On March 13th, President Trump declared a national emergency and allocated $50 billion in federal funds to combat the coronavirus. As you know, the outbreak of the virus began in Wuhan China and left thousands sickened. Officials around the world have declared it a pandemic.
By now, we have all heard about the global chaos the Coronavirus has left in its wake. Schools are closed, events have been canceled, the NHL, NBA and MLB have halted their seasons and people can’t seem to find enough toilet paper no matter where they shop.
There is no vaccine or medical treatment for the Coronavirus. And, according to the WHO, it is unlikely a vaccine will be available until 2021. The best advice being given to the American people is to avoid being exposed to it which consists of staying home, washing your hands, avoiding physical contact, not sharing food, etc.
Coronavirus has spread an uncertainty throughout the world which is unprecedented. While the first priority is and should be everyone’s physical health and well-being, the economy has taken a huge hit. The virus has enforced social distancing. In order to stay healthy, Americans are staying home, avoiding contact, eating out or traveling. Even the happiest place on Earth locked its gates - Disneyland is expected to be closed to the public until March 28th.
Many businesses are suffering because the world is on pause with so many consumers staying home the economy has halted as well. We have seen the steepest drop in stock value since 1987.
The Coronavirus is scary and has influenced almost every part of our daily lives. And when stuff like this happens the wrong thing to do is cut ourselves off from the rest of society and hide. I’m not advocating against public safety regulations and saying we should increase physical interaction which could potentially spread disease. But...connecting with one another is a vital part of a healthy life. Family, friends, co-workers and mentors are invaluable parts of our lives and without them we might not heal from this pandemic.
I am not a medical doctor. I don’t have a PHD and I majored in Literature. So don’t ask me for sound medical advice, but I don’t think any of us need a formal education to admit we feel better when we have human connections that mean something.
Mentor Resources specializes in building strong and lasting relationships between mentors and mentees in the workplace. Yes, our programs help with retention rates, promotions and overall employee performance but there is an underlying reason why our HR technology works. People do better when they are connected to other people.
When the world is going crazy, the market is plummeting and everyone is getting sick one way to stay level headed is to have a mentor. Is your mentor going to help you navigate the Coronavirus? Probably not. But having someone you can call, e-mail or talk to while the world gets a grip on this not only helps you emotionally but can also keep you healthy.
Believe it or not, there is actual science to back this up. A study conducted at Stanford detailed how social connection not only impacts your mood and professional success but your health as well.
Here are 3 key points from the study:
1 - Having no or few social connections is worse for you than smoking.
The studies conducted at Stanford, showed lack of social connections can be a greater health detriment than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure. Strong social connections lead to a 50% chance of increased longevity.
2 - Feeling connected helps you ward off disease.
It was found that genes impacted by social interaction are also code for immune function. In other words, when we have human connection our bodies are more effective on a genetic level when it comes to combating disease.
3 - Connected people are less likely to be depressed.
Anyone who has experienced loneliness...which is just about everyone on Earth...can attest that human connection can be uplifting. It’s common sense, but it’s also a scientific fact discovered by Stanford that people who have many connections are less depressed and the morale boost leads to less mental stress. Mental stress or anxiety can often be the precursor to serious illness or bodily decay.
So, as the global economy halts and the world turns upside down coping with the Coronavirus remember that the answer isn’t to isolate ourselves completely until this boils over. We should all make an effort to strengthen our connections across our lives in the workplace and outside of it. Just remember to stay 6 feet away from everyone.