Lessons From the Pandemic

Here are ten seemingly random things learned during the pandemic. The list might get longer. It seems we still have a lot to learn.

#1: Never wear yoga pants.
Well into the pandemic, everyone knows you’re not actually going to yoga.

#2: Our mothers were right.
Wash your hands before you eat. And also always.

#3: Conspiracy theories make us feel like we have some control.
But we don’t have control. It’s a global pandemic and there is no rule book. We have to learn to release. And maybe surf.

#4: Horizons have shifted.
Everything that was important in February of 2020 was no longer so important by April. We got to learn about ourselves. We got to learn what mattered.

#5: Less liquid = less need to pee.
There are fewer public bathrooms available in a Pandemic, so consider your intake before going out. All that water you’ve been drinking these last few years? It has to GO somewhere. And somehow you survived childhood without dragging a water bottle around with you everywhere you went. You can do it again.

#6: Hope is a thing with feathers.
Even in the darkest days of lockdown, there were bright spots and beautiful moments. Maybe even the scarier things got, the more the golden times stood out in sharp relief. Remember that.

#7: Shop don’t stock.
You didn’t really need all that toilet paper.

#8: Mindfulness is everything.
Slow down and think about stuff before you do it. In a world where an instinctive hug or handshake can end with you in the hospital or 1000 people in quarantine, it’s worth just thinking every move through. (This isn’t a bad thing.)

#9: Physical distancing. Use your senses.
If you are standing close enough to someone to smell them, they are too close.

#10: Covid provided a pause.
The Coronavirus has changed everything everywhere. This is problematic in some ways, but it’s also a beautiful opportunity for global reassessment in others. And a lot of stuff was broken before. Now we get the chance to fix it. ◊

Linda L. Richards is the editor of January Magazine and the author of several books.

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