Cultivating compassion for ourselves and others during a pandemic

Fundraising for charity through a Facebook button on this post on the Dairy Free Indulgence Facebook page (to find the link to my facebook business page: if you are on mobile it’s almost at the very bottom of this page, or on the computer on the side of the screen. On the Facebook page, you will see the button under the post showing the above picture of Matthew’s face. I do encourage you to take the time to click if you can afford to – no donation is too small.)

I feel like Matthew Hussey just took everything I and a lot of people are feeling and expressed it beautifully in his video, “Am I the only one not living my best life during Coronavirus?”

I find it much more uplifting and, more importantly, more meaningful to see the encouragement of humanity, deeper understanding, and empathy than I find “positive” and forcedly “motivating” advice and blanket-statements for-all-people-to-be-a-certain way, especially in the midst of people’s struggles. Sure, I bet there are families who get to spend more quality time together now – and props to good parents who are abiding social distancing in creative ways! But to say this is a blessing in disguise when there are many people such as the elderly and those with health issues or disabilities who are further isolated, and when there are children and victims of abuse whose situations get worse in these extremely stressful periods of time, especially as they’re trapped at home in abuse and uncertainty, is to choose to not acknowledge the struggle of many. Thankfully, our Canadian government acknowledged the rates of abuse going up in these stressful situations and is doing its best to see and acknowledge and continue to acknowledge and help some of these people. But there is still a lot of ground left uncovered, such as for those with disabilities who haven’t been acknowledged much in the COVID messaging, and it’s not just enough to think they are all well taken care of the system. Many are not all yet – or not fully. And as someone who has grown up with some abuse, I can tell you first hand that even when there isn’t a pandemic it is very difficult to even get through on phonelines, such as Kid’s Help phone, because there are wayy more calls than people working there of course. There isn’t a lot of intervention, especially for those who are too young to know that there is something wrong – and who are pretty much trapped at home now. And many systems are very difficult to navigate even in regular times.

Not to mention that many causes and research projects for other illnesses are now not going to have the funds long-term nor room for focusing on those research projects, due to the massive toll of Coronavirus over all other health problems and worldly challenges. Furthermore, many people who will need to go to the hospital or doctor for other reasons will be afraid to or even unable to get help if this gets any more out of hand. That’s why I added a donate button for medical research and help on the facebook page of this Dairy Free Indulgence website (you can find the link to my facebook business page on mobile at almost the very bottom of this page, or on the computer on the side of the screen. I do encourage you to take the bit of time if you can on it.)

There is always room for us to expand and deepen our understanding for struggles we cannot even fathom or truly understand in someone else’s life. That’s what deep understanding means to me: to seek to understand people whose lives we have not lived for years and years in order to even grasp a piece of their reality, but whom we try to understand nonetheless, while also knowing that we cannot even begin to understand. Of course, learning to be more understanding doesn’t justify the wrong in the world just like painting it “kittens and rainbows“ or with the Law of Attraction, doesn’t often help people who are struggling. It just makes many people struggling feel bad, as if its their fault, and is if it’s “negative” to voice the realness, and vulnerability in one’s life openly instead of continuing to bottle it up, in order to not burst someones’s “positive” bubble. Or it can make others feel that it is negative to voice what they perceive in other’s struggles when they aim to be real and cultivate deeper understanding about the human condition and struggle, which varies widely, and is often experienced in silence alone. Matthew read out a comment by a blind person saying that only during a pandemic does the rest of the world begin to experience the isolation blind and disabled people go through their whole life. Imagine going through this your whole long life, but with everyone else around you not being in the same boat.

Matthew also makes a good point of how most people are feeling more exhausted and less productive than ever despite being less busy than they were before quarantine days. He comments about what a huge toll stress has on our emotional energy. I would further add that many may be running into decision fatigue as a result of so much overthinking about every time we touch something, have to make a hasty decisions regarding safety even in a grocery store, and from all the info-overload these days. Matthew does warn that if we have the same expectations of our productivity now as in the past, we may burn out before we even get halfway – and it seems the predicted end-date to this keeps getting stretched unfortunately. And now imagine that some people have to deal with these kinds of stresses and obstacles their whole long life, and without the assurance that it will pass. And unlike this situation, where most of us, nor our families still don’t even have the virus yet to feel the full scope and reality of it, many already 100% have a disability or chronic health condition that they have to live with. And this extra burden of Coronavirus only adds further anxiety, expenses and obstacles for those who are immuno-compromised, elderly and vulnerable. The stress and burnout can compound for some.

Overall, this unprecedented event in society can give us an opportunity to further our understanding of all of humanity. And hopefully, whenever each of us feels stable enough to be in a position to, to help others. For now, the best basic thing we can all do is stay home and social distance. Even if someone isn’t worried about themselves, or even their own family for some reason, to follow health regulations so that other peope don’t end up having to possibly cough up blood, have their jaw pried open with metal to put breathing tubes put in their lungs possibly long term, or go through incredible fear, pain, and loss. Some nurses and medical professionals sometimes have even had to resort to self-isolating from their babies by resorting to sleep in the garage. Others in some areas have been collapsing from exhaustion. Some doctors and health care workers have died risking their lives on the front lines. So even if we are not immunocompromised, if we remember that the way we interact with the world may affect others down the line like an invisible domino effect, we may just save a life.

this picture of exhausted Chinese doctors sleeping on the floor isn’t even as extreme as of some sleeping in the street during their break while on death shifts. Let’s not let it get so bad here!

If we all do our bit, we will get through this, and sooner and more smoothly than if we don’t!

Also I am fundraising for charity through a Facebook button on this post (look for Matthew’s face) on the Dairy Free Indulgence facebook page. (To find the link to my facebook business page if you are on mobile: it’s at almost the very bottom of this page. On the computer: it’s on the side of the screen. I do encourage you to take the time to click if you can afford to – no donation is too small.)

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” 


check out the youtube video by Matthew Hussey below!

#stayhome #weareinthistogether

April 6, 2020

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