I have not posted on this blog in a while. You might think that during these strange times, it would be a target-rich environment for writing topics. True, there are plenty of high-flying subjects in the news and our lives.

The coverage of the COVID19 virus is extensive. My thinking is no one really wants to hear another slightly educated opinion on this subject. So, what is the plan here? What is the topic? I have always been interested in human character, particularly during trying times.

These times are worrisome to everyone. Most of the world has been affected by this pandemic. For the past few weeks, I have been observing the good, bad, and ugly of people’s reaction to this crisis.

I have experienced a few natural disasters firsthand. I have lived through hurricanes and flooding. During these events, people’s lives were threatened, and their way of life shattered. During the Harvey flood in Houston, I saw people reach out a hand to help their neighbors in an inspiring way. The flooding event was stressful for all, but I distinctly remember a drop in my anxiety when I spent most of my time helping the community.  So, there you have it, a two for one benefit from helping others.

During this COVID19 event, I have seen plenty of folks helping others. I have also seen people act in selfish ways to the detriment of others. Hoarding and price gouging of supplies is an example of the bad and the ugly that negatively affects the lives of others. Most of us are probably not involved in price gouging, but hoarding is another question. What makes people want to hoard? Quite simply, it is the fear of the unknown. Franklin Roosevelt’s quote of “we have nothing to fear but fear itself” rings true today. A lack of control is the other factor. We like to be in control; this COVID19 issue has clarified that we are not really in control of much. Even though we may be fraught with fear, we should not do things, like hoarding, that hurt other people and cause extra work for those already overburdened.  There are different, more productive, and selfless ways to deal with our fear.

I think most people have dealt with some level of anxiety during this crisis. My high anxiety started a few weeks ago with the stock market decline. This is my first financial crisis as a retired person, so I had a few mental and emotional hurdles to overcome. At one point, I considered applying for a job at the local Kroger, but I wasn’t sure they would hire me. After spending time with my portfolio and making a few changes, my anxiety has stabilized, at least a little.

What is the best approach to belaying the fear and anxiety present today? Helping others is a salve for the anxious heart. Helping others during this time takes some creativity. In my county, we are under a stay at home order. Staying at home should not stall our mission to help others. In today’s world, our ability to reach out to others is almost unlimited. Have you reached out to your friends and family? What about those who live alone? Have you checked to see if anyone needs help?

Relieve your anxiety, lend a helping hand.

Make the most of this day!