In the midst of the mayhem that this virus has brought, it is important to remember our capacity for resilience. Our common humanity is greater than its constituent parts.
Rabat – We live in strange and difficult times. The coronavirus, or COVID-19, has descended upon our world with devastating effects.
Thousands of people have died and many more are infected. The numbers keep piling up at a staggering pace. Day by day the news gets worse and we feel helpless and stressed.
Human nature being what it is, we also feel fearful, uncertain, and unsafe. It does not take a psychologist to understand how coronavirus has disturbed our lives and is taking a tremendous toll on our mental health.
Our reactions —mental and otherwise— to this new life with coronavirus can be perplexing, even to us. But then none of us has ever faced a virus that is so far-reaching in its scope and so devastating in its impact.
In my own case, and I am 62 years old, I find myself sometimes apprehensive, frustrated, and worried about the well-being of my family. I am also concerned about my colleagues, my neighbors, my community, and to a larger extent our world.
In the midst of the mayhem that this virus has brought, it is important to remember our capacity for resilience. We can all harness our innate ability for logic, rationality, compassion, understanding and love. All in the service of one another. Our common humanity is greater than its constituent parts.
Over the last two weeks, based on many widely available public sources, I have been following some suggestions that have been very helpful to me. Most are practical suggestions, requiring no special material or skills.
Avoid crowded areas. Keep a distance between you and other people. Scientists recommend two meters.
Stay home and only leave if necessary, and always in accordance with your local authorities’ protocols and requirements.
Clean and disinfect often–touched surfaces such your phone, doorknobs, computer, etc.
Listen to scientists and follow the experts’ advice. Trust science.
Wash your hands often with soap for at least 30 seconds.
Avoid touching your face, especially when outdoors.
Do not be fixated with the news. Find projects around your home. Read, write, and do what you can to occupy yourselves. I am now reading The Travels of Ibn Batuta. I find it comforting and surprisingly current.
If possible, and allowed, go out, take a walk, commune with nature. The sun and fresh air are good for us.
Exercise according to your ability. It’s good for your mental and physical health.
Be kind and generous. We are all in this together. Our collective duty is to do everything we can to weather this terrible calamity. COVID-19 is an equal opportunity virus. It does not make a difference as to who you are or where you live in this world. None of us is invincible.
Practice mindfulness. We can’t do much about the future and worrying about it can bring anxiety and fear. Try as much as possible to live in the present moment. Notice what is around you in new ways. Listen to the sounds. Practice your breathing.
Very importantly, accept that this is out of our individual control. Only a concerted and collective effort will help us come out of this tragedy.
And lastly, tell a story or listen to a story, cook, listen to music, educate and be educated. Be aware. Be hopeful.
May the force be with us.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial views.
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