It’s been over a year now since COVID-19 has hit and that we were forced to change our lifestyles. And through those changes, there have been several COVID-19 lessons to be learned. Some of them focus on our overall societal systems – particularly our health care, entrepreneurial, and financial systems.
Others though are ones that can ultimately make us into better people.
Because while those systems and many others have strained, many of them have revealed plenty of problems with how we overall think. It’s been a year now and I’ve seen how people have changed or revealed who they are through this pandemic.
And while I don’t agree with these changes, there is nothing I can do about it. Nor would I want to forcefully change people. Instead, it’s better to discuss the circumstances leading up to those points.
How has this pandemic changed us?
And how are we able to walk away with this with at least something to be gained?
This is here to tell people that we can be better individuals if we consider some of the mindset related lessons that this pandemic has left us with. Here are but some of them I’ve noticed to make us all better people.
COVID-19 Lessons: Be Grateful For Those Around You
At the time of writing this, there are almost 2.4 million deaths from COVID-19. And even with vaccines being spread out now, there will still be more deaths occurring. It’s an unfortunate state but it’s worth thinking about a few things beyond the number of deaths.
Consider the fact that due to this pandemic, many family members aren’t able to show up to their family member’s funeral. Think about the emotional strain that would cause since funerals are a way to celebrate someone’s life while also finding a way to move on through life.
It’s mentally scarring especially since the cause of their death amounts to people denying this virus exists or isn’t “so bad” or “it’s like the flu”. Of course it’s not going to be so bad when you’re not on the receiving end of this situation.
And while this particular lesson might not be the most comforting to those who have lost loved ones, it’s still something to keep in mind for not just them but for all of us. We’ve all lost something in this process one way or another.
As such, it’s important for us to show gratitude in ways that we can.
Even though those who have lost loved ones grieve for the lost in many ways, there can still be gratitude for those around you to help you get through this process.
We can also show gratitude towards the community that we’re in and to everyone who is making an effort to bring our lives back to some sense of normalcy. This isn’t just to the doctors and nurses but the scientists, grocery clerks, convenience store workers, police, the fire department, and any person who is kind enough to be wearing a mask and practice social distancing.
COVID-19 Lessons: It’s Okay To Put Your Life On Hold
While I’m a big fan of progress, one thing this pandemic has done is stalled our lives in some way shape or form. Things are coming back now, but small businesses and jobless folk are still struggling under these times.
And while these are difficult, I know from my own experiences that putting your life on hold can be beneficial. What I mean by this is taking. a step back and consider looking over everything.
On a business standpoint, this pandemic has changed a number of things. That much is clear by the fact that companies had to rethink their marketing strategies, balance employee safety and work, amongst many other things.
Even as a solopreneur, it was difficult for me to take it all in and to determine how I wanted my business to move forward. I didn’t want to be asking for more money during these rougher times so I stopped working as much.
But I didn’t use that time as a complete and total waste. Instead, I spent time looking inward at the business and what to do moving forward.
I know that not every person is an entrepreneur. However, it’s still important for all of us to pause and consider things around us.
Those who have lost jobs or are struggling in work should be thinking about the future still and to ask some of the harder question in life. While survival is important, the next thing to consider is what will come next?
I find it difficult to ask this question unless you take the time now to set aside what life is throwing at you for a moment to think about this. It ultimately makes you a better person because you have something to pursue. You’re not just looking to preserve yourself and your sanity.
Stemming from the previous lesson, you can become a better person by rediscovering yourself. This past month, I’ve spent a bit of time talking about some elements of self-exploration. Some of it was on quotes to help you realize who you are, how to define yourself, and reasons to indulge in this in the first place.
2020 was a mess of a year and I can fully understand that people are a bit lost with what to do in life. Millennials and the firsts of Generation Z are facing a world that’s crumbling and many are unsure of what to do to fix it or make it better.
There’s definitely efforts for sure, but many aren’t stepping up and unsure of where to go and what to do in life to make the world better. Not out of laziness, but rather misdirection.
With COvID forcing us to stay inside, I consider this a prime opportunity to look more at yourself and where you want to go. Not just with some of the aspects I mentioned above, but also in terms of opinions and views of the world.
These things shape how we go about other aspects of our lives. I’ve said before that a business is an extension of yourself. This philosophy is true with everything else in life. For example, if you’re committed to improving one area in life, chances are you’ll find committing to other areas similar to it easier.
Knowing how you can commit to something takes some discovery. Knowing why you want to do things spurs you on and drives the core purpose for the activity you want to do. By knowing those reasons, this will help you in becoming a better person.
COVID-19 Lessons: Change Your Relationship On Change
Change is the only constant in life – Heraclitus
Change is inevitable. It’s something that happens in all of our lives. What matters though is how we respond to it.
But unlike other changes that we’ve made in the past, nothing has been as dramatic as this one. There are changes that are made in our professional life, our careers, our education, how we do even the most basic of things. Pretty much everything we used to do in life has shifted slightly to accommodate this.
As a result, I can understand why to this day there are still protests. There are still people refusing to wear masks. Change is not something we like to face when it’s something as massive as this.
Something that changes everything about our lives.
But that’s where the lesson lays though. Change is something we have to accept. Resisting it leads to the results that we’ve seen thus far:
- People making mask wearing political when it shouldn’t be.
- Denying experts while believing the experts with wild and obscene views from the rest of that specific community.
- More people dying from a virus that could easily be prevented.
COVID-19 has pushed us to ultimately think about our relationship with change. Why we resist it? How we can change it? How should we view it moving forward?
For me, change is more than something that is constant. It’s something that we can leverage. With every change, there is always opportunity and it’s up to us to seize it.
COVID-19 Lessons: Learn To Check Your Privilege
I know this one is going to be difficult. Especially since I’m a white man. I’m fully aware that I’m in a privileged position when it comes to a number of things. But as Sunit Das, associate professor in the department of surgery in the Faculty of Medicine, faculty associate at the Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto pointed out:
This moment – of the COVID-19 pandemic, of the #MeToo movement, of Black Lives Matter – has required all of us to consider what we as a society mean by fairness and equity, to consider the possibility that our society is fundamentally built on a foundation that capriciously compromises both for many of its constituents.
In medicine, fairness and equity are comprised by the principle of justice. Unique among the four pillars of medical ethics – along with beneficence, non-malfeasance and autonomy – justice looks beyond the individual patient before us and requires us to consider our duty as physicians as a duty to society.
The disproportionate cost of COVID-19 to Black, Latinx, Indigenous, elderly and disabled patients is a matter of justice. It is our duty as physicians to address the forces that allowed and continue to foster the unfairness and inequity made manifest by the pandemic in society and medicine.
Canada might not be as bad as America right now, however, this pandemic has definitely put us closer to that way of thinking. I’m distinctly aware that in Toronto and Quebec that people are still protesting against wearing masks.
I also know someone on Facebook who has been posting things against the BLM movement and also considers mask wearing a hoax and a sham.
I know these people are going to be across all the world and many aren’t going to change.
But for those who want to be taking lessons to heart and be better people, it’s worth considering all the circumstances around these situations. To put yourself in other people’s shoes and try to understand.
I know as a white man it’s impossible for me to completely relate to movements like #MeToo and BLM. I’m in a system that heavily favours individuals like myself. It’s for that reason why I’d like to try and understand more. The deeper aspects of these movements.
I know what these movements are generally about and support them. But there is much that I want to learn about.
These sorts of things make us into better people as we break down our differences and try to find common ground. We try to relate and connect with that person.
Consider Who It Is That You’re Listening To
Because so many people are spending more time indoors it means that social media times are higher than usual. And not all information is the best out there. There is of course the conservative news that is plaguing America right now which is nothing but toxic and hateful. However there are other people out there leveraging from this.
From my personal experiences there is the individual I mentioned who’s posted anti-BLM posts and anti-mask posts.
But I had another extreme individual posting all kinds of terrible things as well. The individual was a former mentor of mine and I had to block her from Facebook just so I never see her posts again.
What bothered me the most was that my former mentor was getting plenty of comments talking about how they found this information – mere conspiracy theories – helpful in revealing the truth. I find it misleading as the things she was talking about would’ve definitely been exposed at this point to the public if it were true.
The point of all this boils down to the type of media that people are consuming every day. Beyond the news it’s the people they spend time with whether that’s through a screen or in person. Conspiracy theories are running rampant these days because we’re in harder times and we want to find something to distract us.
And yet they can be dangerous as we’ve clearly seen in several different ways.
Even though this pandemic will be lingering for quite some time, it’s important to consider looking over exactly what we are consuming. That information shapes our own reality – if ever so slightly. No matter how you look at it, we are being manipulated in some way, but the key is to be manipulated in such a way that we’re fine with it and that it leads us to a path in life that we desire.
If there is one thing that we all should be learning from this pandemic is patience. Not just patience for when to be vaccinated but this whole pandemic was a huge exercise in patience.
We have to wait to see our loved ones.
We have to wait in lines to get groceries, take-out, or make an order at drive-thrus.
There is waiting for the change in zones.
There is longer waiting for deliveries and online orders.
We’ve got to wait for stimulus cheques.
The list goes on and on with regards to how much waiting there is.
And many people have done terrible jobs at it.
But there is still plenty of time to learn patience and it ultimately comes down to what is making you lose patience in the first place. COVID-19 has prompted us to look at all kinds of mental aspects about ourselves that facing now would be intelligent.
Even as people are becoming mentally fatigued by all of this, knowing this stuff now will only make us better in the future. If we are patient enough to outlast a pandemic then there is surely nothing else that can try our patience now.
Take Better Care Of Yourself
Freeform Dynamics, on behalf of Cisco, created a report using information between late 2019 and June 2020 concerning the business impact made on businesses and workers. It naturally found a huge spike in people working from home, but there was also a spike in health and wellbeing.
Of course, this pandemic has affected several aspects of our lives, but the report found at least 76% of respondents stating they’re struggling with work-life balance.
And considering ordering take-out from delivery apps has doubled since the pandemic started, people aren’t living the most ideal healthy lifestyles. Even if the take-out is from a generally healthy source.
With this in mind, I’d encourage people to take better care of themselves. Being a better person isn’t just being mindful and caring about those around you. It’s also internally in many ways. To this point, the lessons serve on a mental level, allowing ourselves to be better people mentally.
This lesson will allow us to be better physically.
Take these lessons to heart and find ways to apply them into your life. Beyond that, start taking care of your body as well. Rely less on take-out and consider picking up cooking lessons. Even if you’ve got an ideal figure in your mind, shying away from food that makes you feel bad is a sensible choice.
And if you’re not happy with your figure, take some measures now to make changes to your health. Go to a local gym. And if you’re still in lockdown, look at some fitness programs or Youtube videos that go through various exercises.
We Can Get Through This
These lessons are but some of the many out there and it’s up to you to go and find more and grow from them. Even the harshest of experiences we go through can have profound impact on our lives. All that it takes is a little bit of searching.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon