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  • Louis Anastas

Be Ready, Be Safe

For those of us under the age of 75, and that's most of humanity, this is certainly the most trying time in our lives. (To state the obvious.) The economic stress is going to be hard on us and millions in the U.S. and billions around the world—and we do need a way to climb out of that fall—but keeping our distance is the price we must pay to stop the medical disaster that will be far more brutal, if we don’t rise to the moment. I believe we will.


My parents both survived occupation by fascist powers in Greece in the 1940s. Their stories still resonate with me and shape my character to this day. Through all those trials, and a battle against starvation, my family was at least allowed to remain in their homes, unlike millions of others. I know they were the fortunate ones. They endured much as children, and were largely powerless, but they went on to flourish in the years afterward. Yes, it probably made them stronger.


Well, our current predicament could have similar casualties, but we all believe this won’t happen if we act decisively and early. The good news is that we are being asked to do far less in our current crisis and our actionsstaying at home and practicing good hygienewill likely have a greater impact on our eventual victory. We can do this.


The destruction this dangerous virus wreaks on the lungs and body is certainly frightening, especially when you consider the well-being of your loved ones, but action does help allay some of our fears. Checking in on elderly neighbors—at a distance—in order to comfort and advise, calling loved ones to spread positive thoughts and preach abstinence (from going outside), and, yes, continuing to order take-out from your favorite Thai restaurant and leaving generous tips, if possible. These actions are not difficult.


Yes, there is also some preparation to conduct, like understanding the symptoms (that don’t always start with a fever) and how to use your Teladoc option, on your health insurance, just in case. That’s because, as I’ve learned from my interactions with elite military and law enforcement professionals, when great stress hits, you revert to your training/preparation. So, know who to call, just in case.


If you’re a parent, you can also take this time to reconnect with your kids, or take up meditation, start to run, or you can even pen that first (or second) novelor even start a journal. It’s an exploration of self—and story—that will pay dividends. (Feel free to call me if you want advice on writing or keeping journals.)


While fighting this battle—if we are fortunate—we may have time to create and build for the future. It’s surely going to get tough for many, but staying prepared, positive, and creative will make you, and all of us, stronger in the years to come. Godspeed.

A photo I took near Santa Cruz in 2019, where a heavy fog began to lift.

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