Amid this COVID-19 crisis, people around the world have a lot of strong beliefs. You have to socially distance yourself, stay occupied, try new things, be thankful for your blessings, be scared, stay inside, if your shopping cart isn’t full, you shouldn’t have gone shopping in the first place – there are opinions on everything these days. But the opinion that rattles me the most is how other people are dictating how others should handle the situation.
Typically, I’m a positive person and I rely on my optimism to help me get through dark times. However, I still take my time to embrace the bad and allow my emotions to soak in on my own time. But when I’m done sulking, being depressed, worrying, and feeling anxious, I shift my focus to the great things I should be thankful for or that silver lining.
But during this pandemic, people are bashing me and other positive people simply because they don’t believe that’s how we should handle this.
What people don’t realize is that we could have had it so much worse. And instead, we’re worried about offending someone with our outlook on life. To that, I say: Screw that mentality. If someone can’t handle your happiness or desire to live a little differently in these times, let them be. Other people secretly need your light – they just don’t know how to vocalize it. Be positive if you want to.
My positive outlook on life does not diminish my knowledge about the severity of this pandemic. I’m aware and very concerned. But showing my fear and allowing it to take over is debilitating and depressing. In order for me to maintain my sanity, I need to focus on the good. Hopefully, in these dark times, someone else can see a bit of my light and focus on that too.
In a time like this no one knows how to cope, nor do they know what the right or wrong answer is. But I firmly believe that as long as people are staying home, social distancing, being smart and not selfish, and respecting others for their process, they aren’t harming anybody.
Everyone has a right to navigate their lives the way they see fit – they get to use whatever distractions, coping mechanisms, and outlook they feel they need to in order to get by in these trying times.
What’s more, speaking on behalf of a lot of people in the world: Constantly hearing the negative news is exhausting. We need a break from every news outlet’s 24-hour commitment to sharing updates. We need something light-hearted to make us laugh for once and appreciate our blessings. Lord knows we need that little bit of hope at least once a day.
If you’re stuck at home, be thankful. You are one of the lucky ones if you don’t have to leave your home every day. You are not working the front lines, and you should be grateful for the people that do. Don’t take your privilege for granted. Acknowledge that despite feeling suffocated by the loneliness of self-isolating, you aren’t nearly at as high of a risk as those fighting this pandemic up-close. You aren’t useless if you’re social distancing at home – you’re doing your part and contributing to creating a healthier future. You are protecting and saving others by preventing the spread.
Regardless of how people cope, we’re staying informed. Every day we see scary statistics, and we fear for our future. It’s human to feel devastated and terrified in these times. But it’s also okay to brush some of these negative feelings under the rug and enjoy yourself. That’s the only way to maintain our sanity.
You don’t have to feel pressured to be busy all the time or pick up new hobbies. If you want to sit in a dark room with a weighted blanket and binge-watch a crime show, do it! At this point, we all need to focus on what keeps us calm in this chaos. We also shouldn’t judge others for their mentality as long as they’re being safe and staying indoors.
Adhere to the rules established by your government or the ones you feel will best combat this health crisis. Protect yourself, your loved ones, your neighbors, strangers, and all human beings. But most importantly, celebrate life while you still can.