COVID-19 and Me and You
Resilience is a competency everyone needs in the world today. And never more than as we face the COVID-19 crisis. No-one could have foreseen what this would have meant for he world and no-one knows what the outcome will be next week, month or year. There is fear, uncertainty and panic abounding. Everyone is talking about It and throwing their own spin on the facts they report. Everyone is a reporter in the world of social media and has the opportunity to air their views. This is an exceptionally dangerous situation, because many people are not discerning listeners and do not investigate the truth and factual value of what they read and hear and so they catastrophize, dramatize and potentially misinform.
Somehow we all need to evaluate the situation for ourselves, our families and children and for our businesses. We need to stay calm, but not too calm. Stay realistic and not be unemotional. We need to be proactive and not be reactive and all of this in the midst of a crashing stock market, and an unstable economy. Resilience is required and it's not easy to find!
My question is what can we do? There is so much that is beyond our control, which we cannot do anything about. It is vital that we focus on what we can do and do that really well. This blog post is an exploration of the question: “what can we do something about?” and it's an invitation for us to collaborate the best way we can to work together to defend against this possible threat.
Here are my thoughts and I would love to hear yours:
1. We can make certain that we only discuss facts we know to be true. We make certain we do not post or share anything that is not reliable and factual.
2. We think through a “win:win” lens. It's not about you or I, it's about all of us staying well. When we all win, we are safe and only then.
3. We can do whatever it takes to enhance wellbeing in ourselves, our families, our communities. That means, we can, sleep well, rest well, eat well, support our staff to do the same and thrive as best they can.
4. We can stress as little as possible, filling our minds with hope and optimism instead of allowing helpless and hopeless thoughts to abound, because these cause a massive dip in our immune function. This doesn’t mean be pseudo positive, pretending there is nothing negative going on, but rather it means, being able to see what is working, what is good and what is dependable and focusing our minds on that.
5. We can notice panicked and irrational thoughts when they emerge in ourselves and through mindful awareness, bring ourselves back to rational reason. We can inspire and encourage our fellow human beings to do the same, calling people on their panic should we see it coming up. Again, this is not a call to be “jolly hockysticks” and unreasonably upbeat, but rather to keep on finding perspective and resisting the urge to catastrophize.
6. We can keep a generous, open-hearted approach to the world. It's so tempting to avoid and shut ourselves down to whatever feels threatening, but this approach is not going to work. This virus won’t be resolved by separation, but rather by collaboration.
I was in the Congo a short while ago when there was an Ebola outbreak. Actually, the endless baths of chlorinated water and temperature taking stations, the need to connect arms instead of shake hands and the need to stay away from physical contact seemed to unite the people instead of separating them.
Everyone was working together to contain the virus and they have been remarkably successful. I for one, felt inspired by the community uniting to ensure they successfully resolved the disaster. I feel inspired to join with fellow South Africans and with the rest of the world to take the same approach to Corona Virus. I would love you to share your thoughts, argue freely with me if you don’t agree and lets have a robust discussion around what we can do to help the situation!