COVID-19. Sounds intimidating doesn’t it?
It’s been on the lips of pretty much everybody on earth for the past couple months, and especially in the last week. Countries are imposing travel bans, Walmart’s are running out of toilet paper. It seems like the type of shitty (pun intended) situation one would expect at the onset of an apocalyptic thriller starring Nicholas Cage.
But this situation is far from funny. In fact, it’s giving a very interesting glimpse at what happens when societies collapse on a global scale. Obviously it hasn’t become that apparent yet, but it could, and with the stock market tanking, travel being banned and educational facilities being shut down, it’s only a matter of time unless something changes for the better in the very near future.
So what are we supposed to do? Is there anything we can do?
Here are a few tips:
1. Remember that we’re all in this together.
But seriously. It’s heartbreaking to see people turn on each other during times like this. Part of me gets it, because panic settles in and people resort to a mindset of survival. But ultimately, we as a society are stronger when we work together for the benefit of those around us.
How can you do this?
- If you are going grocery shopping, take only what you NEED. Everybody needs the essentials right now and everybody poops, not just you.
- Don’t discriminate against people from different cultural backgrounds as you. Everybody is at risk, not just certain ethnicities. Racism is not helping anybody.
- Be mindful of the elderly and immunocompromised whenever possible. If anybody should rightfully be worried, it’s them. This can be as simple as offering to do a grocery run for your grandparents, or using your social networks to see if there is any need from people in your community. It all helps.
- Be nice. Straight up. This sucks for everybody and the costs are broad. Acts of kindness really stand out during times like this where it’s even more unexpected.
2. Use this time as a period of skill development.
I’m a full-time musician and everything I had on the horizon in the near future has been cancelled. I know I’m not the only one. This is a rough time for entrepreneurs (and just people who work in general). But when your business revolves around your interaction with other people, it’s especially hard.
The way I’m choosing to utilize my time right now is to focus on developing my art. Practicing is one huge area. Whether it be getting better at your instrument, working on songwriting, or taking an online class, there’s no time to learn and practice than right now.
3. Stop spending money if you can help it.
A lot of people are out of work right now and so there are clearly some rough times ahead. If you’re thinking you won’t see much income in the foreseeable future, now is a good time to start saving. Given that most places are shutting down, this might actually not be as difficult to do as you’d think.
4. Don’t Panic
Panic just makes everything worse. It puts you on edge, makes you more hostile, and makes it far less likely that you’ll accomplish any of the things mentioned above. It is obviously important to keep updated on what is happening in the world each day, but exposing yourself to the media constantly is certainly not healthy. If you can, try limiting your exposure to a couple hours a day, just so you can get the updates and less of the stress associated with them.
This might also be a good time to do a bit of a social media detox. I really doubt you’ll be missing anything crucial as everyone is talking about the same thing.
All in all, if I could make any final point, it would be this: love your neighbour. And not just your next-door neighbour, but everybody around you. Love speaks volumes on a regular day, but during times like this, it can seriously make all the difference. Nobody wants this to be happening. It’s ruined a lot of plans, jobs, and even lives. Let’s try to work through this together. It won’t be easy, but the worthwhile things in life rarely are.