It’s remarkable how a couple of weeks can change everything.
I regularly watch the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and that’s the marker I use in my head to think back to when things got serious. Two weeks ago they announced that, starting the next week (aka the week just past), all the major late night shows were going to run with no studio audience as a precaution. Then abruptly on Thursday, March 12, they had to do the show without an audience, and then the show fell off the face of the planet, as did a great many other things.
In the last week, some areas have been put on lockdown, and social distancing is suddenly part of everyone’s vocabulary. Toilet paper has inexplicably become a hot commodity.
As all of that is going on in the world around us, how do we carry on here in the blogosphere?
My WP Reader feed has been dominated all week by stories related to COVID-19. I’ve seen some people apologize for writing about other topics that seemed less important, but I actually think it’s crucial that we don’t get sucked into an all pandemic, all the time mindset.
We’re living in a world that is currently in a very abnormal state for most people, and to avoid getting swept up in the panic, it can help to maintain some sense of normalcy. The blogosphere is one place where we can do that, even just a little bit.
I’m not saying that people should stop writing about the pandemic; for most of us, this is an important outlet to be able to express thoughts and feelings, especially around difficult things.
What I am trying to say is that if you feel inclined to write about something else, do it; it doesn’t become less worthy of being written just because it’s not about the virus. I know I certainly appreciate as a reader seeing “normal” kinds of posts thrown into the mix of my Reader feed.
I write most of my posts 2-3 weeks in advance of publishing them, so I have a number of posts lined up that were written before everything started shutting down and have nothing to do with the pandemic. I think that, for the most part, I’ll run them as scheduled because I want to hang onto that bit of normalcy, plus at this point, I don’t have pandemic-related anxiety or other strong emotions that I need to use this space to work through.
One way that I do want to write about related to the pandemic is factual health information. I think all of us in the blogosphere (and on social media, but that’s a lost cause) have a responsibility to use information from reliable sources. If you can, linking to sources for any pandemic-related information you use in your posts helps to promote responsible information-sharing.
Collectively, we’ve been supporting one another in many ways all along, and I have no doubt that we will maintain this supportive space no matter what goes down with COVID-19.
So keep going, and keep writing.
The COVID-19/Mental Health Coping Toolkit page has a wide range of different resources that can help make coping a little easier.