This is an interesting time. You’re getting no shortage of emails coming to your inbox about how this is “unprecedented” and “difficult.” I find when I hear things like that, I usually turn inward and focus on myself. But during “unprecedented and difficult times,” that’s not what we need and definitely not what those around us need. Here’s what I’ve been doing to help reframe my thoughts and emotions over the past few days—
Understanding My Anxiety
We see charts like these that make us think the world is about to end.
Source: Johns Hopkins
Source: Macrobond Financial
One of my go-to podcasts is “RobCast.” The speaker last week shared his thoughts on what’s so hard for us concerning this time. In times like these, we’re anxious because we don’t know “how bad things will get.” For instance, if we’re preparing for a blizzard, we know that the blizzard won’t last more than a few days. We have a roadmap for how the storm will play out. With this virus, it feels like we don’t know how low the bottom really is. Those facts will cause anxiety in anyone. It’s the feeling of the new unknown that is causing us to worry as much as we are, and that is a very normal feeling to have.
Understanding the (Short) History of COVID-19
For me, digging into what has happened so far with the virus’s evolution is helping me quickly move past this feeling of despair and move into this feeling that we’re going to get through this. For instance, my friend Oscar, who runs GAN Accelerator Chinaccelerator in China, sent this to me over the weekend:
“Things are getting back to normal, which I think shows very clearly that this is a temporary situation and that you need to be careful but also stay sane.” — Oscar from Chinaccelerator
It was a good reminder that, while China started experiencing COVID-19 in December 2019, four months later, “things are getting back to normal.” Just yesterday, Wuhan (the original epicenter for the virus) experienced only 1 new case. And, we’ve seen the fatality rate for COVID-19 in China drop to its lowest point this year and the growth factor of new cases outside of China reach one of its lowest points thus far (see charts below).
Understanding the Virus’s Trajectory
When we start looking at the facts about what is happening, we start seeing a more positive story. China and South Korea have successfully slowed the spread by taking action, and we can hope the same will happen across the globe.
As my friend Aaron Ginn says about this: “This infection bell curve is supported in academic research. A virus doesn’t grow linearly forever. It accelerates, plateaus, and then declines. It eventually runs out of gas—it’s called Farr’s Law.” This is a (data-driven) reminder that, with proper action, this is, in fact, temporary.
What I’m Reading and Loving
I can’t control the virus or our government’s response to it. But, I can control how I’m showing up in the world. Here are some resources I’ve seen and new rhythms I’ve been incorporating—
- My wife and I are hosting a daily Zoom call for all of the kids in my daughter’s kindergarten class so that they can all stay connected to one another and share their “rose and thorn” from the previous day.
- My good friend Andy Magel, who runs the Mile High Workshop, donated thousands of N95 masks to his local fire department.
- I just bought a Tushy. Without any toilet paper, it’s time to get creative.
- For my fellow parents who are at home with kids, I found this post helpful.
- GAN Startup Foxblossom Co. assembles and sends curated gift boxes to people in your community who might need a little extra love.
- Another GAN Startup, Babylon Microfarms, provides access to fresh vegetables by mailing you an at-home growing kit.
- And, I’m seeing many resources out there for employers and employees. Some of my favorites include:
- Gusto released this Employer’s Guide To Navigating Coronavirus.
- Grasshopper Bank created this Startup Resource Guide.
- Buffer put together a list of advice for remote work.
- Uncharted’s 30 Resources for Teams, Kids, Friends, and Family During Coronavirus.