We're the Parasite

When I was younger, I always said that we’re parasites living on the Earth. Not a positive symbiotic relationship where we take care of each other, but more like mange; we continue to spread and destroy the health of our host.

I know, pretty cynical for one so young. I also said that the Earth will find a way to purge itself of this parasite. Disease, war, natural disasters…

In comes coronavirus Covid-19.

I really don’t need to get into it as the whole world is aware of what is going on. First China – then Italy. Now Europe… and, soon, North America.

I’m in Canada and though I do take the spread seriously, I also think people are overreacting. Not in the self-isolation aspect, though some people aren’t taking that seriously which is part of the problem, but stock piling in toilet paper? I have seen the absolute worst of humans in light of this virus. People fighting over toilet paper, clearing out Costco of Lysol wipes and charging 400% inflation. Clearing out the meat section and laughing at other people trying to buy meat. Even I’ve gone shopping and been met with empty shelves.

The people stock piling has me frustrated. As I said in one of my IG posts was (paraphrased) for me, it’s not a big deal. I have a car, so I can drive across town and check a half dozen grocery stores until I find what I need. But what about those who don’t have the transportation ability? And what about those who can’t afford to buy cases of canned goods? Hell, even I can’t afford it! I just buy an extra couple cans here and there!

Thankfully, I’ve also seen the best in humans during this global crisis and I try to focus on that.

And, maybe, Covid-19 is what we need. I don’t remember the last time the world has come together to try and solve any problem like they have for this. I think it goes to show that we CAN work together when the need is great. We can learn from other nations so we don’t make their mistakes.

This shift also has to happen individually as well. If not, we’ll go back to our old ways and that’s unacceptable. We have been given an opportunity borne out of necessity to slow down, evaluate, and change. I know a lot of people are struggling with this as more and more businesses lock their doors out of the need to try to prevent/lessen the spread of this virus. Anything that would have people gathering in groups like theaters, museums, and art galleries are closed. DISNEYLAND is closed!!! Borders are closed and planes are grounded. Restaurants are closing for anything other than pick up or delivery and payment is by plastic only if not made ahead and even “Skip the Dishes” has a drop-off policy where they will leave the food at the door and not hand it to you to try to limit contact. Gyms, yoga studios and fitness centers are closing. Grocery stores are open, but some are putting a limit on the number of people allowed at any one time and several are starting to have certain hours for the elderly and immune compromised.

People are out of work because of these closures – but the government has stepped in to make EI immediate and not have the 2 week waiting period. I know it’s not perfect and there’s going to scrambling at all sides, but in the wake of some very fast decisions, it’s to be expected. Governments in other countries are freezing bill payments, rental freezes, credit card relief among other financial assistance.

This week I’ve been home. I HAVE been sick, but I would have been home either way as work has also enforced a “work from home” policy as much as possible. Though work itself doesn’t get me in contact with many people, I take public transit which has me in contact with lots of people. We could inadvertently infect dozens of people from across the city and carry it to other areas. The only safe place to be is at home – and that has been a fact.

This social distancing has been hard on people – especially if you have children but here are some things you can do:

  • meditate
  • take an online fitness class
  • try an online yoga class
  • take an online course
  • download Rosetta Stone or Duolingo apps and start learning a new language
  • create some art
  • plant seeds with your kids to start a garden
  • clean, purge, and organize your house
  • Go outside and get in nature
  • binge-watch some Netflix
  • Read a book
  • go on a virtual tour of a museum
  • foster a dog or a cat
  • If you’re healthy, offer to get groceries or supplies for an elderly neighbor
  • make up care packages for the elderly
  • Pick up a new hobby
  • pick up an old hobby
  • have an at-home spa day
  • put a puzzle together
  • Call family and friends to check in on them
  • nothing

Having this time off – for whatever reason – doesn’t mean you have to be super productive. I find productivity helps with my mental health, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to be productive all the time – and that’s okay!!!

Yes, this sucks. Lots of people are stressed and scared. More and more people are getting sick and there doesn’t seem to be a way to stop it – but everyone has a responsibility to do their part. The places that have managed – or will manage – to flatten the curve are the places that have successfully social distanced and have good hygiene. This is new territory for lots of people and hopefully we won’t have to deal with it again in our lifetime, but there’s a few things we have to do.

See the good in the bad. Appreciate your life. Reflect inwardly. When things go back to normal – whenever this is – don’t forget everything you’ve learned while being stuck at home. There is always a lesson if you look. Remember who kept things running: nurses, doctors, servers, store clerks, truck drivers, cleaners, delivery people and show them appreciation.

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