A couple of days ago, I had a friend ask me why I was so calm with a world pandemic going on around me. I am actually a member of 3 different "at risk" groups. I have a heart condition, asthma and an auto-immune disease. Basically I have 3 strikes against me. I should be terrified and yet I am not freaking out, hording food, toilet paper, or sanitizing products.
For me, it is simple. I cannot control the pandemic. No one can. By acknowledging I am not in control, I eliminate the stress of trying to control it.
What I can control is how I respond to it. I stopped obsessively watching the news. I watch only in the morning and the evening. If I have questions, I go to the CDC or our state's Department of Health website to get the facts, NOT Facebook. I wash my hands 25-30 times a day. I stay out of highly populated areas. I have enough food and supplies for 2 weeks. I get outside and walk around listening to the birds sing and see the trees starting to show their leaves. These are the things I can control.
I am grateful. I am able to work from home. There are many people who cannot and do not know if they will have a job tomorrow. My husband and I are fortunate to have our grown children and their spouses live close by. Our grand-baby brings us such joy even if we can only video chat with her. There are many people who do not live near their families or do not have a strong familial connection. I have a strong network of friends all of whom check in on me and I check on them on a regular basis. I started sending cards to the elderly patients in a nearby nursing home where they are no longer allowing visitors to uplift their spirits.
And everyday at 11:11 AM I pray the Serenity Prayer.
Let go of the fear. Look beyond yourself and do something nice for someone else. Check in on your family, friends, and neighbors. Take charge of only those things you can control and reach out for moral support when you need it (we're here for you, too).