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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Coronavirus: Panic or Peace?

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Author name: By Rev. Mike Warthen, MDiv, BCC – Lee Health System Director, Spiritual Services

Find Facts from Reliable Resources and Take Steps to Protect Yourself

Panic or peace: It’s your choice.

That’s right. Remaining calm or yielding to panic is a choice that we make every day. Today is no different.

There are always circumstances or events that challenge our peace and sense of well-being. While we may not always have power over the event, we do possess the power to determine how we respond to that event.

Panic can be an unhealthy reaction, and peace is an informed response.

The Christian scriptures offer encouragement: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

Fear can be a normal reaction to the unknowns of any situation or event. Peace is a choice to respond to facts passed on by those with first-hand knowledge to explain the unknowns. Panic hinders the goal of learning how to manage disease, but peace allows us to think and respond rationally and appropriately.

Peace is accessible through perspective by seeking truth from reliable resources.

Social media and non-stop, sensationalized coverage can lead to panic. Having an informed local, national and global perspective is good, but overexposure to “Breaking News” can unnecessarily raise our anxiety level. Put your device down and limit your screen time. Change the channel and watch an episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” to visit the peaceful town of Mayberry.

Peace can be found through preparation:

  • Review published protocols that are in place to protect you and your family.
  • Do what you know. Wash your hands. Avoid touching your face. Hand gel when soap and water isn’t available.
  • Monitor your health and seek assistance if you have any identified symptoms. Don’t put others at risk. Review Lee Health’s website for the latest information on a national and local level  
  • Listen to the facts. Dr. Google or Aunt Bee’s snapchat blog are mostly bad advice with dangerous home remedies that create confusion and promote panic.

Coronavirus is real and will be a part of our lives for the unforeseeable future. Don’t panic — decide to live in peace.

Make necessary adjustments to find peace. A healthy diet and regular exercise are helpful. Avoid alcohol in excess. Make time for family. Laugh. Take a walk and enjoy the weather. Get some rest. See life in the simple things — smile more, pet your dog, pet your neighbor’s dog, practice random acts of kindness, spend time with friends, make a new friend, watch a bird in flight, etc.

There are so many positive and encouraging options to distract us from life’s stressors, if even for a moment.

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