Lessons I've Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic
This pandemic affects everyone on different levels, but I have learned some lessons from COVID-19. The virus affects us not only physically, but also emotionally. Over the last week, I have found it helpful to write down important lessons that I have learned.
5 Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic
1. Social Media Can Encourage Empathy
One of the lessons I've learned during the COVID-19 pandemic is from social media. About two weeks ago, I noticed a lot of coronavirus jokes and memes on social media. At first, I thought it was strange and offensive that people were poking fun at a virus that led to deaths. Then I realized that humor is often a coping mechanism for anxiety and depression.
As time went by, sincerity about the effects of COVID-19 started to replace some of the humorous posts. Friends of all social classes posted about personal struggles from COVID-19. They also shared thoughtful posts about how we can protect people who are vulnerable to the virus. Reading those posts greatly changed my view about the reasons we use social media. It is not only to entertain others but also to show concern about world events and empathy for others.
2. Gratitude Changes Lives
Typically, we think of gratitude as being thankful for the essentials in our own lives. These things usually include food, water, money, family, and friends. But what about the employees we encounter in public places? I have gone to a few places where the employees seemed angry, anxious, sad, etc. It can be easy to notice negative emotions, but it is not always easy to respond to them.
After I said "thank you" and "I appreciate your hard work," some of the employees smiled. I do not know how much my gratitude affected them, but I do know that it mattered. We should all take a moment to think about the employees that we encounter every day. Maybe some of those employees just lost patients or loved ones from COVID-19. Maybe some of those employees will lose their jobs and no longer be able to support their families. At the most desperate times, these people need to know that someone in society cares. Even knowing that a stranger cares can give them signs of hope and love.
3. Checking in with Friends and Family Is Important
Even though this is more of a true statement than a lesson from COVID-19, it should be emphasized here. There are so many times when we take friends and family for granted. If our loved ones seem to be doing really well, we continue to act as though we know this for sure. But we do not always think that they could be hiding pain. Most of us want people to see the best sides of ourselves. Does a friend or family member seem ill or sad? It can be easy to simply ask, "How are you?" and then leave the conversation alone. But at this time, checking in regularly and asking how we can help can show how much we care.
4. People in our Lives Are Much More Important than Expensive Items
When I started to think about my favorite material items and the economy, I realized something that completely changed my views about wealth. The more material items we gain, the more we have to lose. When a world crisis affects our economy, that is when we start to picture life with fewer material items. While these items can be replaced, nothing can ever replace the quality time we spend with our loved ones. Even if we become financially poor, we can become emotionally rich.
5. Social Distance Does Not Mean Less Communication
Most of us have heard of the six-foot rule for social distance. It is important to use technology or letters to replace in-person communication. Sure, we might not be able to go to the gym or participate in fun outings, but we can set up times to talk on the phone or FaceTime. We can even plan dates by FaceTiming someone and watching a movie at the same time. Even though using technology and sending letters will not be the same, it will close the emotional distance in friendships and relationships.
Have you learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, please share it in the comments.
Lueck, M. (2020, March 23). Lessons I've Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, July 9 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2020/3/lessons-ive-learned-during-the-covid-19-pandemic