We’re living through a unique moment of global history: an emergency that calls for as many people as possible to simply remain at home, limiting the spread of Covid-19, and allowing health services across the world to respond to it without their capacity becoming oversubscribed.
Many people are facing challenges because of this. Childcare is a new problem for many as schools are closed. Some people are facing long days with no work or other activities to fill it, stuck inside the house. Others are concerned about the loss of jobs and earnings, and others are facing the stress of having to work from home without the resources of their office behind them.
As usual, the internet is awash with advice for people facing challenges, but at this moment, a lot of it is landing poorly, seemingly useless to the people it’s aimed at with many concerned tweeters and columnists coming across as out of touch or tone-deaf. If you’ve been infuriated by well-intentioned advice online that simply doesn’t help you, we may be able to explain the situation.
People are Different :
The problem we’re all facing is the same: the march of a highly infectious virus, but the people facing it are all different. The way this epidemic affects your life and the issues it throws up for you depend entirely on your circumstances and character. If you’re single, highly extraverted and focused on work, then being furloughed and having structureless time to fill is a big problem. You’ll welcome advice to try and write that novel, order a craft subscription box, and devise a home workout routine.
If you’re working full time from home as well as trying to care for two children who are normally at school all day none of that advice is applicable to you, and someone earnestly telling you to fill all your spare time with new hobbies sounds fatally out of touch! If your main worry is maintaining your mental health at an anxious time, then the implication that you’re lazy for not learning how to paint watercolours, bake the perfect sourdough and write a bestseller will be actively harmful to you!
The Solution :
As with many problems, the solution you’re looking for is to reflect and know yourself. Recognise what the issues you personally are facing, and look for advice that speaks directly to those problems. When you’ve identified your needs in this way, you’ll be freer to recognise advice for other people as their problem, and not something you need to worry about.
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