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Staying positive / calm? (during a pandemic)

TG3K

Power User
Had to go out yesterday. As I drove through my neighborhood, it struck me. People were working in their yards, doing projects they never get to when doing the daily work grind.
I commented to my wife a few days ago that we're likely to see a lot nicer yards in the neighborhood this year. ;-)

I was laid off from my job at the end of January, so not a lot has changed in our routine except we're not going out as much, aside from shopping for essential items. I've been following Cliff's lead and getting caught up on a bunch of Marvel movies. I've also got a woodshop that I can play around in if I get bored, but I've got mild COPD and I'm wary of exacerbating things with wood dust. And since all of my gigs in the near future have been cancelled, I'm playing around with the latest beta Axe-Fx firmware. (I typically don't install the beta FW, but this time I figured I had nothing to lose...I always have good backups to roll back to.)
 

yyz67

Experienced
Personally, as the city I'm in is almost entirely shut down (Portland, Oregon USA), it is hitting me on different levels, with the health crisis itself not hitting our city--yet.

Last week, a close friend and I took a walk together (not touching) during a cold day eventually making it to a mostly empty Starbucks. We were both in mild shock and mostly all we could talk about was the situation. I was also somewhat educating her on the statistics and how this could go. We had to make an effort to talk about "normal" or even positive things.

Then a couple days ago we took another walk. At that point in Portland only certain businesses could be open with no social gathering (>25 people). This time she was uncomfortable with me being closer than 6 feet or her and she had to keep reminding me. She was scared. This shocked me emotionally, but I understood it. She has an elderly mother not living with her for whom she is the only local caregiver. If she got sick how might she help her mother? Anyway, as we were walking I felt nauseous from the separation and with the implications of this possible "new normal" of 6 feet (2 m) of separation, even with your closest friends, likely for months on end.

We walked through deserted streets, by hundreds of houses and everyone was inside, no sound, no screen doors letting sounds and smells of dinner out. It felt like American isolation taken to its logical extreme (w/o a lock down order). We finally came across one family on their front porch with a sign "Stay Strong". Kids were playing and there was life and laughter. I had the strong feeling that I/we shouldn't let this suppress our lives and make our homes effective prison cells, hiding in fear.

The Italians sang and played music on their balconies across apartment buildings, and I imagine families on their front porches connecting from a distance, keeping us connected rather than isolated. I don't know if this is possible in the US.

Not being in a relationship and not having a family, I (like millions/billions?) of others will suffer from isolation and depression on top of health anxiety/risk and economic disruption. We need to acknowledge it isn't just a health crisis but an overall crisis of society and how it has been structured.

And we can't each do it alone, at some point we will have to turn towards each other as people and fellow humans. Or at least I hope we do.
 
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RevDrucifer

Inspired
I had a really hectic childhood that really dulled my senses when it comes to extreme issues. Actually, it seems that the more extreme the issue, the calmer I am with it. I already know what it’s like to not have a roof over my head and to go long periods of time between eating, not knowing when I’d be able to eat again. It’s no wonder why I adapted to living in Florida with it’s hurricanes as quickly as I did.

My bigger stresses come from work, which I am lucky to still come to daily. Actually, I thought for sure we’d all be sent home as we’re a property management company that owns a 500,000 sq foot property with several large office buildings on it. I’m the Chief Engineer, so it’s my job to get everything fixed around the property. With the lack of staffing in all the offices, there’s really nothing breaking down or things being reported, so I thought for sure we’d all be sent home unless an emergency popped up. However, some of our tenants are 3-letter government agencies, CBS, Broward County Sheriff’s Office, and a bank, which makes me an essential employee. In fact, even if we went under martial law, there’s a high probability I’ll be coming to work with an army escort.

Some of the things I’ve dealt with this week are overly anxious office managers who were under the impression that my company could solve this whole situation. Weeks ago I had my employees adding additional hand sanitizers, automatic paper towel dispensers and trash cans at every entrance door. You can’t walk 15 feet in one of our buildings without having access to these items.

A big concern for me was my staff, for 2 reasons- they regularly have to visit offices (one of which is still FULLY staffed because they are unable to work from home) all over the property, so they’re at higher risk of infection/infecting others than most people on the property. And worrying about having to leave work and not get paid. I solved both these issues by informing our tenants that while they can submit work orders as usual, nothing will be done until before or after the tenants arrive to start their shifts, so my employees can stay safe. Unless something extraordinary happens, they will not be doing regular maintenance work. There is plenty of work to be done on the exterior of the buildings so they’re doing that. We cut our cleaning services in some buildings, one employee picked up that slack. In the case of a full city shut down, they’ve been made essential by changing their job titles to Security as we also decreased our security companies hours. My guys will pretty much be roaming in golf carts for the next few weeks as all non-essential business is being shut down in Broward County today. This way, they’re not using vacation/PTO time and they can still collect a paycheck.

The most stress I’ve had is today; I got a call from our assistant property manager who informed me she just saw on the news that a Broward County city inspector tested positive. I was called first to find out if we’ve had any inspections on the property, but quickly informed them that I had 2 city inspectors in my house this week inspecting the impact windows I had installed last weekend. I’m still waiting on a call from the city to verify if the infected inspector was in my house or not.

For the most part, I see maybe 4-5 people a day at work when we gather for meetings. We all go into our conference room one at a time, I shut the AC off and we sit far away from each other. My wife, on the other hand, his damn job has still not told employees to work from home, even though they ALL have the ability to do so. Meanwhile, all management from her company has been doing exactly that. She’s an education coordinator for a charter school system and works from home often, but all of a sudden now, no one is giving them to order to do so. I’m quite annoyed by that as it’s just unnecessarily putting her and everyone else at risk.

A big thing occupying my free time is a Song Of The Week ‘challenge’ I’ve got going on at another forum. There’s no prize, but a few of us write one song a week in an effort to keep the creativity going and improve our abilities. It’s great fun and it’s been awesome to hear how we’ve all improved in different areas over the last year. It might not be a bad idea to start one here. We do keep a point system, but it’s only for our own motivation. No one wants to be the guy with 10 points at the end of the month when you could have 80. We do a Lead Of The Week, where someone posts a backing track and you’ve got to solo over it, a Cover Of The Week where you post a cover tune and then the Song Of The Week, which has to be an original written that week. There’s a lot of honor system involved as anyone could take songs they wrote years ago and post them, but because the main competition comes from your own self, it’s not a huge worry. It definitely keeps people focused on something else while all this is going on.
 

don_joe

Experienced
The Italians sang and played music on their balconies across apartment buildings, and I imagine families on their front porches connecting from a distance, keeping us connected rather than isolated. I don't know if this is possible in the US.
There is a big downside to that. Italy has the highest corona mortality rate due to the fact that they can not discipline themselves. I've just read an article mentioning that even 60% of the population is ignoring the precaution measures. Because of that here are many more infected than published in the statistics but without symptoms who keep on living like nothing is happening. 2/3 of the infected got it from asymptomatic individuals (the latest article).

Here in Switzerland the government reacted to slow cause they have to think and rethink 10 times before they handle. So we are awaiting the italian scenario delayed for 2 weeks. We are yet going to see the worst.

A small reminder to everyone: stay at home for the next few weeks and be serious. Everyone who doesn't do this is a problem or respectively a biological weapon who will kill someone directly or indirectly. If everyone stays at home, in a few weeks we can stop it. If we ignore it, it will last much longer and be by far more painfull. Be the problem or solve the problem. If you choose the latter, you have a good reason to be positive, you are a big help. It costs you only some time in isolation, you should feel good about it.
 

Pwrmac7600

Power User
There is a big downside to that. Italy has the highest corona mortality rate due to the fact that they can not discipline themselves. I've just read an article mentioning that even 60% of the population is ignoring the precaution measures. Because of that here are many more infected than published in the statistics but without symptoms who keep on living like nothing is happening. 2/3 of the infected got it from asymptomatic individuals (the latest article).

Here in Switzerland the government reacted to slow cause they have to think and rethink 10 times before they handle. So we are awaiting the italian scenario delayed for 2 weeks. We are yet going to see the worst.

A small reminder to everyone: stay at home for the next few weeks and be serious. Everyone who doesn't do this is a problem or respectively a biological weapon who will kill someone directly or indirectly. If everyone stays at home, in a few weeks we can stop it. If we ignore it, it will last much longer and be by far more painfull. Be the problem or solve the problem. If you choose the latter, you have a good reason to be positive, you are a big help. It costs you only some time in isolation, you should feel good about it.
Unfortunately not all of us have that option. For those of us who work in what the US consider essential lines of business, we still have jobs to report to. Many of these essential lines of business are customer facing businesses where we have no choice but to deal directly with the public, and social distancing is not an option. We unfortunately face a greater risk because of the portion of the public that does have the option to self isolate isn't. I realize people need to leave their homes for certain things, but most, at least here in NY, are selfishly just going on living their lives as they did pre corona.
 

don_joe

Experienced
Unfortunately not all of us have that option. For those of us who work in what the US consider essential lines of business, we still have jobs to report to. Many of these essential lines of business are customer facing businesses where we have no choice but to deal directly with the public, and social distancing is not an option. We unfortunately face a greater risk because of the portion of the public that does have the option to self isolate isn't. I realize people need to leave their homes for certain things, but most, at least here in NY, are selfishly just going on living their lives as they did pre corona.
Sure, it's the same here in Europe. I understand you, some things are necessary, someone has to do it. Thank you for keeping our basic standard and take care.
 

yyz67

Experienced
I'm not religious but Richard Rohr's thoughful daily message from today:

Love is Stronger than Death
Friday, March 27, 2020

The Path of Descent is very real and usually very painful, but something else is equally true. Love is both who we are and who we are still becoming, like a sunflower seed that becomes its own sunflower. It seems to be a fully cooperative effort according to St. Paul (Romans 8:28), and according to my limited experience too. God never coerces us toward life or love by any threats whatsoever. Yes, God seduces us, but coercion? Never (see Jeremiah 20:7; Matthew 11:28–30). Whoever this God is, he or she is utterly free. Love cannot happen any other way. Love flourishes inside freedom and then increases that freedom even more.

We are all allowed to ride life and love’s wonderful mystery for a few years—until life and love reveal themselves as the same thing, which is the final and full message of the risen Christ—life morphing into a love that is beyond space and time. God literally “breathes” shalom and forgiveness into the universal air (John 20:22–23). We get to add our own finishing touches of love, our own life breath to the Great Breath, and then we return the completed package to its maker in a brand-new but also same form.

I believe the meaning of the Resurrection of Jesus is summed up in the climactic line from the Song of Songs, “love is stronger than death” (8:6). If the blank white banner that the Risen Christ usually holds in Christian art should say anything, it should say: “Love will win!” Love is all that remains. Love and life are finally the same thing, and we know that for ourselves once we have walked through death.

Love has you. Love is you. Love alone, and your deep need for love, recognizes love everywhere else. Remember that you already are what you are seeking. Any fear “that your lack of fidelity could cancel God’s fidelity, is absurd” (Romans 3:3), says Paul. Love has finally overcome fear, and your house is being rebuilt on a new and solid foundation. This foundation was always there, but it takes us a long time to find it. “It is love alone that lasts” (1 Corinthians 13:13). All you have loved in your life and been loved by are eternal and true.
 

yyz67

Experienced
Neither am I New Age, nonetheless, some good wisdom from Eckhart Tolle on strength through adversity:

 

Dpoirier

Power User
Here are some possible prompts:
  • What has been the most personally challenging? (not blame but emotions, frustration etc.)
  • Who or what is helping you cope, if anything?
  • What really matters to you (when push comes to shove)?
  • How are you staying connected? Does it help your emotional state?
  • What you are learning about yourself emotionally and relationally, both around your family and friends and society?
  • What positives can come from this already?
  • What positives would you like to come from this?
Feel free to share whatever is on your heart/mind around this personally.
Most personally challenging: I'm a Canadian who was visiting India for 4 months when the crisis exploded. Flights back got cancelled, now India is in total lock-down and does not allow any international flights. There are food shortages, imposed stay-at-home isolation for all, and some animosity towards foreigners. My wife and I are stuck here, as are many others. I am indeed scared. But I'm more scared of the human reaction than the virus itself. I stopped reading the Cliff doomsday thread (no offense Cliff, but in my situation, it gave me the creeps and wasn't helping in any way, it just grew my anxiety).

What or who helps: my wife being here with me, of course. We are in government imposed isolation, so to be isolated with my beloved is a gift from the divine. It also helps me when I think that we'll all come in contact with the virus eventually, and that the odds are I will be able to fight it.

What really matters to me: hmm, that's a deep internal search question, isn't it? I know I don't know all the answers to that one. I know I love life, and I deeply love those who are dear to me, my wife, my children and grandchildren, my siblings, my parents, my friends. I also know that humanity, with all the good it has achieved in art, science, etc, (and in spite of all the bad that came with it), is a spectacular achievement that I hope will carry on and evolve into much better things. I know and hope that this crisis will be a serious wake up call for us all to re-examine our values and foundations, and that this might just be the kick-in-the-butt we collectively needed to evolve.

How am I staying connected: I'm in steady (but remote and difficult) contact with my siblings and friends by text messaging, with my mom by skype, with my son also though this one is more challenging with the time zones. Does it help my emotional state: enormously. I cannot overstate this. I can feel very disconnected without this (admittedly sporadic) contact with those I love. Sometimes it gives me the creep when those exchanges lead to dark and scary possibilities or doomsday talk (those I have to find a way to stop).

What am I learning about myself, emotionally: I am much more fragile than I thought. I am not invincible and will not live forever. I am easily scared by social unrest, and as such, I am deeply dependent on the orderly society I have come to take for granted. Relationally: I need connection. In fact, connection is the only reason for my existence. Isolation is making this very clear to me.

What positives can come of this: already, people have demonstrated a lot of courage, creativity, adaptability and compassion (in spite of the craziness that also poked its nose in). Health care workers have shown incredible courage and dedication, and people are starting to recognize it. All other essential workers too. We all still have power, water, internet, phone service, banking... This is wonderful and the people who make it possible are heroes in this battle.

What positives would I like to come from this: If and when we come out of this, we will be a better human race. I also hope that we will be a more enlightened human race, that we will wake up to the need to rethink our values, and hopefully shift away from the industrial hyper production and hyper money-driven attitude to a more evolved one based on human beings, sharing, compassion, collaboration and love.

I'm not sure anyone here will read all of this, and it wasn't really written to be read... I just had to get these thoughts written down. Thanks to yyz67 for the very good thread (I hope it doesn't get hijacked by the doomsday crowd) and for giving me that little push into introspection.

Peace and love to all
 
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Joe Bfstplk

Fractal Fanatic
Most personally challenging: I'm a Canadian who was visiting India for 4 months when the crisis exploded. Flights back got cancelled, now India is in total lock-down and does not allow any international flights. There are food shortages, imposed stay-at-home isolation for all, and some animosity towards foreigners. My wife and I are stuck here, as are many others. I am indeed scared. But I'm more scared of the human reaction than the virus itself. I stopped reading the Cliff doomsday thread (no offense Cliff, but in my situation, it gave me the creeps and wasn't helping in any way, it just grew my anxiety).

What or who helps: my wife being here with me, of course. We are in government imposed isolation, so to be isolated with my beloved is a gift from the divine. It also helps me when I think that we'll all come in contact with the virus eventually, and that the odds are I will be able to fight it.

What really matters to me: hmm, that's a deep internal search question, isn't it? I know I don't know all the answers to that one. I know I love life, and I deeply love those who are dear to me, my wife, my children and grandchildren, my siblings, my parents, my friends. I also know that humanity, with all the good it has achieved in art, science, etc, (and in spite of all the bad that came with it), is a spectacular achievement that I hope will carry on and evolve into much better things. I know and hope that this crisis will be a serious wake up call for us all to re-examine our values and foundations, and that this might just be the kick-in-the-butt we collectively needed to evolve.

How am I staying connected: I'm in steady (but remote and difficult) contact with my siblings and friends by text messaging, with my mom by skype, with my son also though this one is more challenging with the time zones. Does it help my emotional state: enormously. I cannot overstate this. I can feel very disconnected without this (admittedly sporadic) contact with those I love. Sometimes it gives me the creep when those exchanges lead to dark and scary possibilities or doomsday talk (those I have to find a way to stop).

What am I learning about myself, emotionally: I am much more fragile than I thought. I am not invincible and will not live forever. I am easily scared by social unrest, and as such, I am deeply dependent on the orderly society I have come to take for granted. Relationally: I need connection. In fact, connection is the only reason for my existence. Isolation is making this very clear to me.

What positives can come of this: already, people have demonstrated a lot of courage, creativity, adaptability and compassion (in spite of the craziness that also poked its nose in). Health care workers have shown incredible courage and dedication, and people are starting to recognize it. All other essential workers too. We all still have power, water, internet, phone service, banking... This is wonderful and the people who make it possible are heroes in this battle.

What positives would I like to come from this: If and when we come out of this, we will be a better human race. I also hope that we will be a more enlightened human race, that we will wake up to the need to rethink our values, and hopefully shift away from the industrial hyper production and hyper money-driven attitude to a more evolved one based on human beings, sharing, compassion, collaboration and love.

I'm not sure anyone here will read all of this, and it wasn't really written to be read... I just had to get these thoughts written down. Thanks to yyz67 for the very good thread (I hope it doesn't get hijacked by the doomsday crowd) and for giving me that little push into introspection.

Peace and love to all
What part of India are you in? I have co-workers in Chennai who may know which places are safe places if you are in their neck of the woods....

As for me, I have been already mostly working from home for about 14 months, so the only real change is the difficulty of finding basic grocery and similar products, thanks to the hoarders. My biggest challenge is avoiding too much news, so the anxiety and existential dread don't get too obnoxious....
 

yyz67

Experienced
Two disparate response paths contrasted - from infinite paths available. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_U, https://www.presencing.org/aboutus/theory-u)

1585375720525.png

The upper arc attempts to ignore, deny, disconnect, avoid, and negate ("absence") what is happening while relying exclusively on what is known or assumed or projected to deal with reality. Manipulation and blame become the main reactions. The net result can be violence (even if subtle) and trauma - basically no real resolution or release.

The lower arc is called the U-Process which attempts to see, sense, and accept reality as it is - what is "present" in many dimensions. By accepting what is, we can consciously practice letting go of habitual assumptions, projections, responses. Having let go we can presence or "let come" novel or previously unimaginable ideas, images, solutions, forms, realities which can later be tested, prototyped, and realized.

From:

 
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Dpoirier

Power User
@Joe Bfstplk I'm about 3 hours south of Chennai, might as well be at the end of the world with the lock-down. Impossible to get anywhere near Chennai... But sincere thanks for the suggestion.

I'm a little dismayed and disappointed that there are so few replies in this thread. The idea was brilliant and the goal very noble. We all need for this panic to stop (regardless of how dangerous the virus is). Panic stops you, makes you more susceptible to illness, weakens your immune system, and spreads faster than a virus because it can be transmitted over internet and social networks. Anything more human can help you get a grip and be in a better state to fight this critter. This thread (and a few others) is helpful in getting back to more human, more compassionate, behaviour and thought patterns. So, yes, I am dismayed that this thread got so few replies and, in comparison to Cliff's doomsday thread (no offense, Cliff, you didn't start it as doomsday, but that's how it turned out), appears to be almost insignificant. I just don't get it...

For what it's worth, every single post in this thread has helped me cope to some degree. So, thanks to all who contributed so far, and to those will later on.
 

Joe Bfstplk

Fractal Fanatic
@Joe Bfstplk I'm about 3 hours south of Chennai, might as well be at the end of the world with the lock-down. Impossible to get anywhere near Chennai... But sincere thanks for the suggestion.

I'm a little dismayed and disappointed that there are so few replies in this thread. The idea was brilliant and the goal very noble. We all need for this panic to stop (regardless of how dangerous the virus is). Panic stops you, makes you more susceptible to illness, weakens your immune system, and spreads faster than a virus because it can be transmitted over internet and social networks. Anything more human can help you get a grip and be in a better state to fight this critter. This thread (and a few others) is helpful in getting back to more human, more compassionate, behaviour and thought patterns. So, yes, I am dismayed that this thread got so few replies and, in comparison to Cliff's doomsday thread (no offense, Cliff, you didn't start it as doomsday, but that's how it turned out), appears to be almost insignificant. I just don't get it...

For what it's worth, every single post in this thread has helped me cope to some degree. So, thanks to all who contributed so far, and to those will later on.
Oh well, that sucks. I hope it passes quickly and you get back home safe and sound....
 
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