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.

Coping with Social Distancing

Ironically, we’ve been social distancing during the ten years since the iPhone, apps and social media arrived.  We were just not ordered to stay put.  We never needed a 6-foot rule.

Here are some advantages of being locked down:

You can do whatever you didn’t have time to do before.
You can reconnect with family, friends and loved ones.
You can improve your health through exercise.
Enjoy cooking healthy – you’ve got the time now, no excuses.
You have time to think about your future, your career, your life’s choices.
You can come up with an awesome post-corona plan for your life.
Now you have to take control of your digital devices or they will drive you crazy.
You will discover Facetime, Zoom and other ways to stay connected.

Most importantly, the coronavirus crisis introduces you to yourself.

How you handle adversity and value the hope that will get you through it.

And find out who your real friends are.

It’s not as much fun as before, but we can put this time to good use.

How to Stop Fearing Coronavirus

Infectious disease experts say that the fatality rate in China for people who have symptoms of coronavirus is about 4% as of yesterday (March 25).

The death rate in the U.S. as of yesterday was 1.4% although the disease is still peaking and is expected to go higher.

96% or more who got the disease recovered.

You’re not reading or hearing this kind of authentic, factual news because we’re living in a world of instant communication, digital commerce and social media.  It behooves them to stir up fear.

Coronavirus is serious.  It is a pandemic.  It is spreading across the world.  It is affecting economies and lives.  It requires public health sacrifices.

But the death rate is under 4% even in China where it originated.

That alone should go a long way toward converting this deadly virus from fear of dying to the excellent chances we all have of surviving especially if we heed public health measures.

In a digital world fear spreads faster than even disease.

The Coronavirus is Serious, Panic is Optional

That’s what marketing expert Margo Aaron says when she writes “the way information is delivered influences your perception of it”.

That’s why online sources are scaring us for clickbait and traditional media companies are all doom and gloom all the time for ratings.

Panic comes when we become addicted to information that may or may not be correct when we are in a stage of anxiety and stress.

Turn off Twitter, Facebook and social media and disengage from people who are using your fear to make a living.

Face the facts but reject the fear.  Preserve hope.

Decision-making During the Coronavirus Crisis

You can’t make decisions when you’re afraid.

You react instead of respond.

Run instead of prevail.

Cower down instead of stand up.

This is from the CDC website:  “For most people, the immediate risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low.”

Be safe.  Be well.  Be informed.

Fear is not a friend of making good decisions.

The Coronavirus as a Tool for Hate

So, you’ve probably seen all those videos of college kids throwing caution to the ocean breeze determined to have their spring break no matter what the health risk is.

If you saw the videos, did you also notice the older people on the same Miami beaches? They weren’t mentioned.

My students were called back from spring break as many were to pack up and move out of their dorms last week with little notice.  Some have no place to go.

Others were trying to find a way to travel back to Europe, Asia and Africa where they live – no party for them.

One student was working out how to attend virtual class this Wednesday from a mandatory two-week confinement in her home country.

When we generalize about people, we distort reality.

Some young people are selfish, most are not.  Some college students went to the beach anyway along with retirees and older people who pre-planned their vacations as well.

During all of this, we have the power to get the facts and lift people up instead of drag them down and if we do, we will come away with a hidden benefit from a trying situation.