Today is May 1st, 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread within our communities and around the world. As many of us are taking the proper precautions and sheltering in place until the outbreak dies down, it will be impossible to sustain this lifestyle forever. While many of us are used to staying in more than usual due to flares, recovery from surgeries, or other extended periods, this is anything but typical.
In the past, we at least knew a couple of things were in our favor when our health improved. First, that when we felt better we could get out of the house to at least live a little. Second, we were able to do this with a sense of safety. Going forward for the foreseeable future, these two comforts have been stripped away from us.
Like you, I have been trying to figure out how this will impact me in the short-term (3 months) and long-term (2 years). The reality is that COVID-19 isn’t going away, science and experts have already proven that. Plus, the likelihood of another outbreak in the fall/winter is high. Even if everything goes 100% perfectly, experts are saying we may have a vaccine this fall for emergency and top priority use, then another 4-6 months for the general public to have access in the Spring of 2021. And that is if everything goes perfectly.
What does that mean for Spoonies? The world has gotten a lot smaller for quite a long time. When we might have taken advantage of good health and see our friends, we won’t be able to. When we might have felt well enough to travel, we can’t because of an invisible enemy that surrounds us. A life that already felt small and constricted to these blocks of time or good health that we were able to LIVE IN, and I mean LIVE, we’ll no longer have these escapes.
As someone who likes to stay active at the gym when I am healthy, train and race in triathlons when I can, and travel with my partner in crime when well enough, these will no longer be options. Even when I feel well enough and when many of us feel well enough, we’ll have to stay within safe zones that we feel comfortable in. These might just be your neighborhood; hopefully, it will include a family or friend’s house who are also sheltering in place. There will be no trips to the movies, no sightseeing in a local city and grabbing dinner with friends, and there will certainly be no flying or going to hotels unless absolutely needed. See??? The world just got a whole lot smaller.
I don’t know what the future holds. When will a vaccine be available? No one knows. When will we reach herd immunity? The projections are dependant on so many variables. So we have to get ready for the long haul my friends. Life is going to change for the next 12-18 months drastically, and some of the freedoms we were at least have available to us as options will no longer be there.
I’m trying to settle into this new reality. Not just with my physical routines and training that keeps me healthy, but for my mental health also. Recently I’ve started online counseling from the comfort of my home, and I will be sharing more about the experience shortly. For now, though, if you’re experiencing stress and anxiety like I am, don’t hesitate to get help. The last thing you want is for your mental health to spiral downhill during a challenging time. There are many resources out there for you, USE THEM!
What are your thoughts on the short-term (3 months) and long-term (2 years) impacts of your life with COVID-19? Please share in the comments. I’d love to hear from others.