So how are you feeling about the COVID-19 pandemic? Chances are, the way you feel about it is highly influenced by the people around you and which voices you listen to in the media. And even though she may talk like an expert, the Influencer from Facebook is not an expert about what you should do about the coronavirus.
This COVID-19 pandemic brings along with it an even more sinister and contagious virus that we really don’t talk about. The second virus is fear. That’s right, fear is a virus. Well, technically it’s not, but the way it behaves, spreads, and is defeated are just about the same as dealing with the actual virus. In many pandemics, the spread of fear and the way it makes people behave is far more dangerous than the actual virus itself.
Fear makes people say and do crazy things. It can turn us into animals. We make rash decisions. We horde items. We shut down schools and businesses. The more it spreads, the worse it gets. Fear turns a minimally deadly virus like COVID-19 and turns it into something akin to the Ebola virus.
So how can we combat the spread of fear? Below are some suggestions for actions you can take each day to be part of the solution so we can begin to eradicate fear form the current crisis. Turns out, they are pretty much the same as the ways we will beat coronavirus.
1) “Wash your hands” – Don’t be the one infecting others by sharing doom and gloom stories. Its okay to stay up to date with everything going on but if you feel like you’re getting infected with fear, take a moment to remind yourself that everything is going to be okay and then wash it away.
2) “Sneeze into your arm.” It’s okay if you are feeling the fear but don’t projectile spread it out onto everyone around you. Ask yourself if what you are saying to other people is spreading the fear virus much like the guy I saw at the grocery store that sneezed right onto someone else.
3) “Self-quarantine.” Take some time to step away from the fearful dialogue on the news or from people who are quick to spread the fear to you. If you are exposed long enough, you will get infected.
4) “Make wise decisions.” Stay informed of the facts and not the hype. There are scary things happening out there but you don’t need to let it dictate your whole life. Do the right thing for yourself, your family, and your community.
5) “Be a good member of your community.” Don’t selfishly overbuy 47 rolls of toilet paper so that nobody else can get 1. Fear can turn us into punks if we let it. We only defeat fear or any other pandemic if we all work together and respect each other.
So please be part of the cure for fear instead of the one spreading it. Be calm and let everyone around you know everything is going to be okay. We can all be in this together if all the “patient zeroes” out there will stop spreading the fear virus everywhere they go.
Be safe, be smart, and take care of each other!