In our reckoning, humans as higher order animals are stricken with the phenomenon of becoming anxious as they imagine a possible future. We can contemplate various and divergent possibilities but sadly for many, it is the belief in the likelihood of a worst case scenario that causes the most angst. Now. To spoil the present. Often because of unresolved trauma in the past. People worry about what they cannot control.
For the many people afflicted with substantial Covid-19 anxiety now, it is not simply the virus that is affecting their emotional state but a lifelong lack of being able to accept what they cannot change. Life is full of risks, and that is what makes it fun and satisfying. If we focus on a fear of death always, we deprive ourselves the opportunities to experience joy, meaning, pleasure and the love of others. And in a time when our immune systems need to be at maximum levels of robustness, we diminish the power of that same system.
Be sensible, follow the best medical advise, self-isolate as needed, but unless you are already infected (if so, I wish you well, and believe in your capacity to recover, as you more likely will), as our teacher Judith Richards noted today, find time to love and laugh. That is best for your immune system.
As for not knowing, that is ok. One day we will. At least knowing when this ends. But for now, the strong antidote is to accept. To accept we do not know now. We can know best treatment. Best isolation means, best nutrition, best social support. But do yourself a favour. Just accept. And get on with your new life, different as it may be. And create new opportunities for self and other. Don’t moan. Don’ts blame. Just get on with it. It may surprise even you what emerges through this crisis, when you do just that.