As our small town has their first confirmed case of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) I’ve been reflecting on what that means for me on many levels. For weeks now I’ve remained calm about the spread of the virus, on a personal level, but am now firsthand seeing the ripple effects it has at it’s made it’s way into our Country and our community.
Our markets are being flooded. Local businesses are losing customers, some are closing. Our schools are being shut down. I think of what that last one would have meant for our family growing up – a single mother raising 4 girls in an affluent community. It would have been devastating for my mom. Our local school district just announced that they’ll be giving out free meals to all kids between the ages of 0-18 which makes me overwhelmed with pride to be a part of our community. Programs like that are likely going to be the thing that get many families through the next few weeks. Follow @communityaction_slo on instagram to learn more.
My husband and I have yet to “stock up” but this week have seen photos of things happening at our local markets which has made us think twice about our decision. We’ve heard from friends with food distribution companies that because of the countries they source from people are no longer utilizing them. Those two pieces of information have shifted our mindset. Giving into the hysteria doesn’t mean that we have to believe that the world is coming to an end, but more so means that we understand and embrace what’s happening in our country.
People are scared, and when we’re scared our rationality tends to go out the door. This is why, in the face of something like COVID-19, we run out and buy mass amounts of things like toilet paper when toilet paper has NOTHING to do with the virus (as most of us know), and running out of it should be the least of our worries (side note: you can get awesome bidet’s on Amazon that are WAY better for the environment and, in cases like this, will quell anxiety 🙂 ). This is not to say that I’m going to run out and empty the canned goods shelves. Will I buy a few extra canned good items? Yes. Will I buy some frozen veggies in addition to fresh? Definitely. But I won’t take more than we need. I won’t take from my neighbor.
Aparigraha is the Sanskrit word for non-greed or non-coveting. Non-hoarding. It means not taking what doesn’t belong to you. I think that’s something that’s incredibly important to focus on right now. As our rationality tends to go out the door, so does our compassion for and awareness of other people. You are not the only person in the supermarket who is scared. You are not the only person who feels they need extra items right now. Remember to save items and space for others.
Below I’ve listed a few other things that I feel are worth focusing on:
- Social Distancing: Yes, I said it. Practicing and understanding what it actually means (hint: you don’t have to be on lockdown in your home!). You may be healthy as an ox but the woman grabbing the orange in the bin next to you may not be. Take responsibility for not only your wellbeing, but the wellbeing of your community. There are more people than you realize walking around with autoimmune conditions (asthma is one of them) that won’t recover as easily as you will from anything they may come into contact with, may it be COVID-19 or the common cold. My good friend passed along this article on the importance of social distancing, which I think is worth a read: https://medium.com/@ariadnelabs/social-distancing-this-is-not-a-snow-day-ac21d7fa78b4
- ENJOYing the downtime: Read a book… Or 10. Play games with your family. Write. Paint. Dance. Knit. Get to know and love FaceTime. Learn a new skill. Have a quarantini with your significant other – squeeze some orange in there for some Vitamin C! Look at this as an opportunity to do the things you never feel like you have time to do.
- Cooking: Prepare intentional, healthy meals. Keep your digestive system clean so that you can keep your immune system healthy. Tip: recognize that 80% of your immune system lies in the lining of your intestinal tract. Healthy gut = strong immune system. Choose your foods wisely!
- Supporting your local economy: pack your sanitizer and go to Farmers Markets (I understand only some of us have this luxury. Take advantage if you do). Get to know businesses like Larder Meat Co: http://www.lardermeatco.com @lardermeatco – they’re local and offer local organic, free-range, grass-fed grass-finished meat options delivered right to your door!
- Continuing to exercise: Jump in the ocean. Go for a hike – breathe fresh air. Take online classes – there are SO many studios right now offering online memberships with access to their teachers (I’ll be bringing you some classes shortly!). Exercise is SO important for healthy immune function and for aiding the body in it’s detoxification of accumulated toxins.
- Meditating: Please, everyone, start meditating. 2, 3, 5, 20 minutes a day. It doesn’t matter the length of time. Download an app, close your eyes, sit in stillness, and just breathe. The calmer you stay, the calmer your immune system stays, the healthier your body stays, the healthier your community stays, the less propensity disease has for spreading. Yes, it’s reach is that wide. MEDITATE. Tip: I love the CALM app.
- Practicing compassion: Understand that you’re not the only one feeling the strain of this virus. Send out prayers for, or dedicate meditations to, the health of not only yourself but also the health of your community.
Stay healthy, friends. And wash your hands!! 🙂