We Are All Just Doing Our Best
It's now several months into a pandemic and I am seeing a lot of really neat and powerful, even inspiring, things amidst all this chaos. I'm seeing community come together in unique ways.
Adapting during the pandemic
I'm seeing people learn to adapt to a major shift in lifestyles. I'm seeing people check in on one-another, unify for common goals, and work to make the most of an admittedly crummy situation. I'm even seeing some people flourish, particularly those with social anxieties, who now have a lot more people online with whom they can connect easily and without as much worry about things like eye contact.
Community, support, and connection
I am also seeing people who are struggling, and I want to note that this post is not a discounting of those struggles. I just feel like we are seeing a lot of negativity online, particularly in social media, and I wanted to highlight the good I am seeing, as life is all about perception. Focusing on the positives may not get rid of the negatives, but it sure helps keep them from becoming overwhelming.
Some cool ways I have seen people come together:
- Venmo and other 3rd party money transfer apps for donations and assisting those in the community who need help
- Fundraising through digital events
- Meditation sit-downs and mindfulness hours on Zoom or FB video messenger
- Support groups moving to Zoom or FB video messenger
- Offering free education and reduced-cost career-enhancing online courses
Some additional noteworthy things I am seeing:
- Creativity - Art and cooking have taken off in this pandemic
- Free telehealth services have brought mental health into homes for those who choose to access it -- even Medicaid now has free telehealth, as does all insurance due to subsidies from the stimulus packages
- HIV groups connecting and building - for instance, the Vivent Health national online [free] conference for HIV care and advocacy
- Increased use of video game MMOs -- the massive multiplayer online format is a social medium that more people are finding which allows for human connection in "third world" spaces that don't contain the pandemic or the challenges it and HIV bring. The mental health benefits of using MMOs to connect are actually staggering -- I am using MMOs as therapy for clients now!
We are all trying our best
At the end of the day, we are going to be in this struggle for a bit. We are the immunocompromised, the at-risk category. But that doesn't mean life can't be fulfilling or that we have to be cut-off.
We are all just doing our best and the more tools we have. The more we connect with one another, the easier it becomes to not only do our best but to feel good about it and to still have a fulfilling life. That also doesn't mean anyone has to do anything different than they already are - again, I know we are all just trying our best, and this is my personal take on that.
At what age were you diagnosed with HIV?