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What has COVID-19 taught Me?

Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic

I’m sure that, by now, we’re all tired of hearing the words “Covid” or  “pandemic” in a sentence. I know I am. But I think we can all agree that this pandemic has truly been an awakening, with regard to the way we live our lives. It’s safe to say that this pandemic made people realize that the way we were living our lives wasn’t the best. 

Some of these lessons, in hindsight, may seem like common sense. However, there is always that reader who might have to contend with similar experiences to the ones I’ve had. Reading this article could put their minds at ease. Sometimes, we really need a good slap from reality to realize our mistakes and hopefully learn from them. The following, are lessons I will take with me post-pandemic.

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Photo Credit: The Blerd Explorer

I’m sure I’m not the only one who still struggles with this first point. Covid-19  has shown me that I need to do better with saving my money. One of the well-known benefits of teaching in Korea is paying no rent. The employers are responsible for the deposit and rent while teachers are responsible for utilities.

Without having to worry about rent, I spent money like my cash flow was an open faucet. This was mainly for takeout, delivery and buying clothes or electronics from Amazon. Unfortunately, those good times came to an end in 2020.

I started teaching at an English Center in an elementary school back in March 2020 and sadly the center has been closed since July 2020. I have been at home on leave at a reduced salary. Because of these changes, I started to eat out less and cook more. While I admit I still order delivery, it’s been reduced to a once a week type of venue. I promised myself that once my contract is over and I’m able to get another teaching job, I will create a savings plan and be more conservative with purchases.

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Another realization stemming from the pandemic is that your health must always be a priority. Both your physical and mental health needs to be on point. As an African American from the south, I’m all too familiar with the variety of preventable, pre-existing conditions that plague our people. High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity mixed with a poor diet continue to physically hurt black people.

While I’m aware that not everyone has access to a gym or stores that sell fresh fruits and vegetables, the community need to take our health more seriously. Keep in mind that there are now people with pre-existing conditions like, let’s say, obesity that has lost and will continue to lose their lives due to catching covid-19.

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With regard to mental health, it’s easier for black people to “just pray on it” rather than to seek a therapist for their mental health. Not to mention, as a man, you’re supposed to “act like a man” or “ tough it out”. This mindset is not healthy in any respect and this needs to change.

I personally fell into high anxiety and was fluctuating between low and middle levels of depression. This was back around mid-October 2020.  After being stuck at home day in and day out without the ability to do anything because of the pandemic, I was desperate and needed to talk to someone. Eventually, I summoned the courage to find a therapist that worked for me. To this day, I’m still speaking to my therapist and it has been such a relief on my mental health. For anyone reading this and possibly feeling the way I did, please don’t be afraid to reach out and find a counselor to help you.

I found my current therapist via this link.

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