Living in a World Where Many Undermine Public Health

Jodi Enders avatar

by Jodi Enders |

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Public Health / Myasthenia Gravis News / Photo of face masks and hand sanitizer on a table

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Living amid a pandemic can and should be alarming to everyone. However, not everyone understands how individual actions can affect others. Therefore, people with compromised immune systems, such as those of us with myasthenia gravis, may be more susceptible to heightened levels of anxiety and frustration toward those not aiding the public’s wellness.

When we are filled with the power of negative emotions, we may blame those who have triggered us. But how is it productive to give authority to those who do not align with our beliefs? I have very likely, at some point, judged a stranger in my head for not wearing a mask when they had a valid reason not to.

We all have fears, but we can quickly lose control of our lives if emotions take control. Learning to react peacefully and recognizing what sparked our negative energy is the first step toward putting our energy to better use.

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Emphasizing our disapproval of strangers’ actions is something we must practice in moderation. It is super to use our voices to speak up for causes we support. Still, at some point, we need to accept that some people are unwilling to listen or be open-minded to change.

We can’t change if someone takes something we post personally or doesn’t appreciate if our intentions are positive and polite. Before we attempt to raise awareness, it is crucial we consider whether our plan will offend others or come across as passive-aggressive.

Not targeting or criticizing individuals but raising awareness among a larger audience might serve as a more peaceful way of sharing information without judging others. Everyone has individual beliefs fashioned by their past experiences. However, speaking up to someone in public is valid if they are not following posted protocols for an environment.

Unlike strangers, vulnerability, acceptance, and compromise are required in our relationships if we want them to benefit both parties. When we allow ourselves time to recognize our triggers, we may realize that accepting discomfort in a closer relationship fuels our constant judgment and frustration with strangers.

Actions converse louder than words. Those of us with higher health risks may feel disheartened and confused when folks who are part of our daily routine don’t understand how not taking preventive measures affects us. In these situations, we need to ask ourselves if we have been vulnerable and direct about our feelings with that person, and what we are willing to compromise. Encouraging identity, independence, and healthy indifference in our relationships should not involve compromising our health.

Ultimately, concerning ourselves with the actions of strangers will most likely always be a waste of our time, unless we can redirect our triggered emotions with logical thought. If we yearn for peace, we must learn to understand what triggers us and take charge before we spiral.

Our triggers can be highly complex, and therefore, the help of a professional is never a bad idea. I recently started trying cognitive therapy with a new therapist. After only a few sessions, I am already discovering that I have the power to control my thoughts and repurpose where I dedicate my energy. Change is most likely to occur if we refocus and healthily express our negative energy in productive ways.

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Myasthenia Gravis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Comments

Amy Scolese avatar

Amy Scolese

I think speaking up to someone not wearing a mask in this highly charged environment is not a good idea. But then of course depends on where you live. I am mocked for still wearing a mask but I don’t care. Keep yourself safe and don’t approach strangers about a mask. Just keep your distance from those not wearing one and don't go into crowded places. Glad therapy works for you.

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2021 Myasthenia Gravis Survey Results

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Myasthenia Gravis News conducted a survey from Feb. 11-March 28 to gain greater insight into the characteristics of the MG community and disease management. Results of the survey have now been published. Click on the image to view the infographic, and click here to read the story.