Compassion in the Time of Coronavirus

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by Shannon – Hi everyone. Like many of you reading this right now, I am writing from my living room where I am doing my best to prevent social transmission of COVID-19.  I’m not here to give you medical advice – I’m not that kind of doctor (badam ching!). If you want the best information, check out ICMR or WHO. I want to talk about US.  You and me and everyone else across the globe stuck at home in this pandemic.

Social distancing is physical – not emotional or mental.  This world needs our love and compassion more than ever.  Perhaps you are lonely with no family around you at this time. Perhaps you are frightened.  Or maybe, like me, you have elderly parents far away that you can’t get to.  Whatever the reason, physical distance should never translate into emotional distance.

In our lab, we often talk about the importance of mental and emotional wellness, and its scientific basis. Humans are a social species. It is well known that social interactions are imperative for positive mental and physical health.  So what can we do when we can’t get within 1 meter of each other?

Simply put, we have to put our modern ICT to good use. WhatsApp your friends.  Call your parents. Use Swiggy or Big Basket to send food to a shut in or someone you know who might not be able to afford it. Send flowers though internet sites.  DM ridiculous cat videos to your cousin.  Do this. Whatever you do, don’t shut yourself away, and don’t let others be shut out.

I’m here too.  You can email our lab at info@nice.ncbs.res.in. Feel free to reach out to me. And if you are feeling desperation, there are others you can call also.

The most important way for humanity to preserve itself in times of crisis is to not lose its humanity. Compassion is what ties us all together. So reach out to others. We’re all in this together.

Stay strong.  Heart open. We’ll get through this. And WASH YOUR HANDS!

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