For most of us, our lives have been upended like never before in the past week. Fear and anxiety are rampant in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Yes, we need to fastidiously wash our hands, maintain physical (not social!) distancing measures, and stay tuned to reliable medical information. However, be vigilant and guard your mind against panic. Fear is a toxic emotion and needs to be recognized or it infects your mind and others in your circle, and in the long run, this mental virus is just as dangerous as COVID-19. The economy is crashing hard, you or someone you know may be out of work, or self-employed and having to adjust to no income. Your internet connection may be suffering, and the pasta section of the grocery store may be empty today, but let’s all take a moment to breathe, to remember love, and use this opportunity to wake up our minds and practice compassion.
The truths of change and impermanence are universal. We never really know what is going to happen from one moment to the next, though we build our lives around assumptions of stability. Moments like these are wake up calls to reflect on these deep truths and cultivate eternal wisdom, freeing our spirit to be in alignment with reality, and bringing a deeper sense of peace and freedom. And while spiritual truths are the root of all health, we must take care not to forget the suffering that is all around us and pre-existed the COVID-19 pandemic. For people living in marginalized communities or identities, a sense of struggle has pervaded their existence for years or even centuries.
Has COVID-19 changed the emotional outlook for the thousands of homeless in Seattle? Has it changed the profound challenge to survival of the Wet-suwet-en people in British Columbia, who face eviction from their ancestral homelands by a government beholden to fossil fuel corporations? Has it fundamentally changed the lives of millions of refugees of war and climate change, seeking a better life by fleeing their homes? Perhaps for them, the situation has only shifted from bad to worse. What can we do to help? Education and compassion in action. Here’s a petition for starters which calls on Washington state political leaders to take 4 critical steps to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus for those who are economically vulnerable right now: 1) preserve medical benefits; 2) moratorium on evictions; 3) prevent utility shut-offs, 4) emergency income assistance.
Medicine is always a personal dynamic and I offer these words in hopes that they will bring healing. Take what you like and leave the rest. If you are feeling socially isolated and need someone to talk with, I am here for you. Jordan (206) 860-5009.