This morning I sat at my computer with a million thoughts on what is happening globally right now. I plan to write a post on self-isolation soon and what we can do to cope and manage this time, but understandably I also see an immense amount of fear. And often when people are really scared and don’t know how to handle the fear coming up, they point fingers of blame at others. It could be scientists, different cultures, countries or governments. The big message here is, nobody can know the best way of doing anything ‘for sure’ right now.
Whatever our governments or countries do is risky. If they lock down entire countries for a few weeks and then open them up again, there is a serious risk of a second wave happening. Or governments (like the UK) take another approach to flatten the curve of the virus, in a step by step, adaptive approach. Either of these approaches carries risks. This virus is still largely unknown, the vaccine is some way off being created and available, so we are riding a wave of absolute uncertainty.
What I am seeing is a lot of panic. I know this very well. I’m scared, like many people, for loved ones who are over a certain age or have immune or lung disorders, the problem being that it’s out of our control. And our governments can only do so much. The medical profession worldwide also has to make incredibly hard decisions. If this continues, many lives will be lost, but blaming only puts off the inevitable, which is accepting what is taking place, acknowledging it is largely out of our control and finding ways to manage the situation and our reaction to it in a way that aids us through this.
From my own experience with anxiety and panic attacks, blame, fighting others, avoiding the feelings, does not help. It merely puts off what needs to be faced.
Life Was and IS Always Uncertain
Before Covid-19 came on the scene, life was always uncertain, life was always unknown, but most of us had the illusion of control. That illusion is being shattered into pieces now and many people can’t cope with losing that illusion.
Look at it this way, if you take Covid-19 out of the world, your life had many windows of opportunity for change, for loss, for love, for peace, for fear. Your loved ones could die at any time, be hit by a bus, a sudden health issue or other dramatic event. The only difference being is that we are being given an image, a vessel for potential loss, loud and clear up front in our faces right now. Now, this does not mean you will lose someone to this virus, this does not mean you will get sick, but you could, and that is always a possibility in life. No matter how much this may feel different, it is not.
So, we can do one of two things right now and it is entirely up to you what you do.
You can panic. That is okay, panic is natural, fear is necessary. And you can blame the government, your leaders, the medical providers, God… whatever you need to do right now. And you can talk in groups about how bad this is and how it is going to get worse and gather in intense fear with others who also are whipping up the fear, but honestly, this will be a time of great suffering for you if this is the route you choose to take.
OR you can allow fear to arise, allow panic to arise, but you breathe deep, you acknowledge the possibilities that could happen, you take steps, you plan, you prepare BUT you recognise that anything can and will change. You accept that you are not in control and you were never in control and this is okay. You accept that at times things may feel unbearable for a time, be it from sickness, loss or self-isolation. And you allow this all to happen, without judging it wrong, without fighting what you feel, without blaming others and you gather online, on the phone, whatever you need, with people who want to focus on more than just Covid-19.
Support One Another
We need to work together, support one another, and yes, make sacrifices for the greater good. This means if we have the virus, Covid-19 or otherwise, if we have symptoms, we stay inside, and we look after ourselves and others by not resisting and by doing our part to protect those who may be more vulnerable than we are.
And those of you who are feeling calmer, you talk to people on the phone, if you know of neighbours who are elderly, you pop a note through the door with your phone number in case they need shopping or someone to talk to. You play your part to soothe the population in your own way.
We need people who are encouraging, soothing and compassionate right now. We don’t need more blame and projection. We don’t need more fighting politically. We do need to recognise that we are all human, all part of the human race, rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight, left, right, centre… all human.
Yes, some people will show their fear through greed and manipulation.
Yes, some people will show their fear by aggression and self-serving behaviour.
This is perhaps the only way they know how to deal with their own fears.
We must accept that many people have not had to deal with this kind of thing before. Not just the panic and the fear, but the isolation.
We live in a world where people rely on technology, computer games, socialising to feel safe. Only some of us find isolation easier. Some will really struggle, along with businesses going bankrupt. Mental health issues and suicide will probably increase.
I’m not saying this to frighten you, just to say this is what can and probably will happen. The more we can accept what is, accept what could take place, the easier it will be, for all of us.
The longer we take to come together, the more we will suffer as a species.
This virus will not be a forever thing, like any life intensity, it will return to balance. In some circles they call this a ‘regression to the mean’. Whatever swings into intensity must swing back to the centre eventually. This is life, this is what happens.
So be scared, give comfort, but try not to blame, for everyone is making hard decisions right now, some will make mistakes, but this is what uncertainty is all about. It’s natural in taking risks and making choices, while riding a very shaky carpet ride of life.
Be well, take care.