Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

From Prison I See The Bittersweet Blessings From Covid

At first I was turned off by the phrase, "never let a crisis go to waste," but now I see its utility

Covid cost us so much and changed us forever! I never thought I'd see a real pandemic. I know most of you didn't either. The last world-changing event on this scale I believe was 9/11. This Covid-19, this Corona virus, is multi-faceted. Dealing damage in the firm lockdowns, quarantines, face masks, death count rising daily and fear touching each and every person in some way. Not to mention job loss and deeper poverty for those who were just hanging on.

From here in my prison cell, I felt it too and I'm with you. Now that things are opening up, we are getting to breathe and circulate a bit. We have a vaccine that appears to work. Numbers are in free fall. Things are going the right way.

Now that the pressure is largely off, I think we would be remiss to not look back and see what positive things were yielded by Covid. The hidden blessings, if you will. Even the worst disaster yields many valuable things, even knowledge and changes that would not have been attained any other way...

You may have heard the term, "Never let a crisis go to waste." At first I was turned off by this phrase. So, I did an honest analysis. Putting aside my opinions and only looking at whether this way of thinking is valid. Is there real utility of a crisis? The answer is yes!! I looked at both in prison environment, where I am, obviously, and the free world where most of you are. The first and biggest example is working from home! Many people loved working from home. Saving the commute and more family time. Plus saving companies office space expenses. So much so, that some companies have even eliminated offices altogether. Others dramatically downsized. Saving millions and changing the way we look at business. A discovery that would NEVER have been made if we were not forced to lockdown and work from home. Giving us the rare opportunity to sample this way of doing things which works for almost all parties involved. The work place will never be looked at the same way.

As for myself. I took multiple self-help classes daily before Covid. Once we went on lockdown, at first we had NO programming. Then, slowly, they began converting one by one, each class to paper work or tablet work on our prison/inmate tablets. The result? I'm now able to be actively participating in over 20 self-help classes by mail all at once. More than I could EVER do if I were forced to get dressed and spend time physically in these classes! Additionally, while doing those self-help classes, I did my vocational computer class, drug treatment, and first semester of AA and business certificate program! I'm no longer bound by where I can physically be. I can do so much more with my time. I am doing just that. I'm the most multitasking prisoner I know. I love that I'm now able to use my time to do things that will help me with my ultimate goal, MY FREEDOM.

These are just the biggest ones. There are many, many more. Covid restrictions provided a terrain for those who have a quick wit to open a business and make major money. As many did! As soon as the panmdemic hit, my first thought was the business advantages out there for someone with a hustle instinct. I was watching the pandemic unfold and wishing I could be out there to make and sew masks! The business openings that sprang up were numerous. I only wish I could have taken part.

As we move forward, I know I'm smarter ands stronger after feeling the painful lows of Covid and still managing to find purpose and thrive even when I felt like crap from the layers of anxiety and depression we all felt at one point or another. We owe it to ourselves to take any valuables that were left when the smoke cleared and we were still standing. After all, they belong to us. We went through this. So, if there is something positive to be gained, take it with you and use it! It's yours. Many people focus only on the overwhelming negatives associated with Covid. You're cheating yourself if you don't look at the other end of the spectrum. Most of the bad could not be avoided. But the good, we must make active effort to recognize and appreciate and take. It's there! It's more than you might think. It's part of the Covid package.


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