Dear Christine, Pandemic


Rev Lynn Ungar

What if you thought of it

As the Jews consider the Sabbath–

The most sacred of times?

Cease from travel.

Cease from buying and selling.

Give up, just for now,

On trying to make the world

Different than it is.

Sing. Pray. Touch only those

To whom you commit your life.

Center down.

And when your body has become still,

Reach out with your heart.

Know that we are connected

in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.

(You could hardly deny it now.)

Know that our lives

Are in one another’s hands.

(Surely, that has come clear.)

Do not reach out your hands.

Reach out your heart.

Reach out your words.

Reach out all the tendrils

Of compassion that move, invisibly,

Where we cannot touch..

Promise this world your love–

For better or worse,

In sickness and in health,

So long as we all shall live.

The conversation project

Lynn Ungar. The Rev. Dr. Lynn Ungar is minister for lifespan learning and editor of Quest for the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Larger Fellowship, an online congregation for isolated religious liberals.

Five Things to Do:

1 HANDS Wash them often

2 ELBOW Cough into it

3 FACE Don’t touch it

4 FEET Stay more than 3ft apart

5 FEEL sick? Stay home

Hello GOAL world!
Welcome to the COVID-19 era.  We all know the drill.  Wash those hands!  The Vietnamese came up with a nifty PSA to promote handwashing.  The kids created a viral Tik Tok challenge with it!   It’s catchy and fun, and lots of people of all nationalities are posting their moves to the K-Pop style song.  Check it out to brighten your day!

It’s a scary time in the US and in Michigan and anxiety is a normal reaction.  The COVID19 virus is here and everywhere but there has been so little testing that we really don’t know how many cases there are and where all the hot spots are.  Seattle, New York, those are now obvious, and our local hot spots seem to be restaurants, large stores and arenas.  Infections are finally being diagnosed and the numbers increase exponentially.  Schools, churches, sports and large gatherings are closed.  Flights are cancelled and telecommuting is encouraged by businesses that are otherwise shutting down.  Parents are scrambling for childcare and 40% of Americans work in jobs with no paid sick leave and to miss work means losing the job.

Humans experience not knowing as worse than dealing with the actual facts.  Our minds run on rumor, conjuring a terrifying future and the Internet spreads misinformation faster than facts. We need something to DO!  We buy food, of course.  And apparently toilet paper?  Our fears are contagious, and shoppers start shoving to grab the last package of tp.  Now it’s out of stock in the local stores.  But this is a respiratory virus.  There will be toilet paper.  The real fear is will our health providers have enough masks to keep them safe?  Will there be enough ventilators to help the sickest get better?

And, so we wash our hands.  Singing “Happy Birthday” twice, while scrubbing hands with soap.  And soap and water are the best defense.  A virus is composed of 3 things:  protein, RNA and lipids, which form a covering to keep the virus intact.  Soap, derived from fat, and friction, breaks down and destroys the virus so it cannot enter any cell.  Sanitizer with friction also works, but good old soap and water is best.

The Internet also can spread helpful, clear facts and help create community groups on FaceBook and NextDoor, to share information, keep in touch with elderly neighbors who are at high risk and may not be able to get to the store.  People are sharing with neighbors and friends, volunteering to babysit, shop.

Some things you can do, other than wash your hands, don’t touch your face, keep at least 3 feet from others in a crowd, cough into your elbow, avoid large crowds, check on the vulnerable:  elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Some other things you can do are stay informed.   But don’t stay glued to your phone reading statistics of the pandemic.  Give yourself a break and do something to take care of you.  Call a friend and laugh together.  Take a walk.  Get 8 hours of sleep.  Eat healthy whole grains and fruits and veggies and cut back on sugar.  Pet your dog.  You can still get together with friends or family in small groups, so meet up!  We need to be careful when we are out in public, but it is still fine to be with loved ones, unless you have been exposed to the virus and are in quarantine.  Then, you must stay at home and away from others, except those you live with.  Then, you can still pet your dog and your cat will still sit on your lap and purr.

This is unlike anything seen in our lifetimes.  Quarantine was a common experience for humanity throughout the past.  Did you know that Shakespeare was quarantined 4 times, and in each he wrote plays, including Hamlet?  That sure makes my posting pics of my own cats look pretty lame, but as long as cat memes and dog kisses make us smile, they are all helpful.  Take care of yourself and your loved ones.  Be healthy, be safe and be in touch though the Internet, the phone and 3 feet away!  We will all get through this together. Christine C. Cantrell, PhD.,

Licensed Psychologist

Christine C. Cantrell, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Prism of Possibilities Psychotherapy
1026 W. Eleven Mile Road, Suite C
Royal Oak, Michigan 48067
[email protected]com


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