COVID-19 Series

Concentrating on COVID: The Imperialization of Music to Cope

Today, I had memories running in my head of how things were when COVID first began. I worked from Home; the day program wasn’t open to in person service. Two weeks after we were sent home, a virtual routine was established, but to gear up for that day, I would have to get my mind in that moment as it was a new thing and at times very contentious. You also have to keep in mind that besides COVID, I was dealing with all the uncertainties of my former home at the time. Lastly, the world as we knew it was cut off and at one point, we were under a stay at home order. However, with music, it made my spirits somewhat content, despite all the wrong going on in my life.

I must also preface that part of 2020 wasn’t my highlight of the moment besides all the aforementioned things going on. I was uncertain of when I was going to be going back to work, if I would have a home. Additionally, I was at a point where I was in severe denial about my need to medicate, and would not take several days of doses at a time. With everything else in the world and of my parents’ especially my mom who was getting adjusted to working remotely, I was doing something so inexcusable as not following a 20-year medication regimen. I have spoken of this time in my life, many people were worried about my wellbeing. I could have ended up in the hospital or in jail, and was warned of this risk by my parents quite often, my therapist had to intervene quite a bit. Meanwhile, a global pandemic is going on and the world as I knew it was falling apart piece by piece.

 So, with all the horrible going on at that point in my life, you must ask, If I do cope, how am I doing it and was it helping? Well thankfully, I had Amazon Streaming Services for Music. However, any type of streaming service can do for that point. As part of my daily routine I had a morning playlist (at that time it was and sometimes still is a host of Imagine Dragons songs. While I totally wasn’t in to the lyrics, I was more into the beat and tempo as a upbeat sort of way to start my day, because for that hour or so of listening to those songs, I felt some kind of peace that I needed and sometimes on a daily basis continue to need as a coping mechanism to suit up and defend the things I need to do throughout the day. One thing for certain in this pandemic and although it is a little better since being back on my own, I am realizing that I need to have this routine daily to make it a successful and positive day.

Over the past year, I have seen many other autistics child, adolescent and adult use this as a coping mechanism and pivotal part of their daily routine, especially in the moment of COVID. In a world that can fly at the drop of a hat in a complete 180 direction, Music is a recorded thing that unless you fail to pay your fee or the hard copy fails to work, its’s there for you. Seriously. In the months of government shutdown when the only two human beings I was in real close contact was my parents, I relied on my Amazon Music subscription for coping with all of the issues at hand,, The COVID, the working remotely, the day program being in a different format, the issues with my former home, all in a continual state of uncertainty and constant change, even with me in my state of being routine on my medication regimen, the music was there. I need it and have it and at any time a need to cut an expense is needed it is always placed in priority above many other things.

Lately, I have seen the fatigue and fear of many autistics, particularly school children. Many of us thrive off routine and need that outside connection with going to school, but when I have seen articles of students regressing, writing felt-tip notes in paper towel and even parents telling lies about when school starts back, it just hurts me, because I know I could have been to that point, instead I was pulled in the right direction thanks In a huge part to music and the multitude of supporters that help me continually survive in a state of many unknowns. However, luckily the music never hardly ever goes away.

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