Mirsad Serdarevic Ph.D.

Sound as a Bell

Accepting Our Way Through the Crisis

It's not about toilet paper.

Posted Mar 18, 2020

By now you have been inundated with information on how to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. However, beyond following basic CDC guidelines, how are we to approach our daily lives during these unprecedented times?

First, acceptance is crucial, including an honest acceptance of the possibility that you or your loved ones may get infected or pass it on to someone. Yes, accepting what seems to be unacceptable seems hard, but it’s important because it will serve as an ongoing motivator to do whatever is possible to minimize the risk of such an outcome, while also preparing you mentally for real adversity.

Second, don’t even try to pretend that you can continue with “business as usual.” Nothing about all of this is “business as usual.” More importantly, if you try to approach it this way you’ll miss out on an opportunity to get reconnected with your family members and with your children, who are out of school and who themselves are confused and possibly concerned, if not scared. It is an opportunity for extra kind greetings with your neighbor, even if 6 feet away.

Third, embrace it. Yes, embrace it. If you are privileged enough to work remotely then take more breaks, step outside and smell the roses, feel the air, or walk barefoot while on a conference call, and feel the texture of the ground upon which you walk. Eat well, sleep well, and run. If you must go to work, take a moment to appreciate better than usual traffic conditions. Show gratitude for what you have, including your health which allows you to still work.

In summary, it’s not about how much canned food or toilet paper you’ve accumulated. It’s about how much love, compassion, and caring you’ve been able to unleash upon your loved ones and your community.

Let me remind you of Nietzsche’s famous quote: “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” So, take the time and this opportunity to find your why.

Stay safe and well.