Why Many People are Experiencing Anxiety at the Thought of Life Getting Back to Normal


As the nation slowly lifts its restrictions, there is a conflict going on in the hearts of many people. While many are tired of the lockdowns and rejoice at the thought of going to work, getting out to see friends, sitting in a restaurant, going shopping, and even gathering at church, many of those same people are experiencing anxiety about life returning to normal. Why is that? The answer that is not what you would expect.

The reason many people are feeling anxious about life returning to normal has nothing to do with the threat of COVID-19. Even when they look further into the future when the coronavirus threat is gone completely, their hearts still shiver at the thought of going back to the way things were.

Though many people have personally experienced economic distress, been rightly concerned about government overreach, and have dealt with the emotional fallout due to the lack of face-to-face human interaction, there are aspects of this cultural slowdown that many people have enjoyed.

It is possible to hate every negative aspect listed above and yet still unselfishly enjoy the fact that you now have more time with your family. It is no contradiction to detest the economic decline and at the same time to feel stress levels drop when you drive because the freeways are clear, and you are now able to get to your destination in half the time. It is even possible to feel the emotional toll on your children when they cannot participate in the activities they love and still find relief that you can enjoy your weekend without having to be in five different places on Saturday.

Though these benefits of the pandemic lockdown certainly have not outweighed the costs, the current cultural slowdown has many people reexamining their lives and asking the question, “What kind of life do I want to live when this is all over?” The thought of “everything” going back to normal can be a cause of concern for many people.

The way through this anxiety is to consider carefully what to let back in your life and what to discard. As we bring each piece of our old life back into play, we need to ask ourselves, what price am I willing to pay for the reward this gives me. Most activities will require little thought. Going back to work, being active in your church, and a host of other things will, and should, be embraced with open arms. However, for example, maybe Sunday should only be reserved for worship, family, and friends. Perhaps we were created to have a day of rest, and part of the anxiety we feel at the thought of going back to the way things were, stems from the fact that we had abandoned that practice. Maybe human flourishing happens best when we have a day of rest each week.

If our lives were so busy that we did not have time to enjoy our families or to pause and reflect, going back to “normal” is certainly not healthy. Some people were so overloaded they never had time to consider the purpose of it all until now.  As we add pieces back into our lives, it is perfectly acceptable to leave unnecessary activity out if it adds little value to your life yet contributes to your exhaustion. It is not only acceptable, it is the right thing to do.

As authorities lift restrictions, now is the perfect time to ask ourselves, “What kind of life do I want to live?” As Christians, self-examination is an essential discipline of our spiritual lives. We are called continually, and especially on the Lord’s Day, to pause and realign our lives to God’s design for us. Maybe realizing we have permission to live a less-frantic life, even when all this is over, will calm the misgivings that arise at the thought of the lockdowns ending.

Hectic lives are often the result of having too many targets we are trying to hit; too many masters we are trying to please. As Jesus said, we are not able to serve more than one master (Matt. 6:24). My prayer is that during the weeks of quarantine, the Lord has reminded us all that there is only one worthy calling, and that is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Whatever does not tend toward this glorious end in our lives is expendable.

-D. Eaton

An Absurd Coronavirus Narrative

Some of the narratives surrounding Coronavirus are absurd. COVID-19 is a real threat, and many of the measures we are taking to slow the spread are necessary, but that does not rule out the fact that many arguments people are using to keep people in place are illogical. The tweet below, featuring a video by Governor Cuomo of New York, is a perfect example, and Cuomo is not the only one arguing this way. Take a minute to watch the video, and then we will look at how the logic falls apart.

Cuomo was asked about people who want to work because they are running out of money. His answer is, “economic hardship doesn’t equal death.” In essence, he is saying if you go back to work, you will kill other people, yourself, or both, and nothing is worse than death. He then ended the clip by saying, “You want to go back to work? Take a job as an essential worker?”

Here is the problem in reasoning

Premise 1: Nothing is worse than death, and going to work kills people.

Premise 2: Going back to work as an essential worker is okay.

The problem: If going to work kills people, then essential workers are killing people, and if nothing is worse than death, essential workers should not be going to work.

Cuomo has two options here. First, he can admit that he overstated the first premise, or he can acknowledge that essential workers are killing people, and he is okay with that. He could even justify it by agreeing that some things are worse than death. If he goes with the second option, he would need to admit that he is willing to have some of the people under his jurisdiction die to keep places like liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries open.

Since it is clear that essential workers are not killing people by doing their jobs, it is evident that the first premise is an overstatement. Once we understand this, the manipulation becomes obvious.

Here is what Cuomo is saying to you. “You cannot go back to work unless it is a job the government approves of, then you can work all you want. You will not kill people working approved jobs. The government will continue to decide which jobs are approved, which ones are not, and do not even think about worshiping together in small, socially distanced, groups.”

I realize there is significant danger involved with this pandemic. Still, if we are safely able to go to the grocery store with hundreds of other people by taking extensive precautions, such as masks and cleaning products, there are a thousands of other things we could do safely as well.

Let me end with this final thought because many people seem to think that since the pandemic is so bad, it is suitable for our politicians to violate the constitution and a person’s right to work and their freedom of religion. There is no situation where governmental authorities have the right to suspend the constitution because doing so would nullify the very thing that grants them power in the first place.

Do your part to combat coronavirus, and be on guard to make sure no one is attempting to undermine your liberties with absurd arguments.

-D. Eaton

Surviving Lockdown

I think I am handing the coronavirus quarantine pretty well. Of course, that could be a matter of opinion. In the video below, I give you a 60 second glimpse into my quarantine escape room. You know, the place you choose to go when you need some time alone.

What are you doing to stay sane? Let me know in the comments.

The Quarantine Chin-Up Challenge

Since they have closed the gyms, and we are all stuck at home, maybe it is time to bring out the chin-up challenge. Chin-ups are one of the best workouts because they impact so many muscle groups. Chin-ups develop grip strength, forearms, biceps, triceps, shoulder, but most significantly, back strength. They will also work your core. If you do not do chin-ups regularly, you will notice a significant difference after when you finish this challenge. The best part is it only takes about three to five minutes a day.

Here is how the challenge works. It lasts four weeks, and to start the challenge, you will need to be able to do ten chin-ups in a row. If you cannot do that, see below.*

Week 1

One set of ten each day for six days and one day of rest. I prefer Sunday to be my day of rest.

Week 2

Two sets of ten for six days and a day of rest. You do not have to do the two sets back to back. I tend to do one in the morning and one in the evening.

Week 3

Three sets of ten for six days and a day of rest. Again, feel free to spread out the sets throughout the day.

Week 4

Four sets of ten for six days and a day of rest. Again, feel free to spread out the sets over the course of the day.

*If you cannot do ten chin-ups in a row, and I know that is most of us, here is what you need to do. Every day do as many chin-ups as you can but stop one short of failure. Failure simply means, if you were to attempt one more chin-up, you would not be able to complete it. Be sure to stop before failure since you will be doing this six days a week with one day of rest. Even if you can only do one chin-up now, before long, you will be doing ten.

Good luck to you all!

-D. Eaton