There’s a global pandemic, you might have heard.
Many of us are working from home, sheltering in place, and dealing with kids home from school. I sure am.
The stock market has plunged. Toilet paper is in short supply. Anxiety, fear, and, in some cases, panic over coronavirus has gripped many of us.
So how can we stay positive in the middle of all this?
Here's a comment that showed up in my Facebook feed recently:
No. Now is not the time for blind optimism.
Perhaps the right question then is: how is it possible to stay positive, realistic, and practical in the middle of a global pandemic?
A positive framework in these unprecedented times
- According to health experts, there’s probably a 40%-70% chance that — no matter what — SOONER or LATER, I’m going to get COVID-19 within the next 12–18 months (i.e., before a vaccine is introduced).
- If and when I get COVID-19, I’ll probably be fine.
- There’s a slight chance that I’ll need to be hospitalized. But I have little to no control over that, so I’m not going to sweat it.
- There’s an even smaller chance that I’ll die. But again, I have little to no control over that as well, so I’m not going to sweat it. I can continue to lead a healthy lifestyle — exercise, eat right, manage my weight, not start smoking, etc. — but COVID-19 kills perfectly healthy people too.
(That's me working from my remote home office. And not sweating it.)
- I have friends and family (and maybe even co-workers) who are health care professionals. All the risks listed above are higher for them.
- I have friends, family and co-workers who are older, sicker, or have compromised immunity systems. As such, all the risks listed above are higher for them.
- Back to the “SOONER or LATER, I’ll get COVID-19” bit. In the spirit of sweating the things I can control — between “SOONER” versus “LATER,” I choose “LATER”. I understand this virus will likely place an enormous, unprecedented burden on our health care system and our health care professionals. For my own health and the health of my friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers who are either health care workers or in higher risk demographics, I choose LATER.
- To get COVID-19 LATER, I can control my own personal hygiene, i.e., I can be mindful of touching public surfaces. I can wash my hands with soap and water for 30 seconds. I can avoid touching my face, etc.
- To get COVID-19 LATER, I can also control how frequently I’m in large crowds, i.e., I can social distance. At the same time, I recognize that social distancing is not the same thing as social isolation. I can reach out to friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors who are medical professionals or in higher risk demographics or just suffering from the negative consequences of social isolation.
- I can choose not to panic. This isn’t going away any time soon. Life with coronavirus is likely the new normal. As such, I’m not going to start hoarding toilet paper.
I hope this was a helpful list of messages. Everyone needs positive reinforcement and more so in these times than others. Good luck and stay healthy!
Coming next: How Team Dasera is Staying Positive in a Global Pandemic