The Do’s and Don’ts of COVID-19

My social media break has officially broken, and I am back amid panic, turmoil, and pandemic simply because being quarantined means there is nothing better to do than browse social media, panic more, and then realize that fear is more constrictive than any virus outbreak could be.

If this pandemic has been affecting your Mental Health, you’re not alone. Even if you understand the numbers are not as bad as the media portrays, even if you understand that over 90% of the people who may come in infectious contact with the virus recovery well, with mild to moderate symptoms, the tension in the air, the way people drive, the mad scramble for food, toiletries, and essentials can twist a lot of stress in your body.

So, what should we do and what shouldn’t we do during this time?

DO:

Maintain as regular as a routine as you can. Enjoy healthy meals, and try to avoid stress eating sweets and other things that not only compromise your mental health but your immune health. Exercise in nature if applicable to you: there are forests, state parks, beaches, where you can get a healthy bout of endorphins running and kick your immune system up. The gym isn’t the only place in the world to get exercise.

DONT:

Eat a pot full of garlic and think that will protect you. Chances are, you may come in contact with this virus. This chance, depending on where you live, is either very low or very high. Don’t pretend like staying in your house and sleeping all day is healthy; in fact, it could compromise you more. Fit in exercise and health where you can and however you can.

DO:

Listen to science. For the sake of your neighbors, your friends, your family, LISTEN TO SCIENCE. The facts are there. Yes, COVID-19 is indeed SARS-cov-2, according to the CDC. Yes, there are many cases. But the numbers show a different story than the media. It’s important to help curb the spread, just as it would be for any new infectious virus no matter how severe, but the fact is there are so many people in the United States who haven’t been tested, who have probably come in contact with the virus, been sick, stayed home, recovered, and are now not being counted as a COVID-19 case. This means the survival rate and infection rate is higher than being reported. This means, most likely, you’ll be okay.

Dont:

Act only in SELF-PRESERVATION. Stores are sold out of all cold, flu, and cough medicine, toilet paper, meat, and cleaning essentials. This is NOT the end of the world. By hoarding items, you are SELFISH. By hoarding masks, you are CARELESS. Most likely, especially if you are in the U.S right now, you will NOT get sick. Buying three bottles of Tylenol ISN’T NECESSARY. Masks are for the MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS taking care of the SEVERELY ILL. If you are standing in Safeway with a cart full of items right now reading this, chances are you AREN’T SEVERELY ILL. Chances are, you won’t ever be.

It was advised people get enough items for 2 weeks of self-quarantine, IF NECESSARY.

Six bottles of bleach? That’s going to last you two months, if not more.

Seven boxes of Tylenol? You’ll kill yourself. Even if you did get sick, you couldn’t continuously use it at the rate you would need to to finish seven boxes in fourteen days.

This selfishness is why people are panicking. It’s how the virus will continue to spread. It’s why young people aren’t taking anything seriously, it’s why many people aren’t social-distancing–the hysteria is off-putting, it makes it seem unimportant. So, by hoarding food, house items, and cough medicine, you’re single-handedly increasing the chances of this infection spreading quicker and harder. Those of us who are young are the ones MOST LIKELY to SPREAD this infection without knowing it. Instead of facing this scientifically, intelligently, which would make most of us young folks pay better attention, everyone is facing this hysterically, with misinformation.

Thank you, apocalypse shoppers, for ruining our chances of a speedy, national recovery.

DO:

Wash your hands for at least 20-30 seconds. If you weren’t doing that before, I’m worried. Disinfect surfaces frequently, and personal items like keys, your phone, and the inside of your car, if you want to be extra cautious.

DONT:

Touch your face or put strange objects in your mouth. If you’re anything like me, and a writer, this can be tough if you are, well, writing with a pen. I used to bite on my pens in mid-thought. Can’t be doing that right now.

DO:

Understand that if you get sick, you have a very high chance of being okay. People are dying, and that can’t be overlooked. There are some young people who lose the battle, and many older folks, most of which (from both categories) have some type of underlying cardiac or other health condition. If you smoke, your lungs will have a harder time to push back against this illness. And even still, there are some people in their 80’s and 90’s who are surviving, and some people with underlying conditions who are surviving. This is not endgame.

DONT:

Pretend like you can’t get sick just because you’re young. You can, and if it doesn’t become severe, that’s wonderful. Problem is, you will spread your germs and get the vulnerable population sick. Again, stop acting in SELF-PRESERVATION. Everything isn’t always about YOU. Sorry if that hurts your feelings. Start acting like a community. Start showing some compassion and intelligence. Keep yourself healthy, keep your neighbors healthy. It doesn’t take six bottles of bleach and all the food in Trader Joe’s to keep you healthy. Stop being stupid.

DO:

If you have mental health issues, don’t forget about self-care. Focus on activities you like. Read, write. Play video games, watch television, have a laugh. Engage in news and stories and conversation that isn’t just about COVID-19. Stay updated on current local information, but do not become consumed by it. Unlike COVID-19, panic can spread through the internet and radio.

DON’T:

Spend all your time listening to White House addresses if you’re in the U.S. For the love of God.

DO:

Recognize that people are hurting. The stories coming out of Italy are heartbreaking. Take this seriously without losing yourself.

DON’T:

Become a doomsdayer or conspiracy theoriest. Wait until the global emergency is over for all that.

The world is in so much pain right now, and is so confused. China has made great efforts and cases of COVID-19 have been drastically reduced. Recovery surpassed 80% there, days ago. This will pass.

Every once in a while, humans need to be reminded that we aren’t impenetrable. We aren’t immortal. We aren’t invincible. We’ve gotten so cocky on Earth, we think we know everything, think we can have a sustainable life with the way we purge natural resources. This pain on a global scale isn’t necessarily what we deserve, but it is a reminder that we are only organisms. There is so much more to life than money, jobs, school, Apple T.V, Trump, drugs, sex. And when our life gets disrupted, look how we crumble. Look how fast we are to only save ourselves. Life always, always has a way of curbing arrogance. Always.

We’re not curbing this virus. It’s curbing us.

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