I am so tired of hearing about COVID-19.
I know it’s literally public enemy number one. I know that many people are currently in a life-or-death situation. But obsessively watching 27 news channels churn out coronavirus updates 24-7 is not going to make you safer.
We know what works. Don’t touch your face, stay in your house as much as possible, avoid other people. Watching story after story about how coronavirus is getting worse in the counties surrounding yours is not going to make you feel any better. Knowing too much can be a bad thing.
I simply don’t understand everyone’s desire to stay constantly plugged in to the climbing death toll. That sort of morbid fascination and subsequent panic is why Costco is limiting the amount of toilet paper you can buy, despite there being no logical reason to assume toilet paper was going to run out.
Staying tuned in to alarming news about businesses closing, the economy going down, and the cases going up is only going to make you — yes, you, the sensible citizen who’s been inside for the past two weeks — feel more anxious and powerless over the situation.
What do you get out of it? Some semblance of control? Watching every major and minor news outlet provide live updates about how the world is falling apart certainly can’t give you a sense of stability. Have you tried yoga instead?
Seriously — it might not seem like it, but there’s more going on in the world than just COVID-19. The Democratic primaries are getting postponed in several states (admittedly, because of COVID-19). Still, that’s pretty wack. Let’s talk politics. Amazon workers in Chicago just won paid time off for part-time amazon workers everywhere. That’s a big deal considering Amazon seems to own the world nowadays.
Yeah, you should put your shopping plans on the back burner in the name of global safety, but now is a fantastic time to pick up your old hobbies, projects, TV shows you’ve been sort of wanting to watch, and books you’ve had for forever but never read.
I’ve never had so much free time. I’ve embraced it with open arms, throwing myself into as many projects as I can to fill up my newfound free time. I baked a cake yesterday that turned out comically ugly (it tastes fine, it just looks like shit). I cleaned my room, and then the bathroom. It felt good to be productive, and it needed to get done.
I haven’t watched the news in weeks. Why bother? If there’s something so pertinent I cannot continue to exist without this information, word of mouth will get it to me within the week.
We have nowhere to (physically) be. Right now, turning the news off is a small luxury available to almost everyone. You don’t need to know. It’s not going to make you any happier or healthier.
Adapting to our new normal will take time, but focusing on why we’re here is only going to make it harder.
The mental health advice market is currently flooded with advice on how to stay sane during quarantine. Step number one? Turn off the damn news.