Calm down and breathe.
Whether we like it or not, our phones have turned into COVID reporting machines buzzing with alarming information–who’s at risk for dying, who’s dying, and who actually died–and if you’re not even a bit unnerved or shaken, then you must be Batman.
With all the dire news, most of us tend to sit in the “better safe than sorry” camp justifying hoarding or supporting the city’s lockdown. Unfortunately, being “safe” isn’t that simple. Our response to protect ourselves comes with its own unintended consequences that can potentially outlast and cause greater destruction than the virus itself.
People have a hard time grasping abstract consequences such as “global economic impact” because it’s not as straightforward and catchy as a murderous and highly contagious virus. But when the dust settles, we’ll have a colossal problem in our hands: as the virus spreads fear and despair, thousands are losing jobs, businesses are shuttering, and what used to be stable lives are being turned upside down.
“But it’s just the economy, health comes first.” Not many people realize that it’s that same “economy” that brings food to our tables so people don’t die. And well, isn’t that the whole point of why we’re trying to contain this virus, so we can survive?
Stopping the spread of the virus is important, but preserving the stability of our society carries equal weight. We’re playing a delicate balancing act between the present and the future, and for us to not tear ourselves to pieces, we need to keep calm and maintain and air of trust, respect, and levelheaded-ness.
Right now it’s smart to focus on two things: sanitize and split up. Wash your hands, avoid large crowds, and stay at home if you don’t really need to go out. Slow the spread so we depressurize our hospitals and save more lives. (ICYMI: crowded and overwhelmed hospitals are killing people all over the world.)
But how about those who must absolutely leave their homes? Don’t shame them for doing so. Plenty of people need to go out and work to grease the wheels of the world. If we restrict movement with the force of a pressure cooker, we will blow up. It’s best to leave the lid slightly open and let some people through. Locking down the entire city down (with a curfew!) is counterproductive—and there have been many countries who have successfully contained the virus without resorting to one.
To gain a sense of control in trying times, people make decisions in black-and-white, gravitating towards extremes so we’re being left to think that we can only choose between paranoia and carelessness. But right now it’s smarter to be somewhere in the middle: take the necessary precautions, but also give people some room to move and breathe.
Come and save us?
It’s true—all of us restaurants are going through hell. But so do healthcare workers. So do airline employees. So do accountants. We’re all just seeing different visions of it.
Despite people’s good intentions to support your favorite restaurant by ordering delivery or buying GCs, it’s hard to see a way out of this predicament in the next few weeks—the damage has been done. We’re at the shore watching a tsunami cover the sun and swallow us whole right infront of our eyes.
The best thing we can do right now is to contain this POS virus as fast as we can. Just make a promise, that when this monstrous situation is taken care of and we’re all back on our feet, that we will aggressively take back our normal lives and get the blood pumping in full strength through the veins of our communities. We’ll make it through.
When that time comes we will be there to feed you. 😋