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being well during the 2020 pandemic


  how we’re weathering the war on virality
gary e. davis
April 5, 2020
 
 
We are to “shelter in place” as private homesteaders and ensure “social distance” in public. The barage of bad news is overwhelming.

The past couple of weeks, I saved the URL of every article on coping well that I came across. Then, I grouped them into thematic foci—15 topics. Coincidently, NYTimes columnist David Brooks solicited response to a couple of questions in mid-April about how readers are facing “mental health in the age of corona-virus.” So I responded by merging my early April “2020 pandemic topics”
into a paragraph, after prefacing that I’d done so.

David: In what ways are the coronavirus and isolation affecting you psychologically?

Gary: I feel very resilient and focused on articles about positive coping. I have a large archive of those now, and I’ve organized them into 15 constructive topics. [not said in response: I felt a little senendipitous by confessing that: performing a little allegory of what’s upcoming.]

David: What are you doing to stay mentally well? And what wisdom would you share with other Times readers who are having trouble coping?

Gary: [not said in response: I thought you’d never ask. Wisdom! Got it:] Such reading and compilation is fun! It’s constructive, and it will serve future writing projects:

Address stress realistically. Know what is truly essential for living decently. Let optimism play happily. Let your Inner Child be reborn through enjoying solitude; let eerie emptiness of the streets and time be part of peacefulness. Turn to literary examples of living well. Find fortitude in creativity. Enhance friendship through screen time. Feel thankfulness. Actively care. Find empathy across cultural differences. Donate time (and money). Know that there is good reason for hope and trust toward our American systems. And, finally, let all of this be part of durable renewal. [end of wisdom]

But the list changed a little overnight. I say a little about each of the 11 themes below. |
May 25: And “continue...” each in May.

But first, a recognition of being “on the front lines”:

 
going to pandemic war
    Dr. Anthony Fauci, an indispensible voice in the Trump administration’s responses to the covid-19 pandemic, speaks truth to power, which has brought death threats, causing his security to be upgraded. Last Friday, in a long interview, he was asked if the job caused him to worry: “This is the life that I’ve chosen, and I accept it. It is what it is. The thing that I don’t like is the effect it has on my family.”

Health care professionals are dying in commitment to facing insurmountable levels of covid-19 pneumonia. Doctors are anguished by the risk to their families that tens of hours with highly infectious patients cause. When might they have to refuse care because they can’t bear the risk anymore? When there are vastly too few ventilators, who is to be denied intubation and given “comfort care” while helpless staff watch them die?

A young urgent care physician and mother ended a News Hour interview last Thursday by saying:

I have had to have very difficult conversations with my family recently, including one with my husband the other night, where, once I realized things were really shifting here in New York City, I said to him, you know, there is a chance that I may not make it out of this, working on the front line. And, you know, I want you to know that I love you. I love our children very much. And just please make sure that they always know that their mama loved them.

And so these are conversations that not just I’m having, but my—many of my colleagues are having with their families as well.



 
next—> being here now in reset

 

 

 

 

 
  Be fair. © 2020, gary e. davis