Lessons of COVID

Recently, I got COVID. It was a difficult experience but not as difficult as I anticipated. As I write this, it’s been over three weeks since I was officially sick. I’m testing negative but I still have a cough and am tired all the time. I don’t think I have long COVID, but I do think that we don’t fully understand the lasting effects of the virus.

However, this is not really what this article is about. Rather, I want to talk about the things I learned about life while I was sick with COVID. I had a bit of down time. Sure, most of it was spent sleeping, but I did have some time to think.
For example, when I get a tattoo, for a few days afterwards, I feel as if I can conquer anything. Being able to withstand the pain of the needle makes me feel invincible. Of course, that feeling is short-lived. With COVID, I felt something similar. I stared down the face of the beast that has been tormenting our planet for nearly three years. It wasn’t as bad as
I thought which is another life lesson. Usually when we anticipate something, we think of the worst possible case scenarios. Our brain likes to play the ‘what if’ game and spur our anxiety on.

Of course, what’s ironic about this is that the brain feels like it’s helping you and protecting you by planning for every contingency. That’s simply not true. In fact, the brain is working against you and making you doubt yourself. Human beings are resilient and adaptable. We will overcome anything. If you don’t believe that, you aren’t a student of history.
Throughout the centuries, we have faced down many pandemics like the bubonic plague and the Spanish flu. We have survived and thrived after them. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t take COVID seriously. We absolutely should, but we should not underestimate ourselves.

For example, when my family got sick, I didn’t crumble. I spurred into action and made sure everyone saw a doctor and got the rest they needed. We went into survival mode. I worked because I couldn’t take the time off – if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. That’s the life of a private contractor and small business owner. I accept it as my lot in life. There’s no one I can hand the reins over to if I’m sick. It’s just that simple, and I am more than okay with it. I am compensated well and happy to have the job that I do have. I appreciate it.

Yes, I was able to work and do what I needed to do so long as I allowed myself to rest when I could. I practiced extreme self-care. I rested, relaxed, and tried not to stress out about anything. I knew it wouldn’t ameliorate the situation. I realize that I am very fortunate to have the opportunities that I do, and I do not take them for granted. Not everyone is as privileged as I am.

Of course, that’s not to say that my life or having COVID was easy. Life is difficult, with or without COVID. COVID puts this shadow over everything, or it did until I got it. Now, I know I can stare the beast in the face and come out okay. I am not underestimating COVID, but I am no longer underestimating myself and my problem-solving skills.

No matter what life throws my way, I’m going to be okay and that goes a long way towards building up my self-confidence and self-concept. I am not glad I got COVID. Just want to make that clear. However, I am glad I survived it and learned to appreciate the blessings I have in my life more than ever before. A COVID world can be difficult and scary to navigate but it’s not impossible or unmanageable. We got this! All of us.

Deanna Goodson is a mental health and wellness coach specializing in nutritional counseling. I can work in any area of life. If you are interested in chatting with me, please set up a free, 60-minute chemistry session to see what we can achieve together. You can do that via https://calendly.com/dcgoodson. I look forward to chatting with you!

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