opinion

The entire world is in pain right now. But please don't think yours is too small to matter.

We are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis.

At the time of writing, the COVID-19 outbreak, has claimed the lives of 14,613 people across the globe.

There are currently a further 336,075 confirmed cases in 192 countries and territories, with that number expected to increase significantly.

So many of those won’t make it.

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Hospitals are overflowing, masks and ventilators are running out, and healthcare workers are buckling under the strain.

The ripple effect on the economy is already catastrophic; entire industries have shutdown pretty much overnight, leaving hundreds of thousands, if not millions, unemployed.

And this first wave of job losses is just the beginning.

Meanwhile, those lucky enough to remain in gainful employment have been feeling the force of the pandemic in other ways.

Here in Australia, teachers have been risking their own health, day in, day out, trying to do the right thing by our kids while schools remain open.

Supermarket workers too, are on the front lines of the pandemic; overworked, underpaid and facing abuse from angry customers amid panic-buying on a daily basis.

Healthcare workers, aged care workers, disability workers, paramedics, and so many more, are doing it extremely tough right now.

Those who are grieving, those who are sick, those who have lost their jobs or those who have jobs and have never been so overworked, scared and stressed in their lives, they have every right to complain about their lot right now.

But what about the rest of us? Those of us who are not on the frontline but are standing in the battlefield or cowering in the trenches – terrified as small, but significant parts of our lives explode around us?

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Listen to The Quicky, Mamamia’s daily news podcast where Claire Murphy discusses how to deal with coronavirus anxiety. Post continues below. 

What about those of us who have suddenly found ourselves working from home without the space or the equipment required to do so effectively?

What about those of us who have had to cancel events they have been planning for weeks, months or even years? Weddings, holidays, celebrations, things they have saved up for and were desperately looking forward to?

What about those of us who have found ourselves thousands of kilometres away from their loved ones for an indefinite period of time?

What about those of us who crave structure and use exercise as a way of managing our mental health who no longer have access to an office or a gym?

What about those of us who are single, live alone and have absolutely no idea when they will next be hugged by a friend or a loved one?

What about those of us who are pregnant or trying for a baby, who now find the idea of bringing a new life into this world more than a little daunting?

No, we are not on the frontline. We are not the first, or the hardest hit.

But we are all fighting this war. And it’s not about one-upmanship. Just because things could be worse for someone right now, doesn’t mean their struggle, their uncertainty, their fear, is any less real.

The entire world – every single one of us – is in pain right now. And all of that pain matters.

Read more on COVID-19

The Australian Government Department of Health advises that the only people who will be tested for COVID-19 are those with symptoms who have either returned from overseas in the past 14 days or been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days. 

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000. 

To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.

Feature Image: Getty.

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