The latest buzzwords are: flatten the curve and social distancing. And it hurts a little to see a different version of the proverb “United we stand, divided we fall” I personally feel that now, more than ever, we need to be united in pledging to follow the necessary protocols and precautions to fight COVID19–because if we are divided in our belief about taking this seriously, we risk getting infected and worse, infecting others.
But right now, that’s exactly what we must do to survive this pandemic and stop COVID-19 from spreading and creating even more havoc than it is doing now. Some countries are in lock down mode. Others are getting there. Businesses are looking at bleak times.
We don’t understand the virus well enough to know what action to take. But we do know what precautions to take.
In life, we are almost always faced with the decision between what we can change and what we can’t. The things we can influence and the things we cannot.
So, our main task is to recognize and separate these things. We must clearly identify the external stuff outside our control and the ones that relate to the choices we can actually control. If we were to look for good vs. evil, instead of looking at the external stuff we cannot control, we must look within ourselves—to our own choices.
And now is the perfect time to practice this important task in life, when we are fighting the COVID-19 virus pandemic.
For some of us, even if it hasn’t struck where we presently live, chances are very good that it will. It is useless to get frustrated at the information overload—much of it fake—and hope it will all vanish.
There’s no use getting annoyed at the origin of the virus.
There’s no use hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
Getting absorbed with mindless scrolling on our screens will not help, either. It will only distract us from the things we need to do.
And of course, we cannot become ostriches and stick our heads in the sand, pretending that it isn’t that bad.
Instead, we could think of ways we can save our lives and the lives of others.
Flatten the curve by focusing on the things we can control
We can definitely control how we respond. What really matters is what YOU do, not what others are doing or have done. It means, making the right choices.
36 choices we can make to flatten the curve
- Stay updated with authentic information from the WHO site
- Follow that advice
- Don’t be stupid—don’t think you are the exception
- Practice social distancing as much as you can.
- Stay away from people outside of your family.
- Skip social events and public gatherings.
- Work from home, if possible.
- Cancel non-important travel and work meetings
- If you feel sick, stay at home. Stay at home even if you are not sick. It is the best way to flatten the curve.
- If you run a business and have employees, do what you can so that they can do the same.
- Implement common sense safety measures.
- Reduce face to face interactions to a minimum—after all we have technology that lets us communicate virtually face to face.
- Grant generous sick leave.
- Limit the number of customers at any given time.
- Cancel or postpone events—if possible, make them remote access
- Don’t prioritize your convenience or entertainment over the potential spread of the virus.
- Practice safety measures: wash hands as much as possible, particularly before you eat.
- Don’t touch your face.
- Cough into a tissue or your elbow.
- Cover your nose when you sneeze
- Forget shaking hands with people.
- Press buttons with knuckles or elbows
- Avoid uncooked food
- If there’s someone in a vulnerable situation—an elderly neighbor—help them out. Maybe you can get them what they need when you go do your own grocery shopping.
- Don’t give in to the temptation to visit elderly family members and friends. Sure, you are worried about them and miss them. But you might be putting them at risk by visiting them—even if you are healthy and they are healthy, the safe thing to do is wait.
- Don’t hoard essentials. This hurts others in the community who don’t have the resources to prepare.
- Just stock up on non-perishables so others can do the same. Those long lines at the stores? They just make things worse.
- Avoid doing things that benefit you at the expense of others
- Don’t hoard medical resources you really don’t need. Masks for instance. Save them for the medical professionals – the doctors, nurses, first responders and others who need them to do their jobs. Remember that we are poorly equipped in terms of testing supplies right now—don’t let fear drive you to get tested for COVID-19—there aren’t enough available.
- Self-quarantine yourself. Quarantine helps to slow the spread of infection across a population. Self-isolate yourself if you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19. Stay at home for two weeks to keep others safe.
- Keep up a normal daily routine as much as possible and maintain a positive attitude.
- While you cannot control how long you need to practice social distancing at this point, you can definitely control how you spend your time. Treat quarantine as an opportunity to do some of those things you never usually have time for. Here are some things to do when you are quarantined at home: 100 things to do while stuck inside due to a pandemic
- If you are ordering stuff online, batch your orders to avoid multiple shipments and stress. (It can relieve the strain on the supply chains!)
- Don’t spread every bit of information you come across about the virus. If you use any online platform (of course you do!) your are morally obliged to NOT spread nonsense. You could be hurting someone.
- If you are sick, isolate yourself at home as long as your symptoms are moderate. If you experience trouble breathing, or are an older adult (70+), suffer from preexisting respiratory conditions or are immuno-compromised, be prepared to call your doctor or visit the ER.
- Keep in mind that panic will not help. Freaking out, desperation to sell your stocks, ignoring others’ needs, being rude or mean—all of this makes a bad situation worse—both for you and for everyone else.
Cherish those you love. Be grateful for the present moment. I know it is scary. But then, it’s all we have for sure, right?
Read: 30 fun indoor activities your kids will absolutely love
It is important that we learn from our current situation. When we heard about the COVID-19 in China, we didn’t take it seriously. It didn’t seem like a major threat. We cannot undo what happened or how we have gotten here, but we can certainly do our bit.
Please do your part.
Our goal is now to flatten the curve.
We want to slow the spread of the virus. Until our hospitals can handle them.
We want to prevent the unnecessary spread of the virus
We want to avoid overloading the already busy hospitals and medical professionals who are tirelessly working out there.
We do not want to overload emergency services, airlines and other critical infrastructure—so that those who actually need it have access to it.
It is not easy to do this alone, but each one of us, when we follow the rules and act collectively, can make a huge difference.
Let’s make the right choices to fight this pandemic right now.
Let’s be calm in the face of crisis.
Let’s try to let go of irrational thoughts.
Let’s move forward by focusing on spreading positivity.
Let’s be brave, be self-disciplined.
Let’s make the choice to practice social distancing and flatten the curve.
The next two weeks are crucial.
Will you flatten the curve?
Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of inspiring stories, verse, quotes, anecdotes, reflections, easy meditation, thought-provoking questions and humor.