Our lives have changed so quickly in the last two weeks, haven’t they? It is so crazy.
I am personally conflicted over the virus and our country/world’s response to it. But there is one thing of which I am 100% certain: in times of stress, we should not be socially distant from one another.
Now before you jump down my throat about the importance of it, let me explain. My definition is different. We need each other in these turbulent times, perhaps more than ever; we should not be “socially” apart. I think the terminology the media is using is all wrong. We should absolutely be “spatially distant” from each other (six feet, anyone?) to curb the spread of the virus; however, we need to seek opportunities to come together as a family, community, state, and country so that we are not emotionally and/or relationally distant.
The number of people infected obviously increases, and subsequently so does the death toll. On top of that, one of my concerns is that the economic stresses on a micro and macro level are going to be quite challenging. Many people will be fiscally gutted as a ramification of the virus. Social isolation is great for flattening the curve, but it is a heavyweight on our mental health reserves. This will drive up depression and likely suicide rates. We cannot afford as a society to be emotionally and socially distant as it will only make the mental health aftermath worse.
So in response, I challenge each of you to the following three actions:
- Sit down individually with each one of your in-house family members and ask them how they are doing and how they are handling the recent changes in their life due to the impacts of COVID-19.
- Survey your life and identify three people that would be the most negatively affected by COVID-19 and its subsequent impacts. Call, text, and/or email them asking how their morale is. And if you need a calming force right now feel free to reach out to me via email, social media, or phone.
- Remain balanced, healthy and well. Practice the golden rule. Additionally, overlook minor infractions – e.g. terse words, poor manners, and petty insults – the best you can. Give people a pass for discourteous and even bad behavior. Most of us have never experienced anything like this. The unknown is a little scary.**