Coronavirus. There, that should please the SEO gods and give you the chance to turn away should you be fed up with hearing about it. Although the title should have given things away. This is also going to be all over the place as I spill my thoughts onto the page.
Anyway. Our lives have changed and our world has been turned upside down in an instant. I’ve been hearing a lot about what we need to do to protect ourselves physically. But also how to protect ourselves mentally.
Honestly, there is loads of resources out there that do a wonderful job of offering advice and providing distractions. I have used a few of these and some have worked better than others. There is plenty to try.
One thing that has got to me though, is the idea that there is a right or wrong way to react to this. I don’t mean with regards to the need to do #SocialDistancing (I will use the hashtag), it is vital we follow the advice and the rules here.
I am talking more about how we talk about the virus. I’ve seen people act like the whole world is coming to an end (more on that later) and others react in more light-hearted ways. There have been extremes and a whole range of emotion in between.
Personally I am both worried and hopeful. Not about the virus itself, but the aftermath and what it means for people like me. Someone who may struggle to find work again and will be financially screwed. However I have been a lot more optimistic for a number of reasons, which I’ll cover further down.
I have decided though that I need to react to this in a light manner, for the benefit of my own mental health and that of my family. I am on social media a lot more than I have been previously and have soaked up all the funny things that people have been doing.
There is so much entertainment from individuals you’ve never heard of, being creative in their own homes and producing short videos and photos. It is breeding a creativity in people that previously may have been hidden away.
We as humans have a way of getting through things with humour and this is no exception. This is probably the biggest thing many of us will go through and we are still finding humour in the situation.
I’ve seen some people bemoan this, but believe me it is needed. If I just sat here in a constant state of panic…I don’t think I’d be writing this now, I’d have probably done something drastic. People aren’t mocking the situation, they are just finding a way to cope. Let them.
It’s not just the humour that shows human nature. Another is one of the reasons I feel optimistic. We are seeing amazing acts of kindness from all over. Whether it be nations uniting in a rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ or a neighbour offering to pop to the shops for someone vunerable.
My own son has offered his services to the street and will do shopping or whatever for those who need it. It makes me proud to see him wanting to do this.
I have also seen online communities come together to share at the very least advice. They have shared subscriptions to things like Spotify, Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc and shared where we can get freebies to pass the time or even simply given stuff away to someone who needs it.
These are only a couple of the many, many examples out there. Businesses (well some anyway… fuck Tim Martin and his ilk) have had to close, but some have donated to communities left over food, or in the case of Costa provided drinks to key workers. NHS staff are being well looked after by many businesses too It is great to see, but also has an added benefit…
…You can see which companies care about the bottom line only and have treated their staff like trash. Don’t think people won’t remember when all of this is said and done.
I said previously I am optimistic about this. But before I continue I want to state that the deaths we have had and will continue to see are nothing short of a travesty and I would much rather be in a world where this wasn’t happening. But here we are.
I am optimistic because I honestly believe we are witnessing the end of the world as we know it. That is meant in a optimistic way too (with a slight bit of caution). As I said, we are seeing many acts of human kindness. Gary Neville is a shining example of putting people before money. Part of me hopes that those acts of human kindness will carry on after all is said and done. I hope we can all be kinder to each other.
Will we see the immediate end of racism, sexism, homophobia and such? No of course not, but I hope we start to appreciate one another for who we are and not because someone is another skin colour or sexual preference. We can start to learn about each other and get better. Be better.
Hopefully we see a change in economics. We start to see sports stars and actors paid less and key workers paid more. It’s amazing how low skilled has now become key isn’t it? Still pay those who entertain well for what they do, but I am sure Cristiano Ronaldo can live super comfortably on £50k a week, rather than £350k.
It can allow the staff who support them to be paid better. The stewards, security, club shop staff, etc. It could be used to better support clubs in lower leagues. It is possible across all sports too, not just football. They deserve to be paid well, but just cap it a bit yeah.
I am positive also that Brad Pitt can do a movie for £2m rather than £27m. Less money paid out there also brings prices down for fans or sports, movies etc to experience them. It is a bit pie in the sky and someone can (and likely will) call me out on my figures, but I hope the sentiment comes across).
More than anything, let us stop paying executives ridiculous sums of money and spread that to the workers who actually make business work. Make sure they earn enough to live properly and not just to be able to barely keep a roof over their families heads and food on the table.
Again. If you have made it to the top, then fair enough, get bonuses, but come on, does it need to be so astronomical?
We are seeing now during all of this, that the things that previously were ‘impossible’ are now possible. We are seeing proof that money can be made available where needed and when you make decisions that are best for life and not for economy, then anything is possible.
I want to see the NHS funded how ever much it is needed, because we are seeing right now just how valuable it is. I hope beyond hope that the US can finally accept that healthcare is a right and shouldn’t matter if you can afford it or not. I want to see us use what we learn to provide proper support to nations that need it across the globe.
I want to see affordable housing for everyone and a living allowance that makes this possible. I believe this will happen too. Not all of it, but much of it. Because I can’t see how we can go back to the status quo.
Too many people are going to fall into further debt, there are businesses that will crumble and there won’t be as many jobs out there for many of us to recover.
I can’t see how there cannot be a change. What that is I don’t know. Do we wipe out all debt and start again? Or is there another solution. For my own mental well being I cannot believe we go back to how things were. I can’t believe that the powers in charge can keep so many people down now.
This whole situation has helped us see the light and I am willing to be many CEOs and top ranking officials are shitting themselves over what actually comes next. I am optimistic that a revolution is coming.
And with that, I am off to play some Animal Crossing* and do keepy ups with a bog roll.
*I was planning to talk about the role of video games in all of this, but went off on a tangent. So I suppose I have another article to write soon.