One Year on: What Lessons has the Global Pandemic Taught Us?

It’s no secret that the world has changed greatly over the past year.

Although the global coronavirus pandemic is far from over, it helps to reflect on the last 12 months and consider what we can take away from this life changing event.

While we may feel lonely, we are never truly alone.

It is true that not everyone likes change, but not all changes are bad.

As Melbourne enters another lockdown, the situation can feel hopeless, but we’ve been here before, we know what to do and we can come out of this just like we did in previous times.

In these times it can help to remember that great change can give rise to opportunities we have never had before, and may not have had otherwise.

There are three areas where we have potentially seen the most change: the general course of our lives, new opportunities and developments, and the strengthened resilience we have developed as a community.

So, what can we take away from all the changes we have experienced over this past year?

Let’s break it down and really examine where we came from and where we are now.

1. Changes to your life course.

When someone experiences a life-altering trauma, the effects of this can manifest in many different ways, depending on the individual, their background and their personal circumstances.

Oftentimes, we hear of people who have experienced trauma and have completely altered the course of their lives in response.

There are countless stories of addicts who survived an overdose which prompted them to seek help and come clean. Perhaps you know someone who lost a loved one and, realising how short life can be, decided to chase their dream career. Maybe you have experienced some kind of trauma that caused you to examine your life and inspired you to make a change in some way.

More time at home meant more time to connect with the members of our household.

The Covid-19 pandemic was a source of trauma for many people, and forced a lot of us to examine our lives and ask “is this really how I want to keep living my life?”.

The pandemic saw many people adjust to working from home, and, while initially hesitant, most people adapted to the change in a positive way.

No time commuting to work meant more time spent with family, and weekends at home meant more people were venturing outside to local parks, walking around and exploring their neighbourhood.

While the changes were difficult to adapt to at first, many people have embraced the adjustments made during the pandemic and have now altered their routines to allow for these changes to become regular.

2. New opportunities and developments.

As we collectively rose to the challenge the pandemic threw our way, innovators and developers were in their element.

As contactless transactions became the new norm, the demand for new ideas to make transactions as safe and seamless as possible became greater.

Today, we can sit at a restaurant and place and pay for our order via mobile phone. We can use QR codes to check into shops and cafes, and even public spaces have been altered to allow for more space while we continue to practice social distancing.

New technologies change the way we dine out with friends.

All around the world, innovators have been working hard to make our day to day lives as covid safe as possible, which is providing numerous opportunities for creators and inventors across the globe.

These opportunities quite possibly would not be available if the pandemic did not require an urgent demand.

This is just another way that the changes over the past year have allowed for more creativity and innovation.

3. Increased resilience.

You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have, and the last year was hard for all of us in some way or another.

Being isolated from loved ones, the fear felt as a whole while we followed the nightly news and the adjustments we had to make basically overnight have forced us all to make a change.

Some people experienced anxiety and depression for the first time, while others struggled with unemployment or job uncertainty.

There is always hope at the end of a dark road.

These adversities pushed us to the limit but the one thing we realised looking back was just how resilient we have become as individuals and a community as a whole.

We have found strength within us that we never knew we had, and this in and of itself can make us feel more confident in our ability to face other challenges as they present themselves.

While we may be in yet another lockdown and must continue to be apart from loved ones, our collective resilience makes our bonds stronger than ever.

We have faced one of the biggest challenges of our lives and came through the other side stronger, with more perspective and with a better idea of how we want to live.

Change isn’t always comfortable, but it is always necessary.

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