We are now more than 8 months into the Covid-19 pandemic. And to cope with the negative impacts of the pandemic (besides real health impact by the virus) is not that easy, we got hit pretty hard, especially on all kind of social relationships.
So it is more the behaviours and actions we decided to execute on our society than the virus itself that has right now many negative consequences on our lifes. The whole pandemic thing has a lot of similarities to psychological patterns we see when someone experiences or will experience a huge loss. If we loose a friend or some important part of our life we go through stages of grief (see more about the Kübler-Ross Model of Grief at the bottom of this post). Warning: This model of grief never was scientifically proven to be right, nevertheless it seems to help to orient oneself towards the current situation.
On twitter some people tried to depict these stages as a public transportation map with different stops which simplifies what we are all going through right now (I took the idea a bit further and extended it by a second subway line, see image above). The difference between people right now is where on this subway line you are and how long you stay at each station.
If you are still in the denial state like those „Covidiots“ you actually did not move ahead, you did not even start. You are still in shock and fear and unable to see the change that happened. It is most likely that you do not even want to know WHAT a pandemic is and do not want anyone to teach you about it.
But most of us already passed the anger state already and have been frustrated, lost their job, live with anxiety and have no idea how to cope with the fallout of the pandemic. We are angry at the politicians which decided to restrict our freedom in favour for avoiding a health system breakdown.
Several people, especially the politicians and mass media tried and still try to provide the people with some kind of hope though they mostly had/have no clue and did already know that scientists were already searching for vaccincation methods on the category of corona viruses (there do exist a lot more than just Covid-19) for years. But nevertheless many people drank the koolaid and switched lines, they appreciated to go for state of hope to maybe reach cure and vaccination instead of trying to reach acceptance. Those people are now in deep trouble as the second wave and measures of lockdown hit us again. They now recognize that they took the wrong subway line, one that was still under construction and not yet ready to use.
For you to continue travel on the Covid-19 subway line you should not halt here for too long, rather try to stay aboard the train. Make a short stop then continue to acceptance state. I find the word „orientation“ also valid for this station. Try to exchange your feelings and experiences with others. Try not to cope with this alone and reach out to others. Orient yourself how all the others (friends, businesses, etc.) deal with it. Find out what the pandemic maybe offers as a positive side (for some people more home office, more digital communication, less travel are such things). If you recognize only the loss you have (freedom of movement, freedom of business, ect.) you miss that everyone else is also hit. Instead try to figure out how to minimize loss and carry on.
If you do not have a stable/resilient social context but are rather trying to cope with this on your own you may have left the train on bargaining station and instead now traveled to the state of depression. You think you cannot change anything, experience helplessness and everything appears to be doomed. You kind of experience a state of resignation. Warning, this is not rational! If you think you cannot do anything you are on a rational level wrong. You may not be able to do as much as you would like, but it is not nothing you can do. This is important. Try to go back to bargaining station as soon as possible. There is nothing in it for you at depression.
It’s actually not worth the effort to expect a quick change of how society will have to deal with this pandemic. So every expectation for a shortcut, e.g. switching lines to Hope and Cure & Vaccination will be a risky strategy, because that line is still under construction. The process of developing a vaccine usually takes a year for the normal flu. But in this case there already was research done on corona-class viruses for YEARS without any reasonable result. So I personally expect this to be an unreasonable hope to think we will soon have a cure & vaccine.
So what I did instead was going into acceptence state for the whole situation. It’s a bit like in these dystopian Hollywood movies where the planetary environment is mostly destroyed, hazardeous and dangerous. You cannot do anything about it or change it so why go into depression if you can have acceptance? It is like entering a life endangering part of the universe, like e.g. stratosphere, space or deep sea oceans, you need protection everytime you go there to stay alive.
So we better get the right protective gear like e.g. an FFP3 mask (see urbandoo.net) and a tiny bottle of desinfectant to carry around at all time and try to continue with life. We will be impacted by all the disadvantages an astronaut, a stratosphere ballooner or deep sea diver experiences, so we now have some clumsy gear if we go outside which hinders us in everyday things. Things which were easy now become a lot more difficult, like e.g. talking with a mask on, finding a non-hazardeous way to exercise doing sports and washing or hands much more often, also disinfecting surfaces and/or our hands often touched by many people etc.
The so called Kübler-Ross-model of grief comes instantly to my mind and I think that it helps to get oriented in the negative fallout we experience in this pandemic. Warning: This model of grief never was scientifically proven to be right, nevertheless it seems to help to orient oneself towards the current situation.
Why do I blog this? From observing our media and the development of the number of infected people, I can easily deduct, that we are still in the acceleration phase of the pandemic development. We are kind of stuck in the acceleration phase because the only thing we can do right now is to slow the acceleration phase down in a way we can still deal with all the ill people in hospitals. I am kind a fed up with the Covidiots those people who still live in Denial/Anger and I wish those people would start thinking in a rational way about it. Hell a pandemic hit us! It’s no one’s fault, it just happened and it won’t go away any time soon. So get over it and accept that the world has changed… and damned wear a mask and keep distance.