2020 is going to be remembered as a trying year for everyone. COVID-19 has turned the world upside down, and no one knows how long it will be before we’re back to normal.
We’re all feeling it.
You can get used not to work, the isolation, but not seeing friends and family is the hardest thing of all. Living in a world where there are no parties, no concerts, no theaters, no cinemas, and no social gatherings of any sort has left many of us with the feel of a missing puzzle piece. Even the introverts among us feel the lack of choice in being alone.
Social Distancing is Vital, But That Doesn’t Make it Easy
I have so many clients that called and either canceled or postponed their parties. So may couples’ wedding days that have been in planning for years have been wiped off the calendar. Yes, it’s necessary, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be feeling and remembering this lack of connection for years to come.
That’s not to touch on all the businesses that only exist to serve and put on events. That’s a whole industry forced to stop. Hundreds of thousands – perhaps even millions – of people without work. Besides me, the venues, there are florists, caterers, hire companies, photographers, musicians, wait staff, and of course, the travel industry that receives honeymooners.
Even when restrictions are eased, there will be many people who will be scared of large gatherings. There will be many worried about the possibility of catching the virus and being instrumental in a resurgence of cases. The future is entirely uncertain, the only thing we know for sure is that we will get through it and that 2020 will go down in history as one that brought the world to a standstill.
The Long Term Effects Aren’t Just Financial
The pandemic caused a shockwave that will be felt in the economy for years to come, but the effect may be similar for our state of mind. Isolation is not easy to deal with. Constant stress and anxiety leave its mark. We are fearful of what the future may bring, whether there will be jobs to go back to, or how we’ll pay for necessities if this goes on for long. It is all too easy to feel trapped, especially if you live on your own. Many of us are in isolation with our family, but there are millions of people, especially elderly, who are bearing this alone.
However, the Effects Won’t All Be Negative
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and good things are coming out of this enforced isolation. We might not be able to gather in one place, but communities are pulling together and caring for one another in ways we’ve never seen. We’re spending time talking to our loved ones in distant places more than we ever have before. Suddenly, all those days that passed when you forgot to give your brother, aunt, or college friend a call, are being made up for.
As a global society, we’re finally giving the essential workers the recognition they deserve. It is all too easy to ignore all these unsung heroes who make our society function when times are good. They are always there doing their vital work but are rarely ever thanked. Many of these men and women also work for low pay, and many have seen raises and benefits they otherwise would not have received.
If, when the crisis is over, society can remember the hard work and sacrifice these key workers have endured, it will be a serious positive to have come out of the pandemic.
Social distancing also provides a rare opportunity to reassess our lives. Normally the pace of the 21st century doesn’t allow much time to slow down, and many are realizing that they have passions they have buried for decades. If even a handful of people follow their passions and turn to careers they love after this, that will be an incredible thing.
Hopefully, many of these new habits, such as calling those we love, thanking our delivery drivers and grocery store workers, and taking a walk for pleasure, will stick.
What Does the Future Hold?
COVID-19 will change us. People may be slow to return to the carefree ways of the pre-pandemic world, but gradually we’ll get back together to work and play.
Things will get better and soon. We will have a far greater appreciation for social events and life events. We’ll appreciate every moment we spend celebrating birthdays, weddings and graduations. We’ll celebrate merely being able to spend time with one another. Hell, we’ll even be happy to be back at work!
It has been a wakeup call, and we’ll be faster to react, should something like this rear it’s head in the future. We will be a better, more caring society, aware of others and just a little less selfish than perhaps we had become before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Part of being human is to celebrate life together, to join with others at parties, festivals, bars and restaurants. The coronavirus has made us realize just how vital getting together is for our mental wellbeing. I am confident it won’t be too long before we can all be together again, laughing, dancing, and sharing a meal as we did so casually before.
Together we are stronger, and we will celebrate again