Stop, take a deep breath

Mar 8, 2020

Fear is a basic emotion. It cannot be lightly dismissed. The fear driving those to stock pile toilet paper is being made fun of, but fear needs to have a place to park and feel safe. Stocking up on toilet paper is helping people to feel safe.

Stocking up on toilet paper is internally focused, “I want to feel safe and this is what I am going to do about it.”

Fear originates from the limbic system in our brain. We have this in common with the animal kingdom. In reaction to fear humans and animals can choose fight or flight. I would like to argue that if you stop, take a deep breath and move out of your limbic system, you will be better able to rise above the COVID19 virus scare.

The last time I wrote about fear in our community was in 2009 during an outbreak of extreme gang violence.

It seemed that every day there was more violence and bloodshed on our once quiet streets. Fear took a hold of the community.

What I wrote about back then was that the missing piece in this community fear were the vulnerable who are actually living in the homes of the violent offenders. There was a lack of empathy for the most vulnerable who couldn’t protect themselves. This included children, seniors and pets.

Our community is once again gripped in fear during the corona virus outbreak.
Once again the missing piece in this fear is empathy for those who are most susceptible to the virus. Those that will actually die if infected – the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Stop, take a deep breath…..

Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC Medical Health Officer gets emotional when talking about “the elderly who are most susceptible to this virus”

You can change your feeling of fear to a feeling of empathy which I think will bring you more peace than a roll of toilet paper.

The World Health Organization advises you to take 3 steps to stop all virus’ in their tracks. I’ve reworded this list to help you care for your vulnerable community members:

(1) When you wash your hands you are protecting those that can’t protect themselves

(2) When you use hand sanitizer you are protecting those that can’t protect themselves

(3) When you cough into your sleeve you are protecting those that can’t protect themselves

You can be brave and help others with the simplest of intentions. You will be a super hero if you think of others during this time.

Together we will get through this with strength and compassion.

p.s. It’s good to not take ourselves so seriously hence the photo of how to make a horse out of empty toilet paper rolls.

Keryn Denroche, Founder/Director & Chief Sanitizer