Post 12: #Coronavirus and a global perspective

Day 12. Time is not flying, but we’re managing our respective lockdowns, quarantines, and self-isolations. For some of us, April 12 is the magic release date. For others, the date is unsure. Regardless, we’re chronicling our experiences during the #COVID-19 crisis. Join us!

Is the news boosting the power of Corona?

Sunny, a Global Cowgirl® in Frederick, Maryland

Okay. Every hair follicle on my head is set ablaze every time I watch the news.

Anchors and analysts shouting data of doom and gloom. A stat-loving analyst tapping and slapping a giant electronic studio wall silly, showing me numbers that prove the end is nigh.

That’s what news outlets did when “normal” disasters like hurricanes and mass shootings happened.

#COVID-19 has now ratcheted up their fearmongering to cosmic proportions. Put aside that broadcast executives are rubbing their palms together over the ratings tsunami washing over their networks. I have no doubt, having worked in the business for decades, that many in the news believe they are doing the Lord’s work. That if they scare us into a national coma, we will take all the right actions we’re advised to do to ward off Corona, thus making us and our world a safer place.

Wrong!

As a journalism major in college, I had to take a course in propaganda. Hardest course I ever took. That class dragged down my GPA to a sad level, but I learned stuff I still remember. Like the study done in World War II trying to get soldiers to stop going to brothels. There was nothing like a good dose of VD to disrupt a soldier’s focus during battle.

Researchers decided to have two test groups and use two different approaches of persuasion to dampen a soldier’s enthusiasm for ladies of the night.

retrieved from pbs.org

With the first group, researchers followed conventional wisdom. “Scare ‘em to death with graphic pictures of their nether regions dropping off. Blow their minds with stats on the negative impact of VD on their ability to ‘get it up’ should they survive the war and go home to a normal life.”

The other group got boring rational lectures delivered in a clinical way about the downside of going to brothels and catching unpleasant diseases.

Well, those suckers who they scared witless snapped to attention and walked a big circle around any building with a red light…for about two weeks. Then they went right back to their “boys will be boys” ways. The group that suffered though the water-torture approach of boring lectures where fear wasn’t used? Far more of them stopped frequenting brothels.

So, I’m thinking this “scare ‘em witless” news coverage of Corona might be sending ratings to the outer edges of the universe, but it could also be boosting the power of Corona to get us, because that WWII showed scaring people crazy doesn’t make them behave in their own best interest in the long run..


Buzzwords

Tina F. in Fairfax, Virginia

Remember how 2019 was inundated with health-related buzz words. Paleo, Keto, intermittent fasting, plant-based, and burst training, to name a few. People were developing healthy protocols with the promise of health and longevity. So many people followed like sheep, and multimillion dollar industries prospered while selling their ideas and products to all of us desperate to lose a few pounds.

Many were unsuccessful because the motto was, “If it’s not working for you then you aren’t following the instructions carefully.” So we try again.

Come 2020 and a new set of buzzwords has been created. Coronavirus, self-isolation, social distancing, quarantine, unemployment, and death.

Quite a humbling exercise for the first world as we put our lives on hold indefinitely. We can now take a long, hard look at ourselves because we may never be the same.

Among all the devastating news I find a large amount of positivity swirling in the media. Maybe this is a reminder that in the end, the entire world is seeking the same thing. A cleaner world – a safe environment for our children – a healthy, prosperous family life -AND for a way to stop this Monster called COVID-19.

illustration by Francesco Ciccolella

Agoraphobia schizophrenia

RJD in Beirut, Lebanon

Today I had to run a few errands and did so between 8 am and 9:30 am. Tried to stay in the car and do everything by phone and receiving items to disinfect in car etc…you are getting to know me and my OCD.

I had a severe case of agoraphobia upon leaving my place, street, and neighborhood and my thoughts immediately spiraled to the many people around the world who will develop agoraphobia because of lockdowns, OCD like yours truly, panic, and anxiety attacks when getting on public transport or getting to and from work…post-Corona.

What will happen to us when lockdowns are lifted? Will we just be so euphoric that we will go back to life as we know it and party until 2029?

Will we forget all the introspections, reflections, compassion, charity that we are living daily or are we going to remain mindful because this was a full stop for Mother Earth and she wanted us to learn a lesson of some sort? 

Or will we refuse to leave home in fear of our immunity is now even more depleted and our psyche is so mutilated? Will we build biospheres and live in them to protect ourselves? Will we go on changing clothes to go from the bedroom to the living room and carrying our handbag when we go out on the porch?!!! Or will we keep on having arguments with our pets or our sofas?!!!!

by RJD. Ring Road in Beirut

A sigh of relief as I drove back home, parked my car, took everything off on my balcony and showered from head to toe. But there was a nagging feeling; I missed the Beirut traffic and the honking and the noise and most of all the stalled traffic on the Ring Road when we used to block it back then a few months ago; it’s been a long, long time ago and yet that was only last October…A lifetime away.


Virtually Unrecognizable

RafifJ in Malaga, Spain

Last night and again this morning, I moved my furniture around. I mean I moved EVERYTHING. My apartment looks completely different. Who knew such a major transformation could take place within hours? The place is virtually unrecognizable!

The same has happened all over the world. Within a few days, we went from “normal” to dealing with a global pandemic. Our lives have changed, most likely permanently, now that we’ve experienced lockdown, limited freedom, and maybe gratitude for what we do have. Are we virtually unrecognizable? I am, after 12 days in lockdown.

Technologically, we’ve changed. Now we know how to social-distance and have even made it a verb. We’re getting more proficient with collaboration tools – they’re not just for work anymore! – and we are planning virtual social events. We’re even catching up with friends from many, many, many moons ago. Zoom me anytime, since I’m literally not going anywhere.

Along with the technology and social changes, there are a few personal ones. We mock ourselves, joking about the lack of personal grooming. Under lockdown, my upper lip is starting to look as hairy as Old Pablo’s, just down the street. I’m learning that there’s actually more salt than pepper on my head, if you know what I mean. I guess I am virtually unrecognizable, but who cares? Times are different now; I’m a different person and my priorities have changed.

Post-Corona Rafif found on Google Images.
No copyright infringement intended.

How are we relating to each other? Are we becoming more understanding (“she’s on total lockdown and going crazy; this is not the time to ask why she hasn’t finished XX or YY”)? Or more judgmental (“he’s carrying on like there’s no pandemic!”)?

Either way, I believe that how we relate to others during this state of emergency is an indicator of how well we will adjust to “normal” operations. Let’s wait until our respective governments have won their “war against #COVID-19,” the scientists have found a cure or vaccine, and humans have learned to appreciate what they have versus what they want. Then we can take a good look at ourselves and figure out who we want to be going, post-Corona. Maybe we’ll all be unrecognizable.


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