The COVID-19 epidemic is hitting all of us hard, and we have to support each other to get through it

As I sit here and write this, holed up alone in my apartment, I’m scared — scared not only for my own future, but also the future for family and friends that I love so much. This world that I live in has changed drastically in almost the blink of an eye.

I’m terrified at the things to come, and, frankly, it consumes my every thought. I’ve had more than my fair share of people say to me, “This virus is nothing,” or “This is all hoax.”

I can assure you, it is neither of those things! This is real, and it is real fucking awful.

This virus has turned my life upside down, and I’m sure it’s done the same for yours. We all have people in our lives that we care about and love who are at a higher risk of serious illness; right now, we should be thinking about them more than anything else.

We need to listen to the CDC and do what they tell us. We need to stay safe and take the necessary precautions to stay healthy.

Do NOT take this thing lightly! I don’t care if you’re young and healthy and think it hasn’t affected you much yet. Look where you were two weeks ago; I bet your life was different then. I bet you could go do things you can’t do now. I bet your mindset on life has changed a bunch in the last 14 days.

I know mine has.

Right now, it’s VITAL that we support each other. Quarantining myself is not going to be fun. It’s going to be very lonely. It’s going to be scary. It’s going to be very sad.

I worry about my family 500 miles away. Are they taking the necessary steps to protect themselves? I wish I could be closer to support them!

I worry about my friends. Do they have enough food to weather the storm? Are they sick or healthy? How are they holding up mentally?
Support is what we all are going to need to come out in good shape on the other side of this. Your mental health is every bit as important as your physical health. So, it’s imperative that you take care of yourself and your loved ones mentally and emotionally, too. Check in with them. FaceTime them. Text, email, call them.

We have the tools to stay in touch, and so we should. We all are scared, and, in the midst troubling times, it’s important to lean on those in our lives for support.

Don’t be too proud to also say you need help or just want to talk.

I started writing this because I felt it was important to remind people to support the small businesses that have supported our community over the years. They’re the ones that are hurting the most right now. We have taken a HUGE hit at Dallas Voice, so I’ve seen this devastation first hand.

Small businesses will be the first ones that will have to shut their doors. Financially, this is going to hurt EVERYONE. But I feel like most people are like me and want to help those that are in need in desperate times, so I hope that you will do the right thing and shop the mom and pop shops of the world before going to a chain restaurant or big box store.

Real talk here: This is going to be rough. It’s going to SUCK! It’s going to get crazier every day, and things will seem out of control. The best piece of advice I can give to you is to not only take care of yourself physically but also mentally. You’ve made it this far in life, so you’re a tough cookie, and together we can make it a few months more.

If you get bored and want to chat me up, you can find me on facebook or instagram @chadman2th, or you can drop me an email if you wanna talk: We can get through it together.

Chad Mantooth is advertising director of Dallas Voice.