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Finding Comfort in Crisis

How reflecting on essentials during this pandemic can help create a better world

Girl looking through keyhole – stay at home
Photography by Daniel Rueda

In one way or another, most of us can agree that the last few weeks have not been ideal. Whether you have lost your job, an opportunity, or have someone affected by COVID-19, the season we are experiencing is one of discomfort, pain, and boredom.

Please do not misunderstand me, for I know how difficult this time is for many and how painful this season can be to talk about. I am a nurse in the United States, working on the frontlines with other essential workers. Being with patients during this time, both established and new, has allowed me to see a different side of humanity—the overwhelming, uncomfortable, and deeply hurting side of humanity.

This strange time has brought up multiple conversations of essentialism between myself, coworkers, and patients. The most common conversation starter that has been used at work is, “I wonder what is going to happen to everyone when this is all over with.”

It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? What will happen when we can hug friends again, go to the park without fear, or be able to buy necessary things from a grocery store with ease? Will we go back to our selfish ways of hoarding? Perhaps on the other side of this pandemic, we will continue to do half-hearted work and get caught back up into the hustle-and bustle of every day. Or, maybe we’ll take the outdoors for granted, feel justified in cutting the line, and entitled to the best of the best.

Instead, what if we came together as nothing but mere humans to implement what we are learning in this quarantine? We could make this world the one we have dreamed—a world with kindness because we know our previous lives were filled with inconsideration. A world with giving and charity instead of selfishness. A world of more thoughtfulness and intentionality, because we had a time where we had nothing but boredom in quarantine. Perhaps, even, a world filled with new friendships, laughter, and better time management skills, because we had time to grow and reflect on what matters.

Whether we are in a crisis or not, we should collectively remember the things that are important to us—be it family, close friends, a pet, a roll of toilet paper, your health, or work. When we come out of this time, we will have had much time to reflect on the essentials of life, material or not, and utilize our newfound knowledge to create a more powerful world.

The thought of a brighter, kinder world eases my anxiety for the current situation, and I hope it does for you as well.

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