Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


I don’t know (and neither do you)

“I Don’t Know” was the name of my band in college.

Originally, I had proposed “The Don’t Know.” When I floated that past our guitarist, he said, “I don’t know….” – and I said, “Even better!”

I’m thinking of that today because it’s pretty clear that there’s a lot I don’t know – that none of us knows – about what’s going to happen in the short term.

Who among us will get infected with Coronavirus?

What will be the impact on our lives?

What will this do to the larger economy and to our personal economy?

How long will this go on?


I don’t know.

Neither does anyone else.

Given that we don’t know, the best we can do is to focus on what we can control — our own personal actions. That means:

  1. Taking care of ourselves and others
  2. Doing our best not to further the spread of the virus
  3. Not contributing to panic
  4. Making, and following, contingencies
  • So, make sure you’re safe and well, and that your people are safe and well.
  • Ask yourself if you know someone who needs help. An elderly friend? Someone who was already home sick? Someone you think might be low on supplies? A buddy who just needs cheering up? Reach out.
  • Observe the CDC guidelines.
  • Don’t get caught up in the gossip. Yes, it’s human nature – but when it’s not helpful, it’s hurtful. Right now, it’s just going to contribute to people’s stress. No one needs it.

If there’s some way for you to work from home, set it up now. Immediately. Make a list of what might happen if you have to be home for a month — and set about ensuring you could do that.

And bear in mind that while you have no control over what you can’t control, you can have control over yourself and your own actions. Peace of mind comes from taking personal productive action, and from letting everything else go. Fretting over things you can’t control slides right into endless, needless worry (and, frequently, over things that never happen).

When it comes to what’s going to happen, we can know only one thing with certainty:  that this, too, shall pass.

3 Responses to “I don’t know (and neither do you)”

  1. Adrian. Says:

    Spot on Lee. That’s the only known known!

  2. Dan Says:

    ‘I know that I know nothing.”

    “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things…”

  3. Jim Markley Says:

    That’s the most succinct intelligent synopsis of advice that I’ve heard throughout this entire situation.

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