We are here, in the middle of Germany. Watching the news, we can see how nearly every thirty minutes decisions are being taken to close schools, cinemas and theatres. Our phone has not been quiet for a while with family members, friends and parents of our daughter’s classmates sending news and notes about their emotions. Obviously, some of the messages are worried – others have a tone that is close to panic.
That’s how we decided to add a few lines to our blog about this special situation.
That is exactly what it is: special. The whole world is in a state that none of us has seen yet. There have been threats like war and terrorism. Most of the times, we could sit back and say: ‘that is far away from us.’ Tragic, horrible, but in countries far away. Other times, it would hit closer to home but then again, those were single incidents and we could somehow distance ourselves from them. This time, it is different. Not one of us has seen this kind of situation before. Now, we all are in this together, on the complete planet. We do not have the chance to make ourselves believe that it has nothing to do with us. We are definitely affected.
At the same time, let’s take a look at the facts and the reason why we have this issue. The corona virus is in fact quite close to the influenza – similarly infectious and even similarly dangerous. The reason why we have this big problem all over is simply that it is completely new. That we do not have any antibodies yet to fight it. Due to this, it is just very easy to contract the virus and then pass it on! This has, indeed, happened before: the Spanish flu in 1918 was a completely new virus, nobody was immune and thus it claimed many lives.
In most cases, healthy persons who get infected only even have light symptoms and their bodies are able to fight the virus. The problem is however that those whose immune system is anyway down or not as fit anymore develop more severe problems. Usually, influenza also causes such issues and for the same risk group, hospitals have to fight for lives every year. However, with such high numbers being affected, health systems are simply overburdened and health professions of course at high risk as well! This is the situation we are trying to avoid here in Germany at the moment: the government tries to slow the progress of the virus and appeals to everyone’s own social responsibility. Stay home as much as you can and avoid crowds.
It is a wonderful possibility to practice acceptance. Accept that the situation is the way it is. Accept that we can only take certain precautions and not more than that. We can practice calming down. That is what I would like to ask you to do. Do not panic and do not create panic in others.
My heart goes out to everyone who has lost a dear one or is worried about someone they love. Let’s help them by being calm. And maybe you can find a way to help those in your surrounding who are at risk – a neighbour whom you can bring along food when you go shopping for example. Let’s be positive about this and stay calm!