by Skip Cohen
Yesterday during the f64 Lunch Bunch, the topic of depression and anxiety came up. Everyone is feeling it, some far more than others. For me, my emotions up until recently have been a rollercoaster surpassing the highs and lows of any ride Disney ever created. While I still have moments of anxiety, they're getting farther and farther apart, like speed bumps in a quiet neighborhood.
Well, here's my recipe...
The rest of the day is a repeat of short conversations with Sheila, time with the puppies, short breaks whenever I need to step away from what I'm working on. Sprinkled here and there are phone calls with friends, especially people I haven't caught up to recently. Some calls are long catch-ups, others just short to see how a friend is holding up.
And, when I do feel overly concerned, I'll call a friend to calm me down. Who I call is directly related to the topic stirring up my anxious gene! For example, "Dr. T," in addition to being the inventor and founder of Platypod, is a full-time pediatrician in New Jersey and has become a very good friend. Being in the medical profession, he's on the frontline of the most accurate information. Plus, he's one of those people who has a personality build on a foundation of staying calm.
Throughout the day I catch up on my reading. Our son sent me an article this morning that's worth sharing. "COVID-19: interesting data from Korea and from the Diamond Princess." I'm just sharing one paragraph that helps make the point.
But the Diamond Princess cruise ship offers an interesting insight. It had nearly 4,000 people on board—many of them in risk groups. (Somebody who used to perform aboard cruise ships quipped that passengers are mostly "the newlywed and the nearly dead" ;)) You'd expect these packed together on a ship in quarantine to be all infecting each others. And yet...4,061 passengers and crew were examined, on board what effectively became an unintentional virus incubator. Only 712 contracted the virus (about 17.5%), of which 334 asymptomatic (8.2% of the total), leaving 378 (9.3% of the total) ill. Only 7 people died (1.85% of those ill, or 0.17% of all passengers and crew examined), all of them age 70 or older. (Remember, the passenger population is skewed toward the elderly.)
And that brings me to one of the most important ingredients to staying calm - stop being obsessed with the news! Sheila and I stopped watching most of the news years ago. We'd record World News with David Muir and then fast forward through everything political because none of us will ever know the truth. Now with the news being all about Covid-19, that fast forward button is getting worn out.
We're paying attention and following all the various directives from the health organizations. We're staying home and only going out when absolutely necessary. We wash our hands regularly and even packages from Amazon get opened outside. One of my best friends wrote:
Let's get on the other side of this pandemic together... And hopefully we are collectively more wise and ready for the next one. And not listening to the paid doctors of MSNBC as much as the CDC folks who dedicate their lives to solving these problems.
And one last ingredient - get out with your camera! Regardless off your business focus, we've all missed Spring! Looking for a moment of tranquility? Nothing beats a camera in your hands. And for those of you who think my sunset shot above was easy, after all, I live in Florida near the ocean, think again. That's Lake Erie in my home town of Painesville, Ohio, a couple of years ago.
We'll all get through this if we just stay focused. Our lives, the stock market, and the future will reset. It won't be easy, but when did anything worth having come easy?
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.