Some viruses thrive in the open.
The current mandate for social distancing (or, as I prefer to call it, physical distancing) is an experiment based on the hypothesis that the most effective way to slow the spread of the coronavirus and keep vulnerable populations safe is by keeping our distance from each other.
(It’s a hypothesis because it has yet to be proven that this will, in fact, slow the spread of the disease and keep us safe. That’s an issue for another time.)
Other viruses thrive in the shadows.
Fear and anxiety, the most contagious diseases known to man, ripen in the dark and empty spaces, in the realm of uncertainty and the unknown. Fear spreads across the time and space continuum. You can catch it over the internet, from the other side of the globe.
It especially thrives in isolation and in times of mass chaos.
This is our challenge right now.
The conditions that we must embrace to slow the spread of one contagious disease are the exact conditions in which another disease thrives.
We Must be Vigilant in Stemming the Spread Fear
In one of my private virtual communities, someone recently posted a question asking whether it was “ethically appropriate” to speak about our fears at this time.
At this time, as much as ever, the answer to that question is an unequivocal YES.
When it comes to infectious diseases, we must spare no resource to stop them. We must be vigilant about this.
The way we root our fear is the opposite of how we try to stem the coronavirus. We defeat fear by bringing it into the light, by speaking about it and holding space for it.
It is always appropriate to presence the fear.