What you can do to be informed, prepared, and calm during these uncertain times? Let’s begin by understanding what’s happening in the world and what you can do to remain calm as the entire human race goes through this challenging experience.
Not one person alive has experienced a pandemic of this magnitude. It is new to us all. What is not new is how to go through difficult times. We can do this together.
What’s happening in the world?
An aggressive virus called COVID-19 has found its way to the human body. Since it is a new virus the human body has not immunity over it. The worst part is that it can spread from person to person. Those who are at higher risk are people with lung problems and with a low immune system response—this causes them to not have enough defenses and their bodies are unable to kill the virus.
We have never gone through an event in which the virus travels so fast around the world taking the life of so many people in such a short time. When this happens we have a pandemic and that’s what’s happening in the world right now. This is not the first pandemic in the last 100 years, but it is the most aggressive.
The first thing I suggest you to do is to stay informed, prepared, and calmed. There are many ways to do this but I recommend you to choose ways that do not cause you more fear and panic. The goal is that you stay calmed as much as possible so you can help others if need be.
There are many news outlets to let you know the impact of the corona virus. I prefer not to watch the TV because I have to accept the point of view, vibe, and tone of the person writing and reading the news.
I do prefer to read what I want to read after I glance over news titles. So, instead of the news networks giving me their news, I go and find the news I want to focus on.
I like to stay informed by going to Google news and by downloading apps about news around the world, national, state and local news. The apps I have right now (change periodically) are BBC News, CBS News, and ABC15.
If you are like me and prefer to see a higher perspective of the pandemic, here are a few links to help you visually track it in maps:
Find the network(s) you feel more comfortable with and use that to stay informed. If you begin to feel stressed or fearful, find another news outlet.
Some health officials say that it’s not a matter of if but when we all get the virus. They are expecting to not have everyone need a hospital bed at the same time to significantly increase our rates of survival.
So, one of the things they’re asking us to do is to stay home and keep our distance from other people (social distancing).
To stay home and limit going outside means to stock up food, personal and household items, pet food, and more, for one month, at least. This is so you don’t need to get out of the house as often reducing the chances of getting or spreading the virus.
When you go to the store, I recommend you to go with a list of the things you want to buy. It’s very easy for most people to be influenced by other people’s emotions—especially influenced with emotions of fear of missing out what other people are shopping.
So, plan to buy foods that last long. Buy extra of the non-perishable food you usually eat. If you end up not needed them during the pandemic, you have the rest of the year to eat them. Canned, dried and boxed foods are best. Don’t buy everything that’s in the store. Leave some for others too.
Find your calm
The first instinct of the body is always survival. When the brain perceives danger that could hurt the body or kill it, it immediately enters in a stress mode. This stress mode causes it to react by fighting, fleeing, or freezing.
One of the stress responses that happen within the body is to reduce blood and oxygen (vital energy) from organs and systems that are not necessary to survive at the moment. One of the systems that get depleted of vital energy is the immune system. When you are trying to fight or flight there is no need for a healthy immune system. But a strong immune system is needed to overcome a virus infection and we need it strong right now.
So, focus on minimizing your levels of stress. Here are a few things you can do to feel calmed:
I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”—Dalai Lama
When flying in an airplane, they ask you that in case of an emergency you put the oxygen mask on you first then you can help the person next to you. Right now is the perfect time to do this. Take care of yourself first, then take care of those in your house, and then reach out to help others (if you feel called to do so).
Now, you take care, stay home, and stay calm. Remember, this too shall pass.
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