Pandemic and people: How are you holding up?

No question the past few months have been DIFFICULT!

I mean, change is always hard, but we’ve collectively gone through A LOT of change in a short time. We’re constantly learning more about the virus (how it affects different people in different ways, how we spread it, how to treat people who have serious symptoms, etc.). For many of us, our circumstances have changed dramatically (our incomes may have taken a big hit, we’re spending more time with people we live with, we’ve cancelled events, vacations, and weddings, etc.). And we’re changing how we do regular, day-to-day things (washing our hands a lot more, visiting friends and family outside at a distance, grocery shopping less frequently, etc.).

These challenges can bring out the best in people, too! There are some incredible people working to fight the virus and help each other out. There are initiatives you can get involved in. There are a ton of ideas for things to do when you feel stuck at home. And, there are some pretty funny things circulating to keep our spirits up.

It’s these examples of the positive ways people are reacting to the pandemic that’s what this post is about.

If you are wondering:

  • What we’ve learned over the summer about the novel coronavirus
  • What we can all do to prevent the spread
  • What we know about the virus
  • Where do viruses come from and how they (and our immune system) works?

CLICK HERE to see the comprehensive post on the novel coronavirus that touches on all of these areas.

Novel coronavirus with microscopic image

Examples of how this pandemic is bringing out the best in people

Personally, I’m very happy to see most companies and governments tell people to follow evidence-based public health guidelines and make accommodations so people can work from home and keep a roof over their heads. This is how we step up and help each other and continue as a society. Yes, we need even more of this right now. We’re all in this together. The more we can stop the spread the more we can safely open up our workplaces, businesses, and schools. I also think the pandemic is temporary, so we can get through this if we keep doing our best.

The pandemic has also reminded me of my personal heroes, all of whom contributed to the science of public health and epidemiology by how they discovered, managed, and prevented epidemics. Starting with Ignaz Semmelweis, the doctor who championed handwashing in the mid-1800s. Coincidentally enough, 150+ years later, handwashing is still a fantastic and simple way to prevent the spread of disease! 😄

Shoutout to some incredible people helping us all get through this pandemic

 

  • Medical students at McGill University created daily update of newly published studies on COVID-19. Here is their archive.

How to help out

 

Having all of these changes kinda “thrown at you” in the past few of months can feel very unempowering. I mean, staying home for the “spring lockdown” (except for essential groceries, medications, and appointments) was hard enough. Let alone missing work and/or school, having everyone you live with at home 24/7, cancelling vacations and get-togethers, etc.

This has all been an unwelcome huge lifestyle change.

Most areas have opened up to a certain degree (and we can now find toilet paper and hand sanitizer!), but there may be new rules, like maximum numbers of people, mask-wearing, or highly-not-recommended activities (like singing). Some areas have had (or will soon) close down again because their case numbers and community spread are rising exponentially again. ☹️

It’s not been easy and it’s not over yet.

Plus, the longer it continues, the more we’re feeling the need to resist it, even if we truly don’t want to spread the virus.

One way I’m dealing with this is by calling family more often and going for evening walks. I’ve also pivoted my work time away from clients who are “pausing” services and refocusing it on creating products (or enjoying the outdoors while I can).

Of course, there are so many ways we can help each other out as well. Your local food banks, farms, and/or charities may desperately need you. Checking on your neighbours (from 2m away) and picking up groceries for them may be extremely appreciated. Ordering takeout from your fav restaurants that can’t accommodate in-person seating can help your local economy.

Here are ways to help in Canada

Global opportunities to help

Coronavirus misinformation is a pandemic (“infodemic”)

Having so much change in a short time—including the focus of media and social media—has created a ripe ground for the spread of misinformation. Some people are being really *creative* with the info they make and share. (Think: sciency sounding fiction). There are professionals out there making science fiction seem like actual science. Plus, with the amount of legit research being done and the media and social media attention to that research, there is a lot of misunderstanding and miscommunication.

All of this is rightfully leading to confusion.

Here’s a great article that outlines how and why changing recommendations due to new information is a GOOD thing (I mean, who wants to make decisions in September based on info from March???):

Here are some resources about the massive amounts of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic:

Where to fact-check coronavirus information


Here are some trustworthy sites to double-check “facts” you see online and be sure they’re true before believing or sharing:

Here are a few things to do at home and outside

 

If you’re stuck at home, know that in most cases you can enjoy the outdoors with minimal risk of getting the virus.

  • Stay in touch with family and friends! Give them a call or email them. Offer to grocery shop for your neighbours.
  • Spend a few moments thanking those on the front lines right now: doctors, nurses, public health officials, hospital staff (including the cleaners and janitors), laboratory staff, support workers, scientists doing urgent research, teachers, etc. Maybe you can help them out, too?

  • Many libraries have ebooks, audiobooks, and online courses for you. Check your local library and see.

Kid- and teen-friendly ideas to do at home

STEM colouring pages

I didn’t put these in the adults or kid’s section because I’ve taken up colouring, so it’s for all ages! (STEM = Science Technology Engineering Math.)

Coronavirus colouring 3D

Coronavirus colouring sheet

Stay fit with online fitness classes

Stressed (and who’s not)?

Free biz training courses

Light-hearted humour about what we’ve been going through

Some “feel good” videos I recently came across

Conclusion

 

Things may feel like poo sometimes with all that’s going on with the pandemic. Behold, many people are doing amazing things and there is lots to do if you want to.

Let’s leave with this thought:

 

Signing off and toasting: To the people making the best of the pandemic!

 

Over to you

Do you know of someone who is doing awesome things because of the pandemic? What other resources do you recommend? Feel free to share any other comedic or “feel good” links, too.

I’d love to know in the comments below!

Want a fairly constant flow of credible health information (and content marketing strategy)? Follow me on Twitter.

Want to learn more about how to combat misinformation? Grab FREE access to the course Health News: Fake vs Real

Click on coupon code: NOVEL (as in the novel coronavirus).

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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.

I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.

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