Love in the time of coronavirus

I don’t know anything about epidemiology. I won’t lecture you to wash your hands. I certainly can’t tell you what’s going to happen with the market. But since COVID19 hit the global radar, I have learned a thing or two about humanity—and the kind of humans we need to become.

1. We need to take better care of each other.

As people hoard apocalyptic amounts of hand sanitizer and canned goods, I’ve realized that we think we’re in this alone. It hasn’t registered yet that we need others to be able to protect themselves too. We need healthcare providers to have enough masks to work without getting sick, and US hospitals are already projecting a dangerous deficit. We need those who are already sick to stay in quarantine without having to leave the house in search of the basics like food and toilet paper. The more we hoard our resources, the more vulnerable the group becomes. We’re not getting out of this alone, folks. We need each other.

2. We need to take better care of ourselves.

In the contest for notorious workaholics, those in the financial services industry take the cake. After thirty years in the field, I’m still learning how to navigate the challenges of constant travel, limited sleep, rushed meals, and professional stress. Daily exercise and meditation helps, but I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always carve out the time. Right now, self care is more important than ever. A healthy immune system is our best defense against illness. And if you’re the type who goes to work as soon as Advil brings the fever down, take this opportunity to learn some manners. It shouldn’t take a pandemic to teach us how viruses work. If hand washing, elbow-sneezing, and staying at home when you’re sick feels like news to you, welcome to civilization in the twenty- first century. Self-care isn’t just about yourself; its about healthy communities too.

3. Pause button > Panic button.

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Repeat until the world is no longer ending. Realize it never was. Don’t let social media, the news, and melodramatic bloggers talk you into thinking otherwise. Coronavirus won’t be the end of humanity, but the kind of racism and xenophobia that result from panic certainly will be. Countless folks of Asian descent have been verbally and physically abused in subways, restaurants, and schools across the world since the Coronavirus outbreak began. Its shameful to think how quickly we regress into the worst versions of ourselves when we are scared. So take a breath. Take ten. And if there’s ever a choice, choose kindness.