The Coronavirus, or “The Rona” as others lovingly refer to it, has done a number on us all. Obviously, we account for people who have been medically burdened by the pandemic (that goes completely and utterly without saying) but I’m talking specifically to those of us who have endured only the secondary impacts of the virus: furloughs, layoffs, anxiety and strained relationships.
When stay-at-home orders were put in their early implementations, I started seeing posts stressing the importance of checking on “your extroverted friends,” for they are not okay and are not taking social distancing orders particularly well. And it is true. As an extrovert myself, I really started feeling the strain of not being able to interact with my friends and family physically. I found myself channeling all my energy into complete nonsense. To my credit, it started off constructive and later devolved into nonsense, but it was nonsense, nonetheless. I found 100 different ways to rewire my TV equipment so the cords wouldn’t show, straightened my hair about a million times when I literally had nowhere to go and cleaned my apartment when there was nothing left to clean. So, I get it. Extroverts are taking this pretty hard.
What the notion “check on your extroverts” seems to perpetuate, that people who are more energized by physical interaction might be taking the social impacts of COVID-19 more harshly, is problematic. This idea that anyone, amid a global event unlike any we’ve have seen, might be taking this situation easier is divisive. Because no one had the script. No one saw the #savagechallenge being the answer to all our problems (no judgment if you still have not downloaded a TikTok) and no one predicted the mental-emotional toll this virus would have on the whole entire world. I guess I am saying a global pandemic is hard. It is not just hard on you or me, extroverts or introverts, statisticians, or dancers—it is hard on the literal world. And here’s what that means:
- Check on your extroverts…and everyone else:
If you only get one thing from this post it should be that empathy is a virtue we should all use. Don’t assume extroverts are the only ones struggling to edit their TikToks and don’t assume introverts are happy as larks during this period of isolation. We’re all battling something so take care to check-in with everyone accordingly.
- Refrain from judgement:
Did I mention we’re experiencing an event unlike any living generations have seen before? How I handle new experiences is going to be different from how you handle them. Go easy. During this time, we rely on CDC and WHO regulations and our own earnest interpretations of those guidelines. What happens after that is up to larger powers.
- Be patient with yourself:
Is it just me or is this like the hardest thing in the world to do? It’s funny how I find myself judging my own behavior during a global pandemic. I’ll think “Damn, I really shouldn’t be eating this,” or “I really want to talk to [insert toxic person],” and get totally angry at myself. Depending on who you are, you might think we didn’t see this whole pandemic thing coming (We did. Expert authorities all around us knew what was up). No matter where you fall on that spectrum, what we couldn’t predict is mental-emotional fatigue that comes with this kind of isolation. Since you didn’t have the script, give yourself some grace for not knowing the stage directions.
- Be patient with others:
WHEW! And if you can’t be patient with others, socially distance yourself from those people.
- Take this time to do something:
Find yourself with more time on your hands? Great! I’ve been meditating, cooking and working out a lot more! It’s helped soothe my anxiety.
- Or, take this time to do nothing:
Girl. The self-help bloggers have been getting on my nerves too! The only mandatory thing on your to-do list should be: “Keep myself alive during a global pandemic.” Boom! You’re done.
- Set Boundaries:
If you’re working from home; you know what I mean. Make sure you’re implementing proper divisions between work and private life.
- Did I say, refrain from judgment?:
The government doesn’t know what’s going on and neither do you, let’s all quiet down and try to become better people when all this is over.