Silently Panicking

Brown and black desk globe with yellow "stay home" sticky note on top of it

Living In A Ghost Town

The coronavirus pandemic is every bit as mental as it is physical. You are not in the clear if you don’t have physical symptoms because your perception on reality has now been altered. It’s not like you purposely altered your perception; it just happened as a reaction to the virus infecting humanity. Just take a look outside and you will see how quiet the streets are; ghosts have replaced human beings.

New York is not what it used to be. It now takes 30 minutes to get from eastern Queens to Washington Heights where Columbia University is located; on a normal day, it would take 45-60 minutes. Walking down the streets of Manhattan, very few people can be observed. Almost everyone is wearing a mask and you don’t even have to wait at a red light if you are attempting to cross the street; no cars are coming in the opposite direction!

There are more parked cars than there are moving vehicles. Sadly, people are either at home or in the hospital; society feels totally shut down. At least hospital cafeterias and coffee shops remain open; there are no lines and the food options have decreased greatly. But you can still get a nice warm veggie pizza however!

No more long Starbucks lines. You can now receive your Caramel Frappuccino in a couple of minutes. But as you slowly make your way back outside, you unconsciously start to panic after you see the empty streets again. You also develop a dry cough . . . “Does this mean that I have COVID-19?”

As you very well may now, this time of the year you are still susceptible to acquiring a common cold or the flu. But because of the coronavirus slowly destroying society, you start to freak out when your cough persists. Your anxiety level starts to build as you wonder if you are walking around infected. If you are living alone at home, you start to become sad as you start to feel isolated and distanced from society.

But then you remind yourself that the rest of the world is isolated at home too and that you’re not the only one. But does that help?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Irresponsibility Of The Mainstream Media

Empty store shelve with white sign warning customers

People Laughing In The Streets

No one is denying the impact that the coronavirus is having on our society. Over 400 deaths in the United States alone and thousands overseas, COVID-19 has earned its place in the history books. But the media has also earned its place in the history books for the paranoia that it has been instilling in people’s minds. The irresponsibility of the media needs to stop before the next generation of journalists come into power.

So what exactly is irresponsible about the mainstream media? The panic that they are contributing to. Rather than comforting the millions of viewers who are sitting at home in tears, not knowing how they will pay their next month’s bills, they continue to provide us with 24/7 news on how deadly this virus is and how we should all practice “social distancing.

What is portrayed in the media does not match what can be observed in the streets. And why is that? Because people are slowly losing interest in what they have to say. Take a look for yourself at what you can see in the streets: people are casually walking their dogs, families are strolling in parks, friends are smoking cigarettes and laughing, food vendors are in good spirits and selling Halal, etc.

Should we mention all the spring breakers partying on the beaches of Florida and the west coasters getting high and exercising on the beaches of sunny California? This is not meant to deny the importance of social distancing; we should continue to listen to our leaders and health officials on the recommendations of dealing with the coronavirus.

But it would be nice if the media did not secretly care so much about headlines and numbers, and rather report some positive news from time to time. Talking about COVID-19 24/7 is promoting paranoia, anxiety, substance use and depression in the population; people are also committing suicide! If this is not irresponsibility than I don’t know what is.

This is not meant to bash the mainstream media with the intent of hating. We here at The DSM Ready Community do not slide on hate; love is our passion. Our goal is to work with the mainstream media and help them realize that we the people want positive and honest news that does not scare us 24/7. I’m sure they can find a way of delivering other news that does not focus on the coronavirus all the time.

Only by focusing on various positive topics in the news, will people more effectively recover from this traumatic COVID experience and get on with their lives again.

Together we will!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)