Perspective and Hope in the Era of COVID-19

Close your eyes and think of someone you're protecting and someone you'll hug when the pandemic is over

Published April 17, 2020 under Voices of DGHI

Written by Mary Brophy Marcus

Duke Global Health Institute psychologist Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell

Duke Global Health Institute psychologist Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell explores behaviors, hope and connectedness in her video.

Seeking to find and share hope during a difficult time, DGHI psychologist Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell recently made a video to share with others who are staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch her video and read a few of her insights in her Q&A.

Why did you make a video?

As the far-reaching effects of COVID-19 became apparent, I began to hunger for hope. Where does hope come from? How do we stay hopeful? As a researcher who studies positive mental health, I knew hope had been studied, and I wanted to apply that knowledge to our current situation, for myself as much as anyone else.

What's a key message you really want people to know?

Staying home during COVID-19 is a significant and brave action. It's not inaction.

What’s something you discovered along the way that surprised you?

That what we’re living through today is a human experience. I suddenly feel very connected to my ancestors. Viruses are ancient, and while this situation feels new and unknown to me, it actually isn’t new and it isn’t unknown. People have responded to epidemics for centuries.

Who should watch this video?

A lot of us are gathering over Zoom these days, often just for an unstructured check-in (Check out this example from Duke University). I’d love it if people watched this video together. The four-minute hope exercise at the end is more powerful if done together. This video may provide a peaceful way to end a virtual check-in.

Is there anything that weighs on your mind that you didn’t have the chance to address in your video?

So many people are losing their jobs and I’m deeply worried about the impact of such financial stress. I suggest in this video that people stay strong and stay home, and yet we all have to earn money somehow. In addition to keeping perspective and hope, I think the public health community needs to address economics, too.