Coronavirus is a real threat with predictions that 40 -70% of the world population will be affected. The economy of countries tumbling like a stack of dominos, Covid-19 has taken over the world by storm. Enormously pressuring both the individual and the community leading to the most important question, How do we react to this pandemic?
UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF NATIONWIDE LOCKDOWN
Wondering how serious a disease could be? Consider the following graph,
India has a population of 1.4B. If it weren’t for the lockdown, 35M people would be dead with 6 months. With only just above 713 thousand hospital beds and with an infected of over 60M, we would overwhelm the healthcare system. Doctors have to decide between patients to provide treatment due to the lack of ventilators and other equipment. Collateral damage would rise (Imagine an ambulance arriving after 50 minutes instead of 5, when you have a heart attack because of the overwhelming amount of Covid-19 patients). More healthcare workers would die, the economy of the country would plunge into the deepest trenches and recovering back becomes much harder.
But there is hope. We can reduce the impact drastically, IF we stay in our homes, we can flatten the curve which in linguistic terms mean fewer fatality rates, lesser healthcare workers die and better are our chances of coming out of this safe and sound.
THREE DIFFERENT WAYS OF REACTING TO CORONAVIRUS
THE PANIC MODE
From news to social media everything you turn to drowns you with the latest update on Covid – 19, leading you to panic mode. All this bombardment of random info drives you crazy. And to combat this craziness, you become unnecessarily over-prepared.
You visit the nearby store, buy out an entire rack of hand sanitizers and masks, believing that this would improve the odds of your survival. But reality is far bitter. The more masks and sanitizers you hoard, the lesser is the odds of survival of healthcare workers. It’s they who direly need masks, but when the entire population of the country hoards masks, we create a demand for the same.
Face masks can be effective in situations where the exposure is highly likely. Use face masks only when you are sick, under investigation and not hospitalized – caring for an infected patient, or waiting outside a healthcare provider’s office. Other than that, your chances of being infected cannot be decreased significantly by using a flimsy mask. Examining the cost of panicking or emotional reaction, you might find that it really doesn’t do any good.
THE FEARLESS SHOWOFF
“Coronavirus? Not so much of a big deal. I’ve seen far more dangerous things than these, I can’t be in a lockdown. I’ve much better things to do”
Don’t be this “valiant” badass.
We are in a lockdown not because you will get sick and die. Heck, you might get infected and nothing might happen to you, but you end up spreading the disease to other people, indirectly killing them. You overwhelm the healthcare workers, increase fatality rates, and cause more collateral damage. Why cause so much pain when you can relax in your comfy sofas all day, when you could binge Avengers like back to back for the next 21 days with no worries?
Proper education from the right resources will help you prevent slipping into denial mode.
THE STOIC BADASS
You have a great deal of infected population in your surroundings; they put your country in a lockdown; the economy falls flat on its face and you find it intimidating to go face to face with uncertainty.
- What will happen to the economy?
- Will we get through this pandemic safe and sound?
- Will you escape without being affected?
- How are you going to react if something undesirable turns up?
Here are three stoic principles that help you deal with uncertainty.
Stoic principle 1: “Some things are under our control, while others aren’t…”
You can control how you react to the pandemic but you have no clue whether you will infected are not. You prepare against this pandemic, but you cannot do anything about the global economy’s downfall. Identify what you can control and what you can’t. Because worrying about things that you cannot control makes little sense.
Stoic principle 2: “Focus on the smallest task you could do right now”
What’s the best thing that you could do right now, to put yourself in the best position?
Educate yourself on coronavirus properly, self quarantine and stay calm.
Stoic principle 3: “Have a plan if things get worse.”
Do you have sufficient food for a week? Have you prepared for plans to get safely out of the economic depression? Prepare ahead, not because you could control the future but because you have something to fall upon. When things don’t go according to plan adopt and improvise.
Though Covid-19 is a grave pandemic, though it has caused a great deal of death, though it dragged the economy down the dirty ditch it doesn’t require you to adapt big measures. They are actually habits that we ought to follow every day.
Washing your hands, not touching your face with them, eating your veggies properly (specially those that are rich in vitamin C and D) are those basic things that decrease the odds of us being infected. These are the same boring (but essential) stuff that we must do all along.
Mass media is overreacting and creating a panic in people. Accept that you can never predict the future. (Say, a vaccine comes out next week) And look forward to the opportunity for creation in destruction, use this self quarantine period to create something useful. All those times you have been procrastinating on taking care of your health, exercising, starting a YouTube channel, working towards your dreams, now would be the best time to do so.
Act virtuously and don’t put your convenience over other’s safety. We’re all in this together, help others, be kind and don’t be selfish. None of this stuff is fun, but makes a great deal of difference in saving our country. Educate yourself well, create a plan of action, follow healthy habits and let’s hope for the best.
Now what is the smallest thing that you could do right now to help your community?
Here are a few incredible resources that educates you well about coronavirus
- Coronavirus: Why You must act now
- Coronavirus: The hammer and the dance
- Coronavirus: The Real Risks and Human Biases behind the panic