We can’t control how COVID-19 will act, but we can control how we react. Our behavior during the coronavirus crisis matters. How we deal with each other and our social circles is just as important as how we deal with the virus.
Behavior matters. There is a story out there in cyberland about how one woman in Walmart heaped her shopping cart with toilet paper. When asked why she had so much of the product, she answered: “I don’t know”. She observed others in her social environment. She saw their panic and heard and saw the stockpiling. She didn’t understand why, but she felt she needed to do likewise.
Monkey see, monkey do. It’s an old story. Call it peer pressure, call it intuition, call it madness. Whatever the name, the overall impact doesn’t change. The coronavirus is here. All the toilet paper in Christendom is not going to make it go away.
We can survive in this crisis with some simple common sense and common courtesy.
How To Act
1. Be Calm.
Panic never helps. Just take a deep breath. The prevention methods for the virus are not complicated. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Get plenty of rest. Drink fluids. Eat a healthy diet. Get some fresh air. These tips should sound familiar because they are common preventative measures for colds and flu.
2. Think Of Others
Selfishness is no way to live. Help those who you can. Be mindful of your own hygiene so you don’t accidentally infect someone else. It could be that you are merely a carrier and have no presenting symptoms. Good for you! But it isn’t only about you. You could still be carrying the virus. Your immune system may be able to fight it off, but you could pass it to someone else if you aren’t as careful as you would be if you were showing symptoms.
3. Count Your Blessings.
No one likes limitations on travel or shopping options. With a mandated two weeks off from school, students are going to get a little stir crazy. Most entertainment businesses are closed for the time being. No movies, no bowling, no roller skating, or whatever else might be available in the area. Public libraries in our area are closed as long as the schools are. But there are plenty of options for those who need to get out (okay, that would be me, I admit it). Thankfully, we live in the country. We have land to explore and a ballfield at our disposal. Our state parks have canceled all their programs until the end of April. However, their hiking trails, fishing, and facilities are still open for the time being.
What if you don’t live in the country? While that does make it more of a challenge, please know that there are still things you can be thankful for. You can still spend time with your family. Play games. Make up a skit. Sing together. Most likely you could still at least go for a walk. You can enjoy the sunshine. Catch up on your reading list. Binge-watch your favorite program. There is still much to be thankful for and help you to think about the ever-present silver lining.
How Not To Act
1. Do Not Stockpile.
Panic leads to poor decisions, and we’ve already seen this in spades in the stores. Obtain goods according to your needs. By selfishly stockpiling, you are making it harder for others. Those others then will seek a source from which to stockpile. There is a downward spiral that doesn’t take long to produce empty shelves. Do you really want to be greedy about something you use to wipe your backside and then throw away?
2. Don’t Lose Your Head.
In situations like this, common sense is king. Forget about the news. No offense to the media, but they tend to phrase things so as to create fear. Scare tactics are cruel and shouldn’t be used, but let’s face it, they are. Anything to hook the readers. Unless you have been living under a rock, you already know what you need to know in order to deal with the current crisis. Don’t surf the ‘net looking for endless articles about the coronavirus and what is going on in Europe and what that means for the United States. The truth is, there is still not enough data to accurately predict the scope of the virus. Is it an uncertain time? Of course. Should we be informed? Of course. But the information should not be presented inside a tactic to create panic and fear. That is akin to yelling “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater. Also, keep in mind, that many sources are either using wrong information, don’t have the latest information, is misinterpreting the information, or just plain lying. Keep a level head.
3. Don’t Forget: We’re In This Together
I fail to understand the mindset of many people. The coronavirus is unleashed on U.S. soil and many of the population are worried about what they wipe their butts with? Seriously? There are far worse things in life than running out of toilet paper. Call me twisted, but my first concern was to get enough garlic and vitamin C supplements and wholesome foods to help fortify our immune systems. Shouldn’t we be more concerned with what we are putting in our bodies than what is coming out?
No one can accurately predict how long the pandemic will last. No one knows for sure if it will become endemic. The pressure and stress are building daily. The shut down of so many avenues of entertainment and the pause in education isn’t helping. The fight against the virus is not only physical but mental. Now is not the time to turn against each other. Now is not the time to be greedy. Hunker down and realize that it is a temporary situation. Keep positive. Be thankful. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Only your mindset can make the difference between living out the crises in fear or in a calm manner. Let’s encourage and help each other by behaving well and letting positive attitudes spread faster than COVID-19.