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In the Current Situation

My friend and romance author Sophie A. Monroe has written this post today and, since I agree with most of what she says and it also includes news that involve me (very exciting), I am reposting her blog post from today here. You can visit her website here.

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Covid-19: Don’t Panic and Other News, a Post by Sophie A. Monroe

Don’t get me wrong. Panic is understandable. This is a very serious situation. People are getting sick, and some are not making it. Social distancing is a must. Staying home when it’s not necessary (I repeat, necessary) to go anywhere, is a must, no matter what measures the government has taken in your country. Even if you are not at risk, chances are that you know somebody who is, and you don’t want to put them in any more risk than they already are. We all have a responsibility to do our best.

This having been said, panicking also doesn’t help anybody. Panicking makes people make unreasonable decisions, such as buying all the toilet paper available, with no thought for others. Panicking makes it that older people, who are actually at risk, have no choice but to make nine shops to find a packet of pasta.

Portrait, Grim, Girl, Blue, Dark, Album, Gloominess

Panic also triggers anxiety sufferers, depression sufferers, and even eating disorder sufferers. Overall, people who suffer with Mental Health issues. The uncertainty, the lack of a specific plan, all of that has a negative impact on people.

You might wonder why I am saying this.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve received messages from friends and family all over the world with messages such as: this is what’s happening here, this is what’s coming to you.

First, nothing actually was happening there that we didn’t already know.

Second, the messages always included a criticism of the measures taken in the UK. Don’t get me wrong, in principle, I disagree with the measures that they have taken. Do I believe they have acted like that because they underestimate the crisis? No. I do think they understand the severity of it, but I think they have a plan. Is it a good plan? Only time will tell. That doesn’t mean, in the meantime, that I can’t follow best practice: thorough hand-washing, avoid crowds or even going out if not necessary, etc. Either way, I can’t even vote, since I’m not a British National, and even if I was, I live in NI so I couldn’t move the Tories one way or another even if I wanted to.

The issue I have with these types of messages is that the instigate panic. Panic blinds you. Panic stops you from acting rationally. Panic is a fight or flight tool. It is NOT a long term strategy to avoid danger when the danger is all around you, you can’t see it, and it’s going to be there for a very long time.

Panic will not help you.

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Methodical mindset will. Methodically wash your hands. Methodically avoid to touch your face before you wash your hands. Methodically avoid crowds. Methodically walk at a respectable distance from any other person, especially in supermarkets.

Patience and a systematic approach will also help you through isolation. Set routines, especially if the kids are home all day. Spend the time as best you can. Have movie days, story days, read books, play games, dance, laugh. Life doesn’t stop because you have to stay home.

To help do exactly that, children’s author Caroline C. Neale and I are collaborating on a crime novel with a romance element to it, that we will start publishing by installments and send free to both our mailing lists starting this Friday, 27th of March. You can join the Young Readers Club (my mailing list) below. We will be sharing with it two portraits of the main characters painted by the talented artist Annie Corpas, who also illustrates Caroline C. Neale’s books.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more news about this along this week.

In the meantime, be safe, be careful, be mindful. This won’t last forever, even if we don’t know how long it’s going to last for.

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