It started with curiosity. Near the end of 2019, I first began hearing reports of “Corona Virus” wrecking havoc in the Wuhan province of China. It warranted a second look or two, and that was it.
Curiosity turned into surprise when I realized that WordCamp Asia, an event I was looking forward to and planning to attend in February, was at risk of canceling. Then, on February 12, WordCamp Asia was cancelled.
Surprise became disbelief as cases of COVID-19 started popping up in my home state of Washington, here in the United States. I started paying more attention to the news. I rationalized the growing level of global concern as overblown.
On Wednesday last week, I was in downtown Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (I live near the Washington / Idaho border) hosting the first of what I planned to be many events focused on serving the local WooCommerce community. Disbelief became alarm as I watched the folks at WordPress.org give their guidance to postpone all WordPress events and meetups until further notice.
I went to Costco that day and disbelief became high stress as I witnessed the local impact first-hand. Costco was busier than I’d ever seen it, toilet paper was gone, and I could see the stress and uncertainty on the faces of fellow shoppers. Fear started to kick in. Was I missing out? Was I not worried enough?
That high stress built further over the weekend as I watched more news and witnessed more of the local impact. Our local schools announced their closings or switches to distance learning. Lines at local stores grew worse and worse.
On Monday, high stress became my own version of shock. I stayed in bed far longer than usual, reading the news. I picked up our kid’s materials from school, got a few things done, and then crashed. I lay in bed and cried.
A round or two of tears later, a few things started to become clear. I recognized that this whole thing is beyond me. I’ve done what I can so far and that’s all I can do. I can’t control it.
What I can control is my reaction. I can choose to acknowledge myself, accept myself for the broken human that I am, and choose how I respond.
My Path Forward
I don’t know when this is getting better. Folks are saying it could be months, or longer. As far as I can help it, I want as few of those kinds of Mondays as possible.
To move forward, I’m focusing my energy on five areas:
- Faith – I choose to acknowledge and put my confidence in a loving Power beyond myself. That gives me comfort – I’m not in this alone.
- Community – I choose to focus on more time with my family and the communities that I’m a part of. Even if we can’t connect in person, we can stay connected.
- Personal Health – I choose to invest in my health, exercising a bit more, drinking more water, and keeping up with my tiny habits.
- Helping Others – I choose to find ways to be of help to those around me.
- Positive Focus – I choose to focus on the wins, taking note each day of what has gone well.
That’s working for me for now.