How to Navigate a Pandemic as a Quantum Particle

Remain in your ground state: prioritize self care and mental health

Sometimes external stimuli may push you to higher energy states, so try to avoid anything that may trigger a jump to such an excited state—and in this context, ‘excited’ means ‘anxious’! Your mental health is incredibly important, and it may be taking a hit due to external factors. Take the news, for instance. While it’s important to stay up to date via reputable sources, consuming news 24/7 isn’t healthy, especially if it leaves you feeling agitated. Switch off the news for most of the day, and focus on self care.

Aim for separable, not entangled: practice social distancing

One of the coolest things about being quantum is that you’re able to become entangled with other particles. However, during times like this, I urge you to act classically and aim for separable states, not entangled: abide by the term that has taken the world by storm: “social distancing.” Avoid public areas such as metro stations and restaurants, and always maintain a good distance from another particle.

Be bosonic: remember we are in this together

Unlike fermions, bosons don’t follow the exclusion principle. So, embrace your bosonic side: act like a boson even if you aren’t one! Remember to be compassionate and responsible; you are part of a group of particles in the same boat.

  • Actively reach out to loved ones, especially those who may not be coping well with isolation or who may be stuck in unpleasant or toxic home environments.
  • Thank or even tip delivery folks, cab drivers, postal workers, medical workers, and others in service who are putting themselves at risk to keep the machine going.
  • Assist those in need. Perhaps someone recently lost their job due to the pandemic, and is struggling financially. Perhaps someone with a compromised immune system can’t visit the local supermarket to buy bread. Reach out to them, and help in whatever way you can, big or small. (And if you’re in need of help, please ask for it, there’s no shame in that!)
  • Support small businesses whenever you can.

Embrace the vibrations: keep moving physically and/or mentally

You slow down only during extreme cold temperatures, so there’s no reason for you to curb your natural instinct to keep moving! Lockdowns and quarantines don’t mean you have to stay put in a tiny corner of a room. Keep moving the way you always have, either physically or mentally or both. If you are able to, go for a walk, soak up some vitamin D, and smell the roses. These things are still available to you! Simply practice social distancing.

Ignore the observer: don’t feel compelled by others

You tend to change your behavior according to the presence of an observer, but resist that urge. Don’t let anyone else compel you to do something.

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Radha Pyari Sandhir

Radha Pyari Sandhir

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Scientific Advisor. Writer. Physicist. Cat lady and caffeinated.