I coined a new phrase last week, “pandemic paralysis.” Humans are creatures of habit, and with the new guidelines of social distancing and the swift closure of businesses throughout the state, things changed rapidly, and in a New York minute.
One of the most difficult aspects of social distancing and dealing with something as large as a pandemic is the emotional toll, the mental stress related to it, and the change in routine.
Like animals, our nature is to survive. When things change to such a drastic extent, we are often left to develop new skills for living, or survival; especially during a pandemic, which most have never experienced.
This can create what I term “pandemic paralysis,” an emotional state that leaves many fumbling in such a state of panic that they can’t function. I’m no professional on the matter, but I can relate on my own level.
I was fortunate, however, to snap out of it rather quickly, once I digested the reality of the situation.
Some useful tips I have found for getting through this include keeping a bit of normalcy, and working a bit harder to remain positive. If you are working from home, get up and shower and put on your work attire anyhow, create an office space in your home and try to keep your routine, if possible.
If you have a certain day that you shop for groceries, try to keep that day on your schedule, while using safe social distancing. I have learned new things myself to keep safe during this pandemic.
As for remaining positive, we all have to remember that this is a temporary situation – the period of time unknown.
It is very easy to get fixated on a tragedy, or pandemic. And let’s face it; most of our readership lives in New York – the state with the highest number of cases.
It’s on the news, it’s in the paper, and it’s on your Facebook feed.
To escape the pandemic, tune out for a while. Find a park to take a walk in, go for a drive, pick up a craft, or even tackle those home improvement projects that have been on hold. Put on your favorite music. And to keep your spiritual fitness, practice prayer and meditation if you can.
Most importantly, support your local businesses that are staying open to serve you.
As we walk through this together, The Owego Pennysaver will continue to provide you with information that is important to you. We are in constant contact with local officials, and will continue to bring you the latest numbers in the county, and links to resources that will assist you.
As stated last week, we are all in this together; we are not alone.
(Wendy Post is the Editor for The Owego Pennysaver and The Troy Pennysaver Plus, and a contributing writer for several other publications throughout New York and Pennsylvania.)