What Corona Taught Me
Covid-19 has easily been one of the worst crisis humanity has faced. And while it has affected everyone differently, I think it is safe to say we can all agree on one thing: it has given us perspective. The world is forcefully being reminded that all we really need is health care, food, shelter, and selflessness. Mitch and I have been beyond blessed through this global crisis. We, and all our family members are healthy, we have roofs over our heads, no shortage of food, and steady incomes. But this pandemic has really led me notice and appreciate the smaller things that I so often overlooked.
For starters, this pandemic has given me a new appreciation for being fortunate enough to live in Canada. Despite political differences, I think all Canadians can agree that access to public health care is a blessing and truly should be a right every human being has access to. Not just is this virus completely physically debilitating for those who have become sick, requiring immediate and urgent health care also has financial, emotional and physiological impacts that will bring countless families and individuals to their breaking point.
The next lesson is something very personal to me, and while I don't feel proud to admit this, I feel there is value in sharing it. I have learnt that seeing others struggle does not make me feel better about my own struggles. You see, I am a very introverted person, and often feel not understood or accepted in a society where extroverted people are celebrated and admired. I found myself wishing that the roles were reversed, only so extroverts could see how it felt to feel trapped in a world you don't "fit" into. While I am thriving during this period of self isolation, those who's strengths are rooted in human connection are currently struggling with their emotions, their self identity, and their mental health; and it breaks my break. Seeing another human mourn their losses, whoever big or small, does not make me feel any more understood or accepted. It makes me sad, and it makes me feel compassion towards them and the urge to reach out, so they know they are not alone.
Extending on this, Covid-19 has also made me realize that even introverts need human connection. Rationally I always knew this, but this experience has taught me just how critical it actually is. Staying home with Mitch and our fur babies is my absolute favourite thing to do, which would make you think I am living my ultimate dream right now. But the truth is, I miss my coworkers, I miss commuting to work, I miss looking forward to spending time with Mitch at home. I miss seeing my Instagram feed full of my family and friends sharing experiences that brought them joy. And I think this has taught me that it is okay to need and miss others.
If you are happily single, all the power to you, but if you are interested in or are in any sort of committed relationship, I think this next point can be of value to you. Take the time to really know your partner. Who you choose to build a life with will impact your happiness and well-being in more ways than you can imagine. It is easy to navigate the intricacies of a relationship when you are distracted by novelty of it and bonding over new, oxytocin releasing activities. But the true testament to your connection is when you eliminate those distractions and are left with who each of you is at the core. Does this person not just share, but encourage your goals and dreams? Do they respect your insecurities? Do they understand your triggers? Can they make you laugh? Can they make you feel safe? This pause to every day life has been the perfect opportunity for couples to reconnect and authentically get to know one another. I have also learnt that this not only extends to your romantic relationships, but any relationship you want to nurture. Get to know your parents, your siblings, your friends.
But by far the biggest lesson I've taken away from this is perspective on what is important to me. Seeing the glass half full does not come naturally to me, and Covid-19 has grown into a situation where it would be easy to allow myself to drown in your own negative thoughts and fears. But I have surprisingly been able to keep a positive attitude instead of succumbing to the anxiety this would have triggered. And the best part is that I can vividly recall exactly what happened that interrupted my usual self-destructive train of thoughts. I read a quote that said, " there's a difference between stuck at home and safe at home". That's it. And I can't exactly tell you why this in particular made such an impact in my mind; I mean it's a powerful quote, but never before had reading something actually mattered to me. This quote for whatever reason made me instantly think of how truly fortunate I am to get to stay home with my incredible family where I know they are all safe. Because when it comes down to it, the thing I long for the most in this life is my family's well-being. Everything else can wait. And this has easily been one of the most beautiful and freeing epiphanies I have ever experienced; I feel at peace with where I am at. I feel at peace knowing that this will pass, and when it does, I will be glad I stayed home and did my part to keep my family (and others) safe.