People encountering the 2020-21 pandemic restrictions may have ‘entered a time warp’, with distortion of familiar values, especially money and time. Finding a way back through unfamiliar financial terrain could be important.
Covid has created uncertainty and anxiety for many people. They have abandoned, slowed or deferred usual activities. There has been a timeout, allowing relaxation from stressful routines but restrictions may have brought complacency and slack inactivity. With insufficient stimuli, time may have dragged.
Without the usual referent of work days and social meetings, personal time may have become disoriented. Personal goals, such as exercising, dieting, studying, writing, may have been abandoned. Social activities may have been stopped. Some people may have enjoyed their freedom but others may have become relatively inactive.
Deadlines that structured activity, such as grocery shopping, may be cast in a new mould. Spending habits may have been limited by the money supply and when that changes, activities such as clothes shopping, may stop. Many people have adopted emptier more relaxed time schedules.
Reduced consumption may cause money to accumulate and new activities become possible, such as shopping online, investment in home appliances, furniture, autos or moving house. Acquisitions can seem more momentous during pandemic restriction, because although money is cheaply available, there can be fewer than usual investment opportunities and at higher prices. Time horizons are pushed back by restriction delays and low interest rates may stimulate big item spending. Costs of delaying are tolerable and borrowing over longer periods accepted.
Recovery of participation in high risk activities, such as travel and audience events, may be tentative, with empirical results revealing any remaining hazard. To recover, individuals may set goals to revert to previous activities, or they may want to continue elements of their restricted lifestyle. Resetting of goals with new time and money constraints could bring a more purposeful lifestyle.
Sufficient personal time is available for careful planning.
Conscious resetting of living parameters affected by pandemic restrictions could enable a brave new start, with goals for relationships, employment, residence, motoring, holidays, health, exercise, diet and education. These could provide structure for taking up the reins of a life that may have been partially surrendered in a previous treadmill-like existence. Pandemic restrictions may have brought new experiences that are wanted to continue. There could be a new awareness of the uncertainty of living, a need for patience and a new sense of owning personal time.
My writing about personal time is at https://martinknox.com
Immune responses are strengthened by diet, exercise and sleep. Underlying conditions such as pneumonia, cancer and diabetes can weaken them. They are deactivated by emotional problems such as stress, anxiety, anger and depression. Poor lifestyle, ill health and emotional difficulties reduce longevity, prevent happiness and cause premature death. Without the will to live, death is how people obtain peace.
It is a harsh call on anyone, a cynical and pessimistic outlook, to observe that many people succumb to various illnesses and death as withdrawal, when their life has become intolerable. Seligman in ‘Learned Optimism’ measured how absence of choice and control increased longevity of residents in retirement accommodation. The mechanism theorised was deactivation of their immune systems by psychological learned helplessness.
Immunity from good physical and emotional health, together with psychological control, could be critical for resisting an infection like COVID-19, without risking becoming a victim or waiting for a vaccine.
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