Fear of the Corona Virus

It seems like the world is freaking out a bit right now…


And maybe for a good reason.


I am in one of the last places where the COVID-19 virus isn’t. I guess living in “the middle of nowhere” (as I affectionately call it) is useful sometimes!


The virus is getting closer, but there are no confirmed cases in the towns near me.


I am aware that there are many people who are hurting right now, and for that I wish to express love and concern.


While I do not know what the future holds, I want to talk about the general fear and chaos many people are experiencing right now.


I heard yesterday that 150 million people might die from the virus in the US.


When I heard how many people could die, I felt fear and panic.


When I was fearful and panicked, what did I do?


I worried, I stocked up on supplies, I obsessed over the virus, I didn’t sleep at night, I endlessly scrolled through social media and news, I talked about it with adults, and warned my children about what could happen. I started being a nervous wreck.


I am not sure that this was the best choice and I've been reflecting on my actions.


Did those actions serve anyone?


Did they help?


Did they relieve suffering or create more suffering?


I believe that the answer is no. What I did when I was afraid and panicked didn’t help anyone or create peace.


It created more suffering and chaos.


The fear was NOT USEFUL.


I am not preventing or relieving suffering in any way when I am fearful and panicked.


I actually create more suffering by suffering right now, and I create more suffering in my children as they watch the chaos the adults around them are creating.


All of that is not helpful.


Worrying now about potential worse things in the future only makes me miserable right now.


So I ask, what is the worst that can happen with this virus?


We could all feel negative emotions.


Now I know what you’re thinking - NO! People are dying! The economy could collapse!


Hear me out: even if bad things happen, they are bad because of what we FEEL.


(Even if we get sick. Even if people die. Even if the economy suffers. Even if terrible things happen.)


The worst thing that will happen will be what we feel.