Dr. Mohsan Beg, psychologist and Executive Director of the Student Health, Counseling and Wellness Centre at the University, gave a timely talk on dealing with the mental impact of Covid-19.
Dr. Beg presented a number of statistics relating to various groups in society and how the pandemic has affected them.  The bottom line is that a large percentage of the population is anxious and worried and suffering from Covid Stress Syndrome.  Factors in this syndrome are feelings of danger, xenophobia, socio-economic concerns, compulsive checking of media reports and traumatic stress.  This syndrome will have a long-term impact on our mental health.
Dr, Beg went on to define “mindset” as a person’s general attitude and the way they typically think about things.  He identified the three mindsets associated with Covid: 1) A Fear Mindset which leads to hoarding (get as much as you can), constant complaining, encouraging conspiracy theories and the transmission of anger and negative emotions; 2) A Learning Mindset which allows a person to stop and “let go”, to verify the information before sharing, to identify feelings and to acknowledge that everyone is trying to do their best; and 3) A Growth Mindset which focuses on finding a purpose, showing empathy, using skills to help others, living in the present, showing gratitude and adapting to change.
To control anxiety and worry, Dr. Beg suggested that we should limit media intake, learn something new, exercise, work from home but set time periods, stay connected with friends and family and share your feelings through Zoom and Facetime, practice “physical distancing” rather than “social distancing” since we all need to feel a part of the whole.  And finally, we should all practice “gratitude” by looking at what we have and keeping everything in perspective.
The PAYS presentation was given by Ed Boycott and his career in the furniture business.  Ed joined Rotary in 1997 and expressed his hope that we will all be able to meet together in person soon.