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Having a Panic Attack on Coronavirus? Try a Plan of Attack

March 16, 2020

Coronavirus has created mass panic around the globe - true. According to the latest news when this article was written, over 100,000 people are infected - true. Over 68,000 have recovered - true. About 3000 have died from the virus - true. Who are the main victims of coronavirus? Those over seventy years old, and especially those over seventy with pre-existing respiratory issues, or those who are immune-suppressed - true. Few cases of death have happened outside of this very specific target group -  true.

Other common diseases have much larger numbers of death than of Coronavirus, but for some reason, these diseases have not created the mass panic that we have going on currently.

Coronavirus might be here to stay. It's what we do about it now and how we emotionally handle it now that will determine the outcome and future of not only us but for future generations also. Think of it, will what we do now with Coronavirus be a positive legacy or a negative legacy?

I’d like to share an article by Dr. Abdu Sharkawy. In my opinion, it’s the first intelligent assessment of the whole coronavirus issue that I have read. Dr. Sharkawy is a doctor and an infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto in Canada. He permitted InsideSources to distribute the article. (Snopes confirms that Dr. Sharkawy wrote this article.)

“I'm a doctor and an Infectious Diseases Specialist. I've been at this for more than twenty years, seeing sick patients daily. I have worked in inner-city hospitals and in the poorest slums of Africa. HIV-AIDS, Hepatitis, TB, SARS, Measles, Shingles, Whooping cough, Diphtheria...there is little I haven't been exposed to in my profession. And with the notable exception of SARS, very little has left me feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed or downright scared.

"I am not scared of Covid-19. I am concerned about the implications of a novel infectious agent that has spread the world over and continues to find new footholds in different soil. I am rightly concerned for the welfare of those who are elderly, in frail health or disenfranchised who stand to suffer most, and disproportionately, at the hands of this new scourge. But I am not scared of Covid-19.

"What I am scared about is the loss of reason and wave of fear that has induced the masses of society into a spellbinding spiral of panic, stockpiling obscene quantities of anything that could fill a bomb shelter adequately in a post-apocalyptic world. I am scared of the N95 masks that are stolen from hospitals and urgent care clinics where they are actually needed for front line healthcare providers and instead are being donned in airports, malls, and coffee lounges, perpetuating, even more, fear and suspicion of others.

"I am scared that our hospitals will be overwhelmed with anyone who thinks they ‘probably don't have it but may as well get checked out no matter what because of, you just never know...’ In the meantime, those with heart failure, emphysema, pneumonia, and strokes will pay the price for overfilled ER waiting rooms with only so many doctors and nurses to assess.

"I am scared that travel restrictions will become so far-reaching that weddings will be canceled, graduations missed, and family reunions will not materialize. And even that big party called the Olympic Games could be kyboshed too. Can you even imagine that? I'm scared those same epidemic fears will limit trade, harm partnerships in multiple sectors, business and otherwise and ultimately culminate in a global recession.

"But mostly, I'm scared about what message we are telling our kids when faced with a threat. Instead of reason, rationality, open-mindedness, and altruism, we are telling them to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and self-interested.

"Covid-19 is nowhere near over. It will be coming to a city, a hospital, a friend, even a family member near you at some point. Expect it. Stop waiting to be surprised further. The fact is the virus itself will not likely do much harm when it arrives. But our own behaviors and the ‘fight for yourself above all else’ attitude could prove disastrous.

"I implore you all. Temper fear with reason, panic with patience, and uncertainty with real education. We have an opportunity to learn a great deal about health hygiene and limiting the spread of innumerable transmissible diseases in our society. Let's meet this challenge together in the best spirit of compassion for others, patience, and above all, an unfailing effort to seek the truth, facts, and knowledge as opposed to conjecture, speculation and catastrophizing.

Facts, not our fear. Clean hands. Open hearts. Our children will thank us for it.”

Let’s calm down a bit. It’s not the end of the world. Quit acting like it. Prepare wisely, not hysterically. Don’t be fearful. Use your head, not your emotions. Sharp people are working on this. God is in control. Don’t expect results instantly. Face the challenge, calmly, and firmly like others before you have in this great nation. Continue their legacy.

Where did all this fear come from? Do you know what F.E.A.R. stands for? False Evidence Appearing Real. Don’t join the cattle stampede of those scared by over-hyped optics. The only thing we must fear is fear itself. God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear. Someone else or something else did.

James Clear says it this way. “Your actions are a consequence of your thoughts. Your thoughts are a consequence of what you consume. And in the modern age, what you consume is largely a consequence of how you select and refine your social media feed. Choose better inputs. Get better outputs.”

Here’s the biggest tragedy of all. Do you understand that those who use their heads, stay calm and think, most always end up with what the fearful left behind as they ran away to another place where more fear was waiting for them to arrive?

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Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com