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  • Stephanie Thrower

Coping with Covid19

A wise person said a few days ago, if we were going to see the movie on the coronavirus, we’re only seeing the previews. When we think about unprecedented events that have happened in our lifetime (i.e., invention of the internet), I believe this will stand out in so many ways. Nobody alive today has experienced this kind of pandemic. When the last pandemic in this proportion occurred, society and life as we know it was completely different.

All of this is relevant because we inevitably are not going to know how to deal with this. In many ways, managing the pandemic is a social psychology experiment to see if we will stop our normal behavior and remain isolated. We have to stop doing some things that we enjoy or that make us money. For those who work in healthcare, selflessness takes on a whole other meaning when personal protection equipment is so limited. We are all coping with drastic change and fear.

There is going to be a lot of variability in how people respond. We’ve seen (or talked to) those in denial. We feel angry, scared, bored, frustrated, depressed, lost, basically all the things. We’ve seen people who post “perfect” schedules for their families. We are all trying to cope the best we can.

Give yourself space to cope with this time. There are many minor (and for some people major) experiences of loss we will endure. Recognize what you expected to experience over the last week, or the coming weeks, and let yourself feel disappointed, sad, angry. And then let that emotion pass by. We are far more resilient than we realize.

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