Life in a pandemic struck reality

Staying optimistic about the future (and trying not to imagine a zombie apocalypse)

The world has seen pandemics before COVID 19. So why does this one seem like an end to the world? Besides the fact that this virus is sneaky as hell (it can stay undetected for a long time and is super contagious), we also live in a world where information and misinformation travels quick and easy. Literally anyone can have a theory about it without having the right credentials in front of their names. And of course, there are those that have all the right credentials and a social influence, but a brain and a social aptitude of an inappropriate teenager making up theories and spreading misinformation on national TV. With so much information available at the tip of your fingers, it’s not unlikely for people to stock up on toilet paper and guns like there is no tomorrow.

According to Maslow, humans require the security of body, family, health, and property even more than love. But to reach that second level, we need to fulfill our physiological needs first. These include involuntary behaviors like breathing and excretion. Most people don’t need supplies to help take in air. But almost everyone needs to wipe after they defecate.

The Real Reason people are hoarding Toilet paper and Guns by Debbie Millman for Fast Company | April 20, 2020

What is working so far

Besides really researching and following a credited source of information, I also think it’s critical to limit the time you spend inhaling this information. I only listen to or read the news in the first 1 hour of my day when I am working out. The 2 podcasts I listen to everyday that keep it short and meaningful is the Newsworthy and the Global News Podcast. This gives me a short synopsis of what’s happening in the US and around the world. If a piece of news is worth digging deeper into, I read up on it later in the day while taking breaks from work. I also mindfully avoid reading, watching or listening to any pandemic related or otherwise disturbing news and ideas before going to bed.

The ‘rabbit hole syndrome’ and a hindsight

Sometimes when something catches and grips your interest, it’s inevitable to go down the rabbit hole and keep reading about it. Also as humans, we feel a dire need to know and form an opinion about everything. But we must remember one thing – while it’s not wrong to form an opinion, we must also acknowledge that we live in a world where everyone thinks they are right. And sometimes, for your own sanity, it’s best to be blissfully ignorant. I, for one, love to burden my brain with the world’s problems. So while I continue to sometimes worry about the world coming to an end, I also try to remember that the time I have now will never come back. Things will change for the better or for worse. But the only thing I really have any control over is how I live my life now and how to make the best of it.

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