Contributed photo.

Opinion: Why a worldwide pandemic is not the end of the world

Student submits op-ed piece describing her take on COVID-19

In times of uncertainty, it’s hard to look for a silver lining, especially when it feels like the world is ending. Thankfully, in these past few weeks, I’ve had a lot of time to sit, reflect and observe some of the beautiful ways our lives can be affected positively by a global pandemic.

I think it’s important to note that I am aware of the gravity of the current state of the world, and in no way am trying to diminish the severity of this topic, but rather shed some light to those who need it as we adjust to this new reality.

With the current state of self-isolation, quarantine and social distancing, I’ve started to recognize the way that people are finding the blue sky in their day to day lives through a time of such darkness.

Looking back, I don’t remember the last time my mom and I just sat down and talked. Like, really talked. No time restrictions with one of us saying, “I’ve got to be out of here in 20 minutes.” Yesterday, we talked over coffee about our lives, how we were, for what felt like forever. What I’ve started to see through all of this is the way that connections can be made, even with the people we thought we were connected to the most. Whether that be the family you’re stuck inside with, your community through hearts on the windows, or the rest of the world working in harmony rather than against one another.

I feel like we’re at a standpoint where the way the world works is changing, and we’re all finally finding the time slow down. Maybe with some time away from work or school, you finally have the time to read that book that you’ve had sitting on your shelf for months, or call your friend and see how they’re doing, just because you have a spare moment in your day. Perhaps this is the time for you to discover what your hobbies are, to find a new thing that genuinely makes you happy. And now, you might have time to make a proper dinner for you and your loved ones, without the worry of bedtimes and homework looming over your heads. Go for a walk; re-pot your plants and give them love; clean out that drawer like you’ve been saying you would for the past year. Appreciate those who put their lives at risk to save ours. Appreciate working-class people who go out every day to make our lives easier. Appreciate those around you while they’re still around.

Uncertain times can be scary, and you may feel like everything is out of your control. Even though we have a lot of unknowns that lay ahead of us, now, more than ever, it’s essential to step back, appreciate the little things we can rely on, and indulge in a positive mindset.

The sense of community is larger than ever as we are learning how to support one another in a new way.

Reach out to those who may need a little extra love. Optimism will help us get through this.

Madison James is a third-year English student pursuing a minor in Professional Communications at the University of Victoria. She was born and raised in Vernon, B.C. In lieu of COVID-19, she is finishing her year in the Okanagan surrounded by loved ones. This opinion piece is an assignment for her Print Genres for Professional Writing course.

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