I am a social butterfly.

It’s uncommon to see me hanging around alone or doing my own thing. I just have a love for talking to people, whether it be at a speech meet, in a cafe, or on the street. Being in a crowd is what really fuels me on a daily basis. So when practically every citizen has been put in social isolation due to Covid-19, it makes my life quite difficult.

When this breakout began at the end of last year, I thought nothing of it. It was happening in China, so I assumed the U.S. would be safe. I figured the virus would run its course and be gone in a few weeks or so. Yet, as time went on, the coronavirus didn’t die down. It continued to grow and spread, infecting more people. Once cases began to pop up in America, I knew we were in trouble. But when news broke that basketball star Rudy Gobert had contracted the virus, that’s when the world turned upside down.

This was the moment when the planet stopped turning. Once his diagnosis was confirmed, it led to the NBA suspending their season. Not long after this, amusement parks, malls, and even schools began to shut down. What I had once thought was nothing more than a little cold turned out to be much more severe. I knew everything was bound to change, and that our society would have to adapt to the coronavirus.

The first adjustment of life that really impacted me was the lack of connection with the physical world. This shortage of human interaction is driving not just me, but thousands of others crazy. There’s a very good chance that all of this isolation and quarantine could do more harm than COVID-19 itself. Although this will keep us from catching the illness, it puts many at risk of developing mental health problems.

In order for us to ensure that we won’t fall victim to our own minds, we have to find ways to stay busy and interactive. For me, I’ve found myself playing plenty of multiplayer video games and hosting more group video calls. In doing so, I’ve been able to talk with my friends without actually endangering anyone. It’s as easy as texting a few buddies to see if they wanna’ hop on Call of Duty, or sending a Zoom call link to a couple pals. This has proven to be a healthy way to maintain our social networks in this time of isolation.

Another problem that many people are struggling with amid this pandemic is the lack of sports. With the NBA, PGA, and NASCAR postponing their seasons until further notice, it’s left fans wondering what they can watch. This period of time is a good opportunity to do some research into new films and television shows. While it is sad that there are no sports going on at the moment, we should use this time to expand our cinematic landscapes. Personally, I am really enjoying the Jack Ryan TV series on Amazon Prime Video.

Not only has this crisis diminished athletics, but COVID-19 has also left a massive impact on the independent music community. Shows have been cancelled left and right, leaving many artists without a reliable source of income. One way to financially help them is to purchase merchandise from their websites. Considering musicians barely benefit from streaming services, buying a CD or T-shirt can go a long way for a struggling performer.

Now obviously there are complications of the coronavirus that don’t have an easy solution. The Nebraska State CTSO conferences were cancelled, there are seniors who will never get a graduation ceremony, and thousands of people are out of a job. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our world, leaving many feeling somewhat hopeless. But, despite all this, the best thing any of us can do in this time of crisis is hold our heads high. If everyone can all just be there for one another and make sure faith isn’t lost, we’ll be able to get through this.

Coming from the imprisoned social butterfly, I can say that although this has been kind of draining, I also know it’s not going to last forever. To quote John O’Callahan, “Everything is temporary. Even the sorrow you carry.” So when this has all passed and we’re back to life as usual, expect me to strike up a conversation with literally anyone. I’ve been dying to get back to my extrovertive antics.

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