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#stayathome

A word:

To the healthcare professionals that have willingly adjusted to the needs of their community, to the first responders who have made it a point to serve in every capacity they know how, to the family members taking care of those who cannot care for themselves, to the good Samaritans donating their time and effort to support and uplift their communities, you are incredible. Thanks don’t do justice the altruistic measures each of you have placed before your own needs. You all continue to play a role in breathing hope into the lives of those around you. You act as a source of light even in this dark and foggy time. You have leveraged this adversity as an opportunity to serve. You, my friends, are what fills my heart and solidifies my faith in a great today and a better tomorrow.

And to my fellow cheerleaders, supporters, advocates, and influencers, I ask that you stand tall and hold your ground. Continue to serve as a support system for those individuals in the trenches. Continue to educate and set an example the best way you know how.

To everyone impacted by this unprecedented time who are patiently waiting for normalcy, nothing is bigger than us unified in a common cause and the intentional actions that we take. Know that you are not alone and tough times never last. Tough people do.

And do me a favor, #stayathome.

It is no secret. Whether through traditional news channels, social media, word of mouth, or carrier pigeon, people have never been more woke about a single subject matter. The corona virus (or COVID-19) has placed the world in a while loop that we just can’t seem to get out of. The epidemic has spread around the globe and claimed lives to justify that it is truly a force to be reckoned with. It has shown that there is something stronger than any one entity alone: duplication.

With the virus transmittable through respiratory droplets from the coughing or sneezing of a host, close contact is the only missing piece of the equation to cause the spread we see to date. The epidemic can be explained using Metcalf’s Law. This showcases that a network’s impact is equal to the square of the number of people involved. Although COVID-19 has gotten quite the head start on humanity, the world is fighting back with its own power of duplication in the form of positivity and unity. People are rallying around the notion to just stay at home.

On top of that, people are speaking up. With all the negativity amidst, people are actively choosing to pour positivity in the world as if it were going out of style. From celebrities to common folk like me, “challenges” are popping up across everyone’s timeline. People are doing what they can with what they have. Professional athletes have been donating thousands of dollars to those stadium workers impacted. Internet companies are giving away their services to support children finishing school semesters at home. Food donations are being made by restaurants to first responders with the help of community support. The government has approved a stimulus package to support those out of work in these trying times. From trickle-down measures to grassroot initiatives, everyone is doing their part to meet in the middle. And to be completely honest, these movements have been contagious in their own way. Harvard Business Review emphasizes this as a practice of emotional contagion.

Emotional contagion: n: the phenomenon of having one person’s emotions and related behaviors directly trigger similar emotions and behaviors in other people.

In other words, we don’t just observe the world’s emotions, but they also affect our own emotional state. For example, think of the last TikTok (or Youtube for my parents) you watched of a complete stranger risking it all for a like and tell me that this didn’t fluctuate your attitude in the slightest. With every uplifting message, pep talk, or funny parody, negativity is diluted that much more. And this is not to say that you should be tone deaf to what is happening around us. This is saying that you should focus on what you can control. This is highlighting that you should be aware of what you may be cascading down to your sphere of influence. This is reminding you that everyone has been indirectly impacted from this sporadic anomaly. And although we do not know what the future holds, one thing remains truer than ever. The only thing that remains constant is change.

To those curious on what to do next, here are some tips from someone starting their fourth week in solitary confinement.

Plan: There has been a polarizing debate through social media on what is more important right now for everyone quarantined: self-care or productivity. I would challenge before you can consider either of the two, you must plan. Doing either without it may just lead to a false sense of accomplishment or a deceivingly uneventful day. Once you set a schedule for what you hope to execute, all that’s left is the follow-through.

Give Back: Whether it be your money or your time, it is opportune to take your eyes and efforts off yourself and place it onto someone else. Directly support hospitals, purchase from local restaurants, or help passing out donations where you can. Please know that scammers are alive and well, so do your homework, dig into notable sources, and lean into the facts before committing.

Pray/Meditate: This is the perfect time to finding yourself. Whatever your spirituality, make sure that you dedicate time to it. I am a firm believer that God will never give you a life that makes Him unnecessary. You were hand-crafted to shine in a time like this, you just must remember where your strength comes.

Stay safe,

-AVG

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