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A little optimism. 😊

Psychology ONE Optimism

With all that is going on presently, there are people everywhere who are worried for the future.  With good reason: Covid-19 is a worldwide pandemic and was rapidly spreading in Australia until physical distancing measures were implemented.  Our minds like certainty and control but Covid-19 does not allow either.  All we can “control” is our own personal hygiene and movements.  This week though, instead of dwelling on the negative, I have put together a few positive outcomes that I and others have noticed… 

  • Isolating brings us all into a creative mindset – we are all discovering our inner chef, singer, artist, or gaming master. 
  • People are getting creative with work and school requirements also – I see a revival of the craft era to help children learn, along with interesting and fun ways to exercise indoors.
  • Not to mention our cultural superstars banding together to provide entertainment online, often free or to raise money for charity.
  • One thing many of us have is time and this might offer the opportunity to set a goal for learning, re-training, or catching up on unfinished reading (my personal goal).
  • Isolation is easier with the internet to keep us in touch with friends and family from a distance.
  • Our animals are happy to have the company of people working from home.  Well, perhaps not the cats.
  • On a broader level, many people are becoming more compassionate towards others.  When we can let our worries go for a moment, we can think of others.  The Care Army has been set up to help our elderly and others who are fully isolated.  People are caring for neighbours, checking on one another and running errands.  We saw a similar outpouring of compassion earlier in the year with the bushfire crisis – how amazing to see this on a world-wide scale.
  • People realise that we are all in this together – money or status cannot buy immunity.  Covid-19 does not recognise borders, race, or colour.  I hope people remember this in times to come.
  • We are restricted to our locality, but this means we shop local, supporting our local butchers, green grocers, restaurants (with takeaway orders) and keeping the money in the local community.  I hope people continue to do so in times to come.
  • Perhaps as travel restrictions are lifted, we might notice our own back yard first, taking the time to appreciate what we have in our own localities, our wider communities, and our own countries. 
  • Nature is renewing around the world!  Venice’s canals are running clear, not seen for decades.  China’s pollution level has dropped so much, estimates suggest that over 70,000 people who would have died from respiratory failure were saved.  Bird and animal life are replenishing.  Some towns and cities are noticing animals venturing into the area.  According to fishermen, our local seas are clearer and marine life is flourishing! 

And let’s look at some positive considerations about Covid-19 itself:

  • Most people recover from the virus – it seems that our elderly and immune-compromised people are at greater risk of becoming very ill, while other adults experience milder symptoms.  Interestingly, children tend to be less affected than others and, in many cases, are asymptomatic.
  • People are being encouraged to consider and are returning to the realisation that transmission of germs is often hand-to-face.  Hygiene and handwashing is back in fashion! 
  • We are isolating so that our health system is not overloaded at any one time whilst countries come together to work on a vaccine.  I hope they find one soon.
  • This has been a wake-up call like no other, of the potential danger of viruses crossing the barrier between animals and humans.  This is nothing new (think Swine Flu and Bird Flu) although the present pandemic is obviously on a global scale.  The medical fraternity will be learning better ways to manage such outbreaks in the future.
  • Similarly, China has announced a permanent ban on trade of and consumption of wildlife. That is huge! 
  • Overall, our effects to reduce the spread of the virus within Australia (and around the world) appear to be largely successful.  The curve appears to be flattening as anticipated and most people are compliant with restrictions.  Physical distancing is likely to be in place and encouraged for a while yet, to keep on this trajectory.  But this is good news indeed and our health system adequately prepared.
  • Many people are struggling with the fall-out; loss of employment, financial worries, relationship difficulties, worry about loved ones, and fear of a future which is different.  I do hope that everyone can find some “meaning” in this, whether it be to consider future employment options, to work to strengthen relationships through care and communication, or to find a renewed appreciation and compassion for one another.  What a wonderful world that will be!


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Sharon Connell

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