A reflection I wanted to make earlier but I took the time to analyse more tweets and Facebook posts of people who are extroverts and used to party and go out every week, or multiple times a week. Now with most of the world in lockdown and millions of people asked to stay home to prevent the spread of the COVID19 disease, these are the classes of people who are suffering the most from the situation.
Being suddenly unable to meet with friends, to party, to enjoy a coffee in company or hang out in the evening with colleagues with a beer, it’s rattling sad. Especially since nobody knows for how long it will last, when exactly we will be able to live a normal life as we used to until 1/2 months ago. The uncertainty makes it only worse.
I’ve browsed through many reactions to this quarantine and a lot claim they’re way more anxious than usual, unable to concentrate for long periods, sometimes at all for days, with a sense of oncoming doom and desperation, with lack of creativity and disinterest in the actual daily work one has to do. It’s a gloom picture, one that is spreading through the Earth for millions of people.
It’s fine feeling bad
Of course it is. The corona virus and relative quarantine is a new and uncertain situation for all of us and nobody is expecting people to shrug it off as it was nothing when hundreds of people are dying in hospitals and homes all around the world. I won’t go into details about the numbers, as the calculation of the actual deaths due to the virus is debatable, but for sure it is a dire situation for many families.
With this said, nobody should be thinking that normal jobs’ tasks can be carried on without any issue, without any increased difficulties and with the same smile on anybody’s face (if you had it before the virus obviously).
It’s fine feeling bad. It’s fine being less creative and less productive in this period. I hope managers all around the world will be empathic and understanding of everybody’s difficulties these days. We should never go into despair, in even worst moments than this, but a bit of a slack can be expected. We’re humans.
In this, I am totally, 100% supportive of my extrovert friends who have had their social life being torn apart and wrenched from their control, suddenly and unexpectedly. My thoughts are with you all. It’s like becoming depressed, all of a sudden, when you never experienced it in your life.
Depressed people had this for years
I will quote myself here. As I wrote above:
more anxious than usual, unable to concentrate for long periods, sometimes at all for days, with a sense of oncoming doom and desperation, with lack of creativity and disinterest in the actual daily work one has to do.
Doesn’t this ring a bell if you are a very introverted individual, suffering from depression and/or social phobia? Sounds familiar, right?
Precisely. That’s what those people go through each day of their lives. It is normal for those people to feel difficult to concentrate, despairing on a daily basis and feeling no joy in what they do, often suffering from an overwhelming anxiety at approaching even the most mundane tasks.
The difference is that nobody was being understanding towards them. And now too. Nobody is saying “you’re depressed, it’s fine if you work less than your extrovert pals”. Nobody is giving more sick days off to depressed people. Nobody is fine with them not feeling like doing much on a given day and still paying them.
There’s no justification for them. There’s no excuse, like the coronavirus is for everybody else these days. They’re expected to be as productive, as creative, as enthusiastic as anybody else, and if they aren’t the supervisors will notice. Good luck finding a good one that understands your mental state. Most won’t.
I can only imagine how much worse depressed people may have it these days in quarantine. Especially those living alone, spending days without meeting anybody. Even the most introvert person on earth is going to suffer this greatly. Which is not to disparage the difficulties that couples and families are having, but to give a thought at some categories who may have it slightly worse.
Quarantine is hard for everybody. But not all receive the same empathy
That’s the sad conclusion I came to. It’s fine and good that we are being easier on each other during these quarantine times and I truly, deeply wish we would be in the future too, regardless of diseases, wars and viruses spreading.
My complain is: why didn’t we share the same empathy and understanding towards the depressed, the social phobic and anxious people around us? Every day. They are doing their best being productive and efficient in a world that expects the same from them as from people having a better mental health status. It is unfair. It shouldn’t be like this.
I do hope that most extroverts would reflect on how they’re feeling during the quarantine, how many different feelings they’re having and the issues they’re facing that they didn’t use to. And then have a kinder eye for those who felt the same for years and years of their lives, with no ending in sight. At the very least the coronavirus quarantine will end one day, depression and anxiety may never end for many.
If there’s a positive insight we can all gain from this quarantine is this. Be more emphatic of the suffering of those around you. You may never know when you’ll be again in their same situation.