Optimism over despair: responding to coronavirus

I can distinctly remember scrolling through Twitter in early January and reading an article — in the New York Times, I believe — about a mysterious new SARS-like virus that had been rapidly spreading in the city of Wuhan, China.

Back then, it would have been ludicrous to suggest that this small, localised outbreak would lead to (in a matter of mere weeks) the world facing what is arguably its greatest crisis since World War II.

Notwithstanding that, here we are. Countries are in lockdown, borders are closed, the economy is crashing and masses of people have been left unemployed; hardly a great start to the better decade we were all hoping for 10 weeks ago. But, it’s what fate has delivered, so we must do everything we can to minimise its impact, stop the spread and ultimately learn from it.

In this landscape where the news is so frequently bad, it’s important to regularly step back and look at the broader picture. The Facebook post below does a good job at highlighting what a negative mindset versus a positive mindset looks like in this situation.

On my part, I’ll be trying my best to find stories of people doing good things throughout this, and I’ll be sharing them on my Twitter page. If you’re interested, follow me there.

Moving forward, I hope that as we move past the terrible impacts this virus has had and will continue to have, humanity will draw closer (social distancing still applies!) as a result of it. Let’s allow coronavirus to serve as a reminder of our shared existence, and that we are all stuck here together.

We can defeat this thing. Stay at home unless absolutely necessary, practice good hygiene, remember to exercise common sense, and most importantly, follow the health advice. Together, we will pull through this, and emerge stronger than ever before.

Be kind to each other, and stay safe.

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