Yes, our lives have been up-ended and challenged by COVID-19. Fear, upset, and anxiety are to be expected, as well as disappointment and mourning for cancelled events and occasions. But through all this, I can’t help but try to find an upside. Here is what I am discovering:
- Society has become much more resourceful in getting needs met.
- People are working together to find creative solutions to problems.
- Strangers are polite (except if seeking toilet paper!) and are wishing each other good health and safety—similar to the vibes you feel during the holidays, or like I recall during the aftermath of 9-11.
- We are all in this together, and I feel more empathy coming from others.
- I am learning new technology in order to work from home—a definite weakness and struggle for me—but I find that I am enjoying it!
- Families are spending more time together—games and puzzles are being dusted off.
- I have time to actually go through all the tutorials I’ve longed to explore.
- I am attacking closets, files, and piles that were low on my priority list, but bothering me nonetheless.
- I have more time to read.
- I definitely have less laundry and almost no ironing!
- The house has never smelled so fresh and clean!
- I am saving a lot of money on gas.
- I am cooking more, and saving money on restaurants and entertainment.
- I am finding creative ways to exercise, now that my gym is closed: running up and down the basement stairs, power walking around the basement, exploring online fitness videos, and actually using the stationary bike and hand weights stored in the corner.
- I am taking invigorating walks when the weather is in the 30’s, which I would have substituted with trips to the gym only days ago—I’ve been missing out!
And most importantly:
- I have realized how spoiled I am, and how much of what seems essential in my life is truly frivolous. We’ve been forced to get back to the basics, and after putting losses into perspective, it has been an eye-opener as to what is truly important in our lives.
It has also been a time to realize how many people selflessly sacrifice for others and risk their own safety on the front lines. As an RN now retired from ICU clinical practice, I am no stranger to exposure and consequences. I applaud and appreciate the bravery and selflessness of all dedicated health care personal, whether directly involved in patient care or in the labs, in administration, doing research, or working in any capacity to fight this virus, cure us, and keep us safe. My thanks also extends to the leaders making the difficult decisions and to the emergency services and police forces who don’t have the luxury to hunker down and wait it out.
How humbling to be reminded that we really are not in total control of our lives. It is fortunate, every once in a while, to be reminded of that, and to live each day as if life as we know it could end tomorrow.
The needs and wants of people are truly more alike than they are different.
What have you realized?