As we enter into the eighth month of the coronavirus pandemic, fatigue is setting in. But so is another feeling -- ROMO.

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ROMO is a close cousin of FOMO -- the fear of missing out. ROMO is the reality of missing out.

At one point, perhaps our collective ROMO was comforting in a way. When no one else can do anything fun or exciting, it stings less that we can't do anything fun or exciting either.

Bloomberg reported on ROMO back in April, defining it as:

All these cancellations can make it seem as if life is on hold — but it’s really still moving forward, and we’ll never get this time back. That’s the reality of missing out.

What is at the core of ROMO is the grieving process.

Grieving is exactly what all of us are experiencing. Whether we are grieving the loss of a loved one, the loss of big plans, career derailment, loss of social connection -- the last few months have put us in touch with the reality, of what we're missing out on.

The five stages of grief and loss are:1. Denial and isolation; 2. Anger; 3. Bargaining; 4. Depression; 5. Acceptance. Think about how you're feeling about a loss due to the pandemic -- these steps probably fit the rollercoaster of feelings you've had over the last 247 days.

The reality of missing out, on the other hand, is like an unwanted houseguest who has overstayed her meager welcome. We have no choice but to accept what she’s brought us: lessons in perspective, gratitude and patience.

The sooner she leaves, the better.


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