what we're reading now
follow us on facebook
follow us on twitter
subscribe to our blog
find it

What We're Reading Now

Have You Hit the COVID-19 Wall?

2 March 2021

Allison got insight, comfort, and new ideas for coping after she read, We're in the Third Quarter of the Pandemic. Antarctic Researchers, Mars Simulation Scientists and Navy Submarine Officers Have Advice For How to Get Through It.

Tags: covid-19, grief, mental health, remote work, self-compassion

I don’t know about you, but February was hard for me. In the months before, I felt like I had really hit my stride when it came to managing the isolation of quarantine. I thought I was learning to live in a new way, and I had some peace that coping no longer took as much energy. This article helped me to settle in for the long haul back in April. I wasn’t going to try to win a prize in quarantine, but I was going to persevere and find joy where I could. I had my ups and downs toward the end of 2020, but generally I was bouncing along.

By the time February got here, I was starting to lose my cheerful attitude. I was even starting to fantasize about how I could safely travel to Florida and see people I crave. (What?!? How could I even think about that when I’d been doing such a good job of following Dr. Fauci’s strictest advice?) The real indicator of stress for me was that I no longer had the energy or the willpower to work out every day.

Exercise has never been hard for me to do. It’s my happy place and over the years I’ve just had to make sure I didn’t overdo it. I told myself. “Okay. Be patient. This is an opportunity to build empathy for all your clients and friends who struggle to exercise. You'll figure it out.” But still, I could not get on my treasured elliptical machine or do another Les Mills class by myself. All I could do was find strength to walk the dog.

Yesterday, my dear friend and reporter extraordinaire, Dahlia Lithwick, posted this comment on Facebook, “We’re at about the one year mark for last hotel, or plane, or party, or speech, or hug for someone not in the house. Everyone’s feeling it. But the reminder here that the mission’s the thing helps. Hang tight. Ask for help and we’re here. Sunshine. March. Love.” Then, she shared this by Time reporter, Tara Law, We're in the Third Quarter of the Pandemic. Antarctic Researchers, Mars Simulation Scientists and Navy Submarine Officers Have Advice For How to Get Through It.

I hope you find as much comfort in the article as I did. It helped me to understand why I was struggling even when the vaccine news is so good, and it’s clear that masking, physical distancing, and hand washing can keep us safe until enough of us are vaccinated. “It’s essential that we all stay vigilant, because we’re a long way from herd immunity, and until we reach that point, the virus could easily reassert itself. Indeed, social distancing may become psychologically harder before it gets easier, since vaccinated people are likely to begin to enjoy a more normal life before those of us who remain unvaccinated.” There are indeed reasons to be hopeful, but we also have a long way to go and research shows that the final push after so much isolation can feel almost insurmountable.

The experts' advice for how to cope isn’t much different than what we’ve heard before… routine, exercise, finding small joys, asking for help, attending to mental health, etc. But for some reason the closing suggestions brought me comfort and gave me new ideas or perhaps new motivation. I think it’s because the research helped me to understand what I was feeling and gave me a little more strength to stay focused on the mission.


Our Comment Policy:

Our blog posts are only half of the conversation. What our readers have to say is equally important to us, and we're grateful for all the comments that continue the dialog.

To ensure that the discussion here is as useful as possible to all of our readers, please be respectful of our contributors and refrain from harassing, threatening and/or vulgar language. We reserve the right to screen and remove any comments from the site. If you have a question about a comment or want to discuss our policy, please contact us. We'll talk it over.

There are no comments for this entry yet.


Leave a comment



Notify me of follow-up comments?

Enter the characters you see below:

« Return to What We're Reading Now