Checking in on people who are alone or fearful is a gift we all can give

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Recently, I talked to a dear friend by video chat. We shared our concerns for our families, ourselves and everyone. We shared what we’ve read about keeping the coronavirus at bay (COVID-19). We had a few laughs, which was especially good for both of us. And we plan to do this regularly.

As well as being a business professor at the University of Southern California, I was also on the faculty of preventive medicine for nearly two decades. My work in this area began at the University of Connecticut and continued at Stanford University as a visiting professor.

As you may not have the time to sift through expert opinions on COVID-19 to learn what you can do to protect yourself, your family, co-workers, and friends. I’ll be writing “Letters From Lockdown” to offer my help.

One of the most important things you can do right now is to think of the people in your life who could use a checking-in call or video chat. The research on the beneficial effects of social support in avoiding, dealing with and recovering from illness is extensive and compelling.

We’re all nervous right now unless we’re in denial. Those seem to be the two primary options. And denial is rarely capable of blocking out all doubt and fear. So, we need each other. Even a quick phone call letting someone know that you’re thinking of him or her can be HUGE.

If you’re reading this now, I’m thinking of you.

Every now and then, I’ll post ways to effectively deal with the threat of COVID-19 that reiterate, clarify or add to what you may be reading or hearing from experts. If you have any ideas you’d like to share, please do.

There is one thing to keep firmly in mind: Don’t think for a moment that you’re being paranoid if you are taking this virus seriously and also taking expert recommended steps to prevent it. You’re being smart!

Preventive medicine is proactive. So, no apologies needed for doing what’s best for yourself and others. Let’s send this virus packing – the sooner the better!

A friend of mine often asks his children and grandchildren – “What’s first?” The answer is SAFETY. And he’s right.

Be safe out there!

All the best, Kathleen

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