It was good hearing from you last night. I’m happy your family is well in Boston. I sensed from your note that you may be feeling a little anxious and apprehensive about the current virus crisis. If so, you’re in plenty of company. Yet I offer you this small piece of sage counsel as your big brother. As with everything in life – keep a proper perspective.
Everyone is going around shouting how “unprecedented” the coronavirus is, as though this were some sort of alien invasion from a B category scifi flick.
Perspective folks… perspective.
The U.S. (indeed the world) has faced far deadlier viruses and diseases throughout history. Have people forgotten Typhoid Fever (“Typhoid Mary”)? Asian Flu? Polio? The aforementioned calamities had death tolls in the many thousands – each year – before vaccines were discovered. I think what is “unprecedented” about the current epidemic is that it is taking place in the modern information age, where news media and social media are on a 24/7 cycle. And of course it’s always bad news. That is what the media thrives on.
The end result of a pandemic occurring in 2020 is widespread panic, fear, doom and gloom. After all, they didn’t have around the clock CNN, Google, et al, back in 1906/07 when Typhoid Mary broke out.
The Coronavirus is real. Very real. It’s not just an annoyance, as some out of touch politicians would have us believe. The coronavirus should be respected as a very serious international public health threat. Yet prudent people must not allow themselves to get caught up in the media induced panic. America – indeed the world – has faced much deadlier viral foes. And we survived. Life went on.
My counsel to you – to myself? Stay calm. Stay reasonably informed but not locked into the media – just a few media minutes a day does it for me. Take prudent precautions to stay healthy. Be flexible and open to change from routine as much as necessary. Accept inconveniences. It’s the new normal. And likely to stay. Manage your environment – namely how you interact with others. That is, stay sane, calm, aware but optimistic. Surround yourself with like minded people. Avoid where possible the doom and gloom crowd.
Sis, last night I scrolled to a text I saw from you. It showed a picture of you smiling and having a blast riding a camel during a trip to Morocco. One doesn’t often see a Boston girl on the back of a camel in the dessert! Keep that joy and laughter in your heart. Keep your sense of humor. Keep your zest for life, and the crazy fun feeling of riding a camel! Don’t allow the “unprecedented” media frenzy to rob you of that which makes you uniquely you.
Be safe, sensibly cautious, and prudent in these unsettling times. But very importantly – be you!
In the final analysis, this pandemic – ugly though it is – is a test of who we all are underneath the surface. Our true character is revealed. It’s so easy to be sane during sane times. But who are we really when things become unglued? Are we still the kind, considerate, thoughtful people whom we previously imagined ourselves to be in times of calm? Are we still honorable and valiant, committed to the principle of the good community? Or have we been reduced to the bottom line – every person for him/herself? The attitude of bullies – the biggest, meanest, most powerful survive.
It has been said that fire is the test of gold – adversity is the test of strong men and women. This is our personal and global test of 2020.
Be well, sis. Wellness in all aspects.
Your brother – Shenandoah
Attorney Shenandoah Titus, Author of The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation (Amazon)