My musings on how to cope during these troubled times--a fourth and final installment….
1. For most of us, this pandemic has resulted in a slower pace of life. This slower pace has provided me with time to reflect on what is truly important in life. My epiphanic revelation: connecting with others is what makes life worthwhile (at least for me). The frenetic pace of my pre-Covid existence caused me to lose touch with individuals who meant and continue to mean a lot to me. My best intentions to keep in touch were sabotaged by the daily demands on my time—demands which I felt needed to take precedence. In short, this ‘downtime’ has made me reevaluate my priorities; and I have used this time to reconnect with family and friends.
2. Covid-19 is an ‘equalizer’. Your background, your social status, your race, your wealth and prestige—none of it matters. This insidious virus does not discriminate based on class, upbringing, etc. We are all equally vulnerable. And we all equally need each other to survive. We depend on each other (for instance, to respect government directives and protocols) so that we can all reduce our risk of contracting the virus.
Historically, the pervasive mentality seemed to be ‘every person for him or herself’. We are learning that such a mindset does not bode well for our continued survival as a species. For humanity to survive, we need to appreciate that no person is an island: we are all bonded together; we need each other. Perhaps quixotic dreaming on my part, but I would like to think this ‘equalizing’ virus might establish a more philanthropic approach to living.
3. Bear in mind that you are not alone. If you are struggling, if you are suffering, reach out to family and friends; reach out to your doctor. Sometimes, however, friends and family are not enough. There is no doubt this pandemic is taking its toll on people’s mental health. If you are really struggling, help is at your fingertips. There are many helplines available to deal with people in crisis. Just for example:
4. Finally, keep telling yourself that these crazy times will eventually pass—and indeed, they will. Life will return to a semblance of normalcy. Or, maybe, just maybe, the new normal will be an improvement over the pre-Covid-19 modus vivendi. This historic crisis could help us reevaluate what is truly meaningful. We will put down our smartphones and tablets, quit working ourselves to an early grave, and develop our connections with our fellow beings in more meaningful ways.
Blake R. Lyngseth, Ottawa lawyer & mediator. Blogs primarily on issues of Ontario & Canadian family law & estate law.