It's been several weeks since the world began a shut-down due to COVID-19 and I think we have all noticed a lot of confusing messages that have been circulating since then. Every one of us likes to have some control in our lives and "the unknown" can therefore become an enemy to the people. Since this started however, I have to be honest by saying that I don't think anyone has any really good answers to give us right now.
There isn't an exact date as to when everything will open up again. The fact that there are different pockets of outbreaks throughout the world, all in different stages of severity, makes things more complicated. Also, regional jurisdictions and governing bodies seem to have differing perspectives about what we can and can't do. Many things just don't make sense. For example, one province, with high statistics re-opened schools while another province with very few numbers have not planned to re-open schools for several weeks.
The whole topic of mask wearing has been controversial. At one point we were told that they could actually cause infections if improperly fit or handled. Some "experts" warn that they might give a false sense of safety. Others state that we need to wear them. Questions include where, when and what type?
Another confusing situation arises when we try to balance health and finances. Those in what is termed "essential services" are required to work despite risk. Those in "non-essential? services who have been self-isolating may have lost or reduced their income significantly.
Governments have been providing various stimulus programs to put money into the hands of the people and prevent the stock market from crashing but recovering from this will set us back as a country for many years to come.
So, what can we do when we live in a world of mixed messages and uncertainty? How can you live with peace rather than anxiety? Who can you trust?
- Trust yourself - Learn how to do research and then make decisions based on your own wisdom. You can continue to use good health practices and caution while still living an active life. You might not be able to go to a gym, but you can still walk in the beautiful outdoors. Instead of seeing friends and family, you can use phone or computers to stay in touch. You can use your time to improve your living conditions, learn a skill or embrace the time you previously wished for to relax.
- Trust those who are trustworthy - I am fortunate to have a physician who knows me, my health, and science. I trust him. Think about the people who you have learned to trust over the years. Do you have someone in your life who is good with finances? Can you trust the people who operate the store where you buy groceries? Do you have friends or family members who you can trust for specific things?
- Trust God (or the universe or whatever you call someone or something that is bigger than you). The sun comes up every day. Seasons occur with scheduled dependability. For centuries people have been born, lived and died. This pandemic is just one small part of a world history that has included both trouble and progress. And the cycle will continue.