I’m going to talk about the elephant in the room: COVID-19 fatigue. I’m not talking about the physical symptom associated with the virus — feeling weak, tired, or exhausted. What I’m talking about is the fatigue of hearing about it 24/7, 7 days a week. The earth-shattering, apocalyptic music news shows play as an intro to their coverage.
The virus has transformed, and continues to transform, so many aspects of our lives. And as people battle for their lives and ICUs reach capacity, I’m stunned. Stunned how mask wearing has become politicized. Stunned that with whole industries shattered and millions forced out of work, we’re told it’s simply time to ‘Try Something New.’ Stunned that some people so brazenly and selfishly put others at risk by flagrantly disrespecting public health guidance.
The easiest fix to my growing frustration would be to disconnect. (During in December 2019 and January 2020, I went ‘off the grid’ to ground myself, and that led me to initially being ignorant of the seriousness of COVID-19). As new infections continue to decline here in Ontario, I want to stay informed as we move into the final stage of reopening this Friday. And while I will reduce my news consumption over the coming weeks, I think there’s a better way to handle this COVID-19 fatigue — and the associated negativity and complaining around it — as we work to flatten the curve. That fix is…
Despite the havoc this deadly virus has wreaked on my life, I still have reason to be grateful. As Oprah Winfrey writes in The Wisdom of Sundays, “When you acknowledge and are grateful for whatever you have, it allows more to be drawn to you and changes the way you experience life. Grace is transformative. The more grateful you are, the more grace mirrors the gratitude that you have.”1
So, starting today, and for the next seven days, I’m going to post on this blog what I’m grateful for. I invite you to share in the comments section below, or in a reply to this e-mail, what you’re grateful for over the next seven days.
Today, I am grateful for my health. It’s not perfect. I’m asthmatic and require the use of an inhaler daily. I struggle with sleep, which can lead to fatigue and depression (I wake up at the craziest of hours). But I am thankful that my body is strong enough to let me be active and live a rich, full life.
Thursday, 16 July 2020
“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are
grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.” – Germany Kent
Today, I am grateful for my friends and family who have stood by me when things went well and when I had reached my lowest of lows. Life isn’t always easy, yet when there are mountains to climb or valleys to wade through, it’s good to know who’ll always be there by my side. Thank you!
Friday, 17 July 2020
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to
give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your
advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Today, I am grateful for love, in my life and in this world. Love is a beacon of hope that accompanies us on life’s journey so that we are never alone. Let love be our guide, let it carry us and rule the day.
Saturday, 18 July 2020
“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith
be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” – Maya Angelou
I am grateful that, with all the fear and negativity because of COVID-19, I have chosen to maintain a positive attitude. In choosing not to let fear rule me, I will not worry about the things I cannot control or change.
Sunday, 19 July 2020
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a
difference in our lives.” – John F. Kennedy
I am grateful to my grandmothers, Lydia Williams and Mary Lopes, who, through much of their lives, dealt with race- and gender-based discrimination. Through their struggles, their faith and courage brought them through. It is because of their efforts and their example that I have the opportunities I have today, and that I am who I am. Thank you!
Monday, 20 July 2020
“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for
granted or take them with gratitude.” – G. K. Chesterton
I am grateful every day that I wake up, to be alive in the day and to see its beauty. Life is precious, and I do everything to make each day count.
“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark
that lights a fire of joy in your soul.” – Amy Collette
I am grateful for the courage to chase my dreams, to embrace the joys of life and the belief that all things are possible. And the best part is that means I can just be me.
1 Oprah Winfrey, The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations, Flatiron Books, 2017, p.150
Shi Lopes says
I so heartily agree with you regarding the fatigue of hearing about Covid 19 from every newscast, radio station, other people in general, the looks you get if you don’t happen to wear one in the retail shop that you’ve entered and with me being of color, it’s even more so, to the point of people getting up and moving away from me or scared to walk down the same aisle as me! It’s just unbelievable the FEAR that has engulfed ‘every one’. I feel bad for the young children who don’t quite understand what this is all about.
But as to what I am Grateful for, I am grateful that my family is being cared for, especially Mom with Alzheimers because with her not being able to easily leave her home she has caregivers coming in twice a day to clean, provide personal care and to just chat which takes the burden away from me, not saying that I don’t love her lol. I am grateful that I have caring friends who check in with me, I am grateful for having a loving husband who ensures my everyday needs are met, I am grateful for waking up every day because there are so many who are fighting for that very last breath to live on this beautiful planet we all Earth even though it may be in chaos at this time. But, I trust and have faith in a higher power that everything is still ‘just as it’s supposed to be’. I ground myself every day go with the flow of the day and that it may end well. And I am grateful for You and the lovely stories you write which takes me away to another place and time, to escape if but for a few minutes every day 🙂
Yes, there is a lot of fear that is out there. And I know being a person of colour makes it even more challenging. At the beginning of this pandemic, some of my former colleagues, who are Asian, spoke of the hate being thrown at them. And it’s true, young kids really don’t understand what’s really going on or why they can’t play with their friends or go to daycare/school.
And through it all, there are a lot of good things in life as you point to with gratitude. And we must hold on to them. I am grateful for you, for being a part of my family, and that you are healthy. Be well and stay safe!