Keep Calm and Carry On
No matter how optimistic we are, the current circumstances are deeply challenging. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed issues in collective and daily life that we haven’t given much thought to. For some, the distress and instability only aggravates the fear they already felt. For others, the sudden restrictions on movement and orders to stay at home were blindsiding. All in all, everyone is feeling pretty shocked, and everyone is handling it in their own way. And then there are the people who say ‘You must feel only this way about what’s happening,’ which adds another layer of stress to what we’re already dealing with.
So firstly, we want to tell you that it’s okay to feel these things. Whichever feelings come up and take dominance are deeply subjective and personal. There is no one right way to cope with a global traumatic event, which this pandemic is. We haven’t seen events like these in over a century; the last time the human race experienced an illness this virulent and widespread was at the end of World War 1. The fact that we understand how viruses work is both comforting and frightening. It’s okay to feel confused and unsure what to do to protect yourselves, your family, and your community.
Our advice is to maintain as much of your version of normalcy as you can. And indulge in the simple pleasures you seek; they’re the only ones we really have access to for now. Whether it’s Netflix marathons, working out in your living room or porch. Doing yoga or watching makeup tutorials on YouTube (my favorite channels are Lisa Eldridge and Yoga with Adriene), our great task right now is to take care of ourselves. If we take care of ourselves, we will have the reserves to help others when the time comes that we are able to leave our homes safely. And that time will come, we promise. We just have to be a little patient and hopeful. Humanity has survived plagues and worse, and we will survive again.
In the meantime, do whatever you need to do to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Practice social distancing, it is the most effective method to protect yourself and others. There are already communities that are seeing dropping numbers of COVID-19 by strict adherence to this instruction. Have fun, in all the little ways that make life worthwhile. Hug your kids, cuddle your pets. Make a list of all the things you’re looking forward to doing once quarantine is over. Most of all, know that better days are coming. And to quote Disney’s Robin Hood, keep your chin up. There will be happiness again.
By Sophia Barbour