Pandemic. What a word! If there ever was a word that reeks of anxiety, this one definitely tops the list. It’s a lot of negative words smashed into a single, three syllable word. Pandemonium, epidemic, panic. Yep, no happiness in that mash-up.
Coronavirus, also know as COVID-19. There it is, the virus causing the chaos. Wait! Is it actually causing all the chaos? Don’t get me wrong, it’s serious – I’m not disputing that fact. But this particular pot of chaos is being vigorously stirred by those sitting behind a news desk.
Regardless of where you get your news, you look to that source for information. If they’re in a tizzy about something, it must be serious; right?
But take a step back. Every news outlet is a business, plain and simple. Whether it’s a television channel, blog, podcast, radio talk show, or an actual thing called a newspaper, they need people watching, reading, or listening. It’s how they keep going. And what better way to round up those watchers, readers, and listeners than to scare the hell out of them with the end of times?
But are these the end of times? You’d think so if you go into any Walmart or grocery store. Empty shelves as far as the eye can see – especially in the toilet paper aisle. But if you look at the fact sheet from the CDC, especially Fact 2, you’ll see that this is not the end of times. Rather, it’s a time to be aware and cautious.
If you’re not feeling well, don’t go around others. Seems simple enough. But jobs, school, and other motivations that make us power though sometimes throw this simple idea out the window.
Wash your hands. Should I really break this one down?? You should be doing this anyway. If not, well, I just don’t know how to address that one.
Keep your hands away from your mouth, eyes, and nose. That has a tie-in to the whole “wash your hands” thing. Sometimes you just can’t wash your hands or use sanitizer after you’ve touched a hand rail, door nob, or elevator button that a bazillion other people have touched before you in the course of a day. When that happens, just think to yourself, don’t do it! That’s probably the hardest thing on the list of do-not-do’s. For many, you don’t even realize you have a habit of doing it.
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Well, that makes the “keep our hands away from your mouth” a challenge. But there is the option to cough or sneeze into your sleeve or do so in a tissue, followed up with a good ‘ol hand washing.
So that’s the gist of it. Pay attention. Be aware of your actions and how they can affect others.
Maybe this whole lockdown, although inconvenient, that was forced upon us has served a purpose. Maybe you’ll be a little more mindful of your health and hygiene going forward. But, people! Step away from the toilet paper! It’s okay. You’ll be able to get more. Well, assuming those panicking didn’t take it all. Which, in turn, makes you panic – and that’s why the shelves are empty.
So take a deep breath. Calm yourself. Take a moment. We’ll get through this. I have faith. Maybe if you turn off your news source for a little bit, your faith will return as well.
Be safe out there!