News and Society

2020: A Year of Doom, Panic, and Despair

With much of the world mired in the Coronavirus crisis, one is left to wonder if we need to hit a hard reset.

And how would starting over affect outcomes relating to public decorum and global cooperation? Although this question is hypothetical, there is no denying that the current state of the world is filled with chaos, uncertainty, and hopelessness.

The inevitable social and economic horrors we are about to witness will be as unpredictable as they are real. And the string of difficult events and meaningless days that many are about to face will usher in long periods of sadness, grief, and depression.

Given the reality that the new normal for lots of people will be reshaped from how we travel, work, make purchases, and go about our daily lives, how do we navigate these uncharted waters so as to maintain some semblance of normalcy?

Although there is no soothing response that will completely remove the angst that accompanies crises, there are valuable steps each of us can take to remain hopeful (and productive) during this uncertain period.

Keep the Positive in View

  • Our brains are wired to hold on to negative events, even so, we can overcome our negativity bias by voicing all the things we are grateful for. Throughout the day, voice at least five things that keep you in a positive and productive frame of mind.

Prioritize the Long Term

  • While we do not yet know how or when the coronavirus crisis will end, in the meantime, ask yourself what is it that you have to do to keep the most important thing the most important thing? For some, prioritizing the long term could mean building a new set of skills (and achievements) to keep you employable during a crisis. For others, this means not taking on new debt, eliminating nonessential spending, and building up cash reserves to cover nine months to a year of living expenses.

Take a Break

  • That is, give your eyes and mind a break from consuming news stories that can be upsetting. Use this time to focus on your mental and physical health and to connect with friends and family.

In the face of this unique crisis, what are you doing to manage anxiety and fear, and deal with the unknown?


Featured image credit: ScienceNews



8 thoughts on “2020: A Year of Doom, Panic, and Despair

  1. I love this Josiah, and 100% agree. Last night I was on the phone with my far-away aging dad, asking him to stop watching the news (which he monitors obsessively) and focus on creative endeavours, instead. And then he also gave me some think-positive words (I think I learned it from him ;)). None of us knows how much life or freedom we have left! Might as well make every moment as energizing as possible. Thanks for all your good and enlivening words! 🙏😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Nadine. Thank you. 😊 While there’s some acceptable reporting on various news outlets, often, the media feeds us stories that do not add value to our daily lives.

      I recently came across an article [] that highlighted the following about news consumption: “News has no explanatory power; News is toxic to your body; News increases cognitive errors; News inhibits thinking; News kills creativity” etc.

      Alternatively, as you posited, focusing on creative endeavors increases one’s sense of self-worth and purpose, and allows us to see the world differently [].

      Liked by 1 person

  2. thanks for a good post. Here in Rome we’ve been housebound for some weeks now (I’ve lost count), and it’s starting to become depressing. I have plans for new exercises tomorrow (ugh), writing a blog and reading. Long term thinking is a good idea…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow…Rome. I can’t begin to imagine what your experience must be like. I’m glad, however, that you are staying physically active.

      Is the order to remain indoors strictly enforced? Or is there some flexibility involved as to how mobile you guys can be? Here in California, the shelter-in-place order has been in effect going on a week, and for the most part folks are staying in…at least in my area.

      Stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. You too. We’re just allowed to shop for food from nearest shop/supermarket, pharmacy and … computer store! I’m going to write another blog later today :=)

        Liked by 1 person

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