If you’ve known me for a while, you know that in the late 2000s/early 2010s I was a Nerdfighter, an inside-joke term for fans of the YouTube channel vlogbrothers. Like a lot of things from that time in my life, I still turn to the vlogbrothers channel when I need comfort or advice or community: it reminds me of a time in my life when things were easier.
Hank (one-half of the vlogbrothers) recently put out an 11-minute video called “The Sudden Obliteration of Expectation.” It’s one of the most powerful vlogbrothers videos I’ve seen in my time watching them.
Hank discusses the concept of the “new normal,” that adjustment period that chronically ill and disabled people typically experience at diagnosis. It’s also what everyone experiences during any sudden and uncontrollable shift in their life. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing the majority of the world adjust to the kind of “new normal” that disabled and chronically ill people have been experiencing for years: left out of in-person events, being homebound or bedbound, experiencing loneliness and isolation. To be blunt, everyone is experiencing an unprecedented kind of mass grief. This video helped me get a little bit of a handle on it. Even if you’ve never considered watching vlogbrothers, or just know them as “those Crash Course/SciShow guys,” I hope it might help you, also.