Staying Positive During the Virus

A few days ago, I wrote that we have it better than those who lived through the pandemic of 1918 before the Internet, phone, video, Zoom, Netflix, delivery services and hand sanitizers.

I invited you to add to the list of other things they didn’t have during the 1918 health crisis which I share here:

No radio
No TV
No Walmart, Costco or Amazon.com
No recorded music
No easy-access to reading material (books, magazines, newspapers)
No cars to drive to isolated parks for a nice walk
No high-quality medical care
No antibiotics
No ventilators (the “iron lung” was invented in 1928)

Finding things to be grateful for makes us feel more positive that we’ve got this.

There are two reasons we will survive this pandemic.

One, 99% recover fully.

Two, gratitude for things like these give us hope.

Overcoming Home Bound Tedium

The great WCBS-FM, New York program director Joe McCoy  may have forgotten what he told me 20 years ago, but I remember it.

When I asked how does he play the same music over and over each weekend and make it seem new.

Joe said, same music, new ribbon around it.

That’s a way to battle shelter in place tedium.

From now on each day has a format. 

A playlist of what everyone is going to do from work or school and play.

A different look to doing the same things.

Getting everyone involved in brainstorming the quarantine time.

It’s long, it’s old already but it’s temporary.

The same creativity that makes our previous routine work is the one that will alleviate the boredom of being housebound.

Throttling Back Fear

In one day, we learn that more people are going to die; we have to stay away from each other longer, can’t go back to work or school, keep wondering whether to wear a mask or not and see people we know or know of come down with coronavirus.

If you’re not scared, I’m going to come right out and admit that I am – for me, my family, my friends and for those who have or will be losing their jobs.

But I’m fighting back.

Fear is always worse than reality.

Constant bad news erodes hope.

Without hope, we sense doom.

Never forgetting that over 97% of the people who get this virus will survive and go on with their lives is hope.

That’s a bet you would take even in a New York minute.

Never forget reasons to have hope.

Be Careful of Social Distancing

Social distancing are the wrong words to describe physical distancing.

Social distancing causes the feeling of loneliness, depression and hopelessness and people are starting to feel that now.

Physical distancing, yes.  But don’t call it social distancing.

Kinship, togetherness and staying connected to others is still important.

A review of 150 studies of the importance of staying socially connected involving hundreds of thousands of people show that people who stay socially connected were 50% more likely to live longer.

While keeping our distance to avoid spreading coronavirus, think about staying close to others.

Do acts of kindness and generosity – emails, cards, calls, Skype and avoid the loneliness that comes from isolation.

If you’re interested in an excellent podcast on feeling lonely, click here.

When in Need of Hope

Whether in business, personally or teaching, I have never seen anyone be happy without hope.

May I give you some real news headlines that were being put out Friday, April 3 that creates fear and reduces hope:

Delaware Police Authorized To Pull Over Out-Of-State Drivers…
Social distancing going to get darker…
Morgues almost full…
Crematories running 24/7…
Flush With Lid Down: Experts Warn Of Fecal-Oral Transmission…
Government spent millions to ramp up mask readiness, but that isn’t helping now
Q&A: Can I go outside? Should I wear a mask?
How to stop the virus making us all fatter…

And that is just a sampling from one day.

Here’s some good hopeful news you may have missed:

Most People with COVID-19 recover.
Children seem to be infected less often and have milder disease.
The number of new cases is falling where the outbreak began.
The internet exists.
Our response to future pandemics should improve.
Many people and organizations have stepped up to improve the situation.

Read more hopeful news here.

We’re so connected to our digital devices that we are allowing code writers to infiltrate our brains when we really need to listen to doctors and stay positive.

Hope this helps.

Staying Positive in Isolation

In the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 that killed over 500,000 Americans, they had it worse than we do now.

No Internet.

No phones, video, Zoom, FaceTime.

No Netflix.

No Uber Eats and delivery services.

No next day food deliveries.

No hand sanitizer.

Feel free to add to the list.

Feeling down in isolation?

It could always be worse.

“Pick-me-ups” for Being Confined to Home

Help lift the spirits of others even if you don’t feel like it.

It’s like giving, you recipient of the gift isn’t the only person who is happy.

Talk on the phone, FaceTime, Skype to people you haven’t had time for – until now.

Bring them hope because they’re not likely getting enough of it.

Get your mind off of you, your confinement, your health fears, boredom, worry about things that could happen but probably will not.

And then one final “pick-me-up” for yourself:

96-97% of the people who contract coronavirus recover.

A Bucket List for Self-Isolation

A balance of self-time and others time is usually a formula for happiness.

While confined to our homes in this public health crisis, boredom becomes a real issue real fast.

We have bucket lists for everything, how about a bucket list for how we can use all the time we are confined to a single place? 

List all the things we keep saying we wish we had time for – we have it now. 

Try something new – a new hobby, a new routine, a new idea, read a book or write a book, start a second career. 

Plant something if you have a garden – plants are like animals, they bring joy without asking for much in return. 

Put the phone down and take a vacation from negative news, no hope and fear.

Imagine how interesting and productive a bucket list for self-isolation can look like.

Resisting Coronavirus Scare Tactics

If digital and media news sources can’t stop trying to panic you for their own financial benefit, you can and must stop them.

Here are more real headlines from hell during this crisis:

  • Virus Killing Far More Men Than Women (without mentioning a 1.4% death rate).
  • NBC News Staffer Dead (buried in the story, he had other health problems).
  • Meat Industry Braces for Disruptions from Ill Workers (I have the time to eat, but that makes me sick to my stomach).
  • Fatigue Will Be the Carrier of the Second Wave (wait, I’m still scared from the first wave).

We have a health crisis alright, but we also have a crisis in hope.

If the media won’t present the facts without the drama, you must dig them out.

It’s fair to say our digital connectivity is not giving us more facts and more hope.  It is designed to scare the hell out of us.

Practice Compassion During Social Distancing

Social distancing drives us apart – and that’s exactly what we must do for public health reasons to protect ourselves and others.

But this is also a good time to stay connected in other ways and practice compassion for each other.

For those who are struggling with isolation
For those who are scared or concerned
Caring for others
Giving hope when the media and social networks tend to promote fear
Reducing your stress and by extension to those around you.

Social distancing is a great time for growing closer with compassion.