Pandemic Anxiety


God, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the otherKarl Paul

This is probably the most scary time we have experienced in recent history. The only closest comparison to the level of anxiety that I could think of would probably be the 9/11 attacks, but when I asked people who have lived here longer, they say that even then, people could still go out and get their daily supplies.  I was told that even though there were fears of more attacks, they were still able to go to work within three days. Putting aside the controversy of who really orchestrated the 911 attacks, they were still able to put a face to an enemy, someone to fight, to go after. Well this time, the enemy can’t be seen and is barely known.  Is it as deadly as mainstream media says it is? Is it China’s retaliation against the recent trade deals with the objective to tank the world’s economy and buy global market shares for the cheap or is it simply an accident? It might be one of those things that we will never really know the who or why behind it. Right now, our only choice is to take heed of the recommended precautions and adjust to the current way of living.  And even if the virus isn’t real, the panic sure is.

So how are you holding up?

To conserve on resources and help out our local restaurants, we have been buying food to go instead of cooking at home.  One of the places we frequent is a Thai Restaurant called Khun Dang. I’d say it is one of the best in Los Angeles. We dine there so frequently that the servers know our usual orders. Like every small business, they too are taking a big hit. The owner had to shorten the workers’ hours instead of laying them off. It helps, but I am not sure how long they could sustain that.  I am sure the big companies and industries are going to be able to negotiate a bail out deal with the federal government, some are probably even taking advantage of the situation just to grab some bailout money, while small businesses would only get some tax breaks and a lower interest rate on loans. Many would probably go belly up if this goes on any longer. Everyone is still talking about the number of cases and deaths, but once that all settles the number of people out of jobs and businesses that had to shut down would most probably have a higher number.

It is just too much!  I have come to a point where I don’t want to hear about it anymore.  It doesn’t help that it is all over mainstream and social media. It’s the topic at work and at home.  Add to it the daily press conferences of local officials. I know I can’t just wish it to be gone and it is important to be aware but what else is there to know anyway?

We were already told how it spreads, how deadly it is, what the government is doing about it, that it is safer to stay home, advised to use personal protective equipment, frequently wash our hands, sanitize our immediate surroundings and stay away from each other.   I am sure that even if I stay away from watching any media, I would still hear about the latest news from someone somewhere. 

To alleviate some of the stress caused by this lockdown and panic, I stayed away from TV, radio and social media that pertains to the crisis.   I know it is counter intuitive and would probably cause some withdrawals among some of us, but unless they have found a definitive cure, or the virus has turned people into cannibal zombies, I do not need the additional hype.  I am sure that any other precautions or lockdown enforcement information will still get to us one way or another. All I am aiming for is just a temporary change of focus.  

  We also took advantage of the lockdown and have been cleaning up!  Let’s use those children that are stuck at home. Double up on their choirs!  Put them to work! It’s time to bring back Home Economics and it is hard to worry when we are busy.   Let’s use the down time, allow a few hours of school work then have them do some spring cleaning!

One of the biggest challenges that we all face in this lockdown is probably actually spending more time with our family than usual.  Social media is having fun with this one. I read a post that claims that the number of robberies, accidents and crimes in general are down but the number of arguments between spouses have risen in the thousands.  😀 Thank God we still have basic utilities and Netflix but we could also try the old fashioned ways of leisure such as reading books, playing board games and dusting off that musical instrument and start playing again.

I think it was Socrates who said that the unexamined life is not worth living.  Well since the bars, restaurants , therapists offices are closed and social distancing is becoming the norm, this might be a good time to go within and do some introspection.  One good way to start it off is by counting blessings. So if you still have a job, even though it may be rough right now, you are still blessed for having one because plenty have lost theirs.  On the bright side, some companies are actually hiring like Amazon, Target and Ralph’s. Hopefully that helps out some of those who got laid off. If you can still buy and find food to eat then you are still better off than most.   If you and your family are healthy, then enough said

And of course, if you still have toilet paper, well….You are Golden! 

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