We find ourselves facing a reality almost too unbelievable to comprehend. It feels surreal and as though we are in some zombie apocalypse movie.
On Wednesday, the decision was made to close our office. Though we have, for the most part, been working from home since Monday, the notification from our publisher was as though a period had been placed on the sentence of "this is new normal."
Like many of you, we are worried, uncertain and scrambling. Members of our staff have respiratory conditions, children, are expecting children or have loved ones with compromised immune systems, and we struggle with the reality of what this virus could mean for ourselves and our families.
In this challenging time, clear heads must prevail. Panic may be ebbing away at your resolve to remain calm, but we must keep it at bay.
Take a breath, think about how panic-buying will impact the senior who can't get to the store often and who likely needs that hand sanitizer more than you.
If putting others before yourself isn't enough motivation, ask yourself why you need an endless supply of toilet paper, and if it's really worth it in the long run.
On the other end of the scale, we have those who are still in the mindset that COVID-19 is just a flu. While they're not wrong, it is a virus that causes flu-like symptoms, COVID-19 is also a beast in a category of its own.
If you haven't seen the viral Twitter thread by @JasonYanowitz, you should. It breaks down step by step how a delayed sense of urgency resulted in Italy enforcing a lockdown.
If you'e still hanging with friends, going to restaurants/bars, and acting like this isn't a big deal, get your shit together.— Yano (@JasonYanowitz) March 14, 2020
The following thread is taken from an Italian citizen.
As they put it:
"To the rest of the world, you have no idea what's coming."
"You have no idea what's coming to get you," Yanowitz writes. "I know because two weeks ago, I was the one who had no idea and thought it wasn't bad. But it is."
We will get through this, but we need to be smart, calm, proactive and, for all that is holy, practicing proper hygiene and social distancing.