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CoronaVirus: The Need for Optimism

Dr Steve Moffic, Psychiatrist

"Optimism is essential for mental well-being in a crisis that needs action."

Dr Natalie Dattilo, Clinical Psychologist

"We have a choice in how we think about any situation we face. Even if you weren’t born an optimist, you can still learn to think like one. “Radical optimism” is the notion that there’s an upside to everything. Even a global pandemic and worldwide health crisis."

“Radical Optimism:” Staying Calm and Hopeful During Times of Stress and Uncertainty

Tim Watson-Munro, Psychologist

"Right now, As never in our lifetimes, we need to remain optimistic."

Georgie Crozier, Shadow Minister for Health in Victoria, Australia

"What makes me optimistic is that during this emergency health crisis that is affecting the world,  scientists in Australia believe they are close to making a breakthrough, that will then lead to developing a vaccine that will assist in combatting COVID-19. When that happens, it will be a tremendous moment for us all."

Rosemary Goring

"Optimism seems to me as essential a commodity as antibacterial gel. Along with paracetamol and ventilators, it’s a vital weapon in this global duel. If ever there was a time to abandon innate miserabilism, our “touch wood” and “if God spares us” attitude, this is it. Cynics mock those who take a deliberately cheerful tone when things are tough, and there are few more stinging insults than to be sneered at as a “Pollyanna”. Yet Eleanor H Porter’s 1913 novel, where she introduced this lovable child, who “played the glad game”, struck a chord with many. It goes without saying that those who have tried to emulate Pollyanna’s habit of looking for the up-side in any situation usually come from circumstances where it takes real strength of character not to sink into self-pity.

"True optimism is not a way of avoiding the facts – the word for that is denial. For some, being bright and positive comes naturally. They are the rubber ducks amongst us, bobbing to the surface instantly after they’ve been pushed under. For others, banishing gloom requires some policing, constantly shoring up the weak places in our mental bulwark and escorting middle-of-the-night trepidation firmly out of the door. In an emergency like this, however, it seems to me that optimism is almost obligatory. As well as not passing on germs, we should avoid spreading dread. Otherwise, we risk sliding into a morass of misery, and triggering a collective national breakdown. Is that going to happen? Don’t make me laugh."

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

"There must be room for faith and optimism at this time...the kind of faith that believes, as Moses commands in the Book of Deuteronomy, that “God will bless you in all that you do.” We must do. We must act. We must fight..."fear will weaken, rather than embolden, our resolve. It will undermine our health. Depression will sap our energy and make us partially give up. But faith, optimism and hope will compel us to do the right thing in a time when exercising wise judgment is the difference between life and death."

John Horgan in "Optimism in a Dark Time"

"Optimism in a time like this is crucial. As with climate change and war, we need to be realistic, to face the problem squarely, while resisting fear and fatalism. We need to retain our faith that human intelligence and decency will prevail.

Winnie Hart, Entrepreneurs Organisation

Remain as optimistic as possible. How you show up in a crisis has a significant impact. Positive thoughts and actions focus on strengths, successes, opportunities and collaboration. Leaders radiate trust, hope and optimism that leads to positive energy, confidence and purpose.

George Donikian, Chairman at Football Nation Radio

"This global emergency has caused much upheaval but it’s important to remember that we the people behave properly and support others in doing so we can and we will get through this turmoil together. Once the pandemic passes and the disruption passes, it’ll be time to hit the reset button, as a new era of humanity will beckon."

Russell M Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints speaking about coronavirus

“These unique challenges will pass in time. I remain optimistic for the future."

Ragini Prasad

"If we look back over history we have always thrived after some major world event and this won't be the exception. Just a point in time that we as the resilient species we are will need to set a new course in how we live (and work)."

Josie McLean

"If ever we need optimism, it feels that now is the time." 

The Wolf-Tasker family and the Lake House team 

The Uplifting Power of Optimism

We are optimistic for the future, the resilience of humanity and strong in the belief that this is a temporary crisis that will be vanquished.

Jason Feifer, editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur magazine

"Entrepreneurs make me optimistic. They already have many of the mental tools required to get through this. They already know that change is inevitable, and that old plans have to be scrapped, and that today's successes do not guarantee tomorrow's survival. That's why, as soon as this crisis started, they began focusing on solutions—and I believe they'll build a better world as a result."

Daniel Sonesson, Head of Innovation, Coop

"In these dire times I find strength and gratitude towards that us people are a unified and loving force who cares deeply for our fellow citizen. All initiatives and passion for doing good is an evidence for how our collective care is a fundamental part of us. That tells me we’re going to get through this, as we always have, and we’ll come out stronger on the other side."

Danielle Robertson, Founder of DR Care Solutions

I believe that even In these very strange and unprecedented times, working as a community 'together' yet apart makes me optimistic. Thinking of our most vulnerable clients living alone at home or in residential care, isolated from the rest of the world, their families, their friends, their loved ones - I know that we will get through this difficult time.

Our older Australians have lived through wars, recessions and the Great Depression yet they helped to make Australia a rich and wonderful place to live. It's our time now to ensure they get the care, support, love and companionship they deserve.

Check on people to ensure they are ok, pay forward random acts of kindness. I believe we will all be a better society coming out of this difficult period. Stay at home, stay well, do what health authorities recommend - we can beat this!

Simran Jeet Singh

While I see the pandemic as a disruptive force, I also try to see it through the rose-colored prism of chardi kala, the Sikh teaching of ever-rising optimism. Sikh wisdom offers chardi kala as an antidote to suffering. We all encounter various difficulties in life, and we can’t control everything that comes our way. But we can always choose how we perceive these events — and it’s far more empowering and inspiring to find the silver linings in the difficulties we experience.

It’s not an easy practice, especially in times like these. But engaging chardi kala has helped me in a number of ways throughout my life: to see the humanity of those who hate people who look like me (or who look different at all), to find goodness in moments of darkness and to find hope in seemingly hopeless situations.

Employing the outlook of chardi kala, I have tried to view this moment as something more than a deadly and inconvenient disruption. And over the past week, I have come to see it as a helpful intervention.

Sikhism and Optimism

‘Queenie’ van de Zandt, Comedienne

"What makes me optimistic - the idea that Necessity is the mother of all invention. And the idea we see in nature - the sand is what makes the pearl. Through adversity we will come out stronger."

Geoff Gourley, Chairman, Impact Investment Fund

"Remaining optimistic during challenging times can unlock exciting social innovations for positive impact."

Ron Gauci, CEO, AIIA

"During previous global crises, we relied on professions that were more clearly distinguishable. Today the ‘team’ looks significantly different, all playing a significant part in the solution chain. COVID-19 has shown that today essential services might also include those scientists who are trying to find a vaccine and a cure, supported by the data analysts who are providing the testing tools in data centres that make it accessible to those that need it and research information supported by the coding specialists who are creating the systems that provide for the analysis.

"Today’s ecosystem of essential service agents or practitioners is far more complex and encompassing than ever before. As we learned from the recent bushfires and now COVID-19, the coming together of “team”, physical or virtual, across many industries & skills, can lead to powerful outcomes. The positive energy and optimistic leadership that this exudes to conquer this crisis is nothing short of inspirational."


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