These are unsettled times. In recent weeks I have discussed the "tragedy of the commons" concept with my environmental science class. Today on the morning news, one reporter was in a supermarket showing off the barren shelves. He noted that people should just buy what they need, not all the hand sanitizer or all the soap, because by buying more than you need for the time being, you are putting someone else at risk because they can't get their hands on sanitizer or soap. Tragedy of the commons, sort of. Definitely an "everyone for themselves" scenario playing out in the markets.
People are panicking. This is a time for common sense, not panic. Practice social distancing. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Wash your hands thoroughly (get under those fingernails and in all the crevices!) and frequently with soap. [Simplified science note: most viruses, including COVID-19 are covered in a layer of lipids. These help the virus to stick to surfaces (think sticky oil on a pan). Scrubbing with soap breaks up that lipid layer so that viruses can be rinsed off your hands with water.] If you feel at all symptomatic or think you may have been exposed, stay at home and definitely stay away from your older relatives and friends, or people who have pre-existing conditions that put them at risk (cardiac issues, asthma, immune deficiencies, etc).
Also remember to take care of your mental health. Keep yourself busy and on a schedule. Read, maybe enjoy some Netflix or similar, exercise, and eat healthy. For exercise, get outside for a walk. Feel the sunshine on your face, it makes a big difference. Many fitness studios are offering virtual classes. I've got a class scheduled for every day this week. It will be nice to see the people I usually see and will take my mind off being stuck at home during the day by myself for three weeks. I'm going to schedule some virtual lunches with friends and colleagues. Lastly, turn the news off. Maybe watch a bit in the morning, but you know it's just going to be the same stress-inducing news over and over all day. That can have a big impact on your psyche.
On a science note, here's a video on how and why novel viruses (COVID-19, SARS) will likely continue to originate in China. With population growth and climate change (see "They're coming" post 8/2/19), we can expect more pandemics in the future. Here are a couple of articles that touch on this: Scientific American and Vox.
Commentary on environmental news/issues plus thoughts and stories about my journey to lower my environmental footprint and raise my voice.
-Another vegan environmentalist