Okay, admit it, we’re all had this thought – maybe getting the corona virus would be less painful than life in lockdown? Well, the answer is who knows how Covid-19 would affect you or me? We may have no symptoms, or the coronavirus might kill us. But the point is that this awful virus can ‘t be allowed to spread. It kills 1 per cent of sufferers and hospitalises 5 per cent, meaning our hospitals would be over-run with seriously ill people and our doctors and nurses would be pushed to breaking point if it went unchecked. Also, if this virus goes rampant it could mutate into something that doesn’t just kill 1 per cent of sufferers, but something that kills 100 percent of those it infects. Staying at home is the right thing to do, but it sure is hard.
Some days I think I’m okay and then other days I struggle. I think we’ve all had our moments when we’ve felt totally and utterly fed up. Most of us are with beloved family members – but, hey, even they get on your nerves after five weeks in lockdown. It’s fine to feel a little antsy. Actually, I’d think there was something wrong with you if you didn’t occasionally butt heads with the people you live with.
Have you ever read anything by the New York Esther Perel? You should listen to her TED talk on love and fidelity. It is brilliant, but she recently wrote an article about life during the corona pandemic for The New York Times. Please read it! In a nutshell, she said we are all grieving for three different reasons. First, we are grieving for the loss of life, especially if you personally have lost a friend or family member in Australia or overseas to the coronavirus. Secondly, we are grieving for the old world, the predictable, stable world we used to know, and finally we are grieving for the sense of touch. We are no longer even allowed to shake hands with others, so a hug from anyone but your co-inhabitants is definitely out of the question. I’ve also heard Perel say that any issues you have in your marriage or with your children will be magnified during this isolation period. Hey, who doesn’t have issues in their relationships? What relationship is 100 per cent perfect?
One friend said she is annoyed because no one but her ever notices when the bathroom bin is overflowing. Another friend explained to her husband that she was never acknowledged at work but called on too often to patch up other people’s projects even while working remotely. Her husband showed her no sympathy, and she again remembered that empathy has never been her husband’s strong point. We often have friends who give us what our husbands and wives don’t, but right now we aren’t seeing our friends. Sadly, when it comes to husbands, too many men aren’t always sensitive to how women feel, and women instead get comfort and support from other women. But you girls are not able to catch up with your friends for coffee, instead you are trapped in a house with us less-than-perfect blokes, and I know that’s not easy for many of you. So all the issues you have with us are magnified. And yes, husbands sometimes feel the same way. We can’t escape to a friend’s place or go out for a game of pool or cards. We are also stuck at home, and the imperfections of even the most wonderful wife can start to grate.
Have you ever read any stories about mutinies on ships? The most famous fable is Mutiny on the Bounty. The mutiny on the Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty occurred in the south Pacific on 28 April 1789. Desperate crewmen, led by Acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, seized control of the ship from their captain Lieutenant William Bligh and set him and 18 crew loyal to him adrift in the ship’s life boats. Captain Blight had sailed out of England in August 1787, so this group of 44 crew had been couped up on the ship for a bloody long time. Sure, they dropped into a few ports over those two years but as they cruised around the Cape Horn and then on to the Pacific, these men were mostly stuck on the ship.
Do you know what prompted Acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian to finally over-throw Captain Bligh and set him adrift in a lifeboat? Bligh accused Christian of stealing from his personal supply of coconuts, and Christian was deeply offended. One of the most famous mutinies in history was prompted by a fight over coconuts. These men were locked up on a ship together, Christian couldn’t walk away, clear his head, talk to his mates and get a bit of perspective. Instead he worked himself up over the coconut allegation and overthrew his captain. To me this speaks volumes about life in lockdown.
It would be lovely to just get back to normal. To visit old friends, relax, talk about the world and get some fresh air. Instead we are all in isolation, waiting for the government to loosen these tight but necessary chains. We have good days and bad days. Remember, it is hard for everyone. We are all less than perfect, we all have annoying idiosyncrasies and craziness. No one is perfect.
Never forget that everyone is struggling. Get out daily for a walk and do some exercise, that is a great one for improving your mood. Be exceptionally kind and patient to those you live with, like you, they are not perfect. Don’t get worked up or angry. Remember, it makes no sense to stage a mutiny because you think someone touched your coconuts. Keep some perspective, people! We are all struggling and please stay safe.
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ABOUT PAT MESITI
Pat Mesiti is a best-selling author, coach and educator in the area of personal development. Having built some of Australia’s largest people-driven organisations, Pat understands the power of harnessing human potential. He has shared the stage with some of the world’s great business minds and has sold over millions of copies of his books and materials.