I’ve been struggling with social media lately. With everything that’s been going on with Covid-19 and self-isolating, there’s been a lot of posts about how this is an opportunity for us, for all of us, to slow down, take a break from the hustle and bustle of modern life, and breathe. Pick up a new hobby perhaps? Or finally write that book.
This isn’t the way I’ve been able to feel, at least not yet. I’m very lucky to be healthy, but this situation has cost me my job, the move to online classes at uni has been frustrating, the summer internship programmes I applied for have all shut down, and access to my support system has shifted. I’m worried sick about my family and loved ones, especially those who with preexisting health conditions and those who are still working outside the home in retail and healthcare. I’m horrified that people with the virus are travelling to Africa and terrified of the pandemic reaching the Continent. I am anxious about the future, wrecked by all of the uncertainty, and to me, none of this feels like a blessing.
I am told that I need to put things into perspective. The death toll rises, racist attacks and boycotting of the Asian community continues, and society’s most vulnerable are struggling to access basic necessities. Cancelled plans and changes to my studies are nothing in comparison. I understand this. But I’ve decided that I’m allowed to feel sad.
This doesn’t have to be the time where you write your novel or get a head start on your spring cleaning. It can be, but it doesn’t need to be.
While aware of your privilege – whether it’s that you can work from home, have your health and back up plans – you can still feel during this time. I know, in the grand scheme of things, that I am incredibly fortunate still, and that things will probably work out but I can’t be about positivity for positivity’s sake. Things are uncertain right now and devastating for a lot of people. I’m not saying that there isn’t a bright side to be found, but its important to know that it’s not selfish to feel bad even if you’re healthy and whole.
You’re allowed to feel angry, and you’re allowed to feel sad.