How Not to Respond, and How to Respond, to the Coronavirus

I actually had a different post in mind for this week, but given the situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19), I decided to make a quick change in plans. Given the wide range of both unjust and just reactions I’ve seen to the coronavirus, I thought I would make a list of things (with explanations) on how not to respond, and how to respond, to this.

Do not respond with anti-Chinese sentiments.

Anti-Chinese sentiments include a refusal to buy Chinese food from your local Chinese restaurant and getting angry at anyone who is or looks Chinese, simply because this strain of coronavirus was first discovered in China. Just because it first originated there does not mean that we should treat people of Chinese descent as any less than anyone else.

Do listen to medical health experts in your area.

Listen to guidance from people in your city’s and/or state’s Health Department. Those who are actually working on this virus on a day-to-day basis are the ones who will likely have wise advice on how best to proceed. So, listen to them…please.

Do not automatically get angry if you see someone who sneezes or coughs when they are out in public.

The other day, someone absolutely freaked out at me when I sneezed once…once! However, we must realize that there are many reasons for someone to sneeze or cough that do not necessarily involve corthe coronavirus. It could be a cold, it could be allergies, or it could be that someone randomly has the urge to sneeze…all of us have the urge to sneeze once in a while, even if we are perfectly healthy!

But, if at all possible, please do stay home if you feel sick.

Thanks to the lack of sick leave that some people have (a subject I wrote about at length in last week’s blog post), it is not possible for some people to stay home. However, for those who do have sick leave available to them, use it when you feel sick. By staying home when you’re sick, you’re doing a favor to yourself and to others.

Do wash your hands frequently.

People should use discretion, but should also remember to wash their hands with regularity and thoroughly. You want to do all you can to kill the bad germs you may end up coming into contact with.

Do find things to occupy your time, if other things that used to occupy your time (work, school, sports) are getting canceled.

Don’t just sit around. Give your friend a phone call or a video call. Pick up a book. Sing songs, play an instrument, or listen to a CD. Watch a DVD or a favorite show or movie on a service like Hulu or on-demand cable. Pick up a new hobby. Work on a garden. Write something. Do some painting. We need to look out not just for our physical health, but our mental health too, and these are all things that will help us look out for our own and each other’s mental health.


The situation with the coronavirus is a very hectic and fluid situation. However, I hope that these tips I offered are a good place for all of us to start in order to take care of our own and others’ physical and mental health. I am also open to hearing other tips in the comments section below!

13 Replies to “How Not to Respond, and How to Respond, to the Coronavirus”

  1. I agree with your post and I really try to take advantage of this ‘down’time to take care of myself. I enjoy the peace in the city, everything is closed during the weekends and most business are open when it’s needed during the week.
    I enjoy the sun (for as long as we are allowed to go out).
    I read, I daydream a lot and I rest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’m definitely doing some of the same (I live in New York). I’m off this week as a result of things (and will start working from home next week), so it’s an opportunity to breathe a little and take care of myself. Though they’re saying in New York City that we should only go out for the essential stuff such as groceries, so I’ll be able to go out less.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on My Redheaded Life and commented:
    In a world where it seems the sky is falling around us, let’s remember we’re all in this together. We’re all being affected by this thing.
    Kindness, decency and compassionate regard for others still matters.

    Thank you to fellow blogger, Brendan Birth of Blind Justice for gentle reminders as such.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great list. I would also add to not panic buy, but since people are panic buying, it’s causing others to panic buy in fear of not being able to get hold of the item again. I am currently worried that I won’t be able to get hold of certain products which would be unfortunate for my medical condition if I have a flare up, if need be, I’ll have to post something on social media to ask for supplies. Hopefully it doesn’t get to that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sophia-You’re absolutely correct. People should not be buying, like, 10 things of toilet paper, for example. But there is a lot of panic buying, and the people at the short end of the results of panic buying can really suffer (including you with your medical condition, from the sound of things). Hopefully things won’t get desperate for you, though.

      Like

      1. Thankfully, my medical condition has significantly improved, so it didn’t go too bad. I think panic buying has somewhat died down now (though it also seems that a lot of people’s appetite has decreased), and now we’re at the stage we’re seeing more community effort.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m glad your medical condition has improved. Though in terms of panic buying, it seems to have evolved–now everyone is buying face masks (at least in New York City, which is where I live).

        Liked by 1 person

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