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People Are Different

Marion Charatan

Posted on August 12, 2021 19:34

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Some changes are good and some, well, let's just say, worse than bad. Here are some observations about 'pandemic behaviors' I've noticed.

The pandemic has created a sea of catastrophes in the world, including widespread sickness, the deaths of 4,329,833 people worldwide and economic ruin. How many have lost their spouse, children, grandparents, cousins, friends-- and how many more are to come? Moreover, there are the unfortunate who found themselves with a pink slip due to closures of restaurants, bars, clubs, shops and other businesses. How many of those people will be able to survive comfortably now?' It is a sobering time and it's far from over yet.

When we finally come out on the other side of this (if we are so blessed), most of us will be changed. I, for one, am now much more realistic than I had been. I simply don't take anything for granted. If a pandemic teaches you anything, it's that life is ephemeral. My heart ached when I heard a man who owned a food business across the street from a former employer in Seattle had succumbed to Covid last March. He was a lovely family man and very respected in the community. What a cruel twist of fate! But my wonderful Dad always told me that nothing is fair and that life is a struggle. Those words resonant with me now more than ever. 

Every day, I am beyond grateful for what I have and I don't discount my good fortune. But I deeply feel for those who are ill or have long-term debilitating side effects from a virus that is so insidious and unpredictable that even the most prominent doctors and scientists are stumped. 

I try to make the most productive use of my time--which I now view as the ultimate gift. Some people were highly creative during the pandemic. I would honestly say that I functioned at the same level in terms of writing, etc. However, I took up computer graphics and find it to be a very relaxing pass time. I can't say I am one of those who really flourished-- because I battle anxiety every day and that takes up energy. The reality of this situation is truly daunting. So, no, I did not write the great American novel.

Trauma affects people in different ways, because as my title suggests, people are different. As for friends, I've noticed that some are more compassionate. On the other hand, there are other friends who became more divisive or bitter. Recently, I had a falling out with a friend of many years simply because I did not agree with a point of view she had. Can't we simply agree to disagree? Rather than talk things out, she hung the phone up on me. Sadly, I have not spoken to her since. She is one example of how jumpy and easily offended some people are now. Yesterday, a server was rude to me at a drive through window for no reason; misplaced anger. I was polite and stayed polite. Changes are not always welcome!

Marion Charatan

Posted on August 12, 2021 19:34

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Source: NYT

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