Coronavirus. COVID-19. Quarantine. Social distancing.
Just a few months ago, these words weren’t part of our vocabulary — especially those first two words. We were simply living our day-to-day lives, completely oblivious that it was all about to change.
If that sounds like the opening lines of a sci-fi or horror movie, well, you’d be right. And for the last two weeks (has it really only been TWO WEEKS?), our lives have felt exactly like one of those movies. We feel like we’re living on a movie set each time we turn on the news or open up the morning newspaper. The only difference between us and those movies? Ours is reality.
As the entire world grapples with the coronavirus outbreak, we’re all trying to adjust to this new normal in our lives. After my mom’s guest post last week, I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to say about all this because the past few weeks have been confusing and scary. It’s 2020 and we’re facing a pandemic — what can we do? Who do we turn to? How do we make it through the day?
I won’t pretend to have all the answers, of course, but I do know that we’re all in this together. To help us navigate our uncertain future, here are three things I’m trying to keep in mind…
Science is our best defense, so it’s important to turn to the experts in the science community right now: Doctors, nurses, infectious disease experts and epidemiologists, just to name a few. They’re the ones on the front lines, taking care of patients and working around the clock to flatten the curve and contain the spread of COVID-19. Agencies like the CDC, World Health Organization and National Institutes of Health are great sources of accurate, reliable information.
Plus, look to journalists and reporters who are asking the tough questions and bringing us the news we need. Check out The New York Times and CNN for up-to-the-minute. And journalists like Jake Tapper, Jim Acosta, Charlotte Clymer, Molly Jong-Fast, Yashar Ali and Yamiche Alcindor? They’re all tweeting news in real time.
Also, here’s a great piece on where to find the best info to stay informed and safe.
A few more words about accuracy: Please make sure you’re using the correct terminology when it comes to talking about the virus. It’s coronavirus or COVID-19. It’s NOT the Chinese virus, as a certain “president” insists on calling it.
This is racist and xenophobic. This is coming from a “president” who is racist and xenophobic. He’s using this racist rhetoric to further shift blame and instill hate. The consequences are very dangerous and very real, as outlined in this wonderful article by my writer friend Jennifer Chen.
Stay home (if possible)
Yes, I understand that it is essential that some people go to work, but to everyone who is still going here, there and everywhere during amidst the coronavirus: I guarantee that you’re not going to suffer if you can’t go to the bar or frolic on the beach for spring break. But you know who could suffer???
Those who have compromised immune systems
So quit being selfish and STAY HOME. There will be plenty of time for in-person socializing and shenanigans once it’s safe again for everyone! Please do your part to help as much as you can!
Stay connected (virtually, of course!)
As the virus continues to spread, social distancing has become a priority. We’re staying home. We’re self-quarantining. But while we do that, there’s no denying that being so isolated can wreak havoc on everything from our mood to our productivity level. Thank goodness for things like social media, FaceTime and virtual Netflix movie parties!
Here are 7 tips for thriving while social distancing. What have you found helpful and essential, friends?
While many of us are staying home to combat the coronavirus, let’s be sure to thank those who are on the front lines working to keep us safe while we self-quarantine…
Healthcare workers, doctors, nurses and CNAs who are taking care of our loved ones
Grocery personnel who are keeping stores open
Truck drivers who are delivering to restock those stores
Police and firefighters who are still on-call
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO…
How are you doing? I know things feel weird and lonely and just plain scary right now…I’ve been feeling all those emotions. It’s OK to feel all that, so be gentle with yourself today. I’m here for y’all and I love you! We’re all in this together, remember… xoxo
(I’m on spring break this week, but will still be active on Twitter and Instagram, so be sure to follow me there! I’ll be back to regular posting on Wednesday, April 1st.)
[First photos via Unsplash; mental health chart from Real Depression Project)
Vicki Holder says
Great post. We need more of this. I hope you have a fun, safe, and healthy spring break.
Long time follower from Spain here. I’m passing the quarantine alone and away from my daughter, so my mental and emotional health are being put to test much more than my physical health has been so far (thank God for that, though).
I love your list of recommendations! But I would like to add on #1 from my lock down experience: Do indeed Stay Informed, but do so selectively and with a time frame. I check the news/media for about an hour each morning, and the rest of the time I try to take it out of my head and stay busy: work, tidy, read, play violin, goof around with my dogs…
I started doing this on day 5 of the lockdown because the previous days I had been literally living in twitter and other media, and I was going really crazy, really fast… and crying all the time. Now (almost end of day 9) it’s not so bad at all, I’m getting so much done!! And I think by the end of the quarantine I’ll have a Vivaldi concerto to show off 😀
Lots of love from Valencia!
Mexican folower right here, we only have about 370 + confirmed cases, we just started 2nd Phase so we’re not really in a complete quarantine mode yet. However, we are fully aware of what’s going on in other countries, specially in Europe. I believe you said it right, we must stay infromed, try not to panic and do what we can to help others, specially vulnerable people.
I hope you and your closed ones stay safe and healthy and let’s enjoy family time!