Writer offers suggestions for “winning the war” against the coronavirus

Dear Editor:

Our epic and titanic struggle against Corona Virus is likened to waging war, but unlike other conflicts the current enemy is invisible.  Not only are the lines between civilians and combatants non-existent but the physical enemy, the deadly virus, is unseen. There’s mental enemies, fear and depression, that are likewise ghostly.

The doctors daily address the need for social distancing, sheltering at home and using masks. On top of their advice, common sense dictates we keep our immune systems as strong as possible partaking in a daily routine, sound nutrition, hydration, exercise, and sunshine. What, though, of the insidious psychological foes?

It is said that idleness is the devil’s workshop.  We’ve got our work cut out then because threatening boredom, coupled with a constant barrage of grim cable and internet news, can grind down the spirits of the best of us.

Physics offers some hope in telling us that two things can’t occupy the same place at the same time.  As darkness recedes to rays of light, as cold subsides to warmth, fear recedes from hope, negativity shrinks from positivity. When my two children were teenagers I found that the best way to limit their piss and vinegar was to keep them so engaged with activity that they didn’t have time for acting-out nonsense, though that’s not to say that even that sensible teenage prescription was foolproof!

No arguing, activity can do catalytic wonders and I offer here a short list of tips that have helped me in the never-ending battle for a positive disposition during these times of trial and tribulation.

  1. Establish some needed normalcy thru a daily routine.
  2. Set the day’s compass upon rising with prayer and meditation.
  3. Indulge often in laughter, the best medicine.   Crazy as it sounds, Job 5:22 says ‘you should laugh at destruction and famine.’
  4. Rediscover family board games. It could be a refreshing break from each of us satiating on electronic gadgets.
  5. Explore a new or old hobby. As example, my wife has of late spent considerable hours revisiting family tree research and matching family photo albums with internet sleuthing.
  6. Read a good book.
  7. Bring a smile by surprising an old friend or family member with a phone call or gift basket at their door.
  8. Bookend the day not with distressing cable news but be inspired reflecting on reasons for gratitude or by Scriptural reading.

In war, the enemy takes no quarter. Our foe is relentless and the scourge virulent, so our charge is one of physical, mental and spiritual vigilance as we each soldier on.

Americans have an indomitable spirit. We’ve triumphed over two world wars, 9-11, a great Depression and a Great Recession, this too shall pass with us coming out victorious and the stronger and the wiser for the ordeal.

In the midst of tough times we must reject the dead weights of worry, resentment, fear and sadness and own the wings of hope, appreciation, peace and humor. Our Mother Country, the Brits, call it a stiff upper lip.

Our ultimate triumph lies in embracing the truth that occasional ‘trouble is inevitable, misery is optional.’

Walter Ruehlig


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