It’s official, our state is now on lockdown. It’s been less than an hour since it was announced and already people are freaking out. I don’t get it. Why are you freaking out? Did you not see this coming? Italy warned us. The governor warned us. It happened. There was no broadside.
Maybe, being an introvert, this is just not scary for me? Maybe, living an hour from any kind of “city” makes this easy for me? Maybe the fact that we are all still so incredibly connected thanks to phones, texts, and the internet makes this seem like a pretty simple demand of me?
I realize I am showing my privilege here. I recognize there are people who will not be drawing a paycheck, who will be worried about their next meal, their children’s next meal, that are worried about being in lockdown with an abuser. I get that. That is not my reality and I will not even pretend that it is.
I think there are many ways to help make this a wee bit easier and I’m going to lead with the one that will probably piss a lot of people off but may actually prevent a lot of insanity and panic:
One: Play Ostrich
Stick your head in the sand. Use your internet for nothing more than Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, AmazonPrimeVideo, etc. DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THE NEWS. Live in the bubble that is your home and don’t come out until August at the earliest…even then maybe just peak at a headline or two and then decide whether or not to go back into your forced hibernation…which I guess makes you a bear, not an ostrich.
Two: Stay Informed
The complete opposite of option one here folks. This requires that you be on multiple platforms and keep appraised of the situation and ONLY LOOK AT LEGITIMATE NEWS. Do you realize how many nefarious things are going on right now? Senators dumping stocks right before everything crashed! The Chairman of the NYSE is married to a senator and was using information to also dump stocks. Stay informed. Hold them accountable. Don’t lose sight of the political in the personal.
Three: Stay Social Via Internet
Do not become suicidal because you’re an extrovert and this is literally killing your will to live. You can still be super social (you weirdo, you). There’s FaceTime, Zoom, Google Chat (or something?), GoToMeeting, Skype, and probably lots of others I don’t know about because I’m really just not that cool. People are literally dating in all this. You can do it!
Bear with me here, you do not have to break lockdown to help others. You can write letters (COVID-19 dies on paper in 24 hours) to:
You can volunteer to foster an animal in need. Lots of shelters are losing their volunteers right now. There are tons of critters that need a dedicated foster home. You can start by asking at your local Humane Society and they will most likely be able to direct you if they are not in need themselves.
These are my top suggestions but if you Google “how to volunteer without leaving home” you will be inundated with more options than you could possibly get through in one lockdown.
Five: Get Out
Yes, you’re not supposed to leave your home unless it’s to get groceries, fuel, or medical. That doesn’t mean you can’t supply your brain and your body with the outdoors they need to stay healthy. You must have at least one window in your home you can open for twenty minutes a day. Look out that window, even if you’re looking at a brick wall, smell that outside air. Obviously the further you can see out the better, it’s actually super important for your brain and eyes if you can focus on a distance for fifteen minutes a day. If you’re lucky enough to have a balcony or patio or backyard use them. This may seem small but it’s actually huge for your mental health.
Six: Humor and Beauty
Search for the humor and the beauty during all this, they exist, I promise (it’s helpful if you’re on Twitter). Humor is going to be very important in the coming months.
You got this America. You are not alone. The entire world is gonna have to be mad COVID strong, y’all. We are all in this together even when we’re apart. Stay connected with your friends and family. Sit in your scared moments together. Laugh in your happy moments together. Remember to be extra gentle with yourself and others, extra forgiving. We are all simultaneously fragile and stronger than we previously thought.
~~~That’s one hour~~~