Take a breath first.
I know that everyone and everything is turning upside down at the moment and it’s okay to feel what you feel. It’s okay to be worried, stressed out, fearless, disappointed. There are a million different ways to feel in this situation, and none of them are right or wrong.
What you don’t have to do is panic.
There was a lot of media exposure, a lot of scaremongering. A lot of talk about worst-case scenarios and a lot of panic buying. I would like to encourage you to stop shopping in the fear system. Of scarcity.
Take a breath first. A deep one. Let it out slowly. Do it again.
This is nothing new. Viruses mutate. They are always mutated. You will always mutate. That is what viruses do.
Swine flu / H1N1.
AIDS / HIV.
Viruses want to live like all life forms. They change and adapt. They challenge our immunity. They are becoming increasingly difficult and immune-resistant to resist for older people. They are kept in check by good hygiene and common sense.
Currently, people have no immunity to COVID-19 since it is new. Therefore, it spreads quickly and infects so many. This is how our immunity works and develops; A new threat is entering the world, people are catching it, and in this case the majority of the people who get it will recover. After they recover, they have natural immunity to the virus. Those who become mothers are likely to pass some degree of passive immunity to the colostrum virus to their infants (although we obviously don’t have the data to know for sure). COVID-19 will always exist, but it will never be a “pandemic” again because a large part of the population will have immunity to it. This is the age-old cycle that repeats itself when new viruses mutate.
This is neither the first viral fear nor the last. This is not even the worst. It is simply one of the best known.
I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about the virus itself and the media, but I will keep them to myself. There is enough of that. Regardless, the message remains the same: this is not a reason to panic.
As with any new virus, we should be careful and do our best not to become carriers of the disease for those whose systems cannot handle it. But we shouldn’t be scared.
So again … inhale.
Stop panicking buying toilet paper. You don’t need a gallon of hand sanitizer. Your home doesn’t have to be as sterile as a surgical department in a hospital. It shouldn’t be like that. There’s a reason hospitals are breeding antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but I’m digressing.
Leave some supplies for others. Do you know what you can absolutely live without? Toilet paper. You know without what some people in the world regularly live every day? Toilet paper. Disposable rags / napkins / towels. Disposable menstrual products. Clean up damned drinking water.
Squirt your butt in the shower if you need to, but stop adding toilet paper to your personal Mount Everest. It is irresponsible. It is unnecessary. It is selfish. It is justified. Leave something for your neighbor.
And instead of buying every last gallon of milk on the shelves, you should regularly have groceries worth a few weeks on hand. It doesn’t look like panic buying – and it shouldn’t be. It should look like adding some non-perishable goods to your shopping cart when you buy your normal groceries. It should look like you usually have pantry staples on hand. It should look like buying the 5-pound bag of rice and storing it in place of the 1-pound bag. It should look like you are playing an active role in your food source whenever and how you can.
It’s okay if you’re stressed out. It’s okay if you’re just fed up and ready to deal with it (I’m right there with you). It’s okay if you fight the urge to block every single one of your Facebook friends who are continuously sharing their hot takes.
Just breathe in.
This will also pass.
* Tuberculosis is a bacterium and not a virus, but I use it here because of its pandemic when it was “new”. Both bacteria and viruses have been responsible for major health crises throughout history. Parasites too.
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