The COVID-19 pandemic changed everyone’s outlook on life and how quickly things can change in the blink of an eye. Everything became different such as our morning routines, how we work and how students go to school every day.
Taking a step back and evaluating the past year and a half of the pandemic’s effect on humanity is a good way to be mindful and proactive. It not only allows us to be grateful for making it this far but prepares us for the future that is ahead. These five lessons learned from COVID-19 will help us continue to move forward towards a safer and healthier life.
- Technology is a powerful tool
While everyone was in lockdown and forced to stay in their homes, the flow of work and school had to continue. With helpful tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other virtual platforms, many people were able to transition and maintain a similar connection that the pandemic was restricting us from. Students were able to attend class virtually and workspaces were able to hold their meetings remotely. This new virtual world also allowed people to maintain connections within their community of friends and family online using social media. With all the many setbacks experienced from the lockdown, this showed many the importance of community and how we all really need it to thrive. It was hard not being able to physically connect with people, but with the help of technology, people were still able to communicate with their loved ones, peers and friends virtually.
- Self-care is important
Being isolated from most of the outside world for an extended period of time took a toll on most people. Although some who are introverts may have loved the isolation, those who are primarily extroverted may have had a harder time trying to transition to our new normal. Depression and anxiety more than likely increased due to grief, finances and the overall state of the world. Prioritizing mental health and self-care during and after the pandemic is crucial as leaving these issues untreated can cause more harm than good. Self-care can range from sleeping in a little longer, cooking your favorite meal, or taking a nice bath. No matter what self-care looks like to you, it is important to take care of what is going on the inside before handling what is going on around you.
- Masks are useful even after COVID-19
After many states lifted and eased up on the mask mandates for fully vaccinated people, many were excited to finally take it off. On the other hand, some people found that wearing masks even after the pandemic is still a safe and preventative way of stopping the spread of other sicknesses and protecting those who have compromised immune systems. Many East Asian cultures wear masks as everyday essentials prior to COVID- 19 to help protect them from dust, pollen and other pathogens. Wearing masks does not just help prevent illness, but it also allows people with social anxiety to feel a bit of relief when going out in public. They no longer have to constantly worry about what facial expressions they are making or become insecure of their appearance as their mask has created this physical and mental wall between them and the outside world.
- Have compassion
One of the greatest takeaways everyone can learn from this pandemic is to just be nice to people, especially to essential workers. Although some businesses were able to allow their employees to work remotely, those who were food service workers or health professionals were not always granted that same opportunity. We were all equally going through a global health crisis that we have never experienced before while still trying to maintain our everyday lives. Showing compassion towards others allows us to see each other as human beings who are simply trying to live. Compassion can look like patience, understanding and lending a helping hand in times of need. Doing these things will not only make others have faith in humanity but learn to love one another.
- Enjoy life
If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is to live life to the fullest. Over the course of this pandemic, many people witnessed the effects of this virus on their family, friends and colleagues. It showed others that life is too short to wait on trying new things, sharing new experiences and meeting new people. While many of us are still able and healthy, it is important to seize the moment and go after our wildest dreams because you never know how things can change. Do it for you and do it now.
About the Author and MODERN SALON Intern Kara Martin
Kara Martin is a current senior at Georgia State University with a major in journalism and a minor in African American studies. She truly enjoys writing in all forms as she writes poetry, enjoys journaling, and writes for the Arts and Living section of her school’s newspaper, The Signal. When she isn’t writing, Kara likes to take part in other forms of self-care such as yoga, drawing and watching Netflix.
Kara is passionate about creating meaningful art and work. She has hopes of writing her own book in the future as well as starting a business selling candles. What began as a fun hobby is now a lifelong passion for Kara as she continues to find joy in whatever she writes.
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