On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially categorized the Coronavirus as a pandemic (WHO). The Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a highly contagious virus sweeping across the United States, Europe, China, Iran, South Korea, and several other locations around the world (CDC). The virus is transmitted primarily through person-to-person interaction or touch, although....Unlike other highly contagious viruses, like measles, this seems to be spreading more rapidly across communities around the globe.
Here are five positive lessons to be learned during this time:
1. Remain Calm & Educate Yourself
It is very easy to jump on the bandwagon of scared and confused people. Before you make any rash actions, sit down and educate yourself on the matter. Consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) websites for the most accurate information. Educate yourself on the virus, how it spreads, what the symptoms are, and the effect it's having on our communities. Instead of succumbing to the panic, sit down, rationalize, and strategize. There's no need to go to your local grocery store and completely wipe out every shelf. The best things to stock up on in this situation is food and water. Paper products come secondary people! Although, we all need paper products as well, be mindful and considerate of your neighbors. They have to eat and sh*t too. There's no reason to go to extremes. As we are now seeing product shortages, make sure you are prepared for whatever may come your way in the next couple weeks. Additionally, please keep in mind that the number of people deceased from this virus is very small in comparison to the larger picture. The reality is that the probability of you getting infected, let alone dying, is unlikely.
2. Prioritize Your Health
This includes physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Use this weird and chaotic time as a period to fully practice self-care in all capacities. Even though the coronavirus attacks the immune system like any other common flu, it is spreading rapidly without a treatment for it. Those with compromised immune systems should take extra precautions to make sure their health is made a top priority. Drink lots of water, get plenty of sleep, take your vitamins, consume nutrient rich foods, and wash your hands more frequently and properly. If you don't feel well, stay home. If you start to have symptoms of the virus, consult a doctor. Your health comes first; before work, before school, before social obligations, and before ____. Be conscious towards other's well being as well. Refrain from ...
3. Knowing When to Take a Step Back
Along the lines of health and wellbeing, comes mental health. As the media and global leaders try to alert and inform the public, there's also an underlying panic amongst people. Please keep in mind, far more people die of other colds, flus, and diseases per year. Not to downplay the seriousness of this, but do not let anxiety and fear overcome you. The best thing you can do for yourself at this point, is make sure you replenish water and food just in case. Stock up on canned foods, dry foods, and anything you can store in the freezer. Buying the whole shelf of toilet paper isn't going to save you from the coronavirus. Slow down and rationalize. Be mindful of what you consume and need to function on a daily basis and make sure your house is stocked with those things. There's no reason to go into full apocalyptic-mode. This is not an episode of the walking dead and your neighbor is not turning into a zombie anytime soon. Breathe and calmly strategize. This is a time to absolutely be more conscious of health conditions and that of other's around you, but also a time to relax and rejuvenate. Take this time to graciously relax, de-stress, rest, and find a great mental headspace.
4. Time is Not Infinite
Use this time to spend more quality time with friends and family. No, not because you are going to contract the coronavirus and die, but because this life is short and your happiness and your health are more important than anything else right now. Again, if you are sick, stay home and don't take the chance of infecting your friends and family. We all need strong immune systems right now. However, if you're alive and well, take the spare time you have to visit with your loved ones. *insert stat about quality time/family and mental health*
If this time has taught you nothing thus far, be grateful for the life you're living. You're alive, you're healthy, and you have people that love you. Whatever you're going through, someone is going through worse. Things can ALWAYS be worse. Appreciate the little things, the sweet moments, the laughs, and the loving people in your life. Speak your mind, show your appreciation, and be thoughtful. This life passes us by in the blink of an eye and we all just want to feel understood, seen, and loved. Share that love. Uplift the people around you, despite the madness we might be facing.
I truly hope this put your mind at ease, raised your spirits, or helped you in some capacity. Stay healthy and stay self!