I’m Done Stressing About Coronavirus – Putting My Energy Elsewhere
To be honest, I hate that I’m having to write another post about the coronavirus situation but here we are. I would love to tell you this will be my last post about the virus but chances are that won’t be true. In case you missed anything and want to get caught back up here are the three posts that I’ve done so far (read those after you are done here):
This article is going to be a little different. I realize I say that quite a bit but I mean it this time. Let me tell you a story to illustrate why.
Yesterday I spent over an hour reading an article called COVID-19 – Evidence Over Hysteria. This article was first posted by Aaron Ginn on Medium. After 2.6 million views in less than 24 hours, it was taken down. Since then it has been reposted by the controversial (to some) site Zerohedge.
The article cites almost a dozen sources including the WHO, CDC, John Hopkins, Stanford, and so on. All highly credible sources that we should be able to trust right? Well, that is what I thought.
Honestly, I believe Aaron does a great job of presenting the data for what it is. He also takes the time to get all the information presented on a level playing field. For example, 100 infected in the U.S. is not equal to 100 infected in South Korea since the U.S. population is 6x greater. I thought the article was an interesting take and seemed more logical than many of the emotion-packed articles I’ve seen. But the article got removed from the site because it was “in violation of site rules”. So apparently, some people didn’t feel the same as I did.
Some of these people are people I would view as extremely intelligent as well. One of which was biologist Carl Bergstrom a professor at the University of Washington. In short, Carl thinks Aaron is a giant idiot who has no idea what he is talking about and should stay out of the conversation.
This leaves someone like me in an awkward situation. I’m a normal, average person just trying to understand what in the world is going on. Who can I trust? What do I need to do to protect myself? What are the actual facts?
I’m Done Worrying About COVID-19
I’m frustrated, annoyed, and sick of this whole thing. Not actually sick but you know what I mean. The world is in a panic and we have hundreds of reports that all say something different. Humans are doing amazing things every day. We build state of the art technology. We strap people to rockets going thousands of miles per hour and bring them home safe. Our medicine brings people back from the brink of death all the time. How can we as a world, with billions of people, smart people, not be able to come to a joint, educated conclusion to help humanity?
How is that not possible?
As I type this I realize it will probably never be possible. Just off the top of my head, you have hot button topics like climate change, universal healthcare, stem cells, etc. We have an extraordinary amount of data on all of those but society will never be able to come to an agreement on what to do about them. Too many opinions, too much emotion.
This is when I realized that I need to stop worrying about coronavirus.
Now that statement may come off as selfish but just hear me out. I’m still going to take precautionary measures. Wash my hands longer and more often. Stay away from at-risk people, practice social distancing and follow other guidance provided by the CDC. But after that, I’m done.
I’m no longer going to read 4,000-word articles and click through every source. No more Twitter threads telling me how we are all going to die and why. No more YouTube videos breaking down what a virus is and how this will all go down.
You see, we all have a limited amount of bandwidth or energy each and every day. You get to choose how you use this energy. I’ve been choosing to use that energy to worry and try to understand this whole debacle. But the fact is no one understands it. Years down that road we may be able to piece it all together but no one can predict the future so everything right now is pure speculation and opinion.
What I’m Doing Instead
If you are being quarantined at home then you have an opportunity to be more productive than you have ever been in your whole life. I honestly believe that.
Let’s take that energy that was once being used to worry about every minute detail of coronavirus and put it to getting things done. There is nothing wrong with binge-watching some Netflix or HBO (we started Game of Thrones for the second time). But the majority of your time should be put towards taking care of yourself.
Here is a list of things you could be doing:
- Take a FREE course from Yale
- Call someone you haven’t talked to in years
- Organize all of your old photos
- Read that book you’ve been putting off
- Deep clean your house
- Detail your car
- Subscribe to the YD&NB YouTube Channel
- Organize all of your old paper documents
- Go through your closet and make a donation pile
- Write a letter to yourself or a child to open in 5, 10, 20 years
- Create something from scratch
- Go on a walk or exercise
- Make a budget
- Write a Will (in case this goes from bad to worse)
- Brainstorm a possible side hustle
- Take Money Made Easy
Just find something productive and put your brainpower towards it. Let’s be real, there’s a good chance you may have been putting off some of the things in the list above for the last couple of years. If you’re being forced to stay at home, you might as well take that time to get them done. It is a satisfying feeling to get your life and your living space in order.
“Not having time” is no longer a valid excuse.
Worry About What You Can Control And Nothing Else
In a world with all different takes on the same information hitting your eyes and ears, it can be hard to focus. We all want to be in the know and we all want this to end. The truth is we have no control over any of that.
I can’t control coronavirus.
I can’t control the information being spread about the virus.
I can’t control the aftershocks that are going to come from this whole situation.
And guess what? You can’t either. So let’s all take a step back, one deep breath, and then make a conscious decision to focus on the things that we can control and nothing else. No more getting worked up over plans getting ruined. No more frustration about not being able to find toilet paper. None of it.
I wouldn’t say that I’m not bummed about the events that have happened (I guess the events that are not happening). But they’re happening, whether I like it or not.
Focus on what you can control and make decisions around those things only. Yes, your choices are limited because you may be stuck at home but that’s all you can do. Putting energy into stressing about the things you can’t control, as I mentioned earlier, is a waste of energy. And if we’ve learned anything in this chaos, it should be that life is fleeting and nobody has extra time to waste.
The Bottom Line
The point of this article wasn’t to downplay the situation we are in. I think this is a real pandemic and people are obviously suffering. I also think the long-term effects are going to destroy families, cause people to lose jobs, and lead to an increasing number of mental health issues. Just typing that makes my heart drop but I don’t see how it can be avoided.
If you are reading this and feeling helpless then reach out to someone. You aren’t bothering them, annoying them, or wasting their time. You are doing the right thing and you will be thankful you did. I don’t know many of you that read my content personally but my inbox is always open.
This is far from over and currently, cities, states, and even countries are being put on lockdown. I think it is only a matter of time before my city is on that list. Again, I can’t control it so I’m choosing not to worry. This will mean I can’t work and that’s going to be tough. But this situation is so far out of my control that it doesn’t help me to stress. So I choose to use it as an opportunity to look at what I can do.
I’m going to continue to use this time to work on YD&NB, finish side projects at the house, and all of those other little things I’ve been putting off.
I would suggest you do the same.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Be smart. Be kind. Look out for each other. Let’s hope that this is the wake-up call humanity needs and we find ourselves at the end of this tragedy creating a better world to call home.
If you liked this post then please share by hitting the icons above and if you want to read more articles here are my latest:
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- I Need A Physical Challenge… So Let’s Go For A Run
- Positivity And Optimism Is Always The Answer
- Most Financial Advice Is Terrible and Here’s Why
- Reflections on 2022 And What I’m Focusing On In 2023