• Simone Penn

Is it insensitive to be positive during Corona?

Pretty much every celebrity has taken to social media to post messages of love and hope. Ellen is filming her phone calls with John and Chrissy. Madonna is bathing and eating fried fish.

They are being lynched.

I too, do find, messages of corona being the great equalizer, from the 1% of humanity, vaguely hypocritical.

But is their positivity insensitive?

I propose it is not. In fact, not only do I not think staying positive is insensitive; I suggest that it is responsible.

Based on my gratitude during this pandemic I think people assume I’m being ignorant. Perhaps I don’t take this seriously?

Believe me that is not the case. We are doing ALL the things.

In fact, the only reason I “allow” my husband to go to work is because his job is considered essential based on the fact that his work makes toilet paper. (Imagine South Africa right now with zero supply of bog-roll). And also, food.

Because I’m pregnant and pregnancy is considered high risk I have put myself into voluntary quarantine. My kids are confined to our tiny one bedroom apartment, banned from the communal jungle gym that was our solice.

I’m an only child and haven’t seen my parents in two weeks. My father is 75 and lives alone. My mother had a massive open heart surgery last year. My father-in-law is severely immuno-compromised. And so we stay away.

My children miss their grandparents. Video chat is simply not the same, certainly not for a two year old.

Yesterday my son had a panic attack because my husband went to the local supermarket (Kosher World) for exactly fifteen minutes to buy bread and eggs.

These are not easy times. I am not proposing they are. And we still have it very, very good!

BH so far everyone we know or love is relatively healthy. We have absolutely everything we need and are safe in our little skypod haven. We have full time help (as I’ve mentioned before). I stay at home with the kids and so am not torn, in every conceivable way, from them every day to go to work. We have water; we have lights (sometimes); we have a UPS; a kettle; the sunrise.

We have hope.

I cannot apologize for that. And it certainly doesn’t seem prudent, healhty, or responsible to abandon that hope simply because things are unprecedentedly bad. Or rather, different.

Mindset is my salvation right now. I suspect it is the only viable salvation for any and everyone alive today. We really have nothing else to cling to other than hope and positivity.

And that’s a good thing.

It’s a scary thing, of course, but it’s empowering. All you need right now is your own mind. Which is ultimately all you have anyway.

Gain control of your thoughts and you will gain control of yourself.

There is so much one can do to this end and it doesn’t require leaving the house, much less your bedroom. Meditate. Stretch. Do yoga. Read a book. TURN. OFF. YOUR. PHONE. Colour a picture. Read a book. Imagine a new world without this pain and suffering; and hold onto that.


Because I believe in the absolute omnipotence and benevolence of my creator I live in unwavering certainty that this, too, will be for the good.

I’m not going to start quoting Victor Frankl but I will say this, no matter how hard things get they do not negate the need and place for hope.

Maybe I’ll quote the Beatles instead,

‘All you need is love!’

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