Major Impacts of COVID
In the wake of COVID-19, many can agree that this rollercoaster of a year has left emotional afflictions beyond a physical illness. There was the initial reaction across the masses: act out in fear by hoarding toilet paper and other essential products that resulted in major shortages across the nation. We’ve been separated from our workplaces and work-families and our actual families. We’ve instilled more rigorous cleaning practices and prepared our teams with EPA-certified chemicals that kill a virus in 60 seconds.
More than half a year later and the chaos has continued. While the remanence of fear still lingers, many have moved onto other emotions in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately, one of the most apparent and public of emotions has been anger. While at times understandable, sometimes this reaction is disheartening. Whether this is comes from a lack of control over our lives or just plain frustration about everything that is going on, it’s hard to refocus that energy, especially since the pandemic has no true end in sight (aside from possibilities of vaccines).
The division that we are seeing right now has begun to feel unparalleled. People of all beliefs and backgrounds are showing a tendency to display their worst colors for all to see. Hard decisions are having to be made, whether we like them or not. It’s all very hard and it’s all very sad, but I hope we can all remember that it’s not forever.
Personally, I have not taken a break from work; rather I may be one of the few who has been fortunate to keep employment in one way or another. But, like many of us, I have spent more time with loved ones, cleaned my house top-to-bottom, continued to work outside my house in any way available, and I’ve even taken time for myself. If you’re like me you have often thought to yourself, I’ll never have this time back, again. Why waste it just because there are also bad things going on at the same time.? Embrace what you can’t change and choose to enjoy what makes you happy, as best you can.
Things to Consider
The list of things to consider in the face of a worldwide pandemic is endless. We tend to forget that we only get this one life. Your life is your responsibility and it comes with choices. Maybe that means remembering our jobs are important for our livelihood, but we have a choice on whether we show up for work, or not. Your health is important and it’s something that only you can take control of. You shouldn’t feel like you are compromising your health for a job, for a social gathering, for anything you aren’t comfortable doing. Many businesses and organizations are offering ways to stay-safe at work, especially in light of CDC Guidelines and COVID-19 Precautions. During this unprecedented time, just allow yourself time to cope, readjust, and establish a new idea of normal.
Feeling sad for the things that you’ve missed out on or that have been cancelled is perfectly normal. It’s important to keep perspective and continue to be grateful for the things you do have and for the people who care about you. Be thankful for your health, your family, your job, anything you have that makes the days seem better.
Let’s remember that everyone is having to make sacrifices and everyone is being inconvenienced. The simplicity of practicing safe distancing and better cleaning processes is infinitely more desirable than being part of the growing concern for rampant diseases. I’ll just say it, I’d rather be safe than sorry.
What We Can Take Away
- Think With a Positive Perspective: Choosing to have a positive outlook in the face of something as scary as a pandemic shows strength and courage and character. Acknowledging the craziness around you and staying informed is important, but don’t forget about the good things also happening. We enjoyed John Krasinksi’s “Some Good News“! Everything is a balance of good and bad. Moving forward, I hope that we can all take away a different angle of seeing the world.
- Have Empathic Understanding: This is a struggle, both caring too much and not caring enough. Like many, I want so badly for everyone to be safe and healthy. At my core, I would go out of my way to make it happen. Others, maybe their circle is their only concern. Both views are acceptable, but the large gap that sits in between the two views can be hard to bridge. Putting in the effort to at least try and understand others is what makes humankind just that: human + kind.
- Appreciate What You Have: “You never know what you have until you’ve lost it.” Something that I never really knew I needed until I lost it was the ability to work. The things that get disrupted during a pandemic are never the things that you would think of. They’re the things that drive you from day to day and make your life full. Even though there are bad days, it’s so important that those days are just blips in your life, they don’t make up your whole picture.
- Appreciate Your Loved Ones: During this whole thing, I was unable to visit my mom because we live in different parts of the state and she is immunocompromised. For her safety, I chose to stay away. On the other hand, I had just gotten married at the start of the pandemic and my husband and I had plenty of time together. We’ll probably not have that again until retirement. It just goes to show that reminding ourselves during times of normalcy that appreciating the people around us is a gift, not a guarantee.
- Know Your Emotional Capacity: The phrase “emotional capacity” may be new to some, but for those of us who are generally more sensitive and perceptive of others emotions are quite familiar with it. A person’s emotional capacity is quite literally a point in which you can no longer take on anything more emotionally because you are maxed out. Many don’t think about this when they look at their own well-being, however, recognizing where your emotions max out is vital during chaos. Being able to look at someone and say, “I am at my emotional capacity right now, can we talk about that later?” is setting boundaries. It allows you time to process problems and not overreact.
This post was strongly inspired by The Advertising Research Foundation article “How COVID-19 is Affecting Public Attitudes, Emotions and Values.”
For information on what you can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, check out “Know the Difference to Fight the Spread of Viruses.“