It seems like anxiety is quite high right now. In speaking with our church community and my family and friends, it’s been increasingly apparent to me that many people are struggling right now. That feels like a strange sentence to write. Of course we are continuing to struggle in the midst of this pandemic. But in the last several weeks, it’s been amplified and it feels like something has shifted once again.
Perhaps because of the news of the virus variants and the race to get people vaccinated.
Perhaps because we are nearing one full year of this global pandemic.
This week I read a helpful article that was featured in The Washington Post: “‘Oh, we’re still in this.’ The pandemic wall is here.” And it felt like it captured exactly what I’ve been sensing recently (and feeling some days myself.) This feeling that we’ve reached a wall, we’ve reached our limit. That the smallest snafu can set us off, and all of a sudden, everything feels overwhelming. A woman in the article named Ashley Murcia spoke of holding everything together—her marketing job, helping her children with virtual school, and keeping her family clothed and fed and virus-free. Then the cycle of pandemic life became too much, she was out of meal ideas, she wondered just how many more Taco Tuesdays she needed to cook. And Murcia realized that reflecting on something as seemingly silly as yet another Taco Tuesday meant she had reached her limit—she had hit the pandemic wall.
The article goes on to say that chronic uncertainty is bad for our mental health. Though one way to get through especially difficult times is to cultivate gratitude. That absolutely helps, and I’ve written about gratitude plenty of times before.
But even if we focus on gratitude, even if we have food and a home and our health and we are employed, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t struggling. It certainly doesn’t mean that we won’t have moments where we hit the pandemic wall and everything feels overwhelming.
So maybe simply having a term—the pandemic wall—for what we’re experiencing is enough to help on those days when we are really struggling. Because it’s good to know that we aren’t alone in our feelings and reactions to this ongoing pandemic.
May God continue to bless you and keep you, no matter what.
(This Week’s Thoughts 2.11.21)