etc. But these past few weeks have been even harder for us- all of us. Because it’s not “us” against “them,” it’s this virus against all of us.

This is not something that we can build a wall around, that we can wage awar against, it’s also not something that we can call names because they leave their war stricken lands for a better life, it’s not someone who we see sleeping on the footpath, and we judge & hate and it’s also not migrant children locked in cages.

So what can we do to keep sane during this time?

1-Read up about the symptoms, know the enemy. The more you know, the better prepared you will be. Please go to the experts, not some random website.

2-Talk to your children, students, and/ or other family members about what’s happening. Young children might feel confused about the virus and will feel lost. The CDC has excellent information about this.

3-Boost your immune system by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Take your vitamins and clean, clean, and clean.

4- Think about people in your community who are struggling with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health issues. Reach out to them, check if they are okay.

5- Yes, yes, social distancing is critical, but technology has brought the world together. We have many other ways to connect- email, text Facetime, skype, send voice notes, Snapchat, Facebook message, etc. Let people know you are thinking of them and that you are there in case they need something.

6- Read. There are a million ways to “read” books these days- download books, listen to audiobooks, look for free books online, and remember by doing so you are supporting your author friends.

7-During, and after this crisis is over, many small business owners will suffer. Let’s try to support them and buy stuff from them. Big corporations have all sorts of money stashed away so that they will be okay, but small business owners will not.

8- Be kind. We are all anxious, so please don’t scream and shout at each other at stores, neighborhoods, and other public areas.

9- Meditate. Many people say they don’t know how to meditate and can’t seem to do it. Start by just being with yourself. Put your phone far away, no music, no tv-just you and your thoughts. Listen to your thoughts; are they harmful, demeaning, and hopeless, or are they happy, encouraging, and hopeful. If they are the latter good, let them pass through your brain and listen to them. If they are negative, demeaning, and hopeless- stop yourself and force yourself to say something beautiful about you. During these times, when everything around us seems so unsure and lost, we can focus on ourselves to remain emotionally healthy and strong.

10-Please don’t discriminate against Asians, people who have traveled, someone who has allergies, and medical staff who are working tirelessly to help us. The virus doesn’t discriminate, and neither should we.

11- Learn something new like dancing, singing, knitting, cooking, baking, a new language etc. All these classes can be done virtually. You will not just be helping yourself but also someone who is a teacher and had to cancel their in person classes. It might make the difference between someone becoming homeless.

Published on Medium