For the last few weeks since the COVID-19 came to shores of many countries around the globe, it is hard to ignore how we as human should be acting in time of a crisis. Now I am not going to tell you everything is going to be okay. I’m not going to even bring my scientist point of view into this either. What I am going to do is reflect on how to be more mindful of the reality of a situation such as the corona virus.
This past week my pastor and the church team I’m a part of were faced with a difficult situation of having to cancel all physical church activities and start weeks of meeting via virtual. The updates streamed in through email, Facebook and the Church app, a constant reminder of how a strong community finds ways to still gather together even if it is through a screen. A community that stays together through a crisis comes out stronger and intact. This does not mean religious communities – it means all communities we find ourselves a part of. Mindfulness of our community is an important vital resource we should all be aware of in times of crisis, outbreaks and situations. Mindfulness of faith, love, forgiveness and belonging, a community’s life force in times of uncertainty.
There is a Nigerian Proverb that speaks volumes of the crisis the world is facing with the outbreak of the corona virus.
In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams.Nigerian Proverb
To unpack this proverb a little more, be mindful and consider the greater impact of your actions during a time of great turmoil. It is not all about you, nor should it be. In a moment of crisis, your actions can make you wise or can make you foolish. Mindfulness of others around you, and the needs as a community as a whole is the greatest, wises action you can take in a situation such as the COVID-19 outbreak. Foolish build dams is a hard reality we are seeing at the present moment when it comes to the mass hysteria and hoarding of basic supplies. Hoarding basic or critical supplies from others is a dam built out of fear. Hoarding large amounts of supplies for personal profit or gain makes the situation become critical for medical, healthcare, and first responders to access those supplies. You may think toilet paper, paper towels, soap, and hand sanitizer are nothing to the larger picture, but it is everything in times of viral outbreaks. Viruses are equal opportunists, and they do not care how much toilet paper you have or how much you sanitize. Mindful of your actions and the impact is critical for surviving through a situation. Build a bridge in your community, and not a dam.
The reality of the situation is this, people do not wash their hands even during the cold and flu season. Be mindful of your own hands, and where they have been. Seriously washing your hands and then again for added measure is something not only during an outbreak, but all the time. Being mindful when you or anyone else is sick. The worst thing you can do to yourself when sick is being at work, school or around other people. You prolong the time it takes to get over it and possibly having it become life threatening to someone else. Be mindful of others health conditions, and your own health.
In every outbreak or situation, there are lessons we all can learn from. To start, we are all living creatures-human beings as diverse as the viruses trying to infect us. We are all a little anxious, concerned about ourselves, our love ones, and our communities. Compassion, kindness, caring for and caring about something bigger than ourselves are values we all should empose all the time. This is not just in times of crisis. We are all in this together locally and globally. Being uncomfortable about this situation, worry, concern, fear, and sadness is normal. Hold it up to the light and honor it. Be mindful in this time of uncertainty.