2020 has been an interesting year. I feel like we learn a lot about ourselves and about the world around us through failures and through struggles. Without a doubt, many people around the world are struggling right now.
What have I learned from the issues brought on by COVID-19? Well...
1. People are all the same.
I know COVID has created more fights and arguments on social media than ever, and it looks like we don’t agree on a lot of things. But this really just shows how alike we all are. We are all scared of uncertainty. Can I make a living and provide for my family? Can I see my elderly parents without worrying about getting them sick?
We all worry about these things, the only differences between us are our reactions to these uncertainties. We all want our loved ones to be happy and healthy. Our hearts are the same we just have trouble remembering that sometimes.2. Your livelihood relies on the robustness of the infrastructures you work in.
When people were worried about losing jobs due to COVID, I had more side gigs and work offers than ever before. Why? I attribute this a lot to the robustness and the power of the Internet.
I work in digital marketing and content writing and when people are stuck at home, they spend more time on the Internet. Luckily, that infrastructure cannot get infected by physical viral infections.
If one day there is a crazy hacker that creates the COVID-19 of Internet viruses, then my job may be in danger too.3. Life is short.
The closer we get to facing death the more we are reminded of the fleetingness of life.
I’m 27, and my parents are getting up there in age and to be honest, I worry about them. When a virus emerges that affects an older population, it’s natural to have these worries,
I think one of the most important things COVID-19 reminded me of is that life is short and we need to do things worth doing. We need to make sure the path we choose in life is something we can be proud of in the end.4. More physical objects doesn’t bring happiness.
Spending more time at home, in my small Japanese apartment, I quickly learned that sometimes more things equals more stress. Having more means you need more room to store those things; you have more things to maintain.
More than that, I learned that buying things gives you the illusion of happiness. I got (and still get) an endorphin rush whenever I hit the PURCHASE button on Amazon.
I get another endorphin rush when the package arrives and I take that item out of its factory-fresh plastic. However, that illusion of happiness is short-lived. The dozens of video games I purchased, but never even started playing, is evidence of that. There are some video games I purchased that I haven’t even bothered opening yet.
I’m lucky enough to live a comfortable life. As long as you have the basic essentials taken care of and aren’t worried about how you’re going to pay rent, you will soon reach a point of diminishing happiness returns when it comes to buying things.5. True happiness is found in sharing your life with other people...and animals...I love my dog.
To be honest, I already knew this before COVID-19, but this pandemic made me believe in this even more.
Why have lockdowns and quarantines led people to depression? Why do people constantly ignore quarantine restrictions/suggestions by governments? Because we want to be around other people.
It’s in our nature to be around other people. There were many stories floating around online about how COVID led couples to break up or even married couples to get a divorce. And I’m sure that’s true for some people.
Spending 24 hours a day with someone vs. spending 12 hours a day with someone is very different. Maybe you learned things about your partner that you didn’t know before and the lack of private time and personal space drove you crazy.
But for me, it was the opposite. I thank God, or whatever divine being you do or don’t believe in, for the fact that I was living with my girlfriend when COVID restrictions started to kick in.Having someone next to you that you can vent to and share your worries with does a world of good for your mental health. Having someone to share a meal with and to laugh with makes every day better.
We even got engaged during COVID 🙂
As long as you can find a way to give yourself some private time as well (for me that outlet is video games), being quarantined in your home with someone you love is a great blessing.