In the US, most states are slowly opening businesses and people are slowly returning to "normal." I live in Colorado and as the stay at home order is being gradually lifted I realized many people are going to return to work, school and church and actually miss being forced to stay home.
Yes, I know that sounds crazy but hear me out. Most of us were complaining about long work commutes, dead end jobs, low pay, annoying coworkers, expensive gas prices, long grocery lines, etc. Especially in the US, we were generally unhappy with our lives. There's always a commercial or social media meme telling us we can do more, be more, have more etc. We are constantly living in the future of what could be and generally hating our right now.
These are the lessons I learned and I think most of middle class America learned as well:
1. Celebrities are easily bored. Did you see Ellen Degeneres Instagram account? I honestly thought sis was having a mental breakdown. It was like she could not handle being in the multi-million dollar home she has. Like the walls were closing in on her. I was genuinely concerned.
2. We are afraid of our own thoughts. Most people are busy with life and distracted by the lust of things and relationships--in constant pursuit of something. Our thoughts are never really examined. We just exist off of whatever programming we've received and never question the patterns and unhealthy cycles in our lives. And we don't want to. We keep moving because if we stopped to actually think we would have to make hard decisions and that's uncomfortable. So being forced to stay home and be with yourself and your thoughts and the behaviors of the people around you is like being asked to open your closet and examine your skeletons. Nobody was ready for that.
3. We are vulnerable as the human race.
4. Fear is the easiest way to control another human and the most deadly. The fear of coronavirus was greater than the actual disease. We all went to stores afraid that the person next to us could give us the virus, the cashier, the store clerk, the bank teller. People lined up to buy guns to protect themselves from other people because of an airborne virus. Neighbors turned on each other. Asian Americans were targeted.
5. We never want to be afraid alone. Misery really does love company. As an African woman I was glad that my vulnerable continent did not get hit as hard as other western nations who had resources to fight it, but it was like nobody else was. The world wanted Africa to share the panic so bad. It was like, "how dare there be a disease that skips black people." So eventually the narrative changed to ensure that black Americans knew they were part of this and could not be left out. The news began reporting that they were more affected--failing to acknowledge it was a symptom of poor healthcare in general for black Americans causing the unequal number of deaths in the community.
6. The government are just a bunch of humans with big titles. I know it sounds harsh but what I mean is that they are no different from you and me. They were just as confused about what was going on and were playing catch up with the information, which was very contradictory and confusing. They had no facts and so they were faking it till they made it. LOL. No judgment.
7. We can live on a lot less than we thought. Everything we thought was a necessity was not. Your hair, nails, favorite restaurants, beauty supply stores, clubs, churches. Please lets remember this as outside opens back up.
8. When given the chance to choose better eating habits we will. I for one chose to buy only fruits and vegetables to build my immune system. I did slip and order some pizzas but my taste buds have actually began to crave more plant based meals.
9. Artists are worth what they make. We really did turn to art when there was nothing else to do. Art soothes us, entertains us and gives words to the emotions we find hard to articulate. And DJ DNICE rocked us through this time of isolation.
10. We will be grateful for the lockdown because we were given a chance to change directions. To make different choices, to choose ourselves, to be ourselves and to realize life is truly fragile. Every single day is a blessing from God and beauty and strength is found in the simplicity of this fragile beautiful life.