So, if you have been living in the wilderness without any communication then, COVID-19 and its destruction or conspiracy theories would be a surprise.
As most of the world is going through crisis mode and the other 1-2% is pretending like it’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood, people are struggling to deal with this pandemic 2019-2020 (FYI – 19 means the year not the strains of the virus) and quarantine/isolation siege.
How’s You Doing?
I have heard the lament from many extroverts on the horrors of being stuck inside. I have seen the dramatics of parents who are held hostage with their own spawn. I have heard singles decry their loneliness and countless relationships struggle because of their excessive together time. Well…Suck it up!
While I don’t ignore people’s genuine feelings, sometimes we lose perspective because of our focus on self. I myself am doing that too. For example, I absolutely hate the fact that each weekday morning, I leave my apartment and I am one of a handful of people who are going off to work while the rest snuggle in bed (can you hear my resentment?).
While some are crying that they want to be back at work because they are bored, I would be perfectly contented at home enjoying my introvert quiet time. It is not the world’s fault that you decide to raise your kids in a manner in which you can’t stand being in their presence for extended periods of time. It is not the world’s fault that you married that particular person you can’t stand to be with for longer than 3 waking hours out of the day. Put on your adult ‘life gives you lemons underwear’ and learn to handle it.
With my own selfish whining, I have to continually remind myself that I am blessed. I am blessed because I have a job and a paycheck. I am not worried about paying my bills or having to stand in line at a food bank.
I have to remind myself that I am blessed because I am still healthy and so are my parents who are high risk. My job as their caretaker does not end with a quarantine. It’s magnified. Again, I have to constantly take my mind off “poor me” and see the blessings that so many are not afforded right now.
Crisis, Care and Crazy
This pandemic has brought out the helpers, the nuts and the others. The helpers are those front line medical, food service, public servants etc who have to show up, interact with the public and do their jobs. They are the ones who are exposed to people who don’t care about spreading the disease or who believe “it’s not that bad.”
The helpers are the ones who are at risk because of those who want to party like it’s 1999 because it’s their selfish right to have fun. They are exposed to the nuts who intentionally want to spread a highly contagious virus.
In a crisis, there are people who show up and serve. There are those who care about others and do whatever they can to help. However, there are also those who can callously say things like ‘the people who died had one foot in the grave anyway.’ There are those who want adulation and those who care about preserving their wealth and status. A crisis always brings forward ones’ inner character.
I Choose Coping
I choose coping because panicking does nothing to help the situation. I was listening to the Easter sermon online, the pastor said that in times of crisis, the religious people try to figure out where these signs and wonders fit into the end-times/God’s plan. However, people should be more focused on the here and now relationship with God.
My first-line coping strategy is
prayer. That’s a lie. To be honest, I became frustrated and emotionally restless. I looked for tangible – non spiritual ways to dampen or control my feelings. After going through my usual options, I surrender to my next coping strategy.
My second-line coping strategy is prayer. It works miracles particularly when you are single. My prayer always involves me trying to not be so darn self-focused. I pray for a friend who is financially struggling. I pray for another friend who is recovering from yet-to-be-diagnosed-through-testing-but-suspected-COVID-19. I pray for her because if she is cleared for work, she will be in a medical office in NYC (New York City).
The third-line coping strategy is to do the best I can to protect myself and those around me. When you step back far enough, a wise person will see that getting through this crisis is not just about self but protecting others.
There are people in dire situations – ill family members who are alone, kids and spouses quarantined with their abusers, people who are on the front lines being exposed, the mentally ill with limited supports, the elderly who are completely on their own etc.
The ones who have little to be worried about are the ones who need to be reminded that we have to stop for a second, pull our heads out of our derrieres and recognize that it’s not always about our minor discomfort.
Your feelings are important; they are just not everything.
The next time you find yourself whining incessantly about your minor discomfort, think about someone else who is not as blessed as you are.
Everyone Stay Safe
Whine Less (or have a sip of wine)
What are your greatest challenge and coping strategy with this crisis?