Just when we all thought that getting through February was the biggest hurdle we’d face, through snow storms and chaotic debates, made it in and out of long work days and navigated shopping centers in frigid temps and facing winter challenges, we made it into March and ran smack into the hysteria and misinformation of COVID-19. Not that The World Health Organization isn’t doing what they can to spread truth, but we’ve been well-schooled to distrust the truth, repeatedly, and ad nauseam, so much so that doubting everything we hear or read from our reporters is the new normal. So, what to do in a crisis when we are several years into a reign of doubt? I’d like to suggest that we all take a deep breath, right now, inhale and exhale, and press play to watch the waves roll in and out. Just for a few seconds. Let’s start with that.
What would happen if we all just stop getting our information from Facebook or relying on scintillating and questionable headlines and instead we collected facts from those qualified? Maybe leave the hysteria outside our sphere for a bit? Put down our phones and switch our TV’s off and seek advice from health officials? If you are sick, get tested ASAP. If not, wash your hands. Lots. Don’t touch your face. And check in with your elderly neighbors who might need some groceries and emotional support and a good laugh or two. And think through.
Many people are being triggered by the hype and fear, the lack of control surrounding COVID-19, and I by no means wish to judge how anyone is reacting. Some people want every last bit of information while others don’t want any. How about, before you head off to the office or workplace you settle into yourself, dig your heels into the earth, and feel what you are feeling for a few moments. Listen to the gulls or the chickadees, listen to the wind in the trees or the waves rolling up the shoreline, and leave off the fears popping up. Know this too will pass. Hold on to real. Feel it, and then let go of the social media controlling the sensationalized conversations.
If you know someone who has rising anxiety, perhaps you can ask them to join you on a little jaunt. Get out where the sky is really big and stop your stride for a few moments so that you can both look up and away from the fear. We are all so much stronger than we think, and the whole big rippling sky is there to lift us up from the clutter. Leave what you can behind and return home ready to take in another day of uncertainty. Find truth.
Together we will survive this or whatever comes our way next, with some straight talk from the countries that faced COVID-19 head on, with smart and aggressive measures. “Global health officials have praised China and South Korea for the success of their efforts to contain the coronavirus. What are those countries getting right — and what can everyone else learn from them?” (The Daily). We can learn from their successful practices and work together to contain, survive, and beat this pandemic, with some hand soap, basic hygiene practices, an increase of common sense when it comes to being responsible for our own health practices. But first our Federal government must take the threat seriously, and put concrete steps in motion to insure our safety.
Let’s take a few well-timed walks just beyond the edge of the crazy. I’m counting on all of us to pull through this and come out all the stronger. We got all we need.