Has the pace of life slowed for you as of late or has it been more hectic? While there are some similarities in how all of our lives have been affected by the present pandemic outbreak, everyone’s individual experience with the protocols of COVID-19 has been different; in some cases, vastly different. In ways, we, as a human race, are more united than ever because of this shared and unique position that we are in, yet in juxtaposition to that, there is also a very real feeling of disconnect amongst us—a disconnect from our lives, from our loved ones and even from our ourselves.
Some people are now working from home, whereas others are busier than ever at their workplace, particularly frontline and essential workers. Families are likely feeling overwhelmed with all of the upheaval to routines and perhaps even the amount of time now spent together. Those with children are dealing with the challenges of remote learning. Many senior citizens are feeling lonely, scared and obviously isolated from their loved ones. Some individuals have had to deal with the devastating loss of family members and/or friends, be it from the coronavirus or otherwise and opposite of that, there are couples who have welcomed a new baby into their lives amidst this crisis. Weddings, birthdays and the like have become drive-by or video chat celebrations. Indeed, I could go on with examples of how things have changed for us all in such a short period of time.
What I wonder, like many of you, is how our lives will go on after this all settles a bit. Notice that I did not say, ‘when this is over’ since we know that the effects of COVID-19 will be far-reaching in society for a very long time to come. The question is, what will we have taken away from this experience? Some folks are convinced that this virus was timely in that it has required us all to take a step back from the busyness of our lives and how we have been living. Others say that they cannot wait for things to return to the way that they were.
I consider my dad a very wise man, and he has been of the mindset for quite some time that things in the world around us have required some serious change as to how we have all been operating. We have been living in a place here in North America where it seems that more, more, more is never enough and that less, less, less is the value that has been placed on people, relationships, time and the notion of living more simple lives. It’s clearly upsetting that change would have to come in the form that it has in that the coronavirus has caused, and will continue to cause, so much havoc and heartache. However, we have already learned a great deal from this experience with much more valuable information yet to be gleaned which will surely be of some universal benefit going forward. After all, the only place to go from the bottom of the barrel so to speak, is up and unfortunately, we are scraping the bottom given the daily statistics of illness and death within our given populations. Going back to my dad, his thoughts are born as a member of a much older generation wherein he and his family have been through a lot of difficulties (World War Two, Polio, the Depression, etc.), while thankfully making it out the other side of it all–proof to him that we can get through some very tough times. In many ways, I agree with my dad on some of his points and I am of the middle-age group. Of course, I am well aware that others who are my dad’s and my age may well think differently about everything that is happening. We can only judge from our own personal experiences, which leads me to contemplate what younger generations think about this all. I wonder what their mindset is. Are they wanting things to resume the way that they were because it is likely all that they have ever known? Or, are they also hoping for change of some kind or another? I don’t know the answer to that. Maybe they don’t either.
All that I do know is that I am ready to embrace whatever comes next in much the same way that I have with respect to other challenges in my life. Naturally, the present pandemic is unprecedented and much more serious than anything I have dealt with thus far, well from a global perspective anyway. The reality is that we are all going to have to go forward from here, God willing that is, and decide how we are going to live our lives within whatever parameters the world has in store for us. None of us can predict how exactly things will look in the future. Really, we are just trying to get by day-by-day at this point, which deserves some credit in and of itself.
When the curve flattens, what do you see yourself doing in an ideal situation? Will you make any changes personally, professionally or otherwise? Do you hope to return to the position of ‘what was’ as much as possible? If so, why? What do you miss the most?
The fact of the matter is that, like it or not, nothing will ever be quite the same if and when this is all said and done. If you really stop and think about it, this moment in time has already redefined us and our society and it leaves great potential in regard to what we wish to have come out of this. My one wish would definitely be for there to be a much slower pace to our everyday life. In my opinion, I’m not sure that any of us have been truly benefiting from the so-called rat race that we have been participating in in my part of the world.
What is your one wish for life after COVID-19?