Here we are, at the end of January. We are all heading back to work after our “break”, but not everyone feels ready for 2022. Not everyone has that bounce in their step.
Maybe you do, but I, for one, feel a sense of malaise heading into this year. What will it bring? When does life go back to “normal”? A general sense of “Really? Again…”
I normally try to write an upbeat ‘here we go’ article to get the year started, but this year it felt disingenuous.
For many, this was not the Christmas break they wanted. Instead, they got stuck at home because they got COVID or know someone who did. New research out this week showed that for much of the pandemic, most of us had no personal experience of COVID-19, but by January 2022 three quarters know someone who has had it, including around a quarter who know someone who has been seriously unwell, hospitalised, or died of COVID-19.
If you were one of the lucky few who didn’t get Omnicron, it is probably because you are in self-enforced lockdown, choosing to stay at home rather than taking a chance. Working from home again, to start the year.
The ORIMA Covid Recovery Tracker, released this week, found:
- At no time since the tracking began back in April 2020 has the Australian community been at such a low point or felt so personally impacted by the pandemic.
- Our sense of optimism and resilience has fallen rapidly since November, at the end of the Delta outbreak.
- Feelings of being unsafe have become highly prominent in early 2022, and a majority of Australians are currently feeling that their mental health has been affected.
It’s hard to feel optimistic about the year when this is how it starts. This isn’t an article telling you to think positive thoughts, exercise more and eat well to make you feel better (although I am sure there are others out there if you’re interested). This is about acknowledging that it’s ok if you don’t feel upbeat. It’s ok if you feel a bit flat.
But we can’t stop. Life goes on. And while I hate the phrase “living with COVID”, this is literally what that looks like.
All we can do is wait. Stay connected with others and support each other where we can. Do something nice for another person, do something nice for yourself.
Be kind people. It’s going to be another long year.