These are unprecedented times. I sometimes refer to this as our moment walking through the “valley of the virus.” The most important thing to remember is that this is not our destination, but a moment we are walking through. We need to continue to strengthen our resolve and confidence and to replace the fear with facts. As a community and as a region, we are very resilient and retain a lot of “grit.” Our greatest asset is us, not resources, infrastructure, money, or connections, but our human spirit.
Here are a couple of things to remember:
- Get the facts. There is so much misinformation on social media and in the rumor mill. Understand, everything you see on the internet is not true. Sometimes our human nature is to focus on the negative and the worst-case scenarios — let it go. Use your wisdom and discernment to wade through the information. Find trusted sources of information and think for yourself. Gullible people believe everything they are told. Replace fear with facts.
- The cure will not be found on the internet. I promise you, when the vaccine is produced that kills this virus, you will hear from reputable and reliable sources – not from an internet cure.
- Not everyone will be affected the same. Not everyone is at equal risk. COVID 19 is a respiratory virus that impacts people with weakened immune systems, respiratory issues, and the elderly. The goal is to flatten the curve on the spread of the virus. We need to protect those at most risk. Be careful, not fearful.
- People are going to try to take advantage. You will hear wild conspiracy theories and crazy stories – be on guard. People on both sides of this issue will try to gain political advantage by blaming and fault finding. They have their political agenda and you need to recognize it—financial advantage through price gouging, hoarding, and mass buying. Sometimes the worst comes out of a small number of people in tough situations.
Be patient, not panicky.
- You are not alone. Our greatest despair comes when we think or feel we are totally alone. Isolation is a “spirit breaker.” Continue to reach out and connect with friends, family, and people from work or other social groups. You may not be able to gather, but calling and Facetiming to touching base, reminds us we all need human contact, and we are not alone—Make connections, don’t be isolated.
- The unchanging. As a person of faith, I believe God is unchanging. He is the same today as He was yesterday and what He will be tomorrow. We may not fully understand God’s plan or purpose, but His presence is with us and is unchanging. God’s love is sustaining and unchanging. This is not the end of the story; we will get through.
You are not alone, replace the fear with facts, be patient with people around you, and remember the hope and promises. The McAllen Chamber of Commerce is working hard to assist the business community and the community as a whole. We will get through this together, better and stronger.