How to Transform Pandemic Dread

Zoe is a blogger for Psychology Today and she has been writing weekly posts about COVID-19. We’re sharing them here. We hope they are helpful to you during this pandemic.


Like many people, I have been obsessed with reading news about the coronavirus pandemic, scrolling through my #COVID19 twitter feed, and jumping from one source of information to the next. Given my work directing an educational nonprofit, it’s necessary that I’m well informed, but I do not need to be laying in bed late at night reading bad news and checking my feeds at 4 a.m., already anxious before dawn.

Neither do you.

There’s a famous Cherokee story about a grandfather telling his grandson about a battle between two wolves. He describes one wolf as evil, full of anger, sorrow, arrogance, and greed. He describes the other as good, full of joy, love, kindness, and generosity. When the grandson asks which wolf will win the battle, the grandfather answers: “The one we feed.”

It is difficult to stop feeding our anxiety during a pandemic (and I don’t expect this post to quell the fears of those in dire circumstances), but if we want to navigate this unprecedented and frightening time with more grace and calm — indeed, if we want to actually thrive to the greatest degree possible through COVID-19 — we need to actively nourish the best in ourselves. Doing so will also help us act more wisely as we take care of ourselves and others.

psychology today