Don’t Forget to Breathe: How to Stay Calm in the Midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic
Don’t forget to breathe.
The long haul truck driver who is about to drive the food/medicine/sanitizer to your local store just had to scramble to get daycare for their child because the schools closed.
The cashier at the store had to do the same, and also keeps interacting with hundreds or thousands of strangers so they will still be able to afford to pay their rent, lest they and their elderly family members end up homeless during a pandemic that preys on our elders.
The pharmacist who has dedicated their professional life to trying to get people healthy worries the shipments might not come quickly and the prescriptions might not get filled so they won’t be able to help how they’ve been trained to.
The doctor is also worried, worried that a force of nature, something so small it can’t be seen with the naked eye, something that humanity didn’t know existed 5 months ago (and may not have) may hurt their patients, take their breaths away. They can only hope science and supply chains and luck hold out long enough that triage medicine isn’t all they get to practice in the face of it in the months to come.
We are all connected. We are all charged with helping everyone around us, because we can. And we will thrive. It is what we do, even as we worry, are afraid, are surrounded by unknowns.
For thousands of years our ancestors fought against the tiny enemies that stole their children, their friends, their parents. But they fought without understanding what was inflicting harm, what took their people away. We know, and we have the lessons they learned. We are armed with so much more. We have made cousins of this scourge extinct. We will again.
We have decoded its blueprint, and right now in labs around the world, without fanfare and without rest, people you have never met and never will meet are fighting with test-tubes, and computers and sheer will. It is the will that has tamed fire, that has walked on the moon and split the atom. It is the will that snatches life from the jaws of nature’s brutality and unifies all of humanity to deny death its harvest. These people are imbued with this will inherited from a hundred millennia of our forbearers, and are working to help you, and me, and the people we love. So dear and so great is our ability to care for one another, to cherish our fellow human, to help both stranger and friend.
Wash your hands, muster your patience, find the kindness to help.
Don’t forget to breathe.