Mandatory social distancing can provide desired time for positive personal growth

The world as we know it is in a state of disarray as the COVID-19 pandemic has completely uprooted our way of life. The pandemic has led to many changes in society including the hated imposition of social distancing and the lockdown that California and many other states face at the moment.  

Most of modern society has yet to face a crisis of this scale, leaving many with a significant amount of apprehension about our present and future. The gravity of the situation has increased as the worldwide total number of cases rises to 1.2 million people. This makes the mandatory social distancing absolutely necessary. However, as long as people are cooperative there is no need to fret over this period of isolation. The isolation period may provide us with a lot of time to grow and to rest even if we cannot go outside.

Requests for social distancing and the lockdown have all received their fair bit of criticism, but it must be understood that these measures are an absolute necessity for the greater good of society. Many are concerned about unemployment and the interruption to their daily life the lockdown poses, however this forced isolation is important. Isolation reduces the transmission rate, which inevitably will protect those in at-risk groups. For the sake of the well-being of others, it is important to stay home.

Even with this in mind, many find social distancing to be too difficult due to the loneliness and boredom that comes with isolation. It should be argued, however, that this period of time should be used as a time to be productive, to relax and to grow as individuals. It has been said that isolation actually improves upon one’s productivity and creativity. Many people feel the need to be doing something, all the time, every minute of every hour. Couple that with the many events and commonplaces being shut down and many people are now left with an abundance of time on their hands. Some students may choose to use this time to develop new skills and hobbies or refine existing ones. Conversely, many will find this the perfect time for rest and relaxation after a long and stressful year. Sleeping in until noon or watching your favorite shows all day is still valuable as you may relieve the pressures of the day-to-day hassle or catch up on entertainment you missed out on. 

It would be wise to use this time in isolation to take a step back and appreciate the smaller, simple things in life, especially oneself. Plenty of time is available to clear one’s mind and replenish mental energy.

While social distancing may not allow you to physically see your loved ones and friends, there are many other means of reaching out and connecting with others. In fact, this time period may allow you to reflect upon and strengthen these relationships. Your creativity can be tested in finding new ways to have fun with your friends and family. You could play video games or watch a movie together using Zoom. The notion that it is the end of the social world is simply not true if you make the effort to reach out and explore other means of communication.  

The COVID-19 pandemic itself brings many uncertainties for the future of the world. However, while it is not possible to change the circumstances of our reality, we should do our part for society to lessen the impact of the virus to protect those who we love and cherish. Utilizing this time to grow as people and enjoy the simpler things in life will be beneficial for our overall well-being. It may be difficult but hopefully we will not only survive these dark times but emerge as better people as well.

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