Sharing Our Wisdom
Coping with the Pandemic

This has been a startling few weeks. Just a short time ago no one anticipated that an extremely contagious and life-threatening virus would arise and proliferate around the world and in the U.S. It appears that we are still experiencing the first wave of the spread of the virus and as older people, we are especially vulnerable to severe and life-threatening illness caused by coronavirus.

One of the most pressing issues for many of us is dealing with the uncertainty of the extent and duration of this pandemic and how many of us and our loved ones might be affected. With our health and our lives on the line, we have to make difficult decisions about whether to go out to appointments or social engagements, perhaps staying home and experiencing relatively drastic isolation from family, friends, and society. We wonder how to get our basic needs for groceries and medical attention met if it becomes even riskier to go out.

The current coronavirus pandemic also impacts our mental health. We may experience greater anxiety, fear, and depression. While there are no simple answers, there is still great value in sharing our ideas and feelings and there are safe ways to maintain contact with one another, thanks to the telephone and other technologies. Let’s talk about what our fears are and what we are doing to cope with the uncertainty and ongoing threat surrounding the current pandemic.

Questions to Consider:
1) How are you choosing to protect yourself during this time? To what extent do you feel vulnerable to contracting the virus and possibly dying from it?
2) Are you getting any resistance, judgment or pressure around choices you make not to attend family events, not to babysit for grandchildren or other things you might choose not to do because of the situation?
3) What strategies are you using to manage the stress of the situation?
4) What are your biggest personal concerns about the situation and how are you trying to plan for and respond to these concerns?
5) How might we support one another during this difficult and frightening time?

All rights reserved © 2020 Beth Firestein, Ph.D. Wise Women Group