Covid19-In 2020.

Between the outbreak of Coronavirus, otherwise known as Covid19, and the Utah residents (self included) being jolted awake in the early hours of March 18th, by a 5.7 magnitude earthquake, the start of the year has been, eventful, shall we say for the sake of our own sanity. (Psst…feel free to add your own list of unforeseen events here. The more, the crazier!)

From the first known case, reported in Wuhan, late 2019 to WHO’s declaration of it being a global pandemic on March 11th, we have come a long way.

From thinking, “It’s just like flu!” or “Nothing to worry about!” to hoarding toilet paper (what’s the deal with that people? It doesn’t even clean properly!), paper towels (use reusable cloth wipes. Go eco-friendly!), sanitizers (still not as effective as the old-fashioned soap and water), and face masks (for use if you are sick or others are sick around you).

We have gone from being a clueless Joey, to an oblivious Phoebe, to a sarcastic Chandler, to a clean-freak Monica, to a panic-stricken combination of Ross and Rachel. (F.R.I.E.N.D.S fans, I hear you!)

Amidst all this, there are some crazy remedies and preventions floating about. The most notable among them are sunshine and garlic. Get a grip people! It’s a virus we are talking about….not a freaking vampire that can be warded back into its coffin with smelly garlic or burnt with sunlight. Both are beneficial, undoubtedly, but whether or not they have any positive effect, remains unproven. And I mean with regard to both, Covid19 and the Vampire thingy.

So, while you may choose to follow these from within the comforts of your home, kindly do not spread misinformation. Some might be in the habit of tracing and verifying information for themselves, others may not. Eventually, such misinformation leads to a false sense of security, which as we all know, is hazardous.

As for those smarty-pants who still think they are immune from this surge because they are physically strong; maybe you are, maybe you aren’t. Even if you are, there might be vulnerable people around you. See, here’s what you need to remember when such moronic thoughts cross your mind. Make sure your mind projects this in bold.


Get it?

Public places are being shut down to limit and contain human contact. Staying away from crowds and gatherings on a private and public level, and encouraging others to do the same is Preparedness. Not Panic. Yes, you might have plenty of reasons to celebrate. Or might just want to hang out with your favorite people to rewind. Go out for sushi. Or ramen. Or enchiladas and tamales. But guess what folks? We can all celebrate together, later. For now let us all focus on getting through these uncertain times. Shall we?

Now would be a good time to show solidarity as a community. Look out for each other. Have each other’s back. See if the family with young children are in need of anything. Or get that old couple some groceries so that they do not have to venture out. Or try and help a homeless person in the tiniest of ways you can. They will be the most exposed. Remember, what goes around, comes around.

Do not be like the lady who fills her shopping cart with tens of baby formula but refuses to give one to the young mother with a few months old baby.

Or the opportunistic hoarder who is now selling toilet paper for $10 a piece.

Or the one who has stocked up on ammunition in case they need to fight for food and water. (:shaking my head:)

Where are we actually headed people? What are we teaching the younger generations? What legacy are we leaving behind for the ones to come?

We are so self-righteous when we teach them that ‘Sharing is caring…’ but the last to practice it when the time comes.

When, instead of lifting each other up or help stand, we are meticulously planning to step on our fellow inhabitants. We are actually promoting self-preservation over upliftment and supporting a community. Actually endorsing harming others for our survival. The young will emulate what they observe.

Additionally, steer clear of assumptions. Contact your doctor’s office through phone if you have concerns or queries or are worried that you or someone you know might be suffering from or carrying the virus. They will guide you the best. Keep in mind that the medical staff might have other emergencies at hand. A woman in labor, a heart attack patient, an accident case…could be others. They might be overworked and/or understaffed. Be patient with the response time and be understanding if they seem in a hurry. Chances are that there would be more, like you, in line to satisfy their concerns.

Most of the hospitals, medical agencies, and government bodies have issued guidelines related to the current situation. Be a good lamb and do your best to follow it. Some have also established helplines or website portals. Use the verified ones for additional queries or concerns you might have; or just to stay updated.

If you know or see people who are panicking, do your best to calm them down. If you are the one who is panicking, do some activity which calms you down. (Not squishing ants on your windowsill). Talk to someone who has the capacity to soothe you, either through their onscreen presence or words.

Also, self-isolation does not mean to completely shut down all communications and contacts. Keep in regular touch with the ones you are close with. We all could do with some emotional support here. Ask regularly after your immediate and extended family members. Catch up with old friends. Finish that home project you have been meaning to do for the past year. Read a good book. Start writing a book. Or just go to sleep. What better than that?

People who are working from home: I know it’s frustrating with all that ongoing commentary in the background. Add to it two differently aged kids; one with an online school running and the other just running about. It’s like splitting each strand of hair in half and then pulling them out from their roots.

:breathe: (Talking to myself.) You haven’t got hold of it right now. You will work it out soon enough. As soon as you get some of your sanity back. (Chant: I am not a superhero. I am not in absolute control. I can shut myself in the bathroom once in a while and yell in the shower) :exhale: I am better now! Thank you for asking.

Recall the time when you were a kid and the school got cancelled? Expand that feeling to ten, twentyfold! They are on indefinite break people! Give them a little credit for staying a bit out of your way. No? An inch out of your way maybe then?

Maintain a positive environment at home. Talk, laugh, spend quality time together as a family. Formulate fun-filled indoor activities which boosts your bonding to another level. We might not be happy right now with a lot of things, but we can all try to be content with and grateful for all that we have. Can’t we?

Now would also be a good time to support local and small time business owners. Franchises will survive. The daily wagers and small-scale businesses might not. Support them in any and all the ways that you can.

If you are in a position of leadership, use it to create awareness and guide people towards acquiring beneficial and correct knowledge and information. For the record, leadership platforms are not just political.

If you are a person who is held in high regard by those around you: Leader.

Parents: Leaders

Teacher: Leader

Local/national politicians: Leaders

Bloggers/vloggers/content makers: Leaders

People with significant media presence or following: Leaders

Established/novice motivational speakers: Leaders.

Even if you do not fall into any of the abovementioned categories, you can always lead by example and empathy. There is no one type of standard leadership we can all adhere to.

A community is like a large house. Each person in charge of a small portion of that structure. When a calamity befalls, we must work together to save it as a whole. If we get busy stealing from and harming other sections in order to save our own, we might have a wholesome and unharmed wing left to us, but the rest of the building battered and weakened. Do you know what happens to houses with weakened structures? They collapse.

To conclude; stay safe, plan smart, be kind, be patient, and most importantly, don’t panic. Panic causes hysteria, hysteria translates to uncontained behavior which in turn wreaks havoc.

Let us, as a race, help each other in getting through these strange times. Be mindful of all in your prayers and actions.

And lastly, this:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time”, said Frodo. “So do I”, said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

-J.R.R.Tolkien (Lord of the Rings)

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