It’s no longer news that the world is affected by a pandemic. Fear, confusion and panic has since become the order of the day as a result of the immediate shut-down of schools, daycares and some offices. Social distancing has become mandatory; tension is rising between couples and among family members; parents whose safe place and tiny bit of sanity is derived from having their kids cared for while they work or use a few hours for themselves are overwhelmed with having to work with kids at home 24/7.
It’s quite a pity that even in this time of social disruption, some people still make unthoughtful statements like: “but the flu kills faster, it only kills old people why are you worried, something must kill a man, we only have one life, just go out, etc; probably because they’re not directly affected or they’ve deliberately chosen to be ignorant. Whether we believe it or not, we are all affected in one way or the other. At times like this when it seems like there’s not so much we can do, I believe it is our social responsibility as individuals to “TRY” and make life liveable this period for each of us.
Here’s how I think we can:
1) Breathe. Whenever anxiety arises, take time for yourself, sit in silence and practice a breathing exercise. As we all know; fear thrives on fear.
2) Be responsible. Social distancing, (which includes: get-togethers, play dates, hang-outs etc) avoiding these would not kill you. Do your best to adhere to this temporal situation. It is understandably hard, but think of the health workers who are out there risking their lives, show some empathy, don’t make it hell for them.
3) Take advantage of this moment to be kind. While it is important to limit constant visit to shops as much as possible, the few times you can, you could for example: add your old neighbour’s shopping list to yours, to save them the stress of going out in fear. Also resist the urge to panic buy, that way items can go round to those who cannot afford to buy at once.
3) Embrace solitude. Maybe its time to lean into yourself and learn more about you. Try your hands on a new hobby, DIY, or even take online courses, read, go for a walk if you live in nature etcetera. Do more of what makes you happy.
4) Hygiene. Practice all the hygiene routines (wash your hands with soap, clean door handles, cough in your elbow) until it becomes a habit. Remember, you cannot control the hygiene of others especially if you don’t live alone so protect yourself.
5) Unplug. This is not encouraging anyone to play the ignorance is bliss card. While it is good to stay informed, it’s also okay to shut out the news from time to time if it continues to bring increased fear and panic.
6) Pray. The world needs it at a time like this. Also, dont forget to call and check on your loved ones.
I want to believe that strange times like this requires a deep sense of caution. Perhaps a wake up call for humanity to be more socially responsible and be more empathic because we are all interconnected and the consequences of one singular action can ricochet and cause harm to many. We must therefore work hand in hand ( in this case, without physically linking hands).
Look after yourselves people, and be well. This too will pass!