Covid-19. A virus that has thrown our country, no our world into unmitigated chaos. The term social distancing has become universal. People have done things such as developed new habits, learned new things, or in some cases seen substantial weight changes. In my case, I’ve contributed to Netflix’s already massive subscriber base, subscribed to every streaming service available and canceled after my free trial, and redecorated my house at least three times in the past four months or so.
But there is another thing that the Corona Virus has allowed me to do. Using the word opportunity loosely in this case, of course, I’ve reconnected with many of my friends and family I’ve let fall by the wayside. I call my mom every day now. No joke, every day. And it’s not a call, it’s Facetime. I check in with friends I haven’t talked to in months. This seems insignificant, but my life gets so busy some times that I forget that anyone else exists outside of the four walls of my house. I’m regularly checking in. Yes, like any other proud millennial, it’s via text, but still, I check. I’ve always thought of myself as a homebody, never really liking too many crowds, loud events, or too much socializing. But it’s an entirely different thing when it is forced upon you. Yes, I never stopped by my friend’s house before even though I was five minutes away and didn’t have anything to do, at least it was my choice to not do so. Yes, I ignored your call, because, being honest? I didn’t want to talk.
No, I don’t like crowds or people in general, but I can’t go to Target without fear of contracting some invisible disease that has had a devastating effect on our world? Yes, life is indeed different. And those social interactions, and people I have generally shied away from, I now crave any interaction. Any social interaction.
For some, I’m sure this has been fruitful. That roommate from college you keep meaning to check in on but the kids’ soccer games keep getting in the way? Check. Talking to that parent more that kept giving you “gentle” reminders that they wish you’d spend more time with them? Check. Cultivating new relationships and resurrecting old ones has been a pleasant byproduct of this epidemic.
But what about the toxic relationships? Have we taken the time to reevaluate those? I have. That co-worker that I have at work, that I felt like I couldn’t make it through the day without? Yeah, I’ve made it almost four months and I’m doing just fine. And just why did I think I couldn’t make it through the day without constant complaining about the job, constant complaining about your home life, making negative comments about what I wear, what I eat, and what I do? Work can be a lonely place sometimes, especially when you spend most of your waking moments there. And it can be easy to latch on to someone for companionship. But what this shutdown has helped me do is examine the nature of my relationships. Mostly the toxic ones. With the status of our world right now, economic turmoil, the political nightmare we are living through, unemployment has become ubiquitous, people in despair, keeping a relationship with Negative Nancy just doesn’t seem as important. Or necessary. Being home and away from everyone has allowed me to realize that the social interaction I typically run away from and detest, I NEED. I took it for granted. But that negative co-worker, that friend who only wants to go out when all of her other friends have something to do, that “friend” that only wants me to come over at night, the people who don’t see me, I don’t need. I’m good. Great even.
Everyone be safe and considerate of other people. Our world has been changed, and it’s up to us to decide if it’s for the worse, or better. We’ve been faced with an unprecedented disastrous epidemic that has ravaged our world and society as we know it. While we have a lot of work to do, and many things that need to be addressed, let’s try to look at some of the positive things we can gain during this time, including perspective.