We are in new territory here. No one knows how this is going to end.
The talking heads on the news on TV, the internet, emails, text messages and various groups are bombarding us with information – some true, some false but mostly unknown scenarios.
There are comparisons to the great depression and the pandemic of 1918. There are comparisons to this being a natural disaster or to a terrorist attack like 9/11.
The comments about is a ‘war’ that will be won or a ‘disease’ that will be eradicated soon.
Add to that the daily dose of “Where are the universal tests that were promised”, “The missing ventilators and ICU beds”, the “hot spots” around the world and the mounting death counts.
Top it off with the declining stock market, the lost jobs and businesses shuttered and of course the inept, inefficient and incomprehensible ‘leadership’ in Washington.
Certainly, this can lead to dejection, dismay and depression – the other side of the quarantine.
Yet, happiness is not about reminiscing about the past or anticipating the future, its about the present. However bleak the present may seem, there are flowers that spring in the blanket of misery.
Take a deep breath. Slow down and relax. This is now a time to feel Alive again. Humanity has survived disasters before and this one too shall pass.
Filter the News. The problem with modern media is that it thrives on negative news. Bad news sells. Understand what’s happening and then turn off the news spigot.
Don’t bet against Science. Science and Technology have been the cornerstones of human revolution. There are thousands of minds and billions of dollars being invested in technology to assist with treatment and vaccines to counteract the disease. It is just a matter of time before these treatments will become effective.
Embrace new Hobbies. Two surprising items that are selling in large numbers are 1) seeds for vegetable gardens and 2) egg laying chickens. Ingenuity has taken over and people are exercising their prerogative to grow their own food and harvest eggs.
Laughter is the best medicine. There have been comments proliferating on the internet with people taking the crisis in stride. Ponder the surprising importance of toilet paper, sympathize with the mother schooling her young kids, wonder if the babies born during the crisis will be the ‘quaranteen’ generation and smirk at finally seeing all your neighbors walking outside after living in the same street for 10 years.
Anxiety is ok. It is a normal feeling to experience anxiety, whether it be related to health, finances, relationships or relatives. These are stressful times and when the feeling of anxiety appears, don’t immediately try to suppress or act on it.
Allow yourself to be anxious for a short moment, then take a deep breath, know that all the news is not bad, that science will win over this virus, take in some humor and take up a positive distraction to counter act the negative feelings.