COVID-19’s effect in our lives

William T. Robinson, Jr.

There has not been an impenetrable place in our world that has been not been visited and  devastated with the unwanted presence and deadly effects of COVID-19. This virus has upset the daily practices and events of everyone. It has forced us to alter and reinvent the way we do things. Life as we once knew it has been drastically changed, and while it is likely things will get better in the future, there are things that will never be the same. We have been awakened to one constant. Everything changes, and we must be ever cognizant of probable diseases and actions that can decimate large populations in a short period of time.

COVID-19 has taught us to focus on preventative measures as well as ongoing continuing research and preparedness in tackling such pernicious and deadly viruses in the future.  No doubt, that should be a priority—an intervention to save lives must take priority over ways to kill and destroy lives. However, the latter captures so much of nations’ funding throughout the world. We are told there are lessons to be learned from every experience (good or bad) and we should learn from these experiences. COVID-19 is no exception.  Living in a world with COVID-19 has forced us to change the way we cohabit together as a family.  Our working environments, social agendas, as well as venues of entertainment have had to be rethought. Ways to publicly protect each other have been introduced. Of course, much of this has not settled well with many people. It has caused much discomfort in the form of boredom and rebellion from lack of social liberties, e.g., being able to publicly connect with family and friends.

The fact that many young people display asymptomatic signs of the virus has resulted in too many of them disregarding the safety of others in their own selfish pursuit of continuing public endeavors unmasked. They often do not follow recommended guidelines to hinder the spread of this dreadful virus. It doesn’t help that some are under the illusion of ‘fake news’ and malformation that the virus is not as contagious and deadly as top scientists, doctors and researchers have proclaimed. Regardless of your stance on the disease, it should be altering the way you do things—especially as a family in your home.

Those who have tested positive for the virus or those who have been around someone testing positive are advised to state quarantined for at least 14 days (some new data is saying seven days) unless your condition necessitates you being hospitalized. COVID-19 has presented a new normal, forcing many to spend unprecedented time together as a family or couple.  The time spent together can be a plus or minus depending on the personalities of the  individuals involved. Spending so must time confined together under one roof can bring people closer or literally drive them crazy.

I would like to believe the majority of families have used the time together to become closer, acquiring a greater appreciation for their loved ones. Being confined has made many people mindful and appreciative of their friends. They call and check on them, and are honestly concerned with their well-being. This makes you thankful for the blessing of such good friends and relationships. People are realizing they are loved. Once ‘distant’ family members are becoming closer and more appreciative of each other.

Losing loved family members and friends to COVID-19 has made so many people mindful of the short time we have here together—and to tell and show your loved ones how much you love them every chance you get. One can only imagine the pain families have endured not being able to be with their loved ones as they suffer or die from this nefarious virus. The pain is only compounded when your loved ones have to die alone without the presence of loved ones to say their ‘good byes’—to hold their hands and comfort them through their transition.

On the other hand, the closeness of being confined can have a devastating negative effect on some people causing arguments, disputes, anxiety and stress because of the lack of personal space. Some crave closeness, but just as many others want you to respect their comfort zone or personal space. There must be a balance.

The tightness of closed confinements literally forces some people to rebel. They seek individual liberation, disregarding all the safeguards recommended or mandated to keep them and others safe. Unfortunately, these are some of the very people contributing to the deaths of so many others, especially elderly people with pre-existing illnesses. We much sadly acknowledge the reality of these selfish people who just don’t care about themselves or others.

In conclusion, I’m suggesting that we make the best of a bad situation and find ways to use this horrendous abomination to bring family, loved ones and friends closer together. This will make us more appreciative of what we collectively mean to each other. Remember the adage from an older generation: “What don’t kill you will only make you stronger.”