Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Paleno: Have no fear

I know, I know, I’ve talked about this before, in the many previous articles I have written for the newspapers… but it’s worth repeating. Anxiety, another word for unnamed fears. When I heard a CBS News caster say, “Anxiety can be worse than death for people living alone than death,” I decided to write down my thoughts. The odds are a bit greater for we oldsters to recover quickly from a bout of COVID-19 than it is for the kids. According to Monday’s CBS report, children recover at, or nearly, a hundred percent.

How soon will we have a vaccine? I had heard that a vaccine is more than a year away. Although there is still no vaccine for the swine flu, it too passed. That same program passed on the welcome news that there are, at least, five companies in California alone working on a vaccine. There are millions of good people, out there, who are desperately working to heal this wound… and they will succeed.

Lake County, at this writing, has not yet reported any infections. Meanwhile, let us not allow fear to manage our lives. There are things you and I can do to get us through this bump in the road.

Know you are not alone. People know you are there and they want to help. They will, once they know you need help.

Call a friend. Help somebody you know who needs your help. Maybe it will be only a phone call to their neighbor to look in on the person suffering anxiety. Listen to them tell you their fears about COVID-19 and about whatever is causing their anxiety. It will help them feel better and you will feel less anxious.

Write down your fears, or email them to a friend. My dear daughter wrote an entire email page to me about the way she felt and how my phone call to her had helped. I answered that email like the first, to tell her how much better she had become at writing. That page she wrote, like a phone call, helped take the poison out of her fears. I felt better as well.

Move around. Do some light exercise or calisthenics. A few toe touches, waist twisting, knee bends (if your knees are better than mine) all help. Mind and body are friends. When your body feels better, your mind is clearer and more positive.

Do something you love to do. To lose yourself in a project or activity, or work toward some goal you wish to reach, gives you the power to forget to be sorry for yourself and will make you feel like a winner.

Reach out for small successes, whether it’s a crossword puzzle, cleaning the refrigerator, ironing some article of clothing, repairing a hole in a sock, or emptying the garbage for recycling. A success of any kind, whether small or great, always makes you feel more above the fight and more in control.

I would wish to help every person who needs help. Since I cannot, I will continue to practice what I preach. One thing I know is that you and I will get through this. Have no fear. You are stronger than you know. Here is a salute to a better tomorrow and a better world for everyone.

Gene Paleno lives in Witter Springs, California.

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