A lot of great things come from pandemics.
I have family in Italy, and COVID-19 has hit extremely hard in the mother land. And I can picture it: double kisses on the cheeks as common as handshakes here. Not the best living conditions in some areas, maybe not the best education in some areas, coupled with old Italian stubbornness — it’s a hot bed for spreading a deadly disease, and it’s sad.
That being said, it’s a weird time to be happy, at least without a blanket of guilt draped over you. It’s even weirder to tell anyone about how (good) I feel.
Again, don’t get me wrong— it’s terrible what’s happening in the world right now. The deaths, illness, suffering, fear, paranoia, blame, guilt, restlessness, and the mental and physical toll this virus is having on everyone is enough to mute every other thing in the world right now. This is nature saying “Oh, yeah, hi, I still get the last word. So shut the fuck up, I still rule all” to all the bullshit political drama, to all the pointless issues and squabbles, to all the petty crap we’ve got caught up in. So it’s bad. It’s very bad. It’s the worst thing we’ve dealt with since 9/11 — worse in the suffering, but at least it wasn’t a malicious act.
So, my heart and sympathy and well wishes goes out to everyone and anyone even remotely suffering due to this disease.
That being said, this has been the best change in my life that I could have ever hoped for. Is it a bit selfish to say this? Maybe. Am I lucky to not have it as bad as others? Yes. But I’ve found so many silver linings to all this, I can hardly contain myself.
Being locked in an office for 8 hours a day, plus commute, is a modern day hell.
If you told me that I could be at home — nay, be forced to stay at home to help others and I wouldn’t have to leave, and it be socially acceptable, I’d kiss you.
I get to keep my job, get to do it from home, don’t need to see or interact with people that pull you away from work, and keep getting paid the same wage. Under this roof, I’m in paradise.
I’m saving money left right and center. Not being on the bus in -40 degrees has boosted my moral, my mental health and energy.
I have time to live my life. Let me repeat that: Less time for work means more time to live my life.
I’ve always wanted to learn to code. I’m learning C# right now and am on my way to making a video game. I’ve always thought any coder was of Godly power. Taking it one day at a time, I’m learning a new coding language, and I love it.
I have time to write as much as a writer should be writing. I’ve had this Medium account for months, MONTHS, and only now do I have the time and energy to write something. Anything.
I’m reading more, catching up on classic films, TV watching, and finally getting to my comics.
I purchased a vintage Underwood typewriter over a year (maybe two) ago, planning on cleaning it up, and I’m about to do that, too. I bought new ink spools so I can really start using it.
It took a pandemic. It took a pandemic to shake me out of my 9–5 prison, my rut of a daily routine, to finally do the things I want and better myself. Oh, I forgot to mention, I’ve been finally using my $400 spin bike, and my free weights that haven’t been touched since the Obama administration (oh how we all miss you).
Beyond my selfish gains from all this, I really hope things change in society as a result.
Maybe we should be working from home more. Maybe we should be washing our hands like paranoid doctors every time we leave the house. Maybe we should have some basic income for everyone to leave them with time and energy to do the things they were meant to do (Yang is on to something). ̶M̶a̶y̶b̶e̶ ... definitely, the US needs universal / “free” health care. There are parts of Africa with free health care. It’s insane this is even a thing. I feel for any American right now without health care from their employer, or ones who have just lost it. (I did not intend for this to be so political, really, but Bernie is also on to something… )
Maybe we shouldn’t have 8 hour work days. 8 hours is so arbitrary, and we’ve had no reason to change that, until now.
There’s a lot that should be changed and updated that this pandemic is teaching us, albeit kicking and screaming, but maybe we’ve been doing things in such an antiquated way, it’s just straight up the wrong way, now.
I hope everyone suffering finds the help they need. I wish everyone a safe journey until our capeless superheroes made up of biologists and doctors and nurses and even coders, find a vaccine for everyone. I hope every countries government is giving them the support and financial help they all need to carry on with this new normal of a life we’ve all adopted. And I hope that everyone can find the good in this terrible situation.
Stay safe. It gets better.