I’ve been surfing existential COVID-19-related freak-outs for the past few weeks. My current anxiety management regimen is:
One. Maintaining consistent morning meditation, using Brightmind — the meditation app that teaches Shinzen Young’s Unified Mindfulness meditation practices. They are currently offering free one year subscriptions.
Two. Reading Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built in Hell, which reminds us that the actual state of nature to which humans revert in disaster isn’t a Hobbesian war of all against all.
Beliefs matter, and the overlapping beliefs of the media and the elites can become a second wave of disaster—as they did most dramatically in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. These three subjects are woven together in almost every disaster, and finding the one that matters most—this glimpse of paradise—means understanding the forces that obscure, oppose, and sometimes rub out that possibility.
Solnit’s stories of communities in the aftermath of disaster are a source of hope.
Three. Restricting news reading between six and nine A.M., using Freedom to block out news sites the rest of the day. It does not actually help anyone for me to marinate in the news all day long.
Four. Staying in touch with friends. Consider connecting with me on Keybase if you want to say hi! We have a right to maintain secure and private messaging. A time of crisis represents a threat to our civil liberties. Please consider joining me in normalizing end-to-end encrypted messaging.