Is it Safe?
This is the underlying question. You know it has been on your mind, driving every other question you have had about what you should do, what others should do and what the government should do. I’d like to give you a new way of answering this question.
At this point, we know what we know and what we need to discover about Covid-19 aka the Corona virus. We have some directives. The key for both personal and community health, I believe, is not just in what we do, but in our personal response to this crisis. Let’s say you are in a burning building with no means of escape. You could either despair or prepare. It’s a situation you have never been in, but with a cool head, you would figure something out. Then you would hope for outside help knowing that you had done all you could. Your chance of survival would be much greater than if you had panicked.
The same is true with the pandemic. It’s a new situation. There has been a lot of conflicting information and there is much we do not know. Nevertheless, in most places in the world, the response has slowed the spread of the virus and lessened the loss of life. We are doing everything we can and we are hoping for outside help in the form of medicines, immunity or the natural demise of the virus with no clear idea if any of those will come to pass.
So now, we need to remain calm. When one sick person gets on a cruise ship with 5,000 other people, not everyone gets sick. Why? You know the answer. Maybe they weren’t exposed. Maybe they were exposed, but they were healthy enough that the virus could not infect them. We are all on that cruise ship now, avoiding the other passengers. As those who were sick, get well and the rate of infection goes down, we will start opening our doors and move about the boat. Some of us will get exposed. I would argue that all of us will be exposed eventually. The question is how to minimize the effect of that exposure on both a personal, community and world basis.
The answer is to be as healthy as you can be before you are exposed. One of the greatest challenges to health is stress. Stress happens when you are in a fight flight mode with no one to fight and no where to flee aka Shelter in Place. The chemical reactions that take place in the body when stressed just blow out both the immune and nervous systems of the body. Stress makes us vulnerable.
So, if you really want to do everything you can to make yourself, your family and your world safe, you need to look at how you are handling the stress that is naturally coming from this situation. Are you despairing or preparing? Despair is staying up late worrying. Despair is overeating. Despair is drinking, smoking, coffee, fear and anger.
The absolute best thing you can be doing for yourself is to get a lot of sleep. Your immune and nervous systems will thank you. Then you can look at your other habits. Are you loading up on high carb comfort food? Have you been drinking? Are you listening to or reading every bit of virus media that is being blasted at you? I’ve noticed that even though there are few cars on the road, people are driving like maniacs. Are you panicking? It’s time to take a step back. Look at yourself and how you are reacting. Change your habits. Stay informed, but not obsessed. Connect with people in healthy ways. Take a walk in nature. Slow down. Eat well. Sleep. Meditate or pray. Exercise. Then, know that you have truly done everything you can and relax with that. Outside help may arrive and even if it does not arrive soon, you will have made yourself, your family and your world as safe as possible.