First the NBA was cancelled. Then Broadway. Then finally the last hold out — business conferences. We're seeing restaurant and school closures, while many workforces, including my own at Grokker, are at home. COVID-19, aka Coronavirus, has changed so much, so quickly. It’s no wonder that most of us are feeling like we have shifted from disbelief into an uncomfortable low grade level of anxiety we just can’t seem to shake.
The problems created by a global pandemic are unprecedented. In our lifetimes, there’s nothing comparable and any attempt to draw a historical correlation falls flat. I can’t relate to the Influenza Pandemic of 1918, and although intellectually I understand COVID-19 will not cause anywhere near the devastation of that outbreak, I am struggling to take any solace from that. I am worried about my 77 year old mother and my three children, and am increasingly suspicious with each sniffle or cough that I may have joined Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson in contracting the virus.
We’re feeling stressed because we’re in uncharted waters and no one seems to have concrete or satisfying answers. Uncertainty is by its very nature emotionally charged, stressful and scary. That’s where we are and that’s why there’s panic buying (trust me, we’re not running out of three-ply toilet paper in the world) and outright denial (sorry kids, this isn’t the year for spring break.)
At Grokker, we’ve long understood the connection between stress – whether physical, emotional or financial – and a healthy immune system. It’s why we took immediate steps to offer support by making Grokker free to individuals, employers, and non-profits during the outbreak. It’s why we created a free three part COVID-19 Coronavirus Preparedness program based upon the published recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control to make sure everyone has access to dependable information on containment and basic health practices, as well as managing stress and wellbeing.
It’s why I’ve been hosting daily Grokker stretch breaks with my own team over video conferencing and trying to ensure we all feel connected and cared for in spite of the physical distance. We will be continuously monitoring this situation and publish unique content as appropriate to help our colleagues, families and friends. And we’ll strive to remain vigilant in our focus to promote wellbeing, especially during this unusually challenging time.
You might feel you have this covered. I don’t. I’m an extrovert living under what feels like house arrest with my husband for at least the next 3 weeks. I can’t hug my kids, see my closest girlfriends, or be with my teammates. But I am making the most of it. I’m on video conferencing and texting, and Slacking, and talking on the phone, and having virtual dinner parties to try and stay connected to the people I care about. I am practicing mindfulness with my favorite Grokker experts daily and easing back into my at-home yoga and fitness routines after knee surgery 5 weeks ago.
Perhaps you know someone who’s feeling lost because their gym or office had to suddenly shut down or they’re feeling isolated and anxious. We’re here for you or them. Let’s get through this, together.