I remember those rainy California days in my 500 square foot apartment in Huntington Beach, where the small box heater in the wall was stuck pointed towards the door — the feeling of being trapped there with a random human-sized carpet stain in the living room that kept reappearing no matter how many times I cleaned it. My walls vibrated with the screams of my neighbor yelling at their kid. I was in a nice part of town but in a cheap apartment, because, let’s face it, California is expensive. Rainy days weren’t the best.
Now with the COVID-19 virus running rampant, we are officially stuck in our fish bowls. Bills are hanging over our heads like rain clouds, but the sun is shining. It’s a rainy day that has officially stopped the world as we know it.
What will come of our lives being put on hold? Our houses are either a prison or a paradise depending on where we are in life. It’s possible your mind is a prison more than your home. With nothing to focus on, the stock market falling, the housing market on standstill and rent (whether you’re paying it or expecting it as a landlord) has us all on pins and needles.
Who is crying over spilled milk? Probably most of the world because our emotions are on HIGH ALERT! The fact that I just used “caps lock” probably made you pull your hair out.
What are we going to do about it? We have some good ideas, such as quarantine-friendly workouts, stockpiling healthy foods (slow down, don’t get that many) and how to manage anxiety as well as Snow White (while she was still asleep from the apple).
The fact is, this virus is going to ruin lives as much as it will take them. “COME ONE, COME ALL, SURVIVE THE VIRUS,” and instead suffer divorce and bankruptcy. Wait a minute. Our lives can’t become that unraveled, can they? We’ve been watching apocalyptic movies since Day of the Dead in 1985 and we’ve learned a few things, right?
- You’ll see people’s true colors during any unknown worldly situation that involves panic.
- The people in the movies who leave their homes normally don’t make it! How many times have you screamed at the TV, “Just stay home!”
- People adapt! Their personalities change sometimes but they do find a new way to survive.
Your 100 square foot San Francisco studio might make you crazy, but even the people in 5,000 square foot homes are feeling trapped right now. Your mind is a powerful thing. Your mind is the only thing keeping you happy or making you sad. It’s the most powerful tool you possess and it can help you attain success or it can take you into the depths of failure.
As we struggle during this time or anytime in life, it sometimes helps to know how others have survived. To see the strengths of the people before you. In the 17th century, an English village named Eyam quarantined themselves to prevent the spread of the Bubonic Plague, after being convinced by their local rector William Mompesson. Nearby communities helped the residents of Eyam village survive by leaving food at the edge of the village, while village members used vinegar profusely as a disinfectant. They also comforted each other by gathering outside to pray while keeping a safe distance from each other.
Because of their sacrifice and the goodwill of others, they were able to save lives and help each other maintain their sanity along the way. Eyam village should be our beacon of hope and role model during this challenging time.
There are many other historical examples of people who have also been quarantined, willingly or not, and who have had much less than what we have now. Don’t let your mind take over, find a reason to stay strong and a reason to keep living your best life. Let’s all hope the internet survives and we get more toilet paper soon or things will really go crazy.