As news about the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak dominates your TV screen and social media feeds right now, hearing Drew Barrymore talk about the panic surrounding the coronavirus with a fantastic analogy about new motherhood might help you feel a bit more at ease. Considering how many people the virus has affected and the many uncertainties that come with it, it's easy and totally normal to feel anxious and the actress' hopeful, down-to-earth perspective on it all couldn't come at a better time.
"For any of you who have had kids, this sort of feels like after you have a baby. Everything feels trivial," Barrymore says in a nearly 7-minute-long IGTV video on Friday. "And you feel like, 'Wait, I'm sorry. You want me to look at that Excel spreadsheet, or make that appointment, or talk about that important conversation? I'm sorry, everything you're saying doesn't make sense, and I just had a baby — and I'm afraid, and I want to keep this alive. And just, you don't understand. The world doesn't understand. I'm isolated on this island of anxiety and euphoria. But I'm here and everyone else is over there.'"
The Flower Beauty mogul, who has two daughters, then dramatically snarls and growls like a rabid animal, which is actually a fantastic visual of the mama bear. Protective instinct awakened by new parenthood, if you ask me.
"Then everything a few months later starts to feel like, you know, I don't know where I'm going because I'll never get back to where I was," Barrymore continues. "Life is different and I have to embrace a new normal. And that new normal is something I'm trying to figure out. And that, too, takes a little time. But eventually, we need community. We need to sit around and have a meal together. We need our co-workers, or our friends."
"You start to look at that baby and realize that if I keep psycho-staring you with all the love in the world, day in and day out, I don't know if this is going to be healthy for either of us."
That's when Barrymore goes full-circle, coming back to how this all relates to anxiety surrounding the novel coronavirus, a pandemic that has impacted over 132,000 people around the globe and has caused over 4,900 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
"So how about it? How about we go and join that human race in our new normal? And eventually, we get tired of being so worried and so anxious — and we want to break free of it," she says. "And I believe that's what will happen here. And I believe everything will be OK."
The mom of two added that, similar to new motherhood, "in a strange way" the current situation "can be anxiety and euphoria at the same time."
"I have also experienced a tremendous amount of joy and gratitude in the wake of this new normal in the world," she explains. "I have noticed the little things, I have appreciated my life thus far. I appreciate every day that I get. moving forward. And it has placed me in a state of being present .... aware, and extremely humbled by just simply the gift of the day."
"I know that's easy to lose sight of, but if we keep that in our heads and in our intentions and in our hearts, we allow ourselves to be safe and listen to what everyone is telling us in the medical community of what we can and should do, eventually things will resume," Barrymore says.
Cue: One of her daughters opens the bathroom door crying and freaking out because she couldn't find her mama. "It's OK, I'm right here," she tells her little one. "Just stay with me here, OK? Everything will be OK."
"That's what we all need to hear, is that everything will be OK," Barrymore continues, turning back to face the camera. "And we'll all get taken down a peg from our children, and at the same time, nothing is more important than kids. So, one foot in front of the other. And we'll talk about all of the little stuff, and the big stuff, and everything in between."
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.