COVID-19 has been the number one topic of discussion for a year now. All over the world, everything we do is somehow referenced back to COVID-19. Coronavirus and the disease that it causes frames every aspect of life, from work to leisure and to how we interact with family members and friends. So much so that there is an underlying temptation to simply throw up our hands and let COVID-19 define us.
We should be fighting that temptation with every ounce of strength we have. And though the fight begins individually and locally, it must be a global fight. If we allow COVID-19 to control every aspect of our lives, that control may never be relinquished. Coronavirus is here to stay whether we like it or not. So we now have a choice: control it or let it control us.
Prolonged Crises Breed Negativity
Coronavirus reminders are around every turn now. You cannot go anywhere without seeing COVID19 signs warning of transmission risks and encouraging handwashing and mask-wearing. Every day the news is plastered with reports of new cases and deaths. Even something as simple as meeting a family member for lunch is complicated by coronavirus concerns.
What we have here is a prolonged crisis that has already continued for more than a year in some places. The problem with prolonged crises is that they breed negativity. Furthermore, unchecked negativity is bad for us. Saturating oneself in negative thoughts, emotions and circumstances can have detrimental effects on both mental and physical health.
Negativity also creates stress. And we all know how damaging stress can be to human health. Therefore, the more attention we focus on COVID-19, the more we risk our long-term physical and mental health. Our obsession with preventing transmission may be helping us today, but all of the negativity associated with it could very well harm us tomorrow.
Hope Is Too Easily Lost
In addition to the impact on human health, prolonged negativity makes it too easy to lose all hope. A person can get trapped in a bad mindset that continually affects their thinking. They could eventually find themself in a place of completely accepting that things will never get any better. Such is the point at which hope is lost.
Unfortunately, the human brain is very welcoming to negative thoughts and emotions. Hope is too easily lost because it doesn’t take any work to be negative. It takes a lot more work to approach life from a positive standpoint. But that is what we must do if we want to maintain hope for the future.
The Economics Aren’t Sustainable
Outside of the health arena is the very real impact of COVID-19 on economics. At the local, regional, and national levels, the coronavirus crisis has caused significant economic damage. We have managed thus far through historic government spending. But such spending is not sustainable. Governments cannot continue printing money and distributing it to those in need forever. At some point, what has become an economic house of cards will come crashing down.
Understand that government does not create wealth when it prints money. The process of printing bills and minting coins only creates tangible objects representing wealth. Wealth itself is created by businesses that make goods and supply services.
If businesses are not doing what they should be doing, they are not generating wealth. The end result is that every new bill and coin put into circulation loses value. That’s what happens when the money supply increases but wealth remains either stable or decreases.
We Have to Get Back to Life
Few would argue that the coronavirus crisis has turned the world upside down. Few would argue that the future remains in doubt. And certainly, there are debates over what the future should look like. Yet the one thing we should all be able to agree on is that COVID-19 should not be allowed to rule the day.
The world has faced other pandemics, many of which were worse than COVID-19. We have worked our way through smallpox, cholera, Spanish flu, HIV/AIDS, and SARS. In the midst of any of them have we ever stopped living. Never before did we shut down and barricade ourselves in our homes.
An important first step in fighting the temptation to allow COVID-19 to define us is making a concerted effort to get back to life. We fight by going to work and producing the best we can. We fight by going out and supporting local businesses. We fight by spending time with family and friends, showing we care for them more than we are terrified by them.
We have reached a defining moment in the ongoing coronavirus crisis. What we do over the next 6 to 12 months will determine whether COVID-19 controls us or we control it. Many of us believe it is more important than ever to fight the temptation to allow COVID-19 to define who we are and what we become. If we do not fight, the temptation will eventually overwhelm us. That would be worse than the coronavirus itself.