I don’t know about you, but I think this is the first pandemic we have experienced since HIV came to light back in the 1980’s. The recent outbreak of COVID-19 (Corona Virus) seems to have turned the world upside down. The situation changes daily across the nation and in the world as local, state governments institute measures to slow down the spread of this virus. In some areas, the changes that impact our individual lives are happening so fast, it is enough to make your head spin. Depending on where you live, you are experiencing a range of control measures from protect in-place, (meaning stay at home unless absolutely necessary), 14-day quarantines from work and community if you have traveled recently, to almost no restrictions at all.
One of the major differences that stand out to me is how information is spread today, compared to back in the 80’s. Before the age of social media, or at least when it was still a burgeoning presence, most of the news spread about anything was through mainstream media outlets, like network news, newspapers, radio and magazines. Today, social media perpetuates the spread of information infinitely faster and widespread. So much so, that it can be a bit overwhelming.
Information is always useful. A simple way to look at information is to compare it to vitamins. Vitamins, when the right kind are taken in just the right amount, are beneficial to your health. However, when taken in excess of what it healthy, they become toxic. News and information is the same. There is the right kind of news and there is the right amount. As people, we were only designed to process a limited amount of information at once. The size of the world we live in mentally, emotionally and psychologically is determined on how much information we are receiving. For me, the key to maintaining peace and perspective, even in the midst of a storm, is to regulate the amount of information I consume. There are extremes when it comes to this. You can be the ostrich that stick it’s head in the sand, remaining blissfully unaware. Or you can be a glutton and reach for every tidbit of information you can find and just shove it all in. Somewhere in middle is where I sit.
This recent viral outbreak is not something to be ignored. There are things about this virus that makes it worthy of heeding. It’s new, there are no vaccines (yet) and it is particularly dangerous to the elderly and immune compromised. But for most of the population, COVID-19 is a malady that is akin to a bad cold or flu. We recently came back from traveling, during which my wife contracted influenza-A. Her symptoms from the flu rival most of what people infected with the Corona virus experience. Yet one benefit I personally find amidst this crisis is the motivation to change daily habits that just make me healthier. The emphasis on hygiene has caused me to develop better habits that will help me stay healthier. Maybe this is true for all of us.
Admittedly, depending on where you live right now, this can be a challenge. Businesses are challenged. Places of employment have made drastic shifts in the way they are doing business. This is a real thing right now. But inasmuch as is possible, try to stay normal. We run two businesses. Alaska Web Studio, and the Outten Ridin’ Ranch. Both businesses have jobs to do serving man and beast. As occupations, these are counterpoints in our lives which have direct impact on how we live. For no other reason but to maintain peace and normalcy, we choose to keep the status quo. As much as you can, do this, please do. Stay safe. Stay informed in just the right amounts. Stay normal. Remember, this too shall soon pass!