How Does The Pandemic Continue To Disrupt Your Life?

The Coronavirus pandemic has arguably been the most disruptive event in recent history. How has it impacted your life now?

The early days of the pandemic were by far the most disruptive, as we all struggled to adjust to the spread of the disease. This included lockdown, the adoption of facemasks, disinfecting groceries, a shortage of toilet paper, and on and on.

However, most of the immediate impacts have been alleviated. There are vaccines, and that, combined with a growing familiarity with living in a society with COVID, have seen many aspects of life return to normal. Large gatherings, including sporting events, concerts, and so on are happening again. Many people no longer wear masks. Socialization has increased.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘Freedom or security?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘Is technology neutral?’


And yet, COVID is still with us. While the overall case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths due to COVID are lower than in past years, they are still significant. Individuals and/or families still catch the virus, and plans are frequently postponed or cancelled even now, nearly three years into the pandemic.

Now that we, as a society, have adapted our lives to accommodate COVID, what do you find to be the most disruptive to your life? Are they things you do, other people around you do (or don’t do), or some combination of the two? Three years in to this situation, what has had the biggest impact on your life?

Related questions: What advice would you give your pre-lockdown self? How do you want this to change you? How has your work life changed? COVID-19?

What Is Your Controversial Idea?

We all have idea about ourselves, our society, and how the future will play out. Are any of your ideas controversial in nature?

It can be very easy — almost too easy, in fact — to agree with people around you. Whether it comes from the media we consume, our social media feed, or conversations we have with friends or family, thinking in lockstep is quite common.

On the other hand, holding an opinion or an idea that is controversial, particularly when people you know and respect disagree with you, can be extremely difficult. Even if your thoughts are logical and consistent, peer pressure can be a powerful force to overcome.

There is an element of human psychology that sometimes arises, however. We can also be very contrary creatures, and sometimes when everyone disagrees with you, you may be more likely to become stubborn and refuse to change your position.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’


One recurring problem with controversial ideas is that they may veer dangerously close to conspiracy theories. Even if you don’t think of it that way, others may equate something controversial with something crackpot. And frankly, sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.

And yet, progress is made because people have had an idea that started out being different from the majority of people around them. Gradually, however, additional evidence may be gathered. Ideas evolve. What was once controversial may eventually become mainstream.

Do you have any ideas that you consider controversial? Why do you believe them, and how do you defend them to others?

Related questions: What do you believe? What beliefs do you have that might be wrong? How much of our thoughts are our own? How are you a non-conformist?

What Should You Let Go Of?

In order to grow, sometimes it is necessary to let go of a memory that is holding you back. Can you think of any such event in your life?

The New Year offers a convenient opportunity for introspection. During that period of self-examination, it is possible that you will realize that there are memories of events or people that are preventing you from realizing your potential.

There are many such traumatic or painful instances that you might obsess over. For example, your relationship with someone may be a cause of anxiety. Or you might regret a thoughtless action that you took without thinking.

The ability to let go, or move on with your life under such circumstances, can be very important. Obsessing over the past isn’t likely to be helpful or productive.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’


But what does it mean to “let go”? In one instance, it might mean to forget about something entirely. Rather than replay a conversation over and over in your head, it might be better to relegate it to the past.

In another, it might be acceptance. If you come to terms with something that brings you emotional pain, it may be possible to accept it and move on.

It might also mean, literally, letting go. Throwing away a thing that has outlived its usefulness can be very meaningful.

At any rate, it is normal for human beings to be faced with regret over past speech and actions. Can you think of regrets of your own, ones that you would be best served to let go of?

Related questions: What mistake taught you the most? Are there beliefs about yourself you’ve had to let go? How do you learn? What can you control?

When Have You Felt Like A Stranger In A Strange Land?

You can feel out of place when you are halfway around the world, or right next door. Have you felt like a stranger in a strange land? When?

If you take a trip to someplace you have never been, you might feel like an outsider. Particularly if everyone around you speaks a foreign language, or you are far from home.

However, it is also possible to feel like a stranger at a party where you don’t know anyone. Maybe everyone else seems to know each other, or have something in common. If you are not in a particularly outgoing mood, it might be very isolating.

“Speaking a foreign language” may not refer to English, or French, or Japanese. If you are the only single person in a room of married people with children, you might well feel like you don’t understand what anyone is talking about. Or a book person in a room full of jocks, or a plumber in a room full of computer programmers, and so on.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’


Of course, being a stranger isn’t always bad. On a vacation to a new destination, you might find some natural beauty that you love. New places might bring new architecture, new art, new experiences.

Similarly, at the party full of strangers you may meet a new best friend. Or at the very least, you may have an interesting conversation about something you don’t know much about or haven’t heard of. Trying new things can bring about positive change.

Of course, it might not. And even if it does, that doesn’t change the level of discomfort you feel when you are surrounded by the unfamiliar.

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong? Have you ever felt like a stranger in a strange land?

Related questions: What do you like about travel? Why do we feel the need to belong? What is uncomfortable but rewarding? When did you last push the boundaries of your comfort zone?