Over the past few days I have taken time to speak with a few friends and family; to check in, talk about life in general and of course discuss how we are coping with the crisis of Covid 19. Sometimes the conversation steers toward how we and our loved ones are coping with the restrictions. At other times we talk about the future; when we will be able to be with each other again, when we will have more freedom of movement. We wonder about the days to come, spring and summer and fall, whether and how we will have to protect ourselves. Sometimes conversations lead to concerns for our physical and financial future; what kind of job, income, retirement people will have. All of these topics underline our sense of uncertainty – our desire to know more.
Fear and uncertainty can be motivating or debilitating. It can lead one to exercise caution and take positive action. It can also lead to anxiety, indecision, obsessive behavior and thinking, and violence.
The conversations we have had are generally comforting as we feel the familiarity and endurance of our bond. With close friends we can learn and benefit though each other’s experience. My friends have helped me appreciate different aspects of the crisis, different experiences that they or their friends are having. They tell stories of friends who are isolated and alone, friends infected with the virus, friends who have no work and little savings, friends who are trapped away from home and some who have just returned from other countries.
These conversations have helped me appreciate the diversity of perspectives on this crisis. Looking into the idea of perspective in the news I have learned that variations may be due to the level of infection in a person’s region, whether someone they know is infected, race, socio-economic status, housing, political perspective, and significantly, their age. For example:
The McCann Worldgroup (a resource for business) has reported that “Young people overall are more worried that they will lose their job or struggle financially compared to older people:”
- Young people are also more worried that levels of racism will increase as a result of the pandemic.
- In the United States, 22% of people aged 18-24 are worried people will become more racist, compared to 10% of people aged 45-54. In Spain, 17% of people aged 18-24 are worried people will become more racist, compared to 9% of people aged 45-54.
- In the United States, 39% of young people (25-34) have reported concern about losing their job or struggling financially compared to 12% of older people (45-54).
- In India, 23% of young people (25-34) are worried about losing their job or struggling financially compare to 16% of older people (45-54).
The dynamic nature of this pandemic makes it very difficult to understand. Not only are number of infected changing by the hour, by region, state and county but the response and information are also variable through time.
I hope you, your friends and family are well. I hope your local community is coming together in support of all.