COVID-19: What to Do in Times of Crisis

By Elpidio Estioko

Most people all over the world are in the state of panic! Tissues are disappearing in super markets, canned goods are being sold in volume and display rooms and storage of sacks of rice are empty. They are gone! Reason? Corona virus short-named COVID-19 – the culprit!

Business Insider reported that more than 82% of all Americans have been ordered to stay at home in 33 states numbering to about 270 million people. This is the move to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and should not be construed to scare the people.

And… lately, US President Donald Trump, in a report by Reuters, warned Americans of a “painful” two weeks ahead in fighting the coronavirus, with a mounting US death toll that could stretch into the hundreds of thousands even with strict social measures.

While the President is being truthful of the facts, we can’t avoid making people panic more than they are. But… why are people panicking? Instead of putting up a more aggressive fight, people become restless and hopeless which leads to uncertainties and fear. Perhaps this is human nature, but we need to understand that life must go on! Do we really need to panic? Of course not… but this is easier said than done. Something must be done, not panic because we need to survive. We need to live and defeat the enemy! If we are panicky, we will not win the war, right!

New York Times further reported that “Two of the top doctors advising President Trump on COVID-19 warned that as many as 200,000 Americans could die during the outbreak, even with much of the country already under stay-at home orders and practicing social distancing. This is also very alarming, so we need to really be cautious of what we do and follow the government guidelines in combating the virus.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said during a White House briefing that “the grim projection was based on scientific modeling, and the forecasts had convinced Mr. Trump to extend social distancing guidelines through the end of April. I think it’s entirely conceivable that if we do not mitigate to the extent that we’re trying to do that you could reach that number.”

Also, Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the lead coordinator of the White House’s corona virus task force, said “that without any precautionary measures, the same models projected that 1.6 million to 2.2 million Americans could die from complications of the virus.” These are grim realities that we need to understand and not panic about but instead, will give us more resolve to fight the virus!

My friend former Philippine journalist and now a resident of Barrow, Alaska Romy Morales by-lined an article in FB titled: “A different kind of war with an invisible enemy” wrote – “The world now is at war. Many have already died and probably many more are going to die. People are fighting back not with high-powered guns, missiles, or even with nuclear weapons. It is fighting with a firm resolve to contain it, curb it, at least or wipe it out, the most.”

Morales was right! We can’t fight the enemy with panic and fear! We need “a firm resolve to contain it, curb it, at least or wipe it out, the most.”

So, what do we do in times of crisis? Don’t panic… be firm and resilient in fighting the enemy!

Of course we need to strengthen our faith in God! Now everybody has a chance to pray as a family: “A family that prays together stays together,” so the saying goes. Due to present uncertainty caused by the pandemic, our Almighty God, as usual, is the final recourse for us to be able to survive and battle the worsening situation. We place our trust in Him!

Jesus is calling us… but we need to believe and have faith in Him. As Pope Francis Urbi said: “Faith begins when we realize we are in need of salvation. We are not self-sufficient, by ourselves we flounder. Let’s invite Jesus into the boats of our lives and hand over our fears to Him so He can conquer them. With Him on board, there will be no shipwreck. Because this is God’s strength: turning to good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because with God… Life Never Dies.”

Also, we need to stay home as instructed to avoid contamination and spread of the virus, especially to the senior citizens who are more susceptible to the virus. It was reported that staying at home is the best medicine to combat the virus. I agree!

This is the face of the situation: increasing number of people affected every day, deaths from moment to moment, fear, anxiety, hope, fake news, misinformation, and uncertainty! Let’s look at the other side of the coin, a flipflop of the situation and count our blessings. There must be a light at the end of the tunnel!

This is a chance for family bonding! Most Americans, including people around the world, didn’t have the chance to mingle with their family on a daily basis during ordinary times, especially those who have double or triple jobs to earn a living. Now they have the opportunity to be with their family… looking for each other’s back. They are facing the pandemic as a family; together they are fighting an invisible enemy and surviving with a positive note.

Don’t panic, be calm! Together we fight and win the war!

ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at

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