Some Strategies To Not Drown in the Omicron Ocean



(Image courtesy of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Art Museum in Boston, Ma. Image depicts The Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt Van Rijn circa 1633).



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define the Omicron strain of COVID-19 as "a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, B.1.1.529, was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). This new variant was first detected in specimens collected on November 11, 2021...The Omicron variant likely will spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and how easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown (CDC,2021)." As cities and countries reintroduce stricter COVID-19 practices or even lockdown procedures, the potential for a March 2020 lockdown appears more apparent.



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(Gif courtesy of Wix.com)


Maybe it was the lack of physical human interaction or the unknown disease infecting people, but in early 2020 many people I knew had gone down the COVID-19 rabbit hole. Similar to Thoreau's stay at Walden pond, the immense introspection meant many people got lost in their mind's maze. Social media took on a new level of toxicity as it permeated our daily routines. After all, when all you have to do is do school or work, a dancing challenge or whipped lattes can take the edge off. If we have to return to our caves come the Omicron surge, here are some strategies to help defeat your Minotaur.



(M.C. Escher, “Relativity.” Copyright 2017 The M.C. Escher Company, The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com)



1. Create Healthy Habits on Social Media

I understand and agree that healthy habits are subjective. One person's healthy habit might be another person's vice. I know that a social media post is part of an individual's personal LinkedIn. A post, status update, or comment are forms of social currency that inform your recipients that you are able (know what an XYZ is) and willing (understand why XYZ is important) to contribute to the social milieu. For this blog, I spend an unhealthy amount of time on social media to discover, connect and engage with the companies, people, and entities that I work with. If the world shuts down again, I will try to set a curfew for my social media usage. My curfew would be imposed so that I will not use social media for work reasons from 7 pm-7 am on weeknights and no work on Saturday and Sunday. This will allow me to no longer carry the day's stress by creating healthy habits.



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(Gif courtesy of Wix.com)



2. Pack your lifeboat with necessities. not nonessentials

If the world is going into another lockdown, I would do the following things—first, buy an obscene amount of toilet paper and probably some stocks in the toilet paper's parent companies. Secondly, I would reassess who and what adds value to my life. For the people I want in my life, I would assess how they treat me, my family/friends, and others. For example, if someone treats me politely but is rude to my sister or brother, I would immediately end my friendship with that person. Blood is thicker than water, and I would never jeopardize my relationships with my siblings for anyone.



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(Gif courtesy of Wix.com)



I would think of hobbies, places, or physical objects that spark joy for the things that add value. For instance, I recently discovered my love of pottery. I love how in a little room in the woods surrounding Chapel Hill, I can disconnect from the outside world's stresses and create works of useable art. Typically, I try to do pottery for a minimum of an hour a week. If we had to return to lockdown, I would triple mask and go to the studio where I could just focus on the clay in front of me, rather than the existential crises awaiting every turn.



(Image courtesy of me. Image depicts me at the Julie Berkowitz Ceramics Studio in Chapel Hills, NC.)

Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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