At the beginning of the COV19 pandemic, we embarked on a journey to a new and unknown territory. As the world closed, events unfolded that had not experienced before. The earth started to “reset” itself. Our rivers, lakes and other bodies of water became cleaner and our skies clearer. The animals, plants and trees flourish while we were (and in some cases still are) isolated in our homes. Our world took on an erie silence that we have not seen this century.
We started to change as well. Parents now have new roles as teachers and entertainers on top of their jobs and responsibilities. “Date nights” and “me” times took a back seat since the start of the pandemic. Even the way we worked changed from in person to from home. All of a sudden, Lysol and toilet paper started to disappear off the shelves (I still don’t understand the toilet paper thing). The pandemic infiltrated every country.
Even still we adapt. Face masks are our new fashion accessory. Hand sanitizers are added features to businesses around the world. We stay in touch with friends and family members through video conference platforms. Business meetings are now done in your home online. Cashiers, store stockers, grocery store greeters and cart handlers took on a new title called essential workers. Up until now that term was reserved for nurses, doctors, fire fighters and paramedics. A new appreciation for such people started growing. Reports of individuals and companies coming together to help each other became a common occurrence.
Makers of face masks, partitions, cleaning products and home grocery services are making a fortune. Meanwhile small Mom and Pop stores, movie theaters and gyms are taking a serious hit. Some of them going out of business. Supermarkets with bare shelves are becoming a common occurrence. Managers are now adding cleaning and sanitizing to the list of responsibilities for essential workers. The world leaders are relying more on statisticians.
Yet this “new norm” can be devastating for some people, optimistic or not. It’s not surprising that depression and other mental illnesses are on the rise. The pandemic taught us that we ARE social people and we DO need each other. People are losing their shit trying to adapt to our new way of life. Otherwise well-mannered people, are now short tempered. Working parents are hiding in the bathroom to have peace and quiet. Children are bouncing off the walls because they are bored.
Yet, those who have to manage mental illness on a regular basis, have an advantage. Feelings like these are not new to them. They can take on new roles as teachers for those new to overwhelming emotions and advise leaders on the signs of emotional crises. The days of feeling unfit for society are gone. Those who suffer mental illness can embrace the change and draw on the skills they learned to cope with everyday living.
What a bittersweet realization. My heart goes out to those who are new to experiencing mental illness and joy for those of us who already suffer mental illness. Is there an end to this “pandemica?” I don’t have no clue but I know that prayers do work. If you don’t know God, there couldn’t be a better time to get acquainted. Think about it, if we band together through Him, we can get though this crisis with grace. Please check on the elderly, keep in touch with family and friends and help your neighbors. I wish all love and grace.