A virus is currently turning our lives upside down. It feels threatening – not only for those who are seriously ill. In an unprecedented way in our lifetime, all of our everyday lives are affected – and we do not know what is yet to come. The current situation with which we are confronted is called a crisis. We have come to this point in a certain way and now we are asked to turn back. We do not know where the journey is taking us and how it will go. In Chinese, the word “crisis” means “threat”, but also “opportunity”. So what does the situation ask us to do?
In order to protect the elderly and the sick and to support doctors and nursing staff, we are all called upon to act prudently to ensure that the infection rates do not explode any more than necessary.
So what can we do to avoid possible contagion? Since the main transmission route is airborne infection, we are strongly advised to:
- cough or sneeze into the crook of the arm or into tissues;
- dispose of handkerchiefs carefully;
- avoid shaking hands and hugs;
- wash our hands regularly and thoroughly (the Federal Center for Health Education provides instructions on this in their videos);
- keep distance from other people, especially when they are coughing and sneezing.
At this point, we refer you to the most up-to-date websites that offer you the most important information and developments relating to the virus. In this newsletter you can find links to current information.
Unlike we have seen so far with regard to the flu, this virus appears to spread to the lungs very quickly. Of course, this creates feelings of fear and worry, concerning our own health and that of our loved ones. Unfortunately, fear and worry weaken our immune system. We are therefore asked to learn to deal with our fear.
Even if we should not get stuck in fear, we should not push it away, deny it, or suppress it either. Fear is perhaps the oldest feeling in the history of humanity. We need fear; it points out dangers and makes us careful and rethink our behavior.
Meditation can help us to come out of fear and to become calm within. It is also proven to be good for our immune system. Social contacts and the connection with other people also contribute to our health – even at a distance. Prayer or dialogue with God help some people; for others, it helps to let off steam through physical exercise or do yoga. Ask yourself what is good for you now! Breathing exercises are also useful: Breathe in and out deeply every quarter of an hour, preferably in the open air – this is good for the lungs and for the soul.
Did you know that people cannot feel love and fear at the same time? You can take advantage of this by keeping your attention on those people or things that you love.
It is a sign of good self-care if we keep feeding ourselves with positive thoughts. We can do this by focusing not only on what is threatening. We should also be consciously aware of what is currently happening in the world: People are reflecting on what is important in life, nature is recovering – and we must and are allowed to slow down. Solidarity and attention for one another are finding new ways to be expressed. And who knows what is still possible, what we cannot yet recognize at the moment! And there are many things we can be thankful for! Thankfulness is also a very healthy feeling.
Another issue that is cropping up now is the need for control. The feeling of helplessness in the face of the epidemic and drastic measures to contain it is very uncomfortable for many of us, and we would like to run away from it. We want to control the situation as best as we can, not only because we feel responsible, but also because we dislike the feelings that this situation evokes. We want to avoid feelings of fear, panic, inadequacy, failure, and being overwhelmed, and we would like to do something to stop it.
Fact is that we can contribute a lot through reasonable behavior – and every contribution is important. However, we also learn that one person alone cannot do it and that our options are limited. At a certain point, we all have to recognize that a higher power has a say in our lives – be it the state, the employer, the hospital, God, or simply fate.
Confidence helps us through these phases. Do you have confidence in life and in yourself? Remember how many difficult situations there have been in your life and how often situations in which you were afraid have had a positive outcome. And miracles do happen, just think of the fall of the Berlin wall! It is also a miracle how well the human body can adapt to external circumstances and how versatile the human being as a whole is.
Covid-19 reminds us that we are mortal and that life is finite. This is also an invitation to deal with your own values and to check whether you are concerned with things in your life that are really important to you. If you discover a need to talk about it, do not forget that Corrente is always available for advice!
Here is a radio interview with our colleague Dr. Gerd Reimann on the subject