Netizens are significantly more active because of the worldwide “lockdown” aimed at “flattening the curve” of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Some are posting vlogs like how to make Dalgona coffee, which requires a whisking cooking utensil that is made out of a stainless steel strip coil. Some are also entertaining themselves on TikTok or joining games on Instagram. A lot of people have initiated activities just to keep themselves busy and engaged. The world’s current situation has basically led to the idea that it is the “perfect” time to be productive at home. But should that be the focus of our energies right now?
Productivity or distraction?
Ever the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, many countries have taken action to contain its spread. Citizens are strictly required to adhere to the guidelines released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), i.e. stay at home, practice social distancing, and regularly wash hands for at least 20 seconds. While imposing a lockdown and, at the same time, conducting mass testing are the most practical solutions to contain the virus since it is easily transmitted, many couldn’t help but worry how long it will last. In an article published by TIME, a British research team has concluded that in order for the lockdown measures to be effective, they should last around 12-18 more months.
At best, everyone is doing what they normally do every day, especially in the working sector and the students. They’re even finding ways to heighten productivity. Routines, to-do lists, and goals found everywhere online. Many are keeping themselves mentally and physically “healthy” by catching up with their exercises or the books they’ve been wanting to read. But the truth is, it is hard to keep things normal with what is happening right now. Perhaps what everyone is doing are forms of distraction. In an analysis by BBC, in a crisis like this, “burnout can emerge because of something different – what experts call decision fatigue.” Everyone is forced to make decisions that they are not supposed to.
There is no ‘right’ way to cope
There is no one way of dealing with things. Everyone has his or her own coping mechanisms and for some of them, it is being productive. But while there is nothing wrong to be productive, no one is required to do so. It is okay to just rest and do nothing. It is also okay to do both. All the mixed emotions everyone is feeling is completely valid – from being anxious to motivated at some point – because this pandemic is new. It is the first time to be at a lockdown this long and everyone is adjusting to this set-up. No one should carry the mindset that people should have cultivated a new hobby and made the most of the lockdown after it is lifted. Nothing spectacular should be expected to come out after all this.
True enough, it is difficult to determine what will happen next. But for as long as everyone follows the safety measures and make necessary suggestions, the situation will be, to some extent, easier to understand. Being informed and helping spread correct information is the best contributions that citizens can do in fighting the virus.