An Open & Honest Pandemic Post: A Year & Counting

I have been struggling. I think we’ve all been struggling. This uncharted territory which is life during the Covid-19 pandemic has been incredibly hard in so many ways. And although things are finally getting better in the UK, it’s been getting worse at home in Canada and oddly enough, that’s been even more challenging for me to deal with.

As this Godforsaken pandemic carries on, my mental state has been getting worse and worse. Every feeling seems amplified, to the point where I was seriously wondering if I might be experiencing bipolar disorder. I know that potentially sounds like I’m just being dramatic. But honestly, I’ve gone from pretty extreme highs where I’m literally vibrating, running around the house ready to tackle a million projects at once and unable to keep up with my thoughts and ambitions, to laying in bed staring at the ceiling the very same afternoon, when suddenly my motivation gets sucker-punched and I just don’t see the point in doing anything anymore.

I have never felt any feelings of depression until this year, and I’ll admit, I had no idea just how insanely difficult it is to deal with it. Fighting with your own mind is exhausting. So, if your mental health has taken a hit this year, you’re certainly not alone and I feel you; I’m so grateful to have the amazing support system that I do.

And so, with that said, I wanted to take the time to get some thoughts out here… I’m not typically one to share my feelings – my dad has always teased me and called me ’emotionless’ since I was a teenager. But moving to a different country has changed me in a multitude of ways and as such, I’m feeling the need to express myself a bit and put these thoughts on here.

Last year was tough. It’s been over a year now since the first lockdown, the mass shooting in Nova Scotia, and the helicopter crash in the Mediterranean. And somehow, things seem to have gotten worse since then. Not that there’s been any more horrendous incidents like that in NS, thankfully, but we just seem to keep getting more and more divided, increasingly full of negativity and hatred.

People are absolutely savage towards not just strangers on the internet anymore, but their own friends and family simply for having opposing views. It’s so hard to see my own friends and family arguing over this during a time when we need to lean on each other more than ever. And so, if nothing else, I’m hoping this post at least prevents me from being one of these people in a big dramatic disagreement on Facebook.

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I mean, I get it. I’m frustrated. We’re all frustrated. Who the hell wouldn’t be, after dealing with these restrictions for this long? But unfortunately, nobody holds all the answers or knows what’s best right now because we simply haven’t been through this before.

In a world where we’re so spoiled with endless access to information, so used to having all the answers right at our fingertips; to be thrown into a year of chaos with seemingly nowhere to turn for definitive statistics or guidance… it’s a complete shock to the system and we’re all dealing with it in different ways.

It’s easy to forget that we’re all human with different mindsets and we all make mistakes. We’re all just trying to navigate our way through these foreign feelings and rules we’ve never encountered before. But that doesn’t mean we should just ignore the science we do have and criticize all those people out there trying to do their best to get through this pandemic, whichever way they try.

Since this pandemic started, I’ve been constantly debating whether to delete my Facebook account. Not because I feel addicted to it or “above it” or whatever, but purely because it’s hard to avoid the negativity. I keep it mainly to feel connected to home and the people I don’t get to see regularly anymore – I mean, social media was designed to connect people, after all.

But all it seems to be doing these days is creating an even bigger divide, especially during this pandemic. Gone are the pointless yet positive posts about how great your latest meal was, making way for nothing but vicious and insensitive opinions – ones that don’t need to be blasted on Facebook.

The huge gap that lies between people refusing to follow the government guidelines and people completely conforming to them is growing even wider, due in large part to social media fuelling the fire and causing social rifts.

I mean, if you go on Facebook and like an anti-vaccine post, suddenly all you will see is negative posts against the vaccines. No positive articles about how effective they’ve been, but rather, fearmongering posts about how they could cause deadly blood clots. Of course people are going to be apprehensive about getting it after their news feed is swamped with posts associating it with horrible side effects and even death.

So you don’t agree with someone not wanting to wear a mask. Look at it from their point of view – it’s been over a year of wearing masks everywhere and this virus hasn’t left us yet. Naturally, some people are going to be a bit skeptical and fed up with being forced to stay home and wear masks every time they do leave the house. But that’s the beauty of human minds – we can think for ourselves and question things we don’t understand. The same individual might not think the vaccine is safe enough or that it hasn’t been tested enough yet, and so they don’t want to have it. And that’s okay. That doesn’t make them any less of a human than those that want the vaccine.

Conversely, maybe you don’t agree with someone who wants to wear a mask everywhere or don’t see the benefit of wiping a cart down before getting groceries, or whatever others are doing to try to keep safe. That’s just it – they’re trying to keep safe – not just themselves, but you too! – and do whatever they can not to spread the virus, the only way they know how. So how dare you call people “sheep” that need to “wake up” for following guidance from scientists and healthcare professionals – the people that dedicate their lives to doing what’s best for the planet.

Whatever your thoughts, just please, for the love of God, be kind to each other. If you want the vaccine, get it. If you don’t, then don’t. There’s absolutely no need to be cruel to someone who chooses differently than you. Since when did having different opinions mean the end of relationships and the opportunity to sling hateful comments at each other? We’re all going through it, we’re all having a tough time, and really don’t need any more reason to be upset.

I mean, ultimately, we all want the same damn thing. We all want to go back to life before Covid-19, when we had so much freedom. In the meantime, can we just agree to disagree and have a little respect for one another? It’s okay to disagree. It’s never okay to bash others for feeling differently than you, especially during this rollercoaster ride called the coronavirus pandemic.

Sometimes, just being kind is more important than being right.

silhouette photography of right person's hand doing peace hand gesture

One Comment Add yours

  1. Beth Densmore says:

    Well said and cant wait for this nightmare to be over so we can see you again.

    Like

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