How I Survived Y2K & Coronavirus And Became A Better Human
Many of my readers aren’t old enough to remember the widespread panic caused in the late ’90s by the Y2K phenomenon. Let me explain to those who don’t know what I’m talking about.
In 1999, millions were convinced that the world’s computer systems could not transition from the 1900s to the 2000s. The media warned everyone that all the computers in the world would crash and send the world into turmoil.
The sky would fall at 12:01 AM on January 1st, 2000. But it didn’t…everything was fine. People laughed it off and went on about their business.
Westerners are easily shaken, especially when their comforts are threatened. That is why we see irrational runs on toilet paper during the coronavirus or milk and bread when there is a hurricane. They aren’t fearing for their lives, but they fear their lack of comfort.
Living overseas, you get used to not having certain comforts, and you frequently see minor crises and disasters. We may go a week without power, and then once the power turns on, the water switches off. It isn’t odd for the bank to be out of money or the gas station to run out of gas. Every day is an adventure.
Living without inoculates you from the panic of not having. Simplicity is the key. It helps you to see life as it really is. Nothing is owed to you. If you miss out on some of the comforts you are used to, guess what? You survive, and life is okay.
Living in a developing country also gives you a different perspective on life and death. We see death more frequently. Life expectancy in developing countries is much lower than in western countries.
If you get sick with cancer, you will die. There is no treatment. People die every day in the developing world from malnutrition and diarrhea, which don’t often happen in the west.
I have learned to embrace both life and death from my friends and neighbors here in Uganda. And to live every day to the fullest.
I know that Corona Virus is not a hoax like Y2K because I had both the Delta and Omicron variants (even though I was vaccinated).
The pandemic warranted reasonable caution and behavioral changes. But it doesn’t warrant panic. We can learn a lot from these last couple of disruptive years. As the world tries to right itself, you should too.
Don’t Panic…Life goes on
People die. That is a fact of life. It is a part of being human, and sometimes we need to be reminded of our mortality. But rest assured, things will eventually get back to normal. Historically, after about two years, a pandemic runs its course.
We must sometimes be reminded of our mortality, but we must also celebrate life. With families home alone together a lot over the last couple of years, it is likely that we will have a lot of new additions filling the maternity wards. (Working from home has its benefits.)
Make permanent changes to your habits.
Many of the changes we made during the pandemic were temporary, but we should consider the benefit of making some permanent.
First and foremost, let’s keep washing our hands and maintaining proper hygiene.
After months of missing human connections, we have learned how important they can be to our mental health. So if you are not able to go out, don’t waste time like a zombie in front of Netflix. (I enjoyed Tiger King like everyone else, but let’s not make a habit of it)
- Spend quality time with your family.
- Cook together,
- play board games,
- watch old movies with a big bucket of popcorn.
- Tell them stories about your childhood.
- Spend some time reading your Bible,
- Develop new study habits.
- Pick up a new hobby.
- Do some exercise,
- Have an in-depth conversation with your wife.
- Use this time to become a better human. A better parent. A better citizen. A better Christian.
While you are socially distancing and staying away from the ‘Rona,’ make sure to draw near to the important things in life.