Just so you know, this post contains one virtual /online therapy post link. Meaning I received payment for its inclusion in the post. I feel this site will support those suffering from mental health issues related to the current Pandemic, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful.
There are many things to be grateful for right now, but there are many reasons to feel melancholic, sad and frustrated. Dealing with ordinary change can be challenging enough, but also dealing with huge global change, we are, to quote a well-used word right now, living in unprecedented times. We are going to need to get used to adapting, remaining flexible and seriously considering how much our lives on an individual level and worldwide level are going to change completely.
So, what do we need to be prepared for? What could and may well happen this year and beyond?
Social Distancing Extended
This will probably be an ongoing way of life for quite some time, until humanity has built up a natural immunity OR a vaccine for this strain of Coronavirus is available. While people feel that if the economy collapses, we won’t have a life to go back to, this may well be true, but we need a balance here and we need to consider a lot of different components, such as protecting the vulnerable and recognising the huge mental health problems that will increase as time goes on by increased distancing and a lack of socialisation.
I am noticing many who are not used to Coronavirus social distancing, Coronavirus Quarantine or time alone have already reacted in fear and anger when only in lockdown for just under 2 weeks. This could go on for months, so we all need to prepare for this mentally and emotionally.
Globalisation No More
I think in many ways Governments worldwide and people have realised since this pandemic began that we all have relied too much on other countries to supply our basic needs. Some countries do well, because they may have industries built on agriculture and creating products at a local level. Others like the UK are more service-based industries, so we rely too much on other countries to supply our basic needs like many in the West do.
With the virus originating in China and a huge amount of trade coming from China, I think China is going to go through a huge change, because, if people are on lockdown and people are not buying so much or have need for many of the things we buy there, their monopoly on trade will change. And many countries will now be looking to source more locally, to create and grow food in their country of origin, to start manufacturing bases that produce essential parts needed for many things in our modern-day life, but this will take time. It is clear we may be one humanity, but as individual countries we will need to change the infrastructure in our countries on many levels.
So, there will be growth in some areas on a local level, but the need for other trade areas may cease to be or lessen dramatically.
Global Pause – Global Reset
Individually we are all going through a reset, a pause. Some of us who are either out of work, made redundant or on pause from our current employment now have time to consider if what we were doing is who we are. Many may choose to let go of the path they were on previously, given time to pause and reflect.
Some may slow down and make dramatic changes, others may speed up and start something new, but for now it’s okay to pause and rest in the space between our past and our future that is yet to arrive.
The reduction in flights, car usage and shipping worldwide is giving the planet an environmental pause, so while I am not a fan of Greta Thunberg, nature has stepped in, albeit in a challenging way, for us all to give the planet a bit of breathing space.
As some of you may have seen, nature is returning to cities, canals and more as humanity stays indoors.
And the reduction in car use will reduce the big wealth of the oil companies and who knows what a knock-on effect this will have in the long term.
Summer of Love or Summer of Stress?
I think many of us hope that by summer we will be freed from the limitations on our lives. This may happen but we need to be prepared. It may not and if limits are lifted, things like social distancing will probably still remain. Large gatherings and groups may still be limited, so summer will be a choice of appreciating what we have and the beauty in what is here now or choosing to feel stressed that we cannot go back to the way we used to be, for now, or even for ever.
It all depends how this virus behaves, whether the peak drops after lockdown ends or we get a second wave. It also depends on how many people listen to Government guidance or instruction worldwide.
An Introvert’s Dream and Sometimes an Introvert’s Isolation
As an introvert I have embraced and enjoyed the quiet in the city, but even we introverts who like one on one time and are not fans of large groups, can feel isolated. I was on my daily exercise walk today and had to give way to a man who wanted more social distancing than the required 2 metres. He was nice enough, but I really missed being able to just chat with a stranger. Living a more isolated life before, this enforced isolation has made me really want less isolation than in my previous life. So, it has had both its positives and negatives for me. In a year when I had decided I was going to go out into the world and meet more people, life threw a spanner in the works and I was back to ‘Life on Pause’ again.
Even as an introvert who likes my own company, I miss being able to hop on the train and visit Avebury stone circle in the spring. I miss going out for coffee and mingling among strangers even if I don’t speak to them much. It’s more missing the choice than anything else, but I know this will pass and I will adapt as time goes on.
Changes in Laws
For some countries, this lockdown and the laws put in place for personal ‘security’ and health reasons, may not be lifted. I notice some countries are using the pandemic to take a more dictatorial approach to their people. Hungary springs to mind. In the UK, people and mainstream media are saying our present Government is taking a too dictatorial approach, but I am finding the opposite. Our Prime Minister is fairly liberal and I would say he had to be dragged kicking and screaming to give us a lockdown. I feel that our restrictions will not be put permanently into law, but other countries, I’m not so sure. So be prepared that whatever country you are in, the lawmakers may use this pandemic to restrict movement and put in place more draconian measures. Latin countries can be like this anyway, which is why severe lockdowns were more acceptable and easier to enforce there.
Positive Infrastructure Changes
While for now, employment and financial security may be very low for many people, the future could potentially hold positive changes in infrastructure and increasing new jobs and employment worldwide. Businesses who paid staff to come in and work in offices may see the benefits of working from home, lower overheads from office rental and all that comes with managing staff in the workplace, down to the office worker who perhaps never wanted to work in a crowded work space smothered by overhead imposing strip lighting and uncomfortable work environments, who may be able to work from home permanently.
This virus may encourage Governments to take care of the people in a whole new way, recognising how much those on the frontline in healthcare have been overlooked and finally those in lower paid jobs like supermarkets are becoming the very people we really rely on. I’m not expecting a financial change in this area, but it would be nice if the companies making a lot of money from this pandemic consider upping the wages of those who work to serve the people, but again, ethically speaking, they would probably need to be encouraged to do so. I don’t think there are a lot of ethical people running the companies making a lot of money right now, unfortunately.
I hope to see changes in how our society is run.
Instead of being a 24-hour society, we could restrict shop opening hours to say, 6 am to 10 pm, and keep the shorter Sunday hours
We don’t need 24 hours anymore; we don’t need fast paced everything.
I hope this pause gives us time to reflect on how much a fast-paced society is no longer working.
I hope to see more people slowing down and seeing how the fast pace of life does not work. However, I am noticing a trend during this lockdown of people struggling to stay still, struggling to pause, going high speed ahead into online work, online communication, online business and while we all need to keep going, I think sometimes that over achieving can mean we miss out on the rewards of stillness and quiet. Please, if your life is ordinarily fast-paced and busy, please use this time to slow down and trust that this pace of pause has a purpose to reset your life, to reset this world.
My own mental health is vacillating between peace and calm, stress and fear and sadness and longing. I see people saying to one another ‘When this is all over I can’t wait to see my family or hug my friends’ and I feel this sorrow arise, because at the end of all of this I don’t have a lot of people I can do this with. So, my light at the end of the tunnel is more of the same. I offered an olive branch to a few past friends recently and it was rebuffed. I am understanding in loving acceptance of myself that I am a good person, a loyal friend and anyone who doesn’t want my friendship is losing out, but I would still, in 2020, like to make new friends.
So, for me the powerful changes are more inner changes and as we move out of restrictions, whenever that is, I will be opening my heart to meet new people. When that will happen, who knows. All I know is that all we have is right now and I can’t focus too much on what is to come.
We never know how long we have, so we need to use this time wisely, to discover what is no longer working, be it work, overworking, isolation, being too busy or in relationships that don’t support our personal growth.
We may not have a lot of choice in terms of going out and doing things, but we do have the choice to go within and discover our own needs during this time.
We can experience this whole journey as transformative, if we decide to.
I am sure there will be so many more Global Changes that will happen. I am curious to see what comes, but also aware that a lot of people will leave this life for this reset to happen and this to me is sad, but I also know on a soul level that when we leave this planet it is because we choose to, even if the conscious mind does not. Our window arrives when it is time, not a moment before.