Dealing with the coronavirus work isolation


It’s a Friday evening and in my area, there are multiple cases of Coronavirus.  It’s been declared a local and statewide emergency.  If anyone sneezes, coughs or even clears their throat, there is immediate trepidation and fear.  Grocery stores are running out of food and products like sanitizer, toilet paper and snacks.  Schools are closing and jobs are asking employees to work from home for protection.  Watching this pandemic travel has become not only unnerving but frightening for many of us.

In our desire to take care of our health and protect our loved ones, it is easy to become isolated.  Social distancing is necessary for the immediate but in our desire to separate, we can’t allow this to become a way of life.  Listening to my co-workers talk about their inability to visit their parents in nursing homes hurts my heart.  Reading a post on Twitter of two senior citizens who waited in their car for the ‘right’ person to give money to and a list of groceries they needed because they were terrified of going in and getting sick is painful.   During this time, we can not forget about the power of connection and purpose.

Our existence depends upon one another and even though it is not advised to spend time in close proximity to others, we must find ways to reach out and check on those around us.  Don’t forget to make phone calls, send emails or even face time those near you whose health may be compromised in this season but still need to feel connected.

I love the Blue Zones research by Dan Buettner who first coined the term.  He found several pockets around the world of individuals who have lived to be over 100 years old.  There were many similarities he found with these communities.  In addition to drinking wine (yes and yes), having a plant-based diet, exercise, he discovered that another important commonality was that these individuals had social connections, felt a sense of purpose and had a faith community.  In my recent TEDx Talk, I shared research from a landmark study by House, Landis, and Umberson states that strong connections resulted in the following:

  • a 50% increased chance of longevity
  • strengthening of your immune system
  • recovery from disease faster
  • and may even lengthen your life!

Our health and sanity depend upon our relationships.  Use this time to maintain existing relationships.  Contact friends you’ve haven’t spoken to or neighbors to check on their needs.  This is also an opportunity to remind yourself of your purpose.  Think about the following:

  • While you are home or working remotely, what are those things that your heart desires and longs for in both your personal and professional lives?
  • How can you spend time doing the things that you love and give you joy?
  • How can you reflect and re-evaluate?
  • Is there a business that you’ve always wanted to start but never took the time to begin putting your ideas on paper?
  • Are their paintings or poetry that you’ve put away that need your attention?
  • Could there be moments that you can spend with your family creating memories?

Yes, this is an interesting time we are facing but I choose to see the endless possibilities to love others while caring for ourselves even if from a distance.  Don’t allow a crisis to stop communication at a time when we all need it most.

Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew

About Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew

Dr. Froswa' Booker-Drew is a Partnership Broker. Relational Leadership Junkie. Connector. Author/Speaker/Trainer. Co-Founder, HERitage Giving Circle. She been quoted and profiled in Forbes, Ozy, Bustle, Huffington Post and other media outlets around the world. In addition, she has been asked to speak on a variety of topics such as social capital and networking, leadership, diversity, and community development to national and international audiences. This included serving as a workshop presenter at the United Nations in 2013 on the Access to Power. One of the most impactful life events for her was being a part of the documentary, Friendly Captivity, a film that followed a cast of 7 women from Dallas to India. Honors for her work include: Semi-finalist for the SMU TEDx in 2012, 2012 Outstanding African American Alumni Award from the University of Texas at Arlington, 2009 Woman of the Year Award by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Diversity Ambassador for the American Red Cross. Graduating with a PhD from Antioch University in Leadership and Change, she also attended the Jean Baker Miller Institute at Wellesley for training in Relational Cultural Theory and completed facilitator training on Immunity to Change. She has also completed training through UNICEF on Equity Based Evaluations, and is the author of 2 workbooks for women, Ready for a Revolution: 30 Days to Jolt Your Life and Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last as well as a writer for several publications around the globe. WFAA Attention Series: Froswa Booker Drew on Vimeo

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