Rethinking what we take for granted

Sean Khanna

Throughout history, humans have thrived on socialization and companionship. Now, this global pandemic is forcing us to isolate ourselves and avoid social interaction with one another. As social distancing plays a significant role in people’s days, many are limited to the number of things that they can do in their daily lives. For example, workouts and exercises are harder to do, as gyms, sports facilities and parks have all been shut down. Not only does this add up to the increasing boredom of staying at home, but also raises the risk for mental illness. 

For instance, according to a 2018 international survey on Loneliness and Social Isolation, “more than a fifth of adults in the U.S. (22%)… say they often or always feel lonely, feel the lack of companionship, feel left out, or isolated from others.” What’s even more disturbing is that the report also states that “three in ten people experiencing loneliness say it led them to consider suicide.” 

The coronavirus poses multiple risks including the fear of the virus itself, and also the type of environment it creates in our communities. Although older people may statistically be more prone to the infection of the virus, mental illnesses can affect anyone, regardless of their age.

Now, during a period of limited options and actions, we should look back upon the many things that we have taken for granted. Public parks, gyms, sports facilities and restaurants are merely the tip of the iceberg of the privileges that we have lost. It’s also important to realize that we still have our families and friends left, and use this time as an opportunity to strengthen our relationships and help each other get through these tough situations. 

The end of this pandemic remains unclear, but we must try our best to retain our normal lifestyle under these circumstances in order to stay healthy.