What a time to be alive. Undoubtedly, we are in an unprecedented time. When you turn on the tv or scroll through your smartphone, there’s one headline that keeps on making waves – Coronavirus (CoVid-19). The first-ever pandemic of our generation (crazy, right?).
It caught my attention back in January when it was still fairly new, and I made a point to read up on it before heading back to school. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would travel to more than 150 countries in less than 3 months. While it was making its way around the world at the start of 2020, many of us were going on with our lives with no idea of what was coming.
For me, I was focused on finishing the second half of my second year in med school, which felt like a task in and of itself. We’re in the final months of preclinical, so most of my days consist of sitting at a desk and learning an astronomical amount of information. It’s basically a full-time job of self-isolation (kidding, but not really), and sometimes that can lead to stress and burnout. By the end of February, I found myself missing the familiarity and comfort of home.
Then abruptly, Coronavirus shifted everything. It felt like I was watching dominoes fall in slow motion. I had been keeping up with the news articles and the early research that had been developing, and although I knew it was a matter of time before it reached the Caribbean, I underestimated the potential effects it would have. As soon as the outbreak started in Jamaica, I was on the next plane ride back home to The Bahamas.
Coming home was a relief to me since I had been longing for a visit since the beginning of March. But my ‘visit’ doesn’t feel the same. Med school for me has been suspended until mid-April or until conditions improve and the curve flattens. Full transparency, the decision to suspend classes entirely made me feel irritated and anxious. Because we’re not doing online classes at all right now, our schedule has now been shifted completely and could affect so many things, including the long-awaited transition from preclinical to clinical years.
But it’s not just me. This world event has had drastic effects on every single person. Schools are closed. Graduations are canceled. Jobs are hanging in the balance. Healthcare workers are putting their lives on the line, caring for patients without the proper equipment. The economy could take a turn for the worst. And the list goes on and on.
So in light of everything that is going on in the world, do my problems equate? Most definitely not. But are they valid? Yes. Some of us are dealing with our own personal catastrophes simultaneously, and although they are being overshadowed by this world event, it doesn’t make them any less real.
I’ve seen people talk about how 2020 isn’t going to be a good year and how things seem to be getting worse each successive month. But I’m a firm believer in the power of words, and I have no doubt that 2020 will be a successful, amazing year in spite of the challenges that arise. In the midst of tough situations, finding the silver lining is what keeps us optimistic and hopeful, and is necessary to carry us through until we see the light at the end of the tunnel.
As the saying goes, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”. I think that some storms are blessings in disguise, and it’s up to us to seize the day and maximize the opportunity that we have. Take this time you have been given to think about what you truly want in life, make a plan, and get to work.
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”.
Have you been thinking about starting a side hustle, but have been so caught up with work that you had to put it on the back burner? Now is the time to write that business plan, and sort out the logistics to launch your business. Perhaps you have a small business, but due to CoVid-19 you are unable to go into work. Use this time to develop your e-commerce sector so that your business can continue operating in spite of shutdowns.
With many of us stuck at home with our families, this may be the perfect opportunity to reconnect and bond with your kids, siblings, and spouses. Rebuild bonds and create memories to last a lifetime. Find the joy in each other and laugh together.
It’s also an opportunity to take care of you. Rest. Relax. Reset. Turn off the tv if the news headlines increase your anxiety. Put down your smartphone for 30 minutes and connect with the world around you. Use this time to recharge, so you can come out refreshed and poised to tackle what’s next.
“Rest. Relax. Reset.”
It’s not a secret that this is a time filled with anxiety, uncertainty, and stress. However, don’t allow what is happening around you to hinder you from moving forward. Keep your eyes on your goals and continue to pursue them. Focus on the positives and hold on to them. When all is said and done, we will come out stronger and more resilient.