Everyone is affected in some way by this pandemic. I am very lucky to be someone whose daily life has not been drastically changed during this crisis. I work from home babysitting an eighteen-month-old. Her parents work in essential jobs, so I kept her every other week for a while, but things are mostly back to normal at this point. That does mean that I made less money than I’m used to, but I can pay my bills.
Going to the store is a hot, uncomfortable mess while wearing a mask, but I’m so thankful to have a family member who can sew me a cloth mask to wear when I go shopping. Other than the heat, one of my biggest inconveniences is the fact that I can’t (or really shouldn’t) pick items up in the grocery store to hold them for a closer look.
I’ve mitigated these small challenges by planning ahead and making a list of the items I need. I shop at the same store frequently, so I generally know where the items I need are located. Also, I’m not new to making a grocery list.
I’ve dealt with some depression and anxiety symptoms during this crisis as many others have. I’m coping with that by distracting myself with hobbies, the occasional yoga session, reaching out to friends and discussing our shared worries and struggles, and reminding myself that this too shall pass.
If you are also having some depression symptoms, feel free to check out my post on my experience with depression, recognizing the symptoms, and how to make a plan for coping.
I’m very grateful that I am not one of the many who have lost jobs, income, health, family members, and friends during this pandemic. I appreciate the significance of that statement.
I just want to preface my statements with this: this crisis is still ongoing and will be ongoing for at least the rest of the year if not much longer. We don’t have all the numbers of deaths, businesses and money lost, how many have had Covid-19 with and without symptoms, whether or not immunity will help those who have been infected, and so much more. The fact that this pandemic is still ongoing has caused so much confusion, conspiracy, and argument. I just want people to start taking this into account before sharing information as fact rather than opinion. These statements I make here are my own personal opinions.
I also want to say thank you to all those working with the public and the sick and those who have never stopped working. Wearing uncomfortable PPE all day, every day without complaint and putting your own health at risk to provide a service to the community as a whole is something we can never thank you for enough. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Now, onto my other thoughts.
The Millennial Great Depression
This time has put such a financial strain on our stock market, our healthcare services, many industries, and the end consumer. So many of those currently in the workforce are millennials. This generation will be scarred by this crisis. We will forever keep stocked up on toilet paper, bleach, sanitizer, soap, and other items that we have been short on throughout this crisis. We will most likely keep masks and gloves on hand just in case.
This will be our future much in the same way our great or great, great grandparents kept a ridiculous supply of canned foods and non-perishable foods and are often afraid to keep all of their money in banks. The Great Depression left a mark on that generation, and this crisis will leave a mark on ours.
The Future of Remote Work
With so many finding a way to work from home, the workforce will be forever changed. As someone who cannot drive and lives in a small town, my hope is that this crisis has a profound effect on the availability of jobs for those who cannot easily commute to an office. Of course, many jobs cannot be performed remotely, but this crisis has opened so many eyes to the technology available for making remote work possible.
Recovering from the loss of small businesses and the numerous other jobs that have been lost may take us years, and those changes will also have a profound effect on the workforce. Who can say what those changes will be or what the workforce will look like ten years after this pandemic? My hope is that some of the positive effects can help to balance the negative ones.
All United and Resilient
This crisis is worldwide. Not one part of the world has been unaffected, and that is a unique event. It offers us the chance to be united and to grow as a nation and as humans who live on planet Earth. We do not always have the ability to see things from this perspective of unity, and that is evidenced by the droves who have rushed out and bought way more toilet paper than is necessary. I appreciate my ability to keep an optimistic mindset and that my own circumstances allow me the room to do this.
If we allow these circumstances to make us better, we could come out of this pandemic resilient, unified, and appreciative of others in so many new ways. Just as this crisis will have some negative long-term effects on our generation in the coming years, we need to make sure we also take some positive lessons from these events.
I’m looking forward with optimism and with gratitude. I hope others can push through this crisis and come out on the other side with a renewed sense of unity and resilience.
Stay safe, my friends, and stay curious.