Global pandemic. State of Emergency. Corona virus.
These are words that have rattled our sense of well-being and fed our fears.
I’ve watched as the unseen enemy creeps closer. First it was overseas, then the virus arrived in the U.S. and spread to my state. Now we have the first confirmed cases in my rural county.
Even if you or someone you know doesn’t have COVID-19, I’m sure you could list multiple ways your world is different now. I know I can.
The first wave of impact hit me at the college where I work. We’ve been scrambling to move classes to online learning, cancel multiple events/travel, and mobilize staff to transition to working from home.
Then the effect became even more personal. The community theatre production I was looking forward to participating in was cancelled. My 401(k) began to tank as the stock market plunged. My church moved its services to Facebook Live broadcasts, and my hairdresser suspended her operations.
But perhaps nothing provided greater evidence that life has changed than when I made a trip to Walmart two weeks ago. The gaping shelves and people nervously foraging for staples was like a scene from an apocalyptic movie. Even the behemoth Amazon, who I could always rely on to deliver whatever I wanted in two days can’t keep items in stock.
And of course, there’s the infamous toilet paper shortage. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have to ration TP—but I’ve learned that I can get the job done with just three squares. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited as when a box containing toilet paper arrived on my front porch.
Obviously, the things I’ve experienced can mostly be described as inconveniences in comparison to what people who have lost income or are fighting the disease are going through, but the stress all of us are feeling is real.
In times like this we often feel powerless, so I’d like to suggest seven things you can do to help increase your level of peace and help others in the midst of the crisis. Continue reading →