New Year, Same Damn Pandemic
We might think that COVID19 is destroying the way we live across the globe. Still, the pandemic has not been halted in the name of keeping the economy going. Big Pharma has refused to share the vaccine formula with developing nations to stop the spread. All in the name of reaping record profits. In addition to the coronavirus, you still have wars waging throughout the world in the middle east, Africa, parts of Asia, and parts of Eastern Europe. The United States spends billions of dollars each year on its bloated defense budget. Finally, there’s a looming climate crisis awaiting humankind due to our inaction and need to protect the horrible status quo.
Sadly, the status quo remains because of capitalism. It’s literally killing the planet. It’s not the small business owner of your favorite cafe, Esty page, or food truck I’m talking about here. It’s the 100 companies reasonable for 70% of global emissions; I’m talking about defense contractors raking in billions each year to keep nations destabilized. I’m talking about a pharmaceutical industry that has to prioritize profits over the lives of people. I’m talking about the billionaire class who have seen their stock portfolios and offshore accounts increase by trillions of dollars during the pandemic. #FuckElonMusk. All while masses of people in the United States and the rest of the world slip into more dire poverty and desperation. Sorry to my conspiracy theorist out there. This isn’t a Great Reset. It’s the Great Rip-Off and the same song that capitalism has been singing since the 16th century. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.
All these events paint a significant picture, and it’s directly tied to our daily stresses. Capitalism is killing the planet and hurting all of us. The current administration has cut unemployment benefits for those impacted by the pandemic job losses in the United States. There will be no more stimmy checks, and President Biden has told his fellow Americans, “You’re basically on your own during this Omicron surge” I personally know multiple family members of mine who have COVID or recovering from COVID. I have a relative with long-COVID, and they still don’t have their sense of taste or smell back. In 2020, blue-collar workers and professionals like sanitation workers, grocery store workers, teachers, nurses, and factory workers were all called essential workers and held heroes.
Roll around to 2022, thanks to Delta Airlines dictating CDC public health policy and guidelines. The workers have been told to get back to work, and suck it up. There are no wage increases, no shutdowns, no PPE, no national paid sick leave, all amidst recording-breaking COVID numbers in the United States. Parents are stressed due to a lack of clear planning at every level of government for school kids. Workers are risking getting sick due to the failure of our political leadership to get COVID under control. They instead have left it to market forces in deciding the fate of humankind during this neverending pandemic. We regular people still have to go about our day like everything is fine and dandy. I can tell you it’s not. If you are stressed, depressed, or worried. You’re not alone.
In these crazy times, here are my tips to try to stay sane during this insane timeline. To give you a bit of mindfulness and ways to destress while dealing with the Rona Blues. “Lornett, who the hell are you to advise us on this subject?” Well, I’m a licensed social worker, so this might be the only thing I’m qualified to talk about.
- Exercise – Running, walking, swimming, etc. A healthy body is a path to a healthy mind.
- Get Outdoors – Yes, walk outside, go to the park, or a hike. Hell, go white water rafting.
- Unplug – Stop the doom scrolling on Twitter, log-fff Facebook, or Meta (whatever Zuckerberg is calling it these days), stop checking those work emails after hours.
- Connect with friends and family – Do so if you can safely in person and not put people at risk. Or just give a friend or family member a call.
- Hobbies – Do something that isn’t a ‘side hustle’ but something that brings you pleasure and joy.
- Take time to yourself – Me time is important. I like to go on solo hikes with my dog. He doesn’t chat much except for barking at squirrels. Bad doggie!
People will have to fight across the globe to create a better world. But it’s hard to resist the system when you can’t take care of yourself and your mental health. Like the safety briefing onboard a passenger plane. You gotta put on your mask first before you can help others put on their mask. Remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, I can assure you it’s from spending two-plus years of living during a global pandemic. This isn’t the calm before the storm; this is the storm. I hope my tips can help you weather it. And finally, for those experiencing extreme mental duress and suicidal thoughts, please visit this website or call 1-800-273-8755. Remember, you are not alone, and there’s always hope.