Uncertainty and paranoia. The reaction to COVID-19 has been fear and panic. However, we need to recognize this is the new normal for the next couple of weeks. Be alert and not anxious and do not forget to recognize the importance of community care over self-interest. We are united by our compassion and humanity. End this “panic-demic.” Every person plays an integral part in preventing the spread of the virus to the most vulnerable. We have a duty to stop social interactions for the time being to protect people who cannot fight the virus. 

The spread of COVID-19 is also fueling rapid xenophobia and racism towards East Asians across the globe. We all have a duty to combat this. New diseases are the new normal for an increasingly globalized world with dense populations and the beginning effects of climate change. We must unite since we are stronger together.

This is the time to be cautious to protect the most vulnerable Americans: the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. These two groups face the highest risk for fatalities. Limit travel and contact to protect those who are most vulnerable.

This is also an extremely stressful, uncertain time for those of lower socio-economic statuses and without health insurance. The United States has a duty to provide free testing and medical care to all who need it. If not, this virus will not be contained. Paid medical leave must be provided. Moreover, an aggressive approach for more accessible testing must happen immediately.

Although this is the new normal, we all have the option to choose to respond with either determination or fear. Choose determination to contain the virus to unite us all. Fear will only hurt us and destroy our compassion. Choosing fear is much worse than COVID-19 because attitudes have far more harmful consequences than pathogens. Fear causes division and panic.

We will get through this, and I am confident it will unite the entire world together to come together to mass mobilize resources to protect people. I hope that will be the new normal. Fear cannot outrun determination. We can only move forward with hope and resilience during times of uncertainty.


  • Malika Malik

    Campus Editor-at-Large from the University of Virginia

    Thrive Global

    Malika is a third year, studying Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia. She is interested in the intersection of law and business, and she is particularly interested in human rights and social entrepreneurship. She is a huge advocate of the importance of sleep and mindfulness. In her free time, she enjoys boxing and cycling.