As we approach two full months since our country began it's widespread lock-down, it is difficult to get a good perspective on what we're going through. We're still in the middle of it. There are so many different aspects and perspectives, different ideas and beliefs, new studies and recommendations every week. It would be impossible to take it all in.
But it's important to try and make sense of some things.
I believe two crucial things we need to do are:
1) Lessen Fear
2) Learn Lessons
Lessening Fear: Treatments, Media, Healthy Habits
No one can claim that they have been "right" or that they had the answers for what we're going through. But I do know, that from the beginning I was focused on keeping my fear and stress level low. This was, and continues to be, important for my health which impacts my family's health, and by extension our community, nation and yes, even the world. We each need to do our part. Will we be perfect? No! My fear and anxiety has been like a wild roller coaster ride! But I address it each day anew. It truly is a practice.
I think the first and most important way we can lessen our worldwide fear level is to realize that there ARE effective treatments! What great news! Unfortunately, the mainstream media thrives on creating drama - click-bait titles, views, ratings etc. If you want to find information about treatments that are working (and also what is NOT working) you have to seek the information yourself. Then you need to share so this information spreads to as many people as possible. If you or someone you love gets sick, YOU are the advocate and are empowered with this information.
Here is a great article to start your research: "We’ve Cracked the COVID-19 Code.” (And Why No One is Listening.)"
For the past 2 months I have been sharing information about Vitamin C. For the hundreds of thousands of people who are already familiar with how powerful Vitamin C is - because it is a daily part of their lives - it is not a huge surprise that the media is not picking up on alternative healing solutions in a significant way. We already knew this was going on. For the average person it is a difficult truth to accept - the people in powerful positions are not trying to spread this good news, in fact they often try to do the opposite by discrediting and suppressing information. But it doesn't take a genius or a "conspiracy" to explain this phenomenon - healthier people and Vitamin C will literally make many medications obsolete and there goes millions, if not billions, of dollars of profit for the pharmaceutical companies. The best news possible for people is the worst for these businesses. It's a bittersweet pill for us to accept. But we need to start becoming empowered to take control of our own health. For more information about Vitamin C and coronavirus you can check out Dr. Cheng, Dr. Brownstein** and Doris Loh. There are many others, but these are good sources to start with.
**The link to Dr. Brownstein's website no long works because the FTC has ordered him to stop sharing what his practice is doing. Read more here.
Other ways to lessen our fear are to disengage from the mainstream media and work on healthy habits - getting enough sleep, eating well, getting outside - sun! fresh air! moving, spending time with loved ones, and one of my favorites - laughing! (My favorite new routine is watching Shitt's Creek with Mike most evenings - the belly laughs are so healing!) We all know that these are important, but changing habits is difficult. It's so important that we each do our best, because when we are feeling calm and centered that spreads outwards from us in ways we can't even begin to quantify or understand.
Learning Lessons: Listening, Healthy Debate, Trust
We can all agree that we need to learn from this experience. We will not all agree with what the most important lessons are, but the hope is that we can all learn from each other by truly listening. From my perspective, we cannot get to the deeper lessons without first lessening our collective fear, which is why I addressed that first. This is crucial because when our brains are in a fearful state we literally CANNOT access the calm, rational parts of our brain necessary for listening and learning.
Not being able to hear people with different perspectives was an issue from the beginning and continues to be a big problem. Here is an important perspective about the loss of healthy debate. I think this is one of the most important lessons we need to learn from this experience. If we had slowed down and really considered the many different aspects of this complex issue, we most likely would have taken a very different path. It's important to appreciate that there is not one right answer and there was no perfect way to respond to this world wide experience. Here is another good read and a quote from it that rings true for me, "But after thinking and writing about this question it seems that the most reasonable approach in this crisis is transparent information–no matter how stark. And, crucially, we must have space for public debate."
From my perspective, there are decisions that were made that are now difficult to undo. When we gave so much power to our governments to determine our path we lost a lot. (Of course, this was something that we had been building up to for years and decades, so not something so easily avoided when the crap hit the fan 2 months ago. What we can do is begin to adjust course NOW.) Please keep in mind, many things may have looked the same with transparent information and recommendations from our government - people would have chosen to be cautious, to socially distance, and do what they felt was necessary to keep themselves and their loved ones as safe as possible. People are generally intelligent and we need to trust them to make these important decisions. Does it mean you will always agree with your neighbors' choices? Of course not! But with each passing day and week, thousands of families' situations are becoming more dire. More and more people are recognizing this, but the path we are on is not easily reversed.
My hope is that we learn from this and respond much differently in the future. This story is far from being finished - lessening fear and learning lessons will continue be an important part of our collective path.
What are your hopes? What have you learned? How do you keep your fear level at manageable levels? I would love to hear your thoughts and perspective as we continue to navigate this unprecedented experience.
Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.