Hello home office my new friend, I’ve come to Citrix out from you again…
Also, about this whole… global situation… thing:
COVID-19 is a trauma. An international trauma. It inflicts physical trauma on those it infects and mental trauma on everyone else: constant fear and stress over who will be “next”; uncertainty and precariousness over a situation that seems to change by the hour; isolation and loneliness from social distancing; economic hardships for those who’ve lost work and income. And I guess what I want to say is that, in the middle of all of that…
It’s okay to still have fun. It’s okay to enjoy things.1 It’s encouraged, even; it’s a resiliency measure, and gods know we could all use some resiliency right now.
Having fun experimenting with cooking, or working on a new exercise regime, or decorating your home now you’re spending more time there, or playing with your pets, or working on that project you always thought about but never got around to doing, or learning a new skill, or… whatever. None of these are “betraying” humanity or downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic. The pandemic is very serious! Looking after yourself is taking it seriously. Look after yourself (and others) physically, by following public health guidance, but also look after yourself mentally, by finding at least one enjoyable thing you can control in your brave new socially distanced world, and diving into it with gusto. And post about it! You’re allowed to post about the fun things you’re doing while everything else sucks. Reading it’s not going to be everyone else’s bag, baby, so slap some appropriate CWs and tags on that shit but don’t be afraid to have, and to share, hope. And if anyone else still wants to be a dour scold about it, just remind them that being the po-faced pandemic police never achieved anything other than making other people feel guilty and miserable. And having more reasons to feel guilty and miserable is absolutely the last thing that’s needed right now, if only because it causes stress and constant elevated stress levels weaken the immune system.2 Don’t weaken other peoples’ immune systems! That’s absolutely not good pandemic response!
So just… try and be kind to people, too. Everyone is on edge and freaked out right now, and probably experiencing a whole bunch of shit in their lives you don’t know about. So just try and be kind.
We’ll get through this.
- I mean, not the parts where thousands-if-not-millions are suffering and dying. But, like. Other things. [↩]
- Specifically, feeling stressed over something you can’t control is the “bad” kind of stress. And a global pandemic is pretty much the ur-example of “something you can’t control.” So focus on the things you can control; washing your own hands, staying at home as much as possible, staying physically away from other people, checking-in on your friends and family, and enjoying at least one thing every day. These measures work! They might seem small but they are a big contribution! [↩]