Yesterday Amanda’s college bestie, an intelligent and wonderfully warm man, kindly checked in on me. Our exchange inspired me. He said that he only reads 6 articles/listens to the news twice each week. Because he works in a hospital, where he is sufficiently briefed, the rest I assume is the product of extraordinary self-restraint. I admitted that I spent too much time in quiet panic, gleaming information I don’t retain (ever-changing numbers and projections, shifting guidelines and opinions, & many more!), but that only serve to intensify my anxiety and sense of doom.

He suggested that I limit myself to catching up twice a week for one hour max each time. He was very supportive and optimistic, which gradually led to some gears turning for me. At first, I felt anxious about giving up so much of what took up so much of my mind of late. Then, I grew anxious about how to adhere to a limit, and how to use my limited time well. Finally, I decided I would devote each reading session I allow myself to the task of populating a list. The list comprises of mostly companies, but also some individuals, who act in this time of crisis, for the greater good, as well as those who act greedily for selfish gains.

With the list on hand, I no longer obsessively follow case trackers and read into “off” commentary. Instead I have a simple objective: to gather relevant data. Here I took inspiration from the time Mini and I talked over ideas for posts. I’d suggested she write about her shopping hauls, something I gave up due to drastically cutting down shopping. I had the idea that she could reverse the process, and use the hypothetical blog post to evaluate items on her wishlist. I put it to her as: “if you don’t even want to write about it, then do you really want buy it?” Today, that thinking served me well: I stopped reading articles I’m unwilling to annotate.

I put up the list. It’s rough & simple, and to keep things uncluttered I did not cite sources, as a quick Google search would furnish the relevant links. I’ll keep adding to it, and I welcome additions or corrections as is fit.

The list and this post are also inspired by Mr. Roger’s (mother’s!) famous lines:

“…because if you look for the helpers, you’ll always find that there’s hope.”

Want more ways to help?

Make Homemade Face Masks (idea and link courtesy of my cousin Corinne!)

Scientists Beat Covid-19 by Playing Puzzle Games

Something different?

Transcribe Handwritten Rainfall Records

Categorize & Transcribe for the National Archives

Fix Computer-Generated Transcripts for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting

Help Project Gutenberg Convert Public Domain Books

Is transcription not for you? Check out more projects on Zooniverse!

Be safe and stay healthy!

Covid-19: What I’m doing to reign in anxiety

Share Your Questions & Insights.

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