I, like most of us in the world, has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Thankfully, I haven’t contracted the virus but it has left many people in my community sick and even more without jobs. I’ve gone through a wide range of emotions since it started to really get serious in my community (Northern New Jersey) in mid-March. In the beginning, I was pretty much in denial that it would become serious in America (despite people urging me otherwise) and now, only 30 minutes from New York City, the United States virus epicenter, I know how foolish that was.
I’ve experienced a wide range of emotions since quarantining. I’ve felt annoyance, restlessness, fear (especially after finding out someone I knew died from the virus), panic, boredom and shame for being privileged enough that I can be bored at a time like this. I feel for those who have lost loved ones and I feel a little nervous every time a loved one leaves their home. I think it’s safe to say that once this is over, even those who survived unscathed will experience some form of PTSD.
I’ve also experienced positive emotions such as gratitude. I’m grateful that this time has forced a world that is so focused on productivity to rest. It has taken us out of our mindless routines and forced us to shift our perspective and do something we never would have done on our own. Although there’s a lot that I miss, I know that there’s also plenty to look forward to. I look forward to people having an increased hygiene consciousness. I look forward to not taking my social interactions for granted. I look forward to going to parks without a mask on. I look forward to exploring new towns and be able to dine in at a restaurant. I know it may feel like we left so much behind, but in reality there is a new normal ahead that is more health conscious and overall more mindful than we could have imagined.
My heart hurts for anyone who has suffered from COVID-19 or who has lost a loved one from it. I also feel for those who are experiencing extreme financial stress due to this situation. I hope everyone is social distancing and doing whatever they can to keep themselves and their community safe. I hope to see you all healthy and back in public soon! Comment below how you have been feeling during this time. You’re not alone.