In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that’s sweeping across the globe, here are seven things we could all stock up on that wouldn’t tip humanity towards the brink of extinction or cause unnecessary chaos (unlike that toilet paper fiasco).
Good news: they are absolutely free, they are not susceptible to shortages (no hoarding needed — yippee!), and they can be accessed from literally anywhere. My only warning: they might be slightly contagious. 😉
Most of us aren’t world leaders, healthcare workers, or scientists trying to create a vaccine (bless those of you who are!). But guess what? We’re still responsible for how this whole situation pans out.
We may not have “caused” the problem, but we are still called to be part of the solution. That requires every single citizen pulling their weight and cooperating with ‘social distancing’ protocols in order to protect themselves and vulnerable populations most harmed by the virus. (Which essentially means staying in pyjamas and watching Netflix … partially kidding).
If there’s anything this virus has proven, it’s that we are interconnected, whether we like it or not. To think that an individual’s actions have no impact on the rest of the world is an illusion. So live as if your choices matter, because they do. You are significant. Act like it.
… or else we’re all gonna end up feeling like this 😅:
I joke about social distancing as an opportunity to binge on Netflix, but I know it’s not that simple. We’re social creatures. We crave the outdoors. Reducing in-person contact feels like being in detention, and staying indoors feels like Mother Nature taunting us with gorgeous spring weather.
Don’t even get me started on disrupted plans. I told myself 2020 was going to be the year I travelled more (Ha! So much for that). My heart also goes out to those who have/had weddings planned in the upcoming months! Plus, who can forget my fellow single people who can probably relate to this?
(I’m laughing and crying at the same time.)
That’s why stocking up on acceptance would be a good idea. Some days we feel optimistic, inspired, and productive. Other days we feel anxious, sluggish, or lonely. All of these feelings are valid. Don’t shame yourself for how you feel. Give yourself permission to grieve your losses.
Acceptance also means letting go of what we can’t control and focusing on what we can. We may not be able to go to the gym, but we can work out at home. We can’t spend Friday evenings at the bar, but we can launch that passion project. We can’t go on dates in person, but we can ‘woo’ people in other ways:
Use your creativity. 😉
3. Social connection
If there’s anything this pandemic has made very clear, it’s this: we need people. Yes, even introverts like myself. (My brother sent that meme to me … He knows me too well.)
Mark Groves suggested thinking of ‘social distancing’ as more of ‘spatial distancing’, because social connection is always within our grasp if we make the effort. It’s 2020, people: use technology to nurture your relationships!
I am so inspired by the creativity people have exhibited in creating a sense of connection, despite physical constraints. Kudos to the dance and fitness studios that have continued to hold classes online to uphold a sense of community!
Here are also some of my favourites:
Musicians collaborating in Spain …
Italian DJ …
So awesome, right?
One upside to this terrible pandemic has been the rise of hilarious memes and videos that have been popping up. In dire situations like this, humour is absolutely essential. I continue to be amazed by the resilience of the human spirit, which is built up partially by laughter.
Here are a few more memes, just for kicks:
Like, actually …
Inspiration is equally as important. Here’s a timely quote from Gandalf, because I’m a huge LOTR fan:
Major disruptions to our daily lives make us realize how much we took for granted. I definitely had the feels after reading this piece by Laura Kelly Fanucci:
Being in the midst of a pandemic also makes us extra grateful for the things we still have. Wifi, running water, a heated apartment, helpful neighbours, sunny weather … suddenly these things become more amplified when we choose to dwell on them.
And, of course, last but not least: let’s be grateful for everyone on the frontlines fighting this pandemic. Healthcare workers, policymakers, scientists, etc. — we see you. Thank you.
During this pandemic, we have essentially been stripped of everything we ever sought comfort and security in — whether it’s the constant buzz of having people around us, hobbies that keep us entertained, jobs that bring us meaning and keep our families fed, or even our own physical health. Events like these make us come to terms with the uncomfortable fact that all of these things are temporary and subject to change.
When life wipes away all the excess, what we are left with are the essentials. It is strangely beautiful to return to what remains when all else falls apart — to be reminded of what matters most. What do you cling onto, when all is said and done? Friends? Family? A Higher Power? All of the above? Once you’ve found it, draw closer to it — and have faith that there is truly light at the end of this tunnel.
So the next time you make a list of what to stock up on during a pandemic, consider these too:
- Social Connection
They might be a little more useful than excess toilet paper. Just saying.