Will it be life as we know it? Life after a pandemic

Will it be life as we know it after we eventually get through this pandemic? So many after just a few months in are already saying, I just want it to get back to how it was. The real question is, do we? Or more poignantly, should we? Something positive must come out of such tragedy, and maybe that positive change is in our hands.

There is no doubt that what we are experiencing worldwide is having devastating effects on everyone. Generations of people have not had to experience hardship like this since those who went through the tragedy of WWII. Sadly, it seems that many of the ones that are suffering loss of life are precisely those people who would have remembered the hardship and struggle of world wars. We have been in lockdown just a month and already there’s lots of talk of ‘life after this pandemic’ and when will we get back to life as we knew it. The answer to this is that we just don’t know for sure yet, but the general consensus is that life as we know it will be have to be different, for so many reasons, some of those sadly for the negative, but hopefully some positive change to our lives will come from this traumatic and overwhelming worldwide pandemic.

Mental Wellbeing

When so many people are currently undergoing imposed lockdown situations, work uncertainty, financial restraints, home-schooling, social distancing from family and friends and in lots of cases isolation, it is easy to experience feelings of worry, stress, anxiety and in many cases loneliness. The idea of our wellbeing has never been so important as it is now. Mental health is, and will be, a major concern for many once we have navigated through this situation.

We all have a duty both to ourselves, and to others, to try and keep not only our bodies healthy during these trying times, but also our mental health as well. We must all learn how to talk more to express how we are feeling, but possibly more importantly, we all need to learn how to listen more. Spare a thought for those who are passing this social distancing alone, both young and old alike. Although it’s difficult being suddenly in a lockdown situation with your family, your children, your partner or even a pet, there are many who, for various reasons, must pass this difficult period alone. For the vast majority of humans the need for some kind of physical contact; a hug, a kiss, a pat on the back, a shoulder to lean or cry on, a hand to hold, are considered a basic need, and more so in times of crisis.

Our current world is so often dominated by our physical exterior appearance, especially when assessing how we are. We often justify this obsession with our exterior using the pretext of we are just taking care of our ‘wellbeing’, when in fact by doing this we are only looking after one aspect of our wellbeing, our physical exterior part. However, now more than ever a more holistic approach, one that is all-encompassing, is needed to understand our true wellbeing needs and this must form part of our thought process after such a life changing event as a pandemic. We will all have our part to play in this so that it isn’t life as we know it.

The Real Spirit of Humanity

As a direct consequence of this horrific situation, we are now seeing so many people show their true spirit of humanity towards others, something that sadly we have experienced less and less of over such a long period of time. Now people are selflessly helping in so many ways those fighting on the front-line who are tirelessly caring for us like NHS workers, social care workers, teachers, those that work to keep the food chain going, from growers to food manufacturers, transport workers to retail staff, the emergency services, ambulance, police and prison staff, firefighters, the armed forces, utility service engineers, customs officers, postal workers as well as those who continue to keep our towns and cities clean, not forgetting all those who have volunteered to support the NHS system. There are also those who are helping, in whatever way they can, for those who are less fortunate in our communities, those considered to be high-risk and in isolation, helping neighbours and family members that are currently finding life difficult, or friends that just need a reassuring call to tell them they are not forgotten. Finally, we cannot forget our children, who in many cases just don’t understand why they must be constantly at home, why they cannot see their friends or why they cannot just play outside whenever they want. We are all showing our genuine spirit of humanity so that it doesn’t have to be life as we know it.

Everyone is a Hero

It is without doubt that our health workers are real heroes, risking their lives, and those of their families, to ensure that we can have our lives. The heartfelt thanks and praise cannot be said enough, and once we finally do get through this pandemic these people shouldn’t just be forgotten and left in our thoughts as just an anecdote to this nightmare story, that must change and not just left as life as we know it. However, if we look at the bigger picture, it’s fair to say that everyone should be considered as a hero. Those not directly on the healthcare front-line but keeping our country moving, those who are in imposed self-isolation, those trying, in whatever way they can, to selflessly help others, those abiding by the social distancing rules despite missing family and friends, our children who follow our lead and conform, and sadly those who have lost their lives to this evil pandemic, who are for those of us still here, heroes too.

In the end we are all heroes, as one way or another we are contributing and benefiting from our newfound levels of genuine acts of unexpected humanity, caring and kindness. Life has a strange, yet often cruel way of bringing a rebalance to humanity that, without us consciously knowing, imparts a positive change in us. Life as we know it… surely that really cannot be, as the lessons that we are learning now must form part of our lives going forward after this atrocity. As humans we need to reflect on where we were and where we would like to be after this pandemic is finally under control. A genuine change from life as we know it must be our overriding desire.

The Future

Life will be different; we will be different, and without doubt humanity will different, and for the better. It’s the great solace that we need to take out of the current dramatic situation we are in. Life as we know it… we surely hope not, as fortunately faith in humanity is quickly being restored!

[Images: Printique / Impower / Pxfuel / Dreamstime / Incomptech / Mitonia]