The arrival of COVID-19 to Milwaukee brought a great deal of uncertainty in its wake. Beyond the obvious health risks is an economic vulnerability that has not been experienced before.

Many people feel that the routine of daily life has been sidelined, because COVID-19 has shut down educational institutions, entertainment venues, public events, places of business, and leisure activities.

Dr. Malika Siker was a recent guest of the GoGedders Podcast on the subject of the coronavirus. She offered suggestions for people seeking ways to cope, and those eager to help others. These 5 tips expand on that advice.

1. STAY CALM: It is quite literally a “pandemic” right now but academia and public health are filled with brilliant people who have spent their adult lives studying this scenario who are advising us. We are pulling together as a society and doing unprecedented things like suspending ALL basketball, in March of all months. We are spending time educating ourselves and being an advocate for the vulnerable.

2. KEEP A POSITIVE GROWTH MINDSET: We will get through this. We will learn from this. We will make positive changes in the way we live our lives because of this.

3. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL: In addition to the most critical areas of social distancing and hygiene aimed at decreasing the spread of germs, there are so many other things you can control. Make intentional choices with the greater good in mind. Instead of complaining, be a helper and work on solutions in your area.

4. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES: Life is continuing despite this pandemic. Check in on yourself and use the extra time in ways that are meaningful to you. Be present in the moment for your loved ones to connect, cry, and laugh.

5. DO WHAT YOU CAN TO HELP STRUGGLING BUSINESSES: The short- and long-term effects of this pandemic on global and local economies are mind-blowing. With no end date in sight, businesses need our support to continue running at all costs more than ever. We are going to need these businesses to help put the economy back together when this is over so let’s get creative in ways we can support them.

“If there is anything we can learn from other pandemics, it is that these viruses will eventually run their course. We can define ourselves during this unique moment in history by using our resources and skills to better humanity. It is exciting to imagine how we can evolve from the lessons we learned during this pandemic once it is over. Hopefully, we can reach this new reality with our whole selves and the smallest number of casualties possible.” – Dr. Malika Siker