Paranoia, Practicality, and Prayer

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Well, here we are.  Still here.  Still wondering what’s next.  So while we’re wondering I thought I’d share some practical suggestions with you.

A friend intimated yesterday that it was foolish of me not to be afraid of this virus.  I told her it was more foolish to fear it, and there was a great difference between being afraid and being practical.  “Practical” in this case doesn’t mean rushing around town looking for isopropyl alcohol or it’s next-best substitute, Everclear.  (Ugh!  Bad memories of terrible post frat party hangovers!)  It means keeping clean—in our homes, our cars, our work-places (if we’re not working from home).  It means really doing the Google Five:

1HANDS Wash them often

2ELBOW Cough into it

3FACE Don’t touch it

4FEET Stay more than 3ft apart

5FEEL sick? Stay home

It also means being aware that we live in a capitalist society, which pushes people to instinctively be the “bestest with the mostest.”  So a tiny 1-ounce bottle of Everclear which normally costs $1.99 at your favorite liquor store is suddenly $8.  Yes, the local drug store does have a miracle potion you can buy—at $45 for a 2-ounce bottle.  Yes, it’s good to have extra supplies on hand, but you won’t survive this particular virus (or the Zombie Apocalypse) by hoarding.  After all, what about the folks who live in small apartments, those on monthly paychecks, those who are elderly or infirm and can’t afford to hoard, not to mention those who are homeless and living hand to mouth anyway?  Survival depends on cooperation and care for others as well as one’s self. 

Now, about those practical suggestions—First and foremost, boost and maintain your immune system! 

Herbs, vitamins, and food supplements:

Common Sense Practices: 

  • Drink lots of water
  • Take it easy with alcohol or sugar
  • Eat a good balanced diet that works for you (fruits, veggies, grains, meats, dairy – vegan, vegetarian, paleo, etc.)
  • Get regular mild exercise (walking is still a great idea!)
  • Get good rest

Anti-paranoia Practices:

  • Take a news break.  We don’t need every detail of every virus-related development all day long.
  • Avoid doomsayers.  You’ll recognize them—they’re the folks who meet your every hopeful comment with all the reasons why you’re wrong and the worst news and speculations are right.
  • Again, mild exercise helps raise endorphins—those friendly little critters in our brains.
  • Meditate (you don’t have to sit on a cushion in a cloud of incense to do this!).
  • Cook something tasty for yourself or your family (cooking requires attention otherwise available for worry and other negative emotions).
  • Watch funny movies, kids’ movies, or chick flicks on Netflix.
  • Read a good upbeat book while listening to peaceful music.
  • Reach out to family and friends on the phone or an online conference app.
  • Don’t give in to despair.  There are days and moments when each of us feels like we can’t keep going.  Yet, here we are, after all the many challenges we’ve faced in our lives.  And we’ll make it through this one as well.
  • And last but not least, if you’re a spiritual person (or even if not), pray.  There are events in life for which we may have no explanation or understanding.  And there are sources of solace greater than ourselves, whose perspective is far above our limited view.  When all else fails, we can turn our troubles over to Spirit and ask for a different way of seeing what distresses us.

Photo courtesy of Mariska Miller, Berkeley, CA

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