The first case of the coronavirus was found in China in late November and early December 2019.  On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, with over 118,000 cases of the illness spread all over the world in over 110 countries and territories.  By March 30, 2020, according to John Hopkins University and Medicine’s Coronavirus Resource Center, the disease has spread to 177 countries and regions, has infected over 775,000 people, and claimed the lives of over 37,000. 
Some countries are on lockdown and some are enforcing isolation and quarantines. Establishments are closed. Schools are closed. Businesses are closed. There’s nowhere to go but the four walls of our own homes. This may be a time of extreme stress for people, and rightly so. The scariest part is the unknown. When will the pandemic end? When can I go back to work? Where will I get income? Will I or any of my loved ones contract the coronavirus? And if one of them has, will it spread to the rest of us? Will there be a cure?
We search for answers, refreshing Twitter, Facebook, and news outlets for updates but for the most part, only find bad news. It’s enough to hurt anyone’s mental health. Yet we can’t wait for the pandemic to end to feel better. We must let go of what we can’t control and pay attention to what we can. And we can control our attitudes.
We have running water. We have electricity. We have technology that allows us to connect to others and entertain us. Many of us still have our health. And many of us have the company of our loved ones (even if they are driving us up the wall.)
One thing about this pandemic is certain: We’re making history.
We’ve been asked, “Where were you by 9/11?” The same sentiment will be applied to the coronavirus. Unlike 9/11 which happened in an instant with no control whether you were close to the site or not, we have a choice this pandemic. We’re going down in history. How do you want to be remembered? Stressing over what you can’t control, or facing every day as a new challenge waiting to be overcome?
The first step is gratitude. Focusing on the positive may help release the stress of the unknown. Pick a mantra or two and write them somewhere where you can see it and be inspired every day.
20 Quotes to Inspire Gratitude
1.“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all the others.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
2. “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” – G.K. Chesterton
3. “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey
4. “Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” – Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr
5. “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” – Charles Dickens
6. “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson
7. “We need to learn to want what we have, not to have what we want, in order to get stable and steady happiness.” – Dalai Lama
“8. Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” – Eckhart Tolle
9.“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward
10. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy
11. “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault
12. “If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.” – Gerald Good
13. “Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie
14. “The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.” – Michael Josephson
15. “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus
16. “Keep your eyes open and try to catch people in your company doing something right, then praise them for it.” – Tom Hopkins
17.“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” – Buddha
18. “Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.” – John Wooden
19. “Forget yesterday–it has already forgotten you. Don’t sweat tomorrow–you haven’t even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift–today.” – Steve Maraboli
20. “Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices.” – Robert Braathe 
- Jeanna Bryner. 1st known case of coronavirus traced back to November in China. Live Science. https://www.livescience.com/first-case-coronavirus-found.html March 15, 2020
- Jami Ducharme. World Health ORganization Declares COVID-19 a Pandemic. Here’s What That Means. Time. https://time.com/5791661/who-coronavirus-pandemic-declaration/ March 11, 2020
- John Hopkins University and Medicine: Coronavirus Global Cases. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html Accessed March 30
- Jeff Haden. 40 Inspiring Motivational Quotes About Gratitude. Inc. https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/40-inspiring-motivational-quotes-about-gratitude.html September 12, 2014
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