Get through by being you

Get+through+by+being+you

Sam Rush

As coronavirus spreads across the globe, it seems like it is all that anyone has been able to talk about. The news cycle hasn’t strayed from discussion of the virus for weeks and my phone calls with friends and family always seem to come back to speculation of what the next months may entail.

Social media feeds are flooded with Zoom memes, clickbait headlines and clips of backyard or living room concerts put on by the musicians who had to cut their tours short to help stop the spread. Suffice to say, it has all felt incredibly surreal.

Another vein of this slew of information and opinions about the pandemic and the things that come with it are the how-to articles and emails from professors that serve as reminders to stay productive throughout this whole ordeal.

There is this rhetoric that this pandemic is a sort of gift of time, in a way, that keeps getting recycled in Facebook statuses and Instagram captions. What these optimists are getting at is that, while we’re all homebound, we can’t fall back on our tried and true claim that use as an excuse to not work out or learn that skill, “I would do it if I just had the time.”

Of course I don’t blame them for seeking out the sunny side of things, and in a lot of ways I wish I was this optimistic. With everyone displaced from work or school, we’re all finding ways of coping with an entirely new way of living that we were all sort of thrown into the deep end of. But, everyone has their own ways of dealing with adversity.

When I went into self isolation, I had all these plans: I was going to finally deep clean my car and tackle the reading list I’ve been neglecting all semester. But as the days and weeks have passed, it’s become more
apparent that this has all proven to be more stressful than I had originally anticipated it being.

Making the switch to staying at my parents’ house in my childhood bedroom or transitioning to online learning would be difficult adjustments on their own without the added stressors coming with all the recent-related challenges.

Personally, I am not planning on using this time to write the next great American novel or get abs or anything like that. This is a tense and unsettling time. Most of us are dealing with these drastic life changes that have happened to us seemingly overnight.

It’s not a secret that our society has a bit of an obsession with productivity, and on top of it all, I don’t want to feel guilty for not using this time to be extra productive. It’s hard enough to just find the motivation to stay on top of school work.

Some days the only thing I can bring myself to exercise is my right to lay in bed and watch movies, and that is okay. It’s hard to stay optimistic when we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
For many of us, it is the first financial crisis we have lived through—other than the crash of 2008—and everything seems scary and uncertain.

It’s cliché, but it’s helpful for me to remember that we truly are all in this together and it’s okay to just do your best to get through this no matter what that looks like for you.