Empathy for the Extraverts

Blogging moved down in priority these last few weeks.  I know it’s a good outlet, so I am getting back into that habit now.

Start with some interesting stats.  I work in an essential field, and it provides national services, which enable critical functions.  One of those functions’ peak consumption went from a value of 150,000 to 1.7m on Monday.  The expectation is that on April 6, that number will triple.  I’ve gone through crisis management in the past, the longest period was 6 months of pretty much 24/7 workload.  This is different – the impacts of not delivering are personal and in nearly all facets, of higher criticality.  tldr: appreciate the people that let you keep some sense of normal.  Garbage pickup, cellular networks, internet, health care, grocery clerks, and more.

Introvert Heaven

I’m a natural introvert, and I’ve learned how to manage that aspect in order to be social.  Quarantine is an introvert’s heaven, pretty much what they dream of.  You can work from home and provide a lot of value, manage your schedule, stay away from people, self-resource.  All great stuff.  Many introverts can fill in the social needs through calls/text/chat/video.  Not to say this isn’t a hard situation, but introverts certainly are best tooled to manage this.

Extrovert Troubles

In the general sense, extroverts need to be around other people.  They often struggle with working from home, so that isolation is really hitting them hard. Really hard.  Some of my friends are showing signs of depression now, and we’re barely 2 weeks into this mess.  There’s a loss of self-worth when the social aspect goes away.  Combined with the added stress of the world right now (health & finance)… it is really bad.

We’re taking all these large steps so that people do more than simply survive this period.

Simple Steps

In short, introverts need to teach extroverts some coping mechanisms.   There are dozens of things that we do that extroverts need to start doing.  Not all of it, but with enough options they’re bound to find something that works for them.  Maybe they pick up art, learn a new instrument or language.  Maybe they start writing.  Maybe they get board games going over video chat.  They need to find meaning and purpose in their days.

Introverts also need to come out of their shells and reach out.  Every day.  Make a point of having contact with other people (at least voice) multiple times a day.  Set up regular events with friends and family to have joint chats.  Let the other person talk as much as they need to.  Figure out if there’s a local / neighborhood “caremongering” group you can help with.  Even the tiniest of stones causes ripples felt miles away.

The Long Haul

Aside from the US president (which you know, wow), the world has accepted that we’re in this for a while.  A solid 6 weeks of lockdown, if things work out.  Aside from going to work, most people have never done something for 6 weeks straight.  This is the new normal.

To end, here’s a link to the John Hopkins Medical University’s COVD-19 global tracker.  One of the best sources of analytics possible.

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