2020. And what a year it has been so far! From unprecedented bushfires to a pandemic sweeping across the world. We are living in pretty crazy times. It is so easy to buy into fear, forget everything we stand for and instead turn all our focus to ourselves.
Although the title of this blog post is How To Survive A Pandemic & Still Be A Nice Person I am focussing more on the latter. The below may seem so simple, but in times of high pressure, we may just need the extra reminder.
In particular medical staff, grocery and retail assistants, public transport staff and government officials. Yes, even government officials! You may find yourself questioning their actions, hurl insults or becoming keyboard warriors, but remember, they have children in schools too. They have parents in aged-care units too. They have friends with compromised immune systems too. They are doing the best they can with the expert advice they have. All these groups of people are under constant fire from a high pressure situation and cop so much anger and frustration whilst working crazy hours.
Take a moment as you walk past empty grocery shelves to keep your disapproval to yourself, find the closest assistant that's desperately trying to fill shelves, stop and genuinely thank them for the work they do.
Some of us are luckier than others that may have bought a 48 pack of toilet paper before the chaos hit our supermarkets. Passing one toilet roll or packet of spaghetti to a neighbour without any can make a world of difference. What happens if we break what's considered normal in this moment, and have a bag of supplies at our postbox with a note to take what you need?
It’s common sense, but in these situations we may need some reminders. Don’t be an idiot and line-skip, steal someone’s carpark, yank the last *insert-any-grocery-item* or mutter insults about someone who’s behaviour you disagree with. I keep coming back to supermarket examples, because that's where I have seen the most shocking behaviour (luckily not in person, but there are many videos circulating wild behaviour!). Let us not trade our humanity for supplies.
There’s a lot to be fearful about, but don’t let fear spread faster than the rate of the virus. Instead spread kindness, love and hope. It starts with something as simple as smiling. Consciously and purposely smiling. It releases tension in a situation, it shows kindness and it invites relationship.
Remember, we are all in this together, whether we like it or not! Let this year be remembered not for it's devastation and panic, but for ordinary people stepping up and collectively going after what is good and kind and loving to all.
I highly recommend you follow WHO's advice on adding protective measures and keeping up to date with the latest information.