How the Coronavirus Pandemic Presents a Sobering Opportunity for American Society

PHX Perspectives | May 4th, 2020

Stop. Take a deep breath. Relax.

As chaos looms over the future of humanity in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, many Americans find themselves in a state of fear and uncertainty. While I am fully aware that no individual’s experience is the same, it is crucial that everyone takes a moment to step back and try to view this from a new perspective.

If you turn on the TV, you will be told we are facing a global crisis. The government is not prepared for the situation at hand and we are approaching economic turmoil. Hospitals are not equipped with the proper resources for treatment and testing. Cases are multiplying, the death toll is on the rise, and social distancing efforts may be in effect through the summer. Travel is being restricted. The national guard is patrolling the streets of New York suburbs and more state governments are mobilizing military intervention. Are you panicking yet? While this is all true, and every individual has a civil duty to cooperate with law enforcement and federal guidelines, we also have a responsibility to adhere to our own individual health and wellbeing to the best of our ability.

Here are some ways you can manage your health from home:

  • Proper nutrition dictates a healthy immune system and can be cost effective. Try to buy only what you need and practice healthy eating habits. Taken a step further, intermittent fasting boosts fat burning, helps conserve food, and trains your body to function better while hungry.
  • There are plenty of online home exercises with room for creativity individually and with friends over social media. Cleaning around the house is also great exercise and an easy way to get moving in the morning.
  • Use this time to catch up on sleep and take measures to keep your mental health in check. Spend quality time with the family, organize clutter and paperwork you’ve been putting off, and take time for leisure to enjoy all the tv, movies, and books you haven’t had time for.

You won’t hear this on cable news, but there is positivity to be gained from this. I think we can all agree that society has been in need of a reset button. For the first time in this administration, the country seems to be uniting around a common purpose—protecting the health of the public. Congress may even pass its first bipartisan bill in the near future.

“The coronavirus doesn’t care if you’re Democrat or Republican,” as stated by former Vice President Joe Biden following this week’s Democratic primaries. “It will not discriminate based on national origin, race, gender or zip code. It will touch people in positions of power as well as the most vulnerable in our society. We’re all in this together.”

For those whose circumstances allow it, use the adversity we face as an opportunity to put your health first. Take a second to lend a helping hand to those in need throughout your community when possible. This will ultimately prepare us all for what’s to come should the situation worsen and if not, you will be ready to get back on your feet when this is over.

The PHX Perspectives blog is a platform that creates an opportunity to share public health stories and viewpoints. Anyone interested in submitting a piece, which should be 600-800 words long, should contact Population Health Exchange reserves the right to reject or edit submissions. The views expressed are solely those of the author and are not intended to represent the views of Population Health Exchange or Boston University School of Public Health.