There are many ways to respond to the current coronavirus situation. Fear and anxiety are perhaps the easiest, but certainly not the most productive. Here are some other suggestions:

Prudence: Do the obvious. Practice handwashing and social distancing. Stay home when you’re sick. Hopefully, we’re all doing this by now.

Gratitude: Extend thanks to all those who keep things humming. Thank you to grocery store checkers, to nurses, doctors and health care workers everywhere, to first responders, to child care providers, postal workers, servers and baristas, trash collectors and bus drivers, and a big thank you to all janitors and cleaners of every kind who keep our spaces safe and clean.

Compassion: Within our communities let’s do what we can to support those whose jobs evaporate as venues close and diners disappear from restaurants, those for whom “work from home” means no work at all and no paycheck.

Self-care: Stress is an immune system depressant so don’t glue to the news. Stay updated but skip the ongoing alarm. Instead, get outside, exercise, meditate, eat well and get lots of sleep. And if you find yourself cooped up watching a lot of Netflix, at least choose the movies that make you laugh.

Connection: Social distancing needn’t be the same as social isolation and disconnection. Social isolation is yet another immunity suppressor, so commit to boosting yours and someone else’s by staying in touch with family and friends. Social media has its place, but nothing beats a phone call for one-on-one connection. Think especially of those who may be most isolated right now—the elderly or those with underlying health concerns or those who live alone. Most of us have unlimited minutes on our phone plans. Let’s use them. Let’s take care.

Sara Donart Gorham, Hailey

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