“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
It was the best of times and the worst of times.
It was the best of times and the worst of times.Are we not currently living in these times? COVID-19 has me feeling the struggle, emotions and to be honest, an overall uncertainty of how to feel. IS it the best of times? Well, think about it. We live in the Digital Age—technology has granted us access to just about everything available on the WWW. Mobile phones have connected us in ways many of us never thought of, and this only increases as more apps are created. Granted, a large portion of the information that can be found on Aunt Google, Youtube Academy and other sources such as social media will not be accurate. In fact, during this pandemic, personally, I have seen countless altered “news” that has been shared and used to cause further panic. However, despite this, if you know what you are looking for coupled with common sense, you can find a wealth of information (in my opinion).
IS it the worst of times? In many ways, yes. For a lot of us, due to age or being sheltered from worldly events, this is the first pandemic we have experienced. It is crucial to understand that whilst this is a personal experience, every country around the world is also experiencing this pandemic in varying ways. Due to the connectedness of the Digital Age, we do have the luxury to search Coronavirus/COVID-19, and voila, we are presented with a plethora of information. Whilst this can be good, it can also be bad as we do not always know what is factual and what is fiction. As COVID-19 is novel, the information received yesterday or even 5 minutes could have changed on the next search. The uncertainty and false ‘news’ of COVID-19 coupled with the fact the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified it as a pandemic, I would say it is the worst of times.
COVID-19, you are ensuring that I learn a lot from this pandemic; one of which is relearning how to love and appreciate my own company.
Remember those days when we ALL wished for longer weekends, extended holidays away from work AND still paid for non-attendance—well, that moment has arrived, for some of us anyway. Despite my appreciation for being a recluse for the next 12 weeks (unless things change) during these uncertain times, this pandemic has me experiencing all sorts of emotions. Feelings of frustration overcome me more than anything; however, lack of control, anxiety, low moods are feelings I experience as well, and truthfully, it gets a tad bit overwhelming at times. I have been writing and rewriting this post for over a week now; my thoughts are scattered, and I feel uninspired. But, thanks for social media during these times, right?
Social media has good and bad elements. Being introduced to the Houseparty App has been amazing, in that it has allowed me to meet new people whom I will always consider a friend, rekindle current and old friendships as well as have amazing conversations and continuous stomach muscle aching laughing. On the flip side, it has highlighted just how lonely I feel at times. TikTok, Instagram and Facebook have put the spotlight on how essential, friendships, family and positive, healthy relationships of any kind are vital during moments like these (in my opinion). I have seen countless TikTok and #DontRushChallenge videos, meanwhile, all I can do is watch these transformations through my screen and silently wish that I had these connections with friends and family to play along. Maybe, I will do them solo once I master the TikTok app.
I know some of you will not understand this because, for many people, feelings of loneliness are not emotions that frequently rent space in their mind. It is easy to carelessly shout “get over it”, “stop being emotional” and “ignore it”. However, until you have experienced these feelings, your thoughtless comments only add fuel to the fire, again, in my opinion. I am one of those people who are blessed with more than their immediate families; I also have my adopted families, the people that have sacrificed to take care of me. Despite having multiple families, I still feel like I do not belong to any—a shitty feeling trust me.
It was the age of wisdom and the age of foolishness. This is 1000% accurate. The age of wisdom. We have access to the internet 365 days, 24 hours a day unless for some inexplicable reason the WWW was not available. This ability to be connected at our fingertips allows us to educate ourselves and develop wisdom. Collins defines wisdom as “the ability to use your experience and knowledge in order to make sensible decisions or judgments.” I have used this experience to educate myself, to engage in thought-provoking conversations with people who have a better understanding of certain aspects of viruses. I do not know everything, and I am not going to pretend that I know it all—I can say that I am learning and growing.
The age of foolishness. I would like to think that with age and life experiences comes wisdom; however, I am not so sure about this now. Yes, the virus originated in China; but we were foolish to think it would be contained there. I realise that many of us suffer with ‘not me’ syndrome—people and countries believe that it cannot and will not impact them and therefore, do not take necessary precautions. Thanks to social media and the media in general, people are taking everything they see and hear for face value. For a split second, a lot of us threw our wisdom out the window and believed what we were seeing and hearing and completing forgetting that this virus is novel, so no one knows everything for certain at the minute. I have heard everything from Coronavirus is not real, that the government is trying to manage the population, that only the elderly are affected, that black people are not impacted (until Idris Elba posted his video) right down to everyone being sick because of 5G. Oh, let me not forget that someone posted that viruses are not contagious. Someone make it make sense.
I swear COVID-19 has caused people to lose their common sense and wisdom completely IF they ever had any. Despite the countless lives lost, people still carelessly and selfishly continue with their daily lives not maintaining distance, lack of hygiene and overall nonchalant attitude towards this pandemic. The sharing of past content with altered captions attached to the pictures and videos is only causing mass hysteria and lack of seriousness which ultimately puts more people at risk.
COVID-19, 12 weeks in the house in self-isolation is an extremely long time, and yet I am only on Day 14 for this time-frame; however, I have been in the house for a further two weeks due to contact with an infected person. Mentally, I am all over the place. Socially, does a few double taps, a handful of Facebook posts and comments and a couple of group calls and Instagram Live DJ sets count as a social life? If so, then I guess I am not doing too bad for being confined to the house.
The ungrateful and ‘shoulda, coulda’ woulda’ comments. Listen. Most of us have not been in the shoes of our governments, yet we think it is okay shout, name call and rant about what should have been done. COVID-19 is novel, which means it is a new strain of Coronavirus that has never been seen in humans. With this in mind, decisions made are reached based off advice, countless meetings and with the understanding that there is a high possibility of backlash from the public as well as the very likely chance that any decisions made could be the wrong ones. People live as if they have nine lives. In fact, most people have a ‘not me’ attitude, and truthfully, I think many people and countries may have underestimated COVID-19; however, they are doing the best they can given the circumstances. People are complaining about lockdowns, the same lockdowns they stated should be in effect. Videos and screenshots are circulating and Twitter threads gaining popularity because of ungrateful people complaining about FREE food, their two-week living arrangements, their lack of condiments, and so on.
There are recovering addicts unable to attend meetings; families have lost their source of income and security; families are also unexpectedly burying their loved ones and so much more. What people need to understand is despite the current measures in place, there will always be lingering levels of concern. People felt that because their country had no confirmed cases that they were somehow safe and exempt and continued to live normally with no cautions in place and now have to be reactive.
It was the epoch of belief and the epoch of incredulity. The epoch (era/age/time) of belief. I have never seen so many people rely upon, hope and pray that their government will keep them safe while simultaneously blaming the government and shouting how useless they are. I get that the uncertainty of COVID-19 will and has caused fear and panic; however, we all have a vital role to play in minimising the spread. I never realised until now how gullible people are. I will say it again, COVID-19 is novel, many of the researchers, scientist, doctors and members of government will not and do not have all the answers. Every country has been conducting regular press conferences to inform the public of any changes and pertinent information that they need to be made aware of, but this isn’t enough for everyone. People that dwell on negativity and find solace in creating additional panic and hysteria create false ‘news’ and share it amongst the masses. In 2020, for me to read a status from a grown-ass woman claiming viruses are not contagious is extremely concerning.
The epoch of incredulity (unwilling or unable to believe something). It has truly amazed me just how many people are unwilling to believe that COVID-19 or Coronaviruses for that matter are not real—that they are a creation of the government to build 5G towers and carry out population control measures. People believe certain films predicted this and that the Netflix documentary Pandemic is too coincidental that it has been released during this pandemic. Personally, I am glad that it has been released as I have the ability to educate myself on world issues that I either was not aware of or did not have much understanding. According to the docuseries, it was only a matter of time before we are faced with another pandemic. I went into this series with an open mind and eager to learn, and I have. I appreciate that with everything being unknown people are sceptical, but the lack of common sense is where my frustrations lie.
For most, these are extremely tough, not to mention stressful times. Although I battle with depression and anxiety, I know others have much more to cope with and battle. Being an essential worker means I still have an income; however, the same cannot be said for others. My partner is also an essential worker and attends work at the hospital every day, yet, still, I am faced with social media post claiming viruses are NOT contagious along with other false information. People never seem to fully comprehend the impact of their behaviour and words until the shit lands on their doorstep, and they are forced to inhale the smell. Not only are people posting bullshit on their social media (granted, they are allowed to post what they want on their timelines), but it is becoming increasingly hard to decipher between the “news” that is shared. What is real, what is old, what is fake, and what is altered or exaggerated.
2020 was the epoch of panic and the epoch of calm. 2020 was also the epoch for self-reflection, regrowth and constant moments to appreciate what and who we have in our lives.
Overall, this is a crazy time for everyone. I am trying to stay sane and be as positive as I can be throughout these times. I appreciate that this post may be all over the place and I apologise, I just needed to vent for a minute. Fact is, I am not the only one in need of getting things off my chest; we are ALL enduring this, just so happens it is worse for some than others. People seem/ed to have thought that because COVID-19 originated in China that it was going to remain there. Remove your horse blinders people; the entire world has been affected one way or another by this pandemic. For those people that are deflecting and spreading false information, you are only putting more people in danger—Cut The Shit.
As we brace ourselves for the unknown, we are faced with constant news notifications advising that we have not yet reached the peak of the virus, the panic shopping and the continuous depletion of store shelves. Meanwhile, some people are wishing and praying while others are spreading conspiracy theories and taking life as a joke. Whilst I cannot wait for this to be over, I know that there will be a ripple effect once the initial damage is done, which I do not think people have taken into consideration. Better days are on the horizon; remember, storms do not last forever. I know it is difficult to be positive, but what harm will it do to give it a try. Please stay inside, stay safe and use these days to grow, to heal and to become a better you.