Coronavirus is showing us how incredibly connected we ALL are.
Who knew that we are only six degrees of separation from the good people of Wuhan, China? Or that Italy, South Korea, Japan and Iran are actually neighbors? We are all, actually, so close.
And, of course, we are learning that the virus does not seem to care who is rich or poor, what race or religion we are, who we love or what we believe. What matters is that we all breathe.
Or that we all touch our eyes and our mouths and our noses. (It is so hard not to!)
Who would have thought that we would become afraid of our own hands? And that shaking hands would quickly become old fashioned… so last week!
The whole world has turned upside down in just a few weeks. Fear is spreading like wildfire. And I am wondering how we can stop the fear!
This morning, I asked my CUNY Law School students how much of their brain space is being taken up with Coronavirus, and they all said quite a bit. It was clear that they are anxious, as we all are – both because of the information that we are getting from the media and because there is so much that we don’t know. We are being told to wash our hands and stay away from large crowds, but we are not being told how to manage our worries.
I asked the students to help me make a list of some things that we can do to help ourselves and each other, and we made this list:
- Wash your hands (better and more often).
- Stay home if you are sick — leave room in the hospitals for those who need help!
- Share your supplies if you have hoarded them!
- Get a flu shot — it’s not too late.
- Find a balance with reading the news (and get it from reliable sources).
- Ride your bike.
- Offer support to your neighbors who want/need to stay home.
- Be extra nice to each other (in school and out) – we are all stressed out!
- Avoid crowds.
- Check in on family members.
Then I did a little research and thought about it and came up with a few more:
- Remember to breathe.
- Play board games.
- Take a vacation from the news.
- Take a vacation from social media.
- Go to bed early.
- Watch funny movies.
- Take a walk.
- Eat well.
- Remember the things in your life that are going well!
- Make a list of things for which you are grateful.
- Listen to music.
- Help a neighbor.
- Call with your Mom. Or your Dad. Or your grandma. Or someone you’re thinking about.
- Remember that, as Louis Armstrong says, It’s a Wonderful World.
If nothing else is clear, this is: We are all in this together!
What are your suggestions for staying calm in this time of coronavirus? Reply or email me your suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post them! Let’s make a very big list!
Joy S. Rosenthal, Esq.
Rosenthal Law & Mediation
225 Broadway, Suite 2605
New York, New York 10007