The streets of downtown Victoria are quieter than usual in the wake of physical isolation mandates from the provincial and federal governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Arnold Lim / Black Press) B.C. March 25, 2020.

EDITORIAL: If you feel creative, be creative, if you want chill, chill

Do what you need to get yourself through this period of social distancing

A lot of us have been in social isolation for more than a week now.

For most people in isolation, technology has been one of the biggest comforts. Watching movies on Netflix, talking to family on the phone, FaceTime and video chats, playing video games. It’s all helping, and importantly, it’s all valid.

Undoubtedly, many of you have come across posts encouraging people to pursue creative projects, something along the lines of ‘now’s the time to start that dream you’ve never had time for’. These posts are good-natured, and meant to help people get through a tough time, but they’re not as helpful as they try to be.

Not all of us want to work on a dream right now. In fact, many people’s dreams are falling apart. People are losing their jobs, their businesses are closing, trips to see loved ones postponed, events they’ve trained their lives for cancelled. Some may find the time to pursue their dreams in isolation, and that’s a good thing. Some people just want to survive and distract themselves from the world outside, and that’s a good thing too.

It’s okay to binge watch Friends again. It’s okay to beat that video game you’ve been waiting to play. It’s okay to play cards with the family. It’s okay to sit on the couch and do nothing. As long as your behaviour isn’t harming yourself or others, it’s okay. You don’t have to write a Giller Prize winning novel in quarantine, making it through this crisis is enough.

With that said, if you are feeling creative, be creative. Make up new games, create art, write stories, songs, poems, or just write your feelings. If you want to, take it one step further and get your friends, family, neighbours, and greater community involved.

There have been many great community initiatives that have popped up since the COVID-19 crisis took hold of Canada. Facebook groups like Coronaoke are encouraging people to take part in Karaoke from their home. The Facebook group Get Down with the Lockdown is encouraging people to share jokes, photos, games, and parts of their life outside of being in quarantine. Musicians are doing free live performances from their living rooms. Fitness folks are hosting nline workouts.

There is no telling when the situation outside will improve. In the meantime, take comfort in what is comforting and not harmful. Stay safe, and stay healthy in whatever way you need.

We’re going to get through this.

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