Covid confusion: looking on the bright side

October 27, 2020

Image by Ajay kumar Singh from Pixabay

Hannah Phelps explores ways to survive and thrive amid pandemic perils

2020 will be a year to remember. A monumental year in which Covid-19 has swept across the world, affecting every one of us. We have witnessed our everyday ‘normal’ change within the blink of an eye and it’s clearly not over yet!

The notion of life moving on past the pandemic seems hazy. New government restrictions are confusing and constantly changing with the three-tier lockdown system being actioned at the moment. With this second wave truly upon us, uncertainty will be with us well into the year ahead.

Mandatory mask rules, social distancing, the closure of pubs and restaurants by 10pm (and at times completely) is now part of the new normal. It’s hard to imagine how we could once blow out candles on a birthday cake and then hand a piece to all our friends and family.

Understandably, not everyone is accepting of this new reality. With contradictory advice presented, it’s sometimes difficult to know what’s true and what isn’t, what’s safe and what’s threatening.

While the shared experience of a global pandemic has brought many people together, it has also highlighted deep-rooted inequalities in societies across the world. There is clear evidence, published by The Institute for Fiscal Studies, that people from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are disproportionately more likely to die from coronavirus.

Although life is filled with transitions, moving through change presents challenges for many people, young and old

Personally, I think we could all try harder to understand each other’s differences and circumstances. After all, this is an unparalleled period of time. It could be just the opportunity to come together, grow and extend our empathy, making these tough times less stressful and chaotic.

Those who want to continue with their usual routines and lives – going into work and having the odd drink in a pub – as long as they do so safely and with common sense, needn’t be shunned by people who are living more cautiously, and vice versa.

For me, lockdown, as difficult as I found it at times, has taught me to appreciate the little things in life; a walk in the park, a long soak in the bath. It’s also showed me how quickly social norms can change and how scary and unnerving that can be.

Although life is filled with transitions, moving through change presents challenges for me, and I’m sure for many people, young and old. Most of us prefer consistency, for things to stay the same, even when it presents the opportunity for growth. Comfort often comes with knowing what to expect.

On the other hand, it’s inspiring to witness how flexible and resilient people can be, the amazing jobs our key workers are doing springs to mind. I’ve also seen lots of people I know go out of their way for friends and neighbours who are more vulnerable.

I’m optimistic and determined not to let the pandemic completely disrupt my future dreams and goals

Having finished my film degree in lockdown this summer, I’ve had to dig a bit deeper and work a bit harder to help myself; I’ve challenged fearful thoughts, I’ve learnt to be more accepting that bad days and setbacks will happen, and it’s important to remember that life is messy.

Sharing anxieties helps put your fears in perspective. If you can’t talk to friends or family, you can call a helpline: Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87 or Samaritans on 116 123.

Being more accepting of the fact that life is full of stresses, is definitely beneficial to my mental wellbeing. It’s allowed me to realise what I want to achieve in the future and to work out the steps I will take to get there.

I’m optimistic and determined not to let the pandemic completely disrupt my future dreams and goals. I am so happy that there are possible creative jobs on the horizon for me. I look forward to sharing more about them here going forward.

At this point, we should not take anything for granted and make sure we create a space to look after ourselves and spend quality time with our loved ones.

Hannah is a BA Film graduate from Bournemouth University. She has been involved with various Exposure projects over the last few years which have helped to build her confidence and experience as a filmmaker. She loves to collaborate with talented individuals and aims to reflect this within her work and future career.

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