It is 01:00 am. The GAPS conference has been cancelled. Things seem bleak in a way that is soul-sucking. The last few days have been difficult for precisely two reasons:
it is so hard to stay focussed on anything with a pandemic going on
it is so hard to stay focussed. Period.
We all have our ways of calming down, I am certain. It is just that with the-end-of-the-world kind of panic coming to us through our screens, it is simply hard to have anything else on your mind. This is where my partner—wonderful as he is—told me to get away from my phone. It is really hard; I know because I tried. But this also about not neglecting mental health in the time of corona. I know that Love in the Time of Corona is precisely the kind of literary pun that people would expect from nerds like us anyway, so yes, it is about ~
LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONA
If anything, it is about controlling the ever expanding news-feed. Since I was supposed to fly to India, I was hooked on the news-feeds from Europe and India; all the while quite unsure which part of the world would ban the other first. Now it seems unnecessary to stay hooked. This is, dear reader, the time to get rid of your news-feed. Love your mental health, and not your news-feeds. So much of it contributes to your day getting a little more anxious that one would be better off without it. Use time for something else. Here is my plan to have more control of all the data I am consuming right now:
1. Call your parents. Call your friends. Maybe write a few letters. Communication is important; panicking does not help. Since my folks live a few hours ahead of CET, it is always nice to be able to get a hold of them and talk to them before they go to sleep.
2. Switch off your phone. Or set it to the most non-intrusive mode. Android phones do have the Do Not Disturb mode that I have found myself using a lot over the last days.
3. Consume things in a way where you are actually there. At the risk of sounding like an esoteric monster, here is the spiel: do things where you are doing something more than consuming things because it on the auto-play list of your streaming app. If you are watching a movie, do it. If you are staring at your half-finished proposal, do that. Just try to be there. Otherwise more information would simply exhaust you when you are getting out of the internet rabbit-hole on days like these.
Dear reader, step away from the phone. And the screen. Things will get better but for now, take care of yourself. Wash your hands, do things, read a nice book, listen to a nice podcast. Here’s Roman Mars describing things as they are.