Coronavirus: A New Way of Life


In this difficult and surreal time, looking after our mental and physical wellbeing and caring for those around us has never been more important. One of the hardest aspects of what we are all going through is the uncertainty. I truly believe that making the most of an unfortunate circumstance will make us stronger people. 
In America, we put the economy first. But for the first time for many of us, the tempo of the world has slowed. The “hustle culture” we have grown up with that has bled into our daily perceptions of ourselves is starting to dissipate. So what we are left with is who we are as people, not what our schedules are, or where we hangout, or how we look. As a junior, I know many of us have felt burned out and stressed this year. There have been many times when I placed value on myself according to metrics such as grades or awards. So going from extreme academic pressure to hardly any came as a shock. 
With no point system, no competitions, and no prizes to pine after, who am I? At the core, what makes me the person that I am? This period of isolation forces us to reflect on ourselves and how we act when there is no routine to follow. At the start of this coronacation, I caught myself binging Netflix shows, staying in bed for longer, and falling into a TikTok wormhole. But eventually, I realized that this is a time that we cannot take for granted. It isn’t the time to be complacent, lazy, or unmotivated. It’s the time to start a bullet journal, make whipped coffee, read a book, go on a hike, discover a new recipe, or find a new hobby. It’s the time to find out what makes us happy.
Over the last few weeks, I have felt mixed emotions. I have been anxious, blissful, numb, and alone. Every day there are headlines and updates that tell us that the pandemic is worsening, that there are food shortages, or that racial tensions have worsened. But families have been able to get closer, and people have donated to support those in need. Global disaster ultimately brings the world closer together. It reminds us that at the core we are all human, and we all have the desire to preserve our health. It zooms out of the social constructs that have defined us our whole lives and forces ourselves to look at the community we built even when we are physically alone.
Stay healthy and safe,
Claire Choi