I am seeing a mix of responses to Co-vid 19 including the following behaviors:
- Rationale activation of personal resources, avid reading of scientifically-based information on Co-Vid, and preparing for the worst (acceptance and action)
- Denial and avoidance, superficial engagement with information, cavalier approach with social media memes or biased information sources with political spin
- Selfish isolationist view on how Co-vid 19 is negatively impacting social life, employment, and one’s own health without concern in thought or action to the national challenge and suffering or sacrifice of others
- Fear and dramatic expressions of outrage driven by lack of control of our environments, of our government’s response, and inadequate timely information
I hope the majority of us are living in Rationale Activation. This is difficult even for the most healthy and stoic amongst us. The reality of job loss, health threats, and social disruption are real. Death of loved ones is real. They are overwhelming real. There is good reason to be fearful.
This reality mixed with misinformation, political subterfuge, and delayed communications from employers, local government, and the federal government creates a sense of lacking knowledge that others have already. This is real too. Government officials at the Federal level had actionable information but did not inform us or act in time to minimize the threats we face today. This is a violation of the public trust given to our elected officials.
In the face of this, it is hard to tell you “do not be fearful.” Six million people applied for unemployment last week. They will suffer and have legitimate worries. In Delaware, the Co-Vid curve is just now accelerating. We cannot see it, but it is literally in the air all around us. None of us are immune from imminent tragedy and suffering.
And yet as FDR said, “there is nothing to fear but fear itself.” Our former President is right. He, however, joined the American people by initiating the New Deal to rescue American Workers abandoned by the reality of the crushing depression. We face the same challenge now economically and medically. We have to act collectively.
For the non-spiritual among you, perhaps meditation can provide some self-care. Try Tara Brach’s free rain series (https://www.tarabrach.com/facing-pandemic-fears/). I cannot fully recommend it as I have fallen into a deep peaceful sleep with some of the meditations. You can be spiritual as well – I only raise this as sometimes when we say turn to God, people can become very angry with our suggestion.
And yet, I ask you to turn to God. That is the only thing in our reality that is constant. That is the only place where we can find true peace. But don’t stop there. Return to Rationale Activation with spiritual discernment in your heart, prepared for what may come, as you join your family, friends, and community to facing suffering head-on collectively and together.
The reality is we are in for a long haul of personal and national tragedy. It is a wake-up call for us to transform our lives to what really matters, transform our society to be better prepared to serve all people, and prepare our souls for the present day and for the day when we have no tomorrows.
We instinctively may turn to “Fight, Flight, Freeze and Fawn responses” in the midst of overwhelming tragedy. We do not need to stay there. We can transcend our instinct and rise to demonstrate our courage, our compassion, and caring for neighbors, the sick, the poor, and the dying. We can share a tear now for those suffering that we cannot see. We can pray. And we can act.
We may not have the time to prepare as we sometimes do with other serious illnesses like the educational chart aimed at helping families prepare for potential loss of life due to cancer. I write to you to plead if you have not done so, to take the time out to feel and prepare for the immensity of this national tragedy. There are things you can do now to prepare yourself and your family for the unexpected or expected loss. You may not get the opportunity to prepare later. (https://psychcentral.com/lib/preparing-for-grief/). Do not fear – Act now. Call the ones you love. Write a letter. Prepare a will or advanced directive. Cleaning the garage can wait.
Know the facts: https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections is an interesting site that is providing data projections and supplies by state. Below is a CDC graph: