At this point, confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus are all over the world. We are in the midst of a pandemic, the responses to which vary considerably from country to country – or even, here in the USA, from state to state – and it places stress not only on health care systems but also economies, political systems, and education. Quite a few people went into panic purchasing mode, buying up the available stocks of commodities ranging from pasta to toilet paper.
Many people are observing social distancing, in self-quarantine or isolation, or “sheltering in place”. Many others are forced into contact with potentially contagious people as a condition of doing and keeping their jobs. Emotional responses such as fear and anxiety, sadness and listlessness, boredom and loneliness, and frustration and anger are common and understandable in these situations.
In times like these, the usefulness of Stoic philosophy comes into play. Not that it’s not always useful for people, but in times of crisis, it may be especially so. So for today’s Saturday post, we’re providing readers a roundup of resources out there right now discussing Stoicism and the COVID-19 crisis.
I won’t be writing down my specific judgements of these resources, each of which I’ve examined. The fact that they’ve made this roundup tokens that I think they might be valuable for readers, but it’s up to each person to determine whether a specific resource is useful or not for them. I’d like to acknowledge the diligence of my colleague and friend, Tim Lebon, who sent many of these resources my way in a nicely compiled list earlier this week.
Articles and Blog Posts
- On COVID-19 and pandemics: a Stoic perspective – Massimo Pigliucci
- How Stoicism can help at a time of crisis — part 1, the Stoic Worry Tree – Tim Lebon
- Seeking Wisdom in a Pandemic – Meredith Kunz
- Stoicism in the Time of a Pandemic – Chuck Chakrapani
- Coronavirus Anxiety is Manageable With These Ancient Techniques – Britany Polat and Lizzy Francis
- How the Stoics Can Keep Us Calm During the Coronavirus Outbreak – Ronald Pies
- How not to panic during the coronavirus pandemic: welcome hard times like a Stoic – Brigid Delaney
- Grace under pressure: how coronavirus is testing the world’s self-image – Jeremy Cliffe
- A Stoic response to coronavirus – Blake Ziegler
- Remember: You Don’t Control What Happens, You Control How You Respond – Ryan Holiday
- The Stoic Response to Coronavirus – Caleb Ontiveros
Although it is about a different epidemic, you may also want to check out the piece: Stoicism In The Time of Plague – Donald Robertson
Radio, Podcast, and Video
- Sunday Stoic (Steve Karafiat)- Stoicism in the Face of Corona Chaos
- Stoic Meditations (Massimo Pigliucci) -The Covid-19 Pandemic: a Stoic’s take
- Wisdom for Life (Dan Hayes and Greg Sadler) – Dealing With Fear and Anxiety in Crises
- The Practical Stoic (Simon Drew and Kai Whiting) – Coronavirus and our duty as Stoics
- Shrink Rap Radio (Massimo Pigliucci) – on Stoicism and coping with Covid-19
- Daily Stoic (Ryan Holiday) – The Stoic Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic
All of us here at Modern Stoicism hope that these resources prove useful for you readers.
Thank you very much for this compilation.
May I share two articles I wrote :
– The corona virus does not prevent us to think righteously : https://medium.com/@unregardstoicien/covid-19-the-virus-does-not-prevent-us-to-think-righteously-f4e1d3b7aca0
– Living the quarantine in all serenity with Epictetus : https://medium.com/@unregardstoicien/covid-19-living-the-quarantine-in-all-serenity-with-epictetus-1856cca26de5
I think that, beyond discourses, what matters the most now is to act concretely : respect your government recommandations ; think to be thankful to those who are still going to work ; participate in the distanciate life of your neighbors ; prepare to support politically those who are now fighting in the hospitals and who have asked the state for more resources for years ; etc.
I’m a primary care doctor in NH. I make a video from the banks of Pawtuckaway Lake once or twice a day. Lots of people tell me they find them helpful so my plan is to continue until the epidemic is over, or I become unable to record, or I have nothing useful to say. Today I mention the Enchiridion, although not by name.
I hope this self-promotion is OK. Please isolate yourself, help your neighbors stay isolated, and stay safe.
What a super process, Gregory, to put this together……a really round-up….almost too weak a word to describe that you have done…..great thoughtfulness for us all to have this circulated by you.
I will most certainly pass it on to others.
Many, many thanks……Frank Scott-Lennon, Dublin.
I see two typos of mine, as follows:
Within line 1…midway along….please insert ‘brilliant’….thus …..a really brilliant round-up
Second work of line 2 should be what, rather than that.
Apologies for these mistakes…..renewed thanks…..Frank.
Many thanks, Greg and Tim, for providing these resources. I very much appreciate your including my piece for the Psychcentral website, though I believe it is way too “basic” for most readers of this website. It was intended for folks who have little or no acquaintance with Stoicism, or have serious misconceptions about it. With that caveat, I would welcome any comments on the piece, which can be posted on the Psychcentral website:
I wish you all health, safety, and good, Stoic equanimity during this very difficult and perilous time.
Ronald W. Pies, MD
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Thanks to the team for these useful resources. Stoicism is a philosophy of life particulalry useful in times of tribulation.
Great resources! Here’s another on the same theme –
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