Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon on the aftermath of the pandemic: 'None of us have processed it'

In an interview for Yahoo Life series The Unwind, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon opened up about their experience during the pandemic and how they are prioritizing their mental health.

Video transcript

EMILY V. GORDON: When I'm wearing a mask in public, I've been approached and either, oh, you don't have to wear that anymore, I either say, I'm very sick in a very, very serious tone, or I say mind your business. I was supposed to have been wearing a mask on planes for years now. I've been encouraged by my doctor, and I never felt comfortable doing it.

What's been great is that now I feel very comfortable doing it, and I don't need to ever go back to not wearing a mask. I think we're both a little bit more intentional these days about what we need to do to take care of ourselves emotionally.

KUMAIL NANJIANI: The early days of the pandemic I did not handle it well. I definitely had nightmares, but in a weird way, being forced home for a year, allowed me to understand myself and my reaction to things a lot more. I also take 10 minutes to meditate every day. That makes a very, very big difference for me.

EMILY V. GORDON: The biggest thing that the pandemic has done, and the biggest thing that I think anybody works with when it comes to getting into therapy, is a coming to an understanding of what you can and cannot control. When I saw people being like, hey, it's over, we get to go back out, I did get a little angry. And I guess underneath that was like FOMO, a little bit of like, well, that must be nice for you. I'm so happy that you feel safe going back out again.

But I was trying my best to be empathetic with the rest of the world and that helped me cope because I could understand where they were coming from. Did I agree with what people were doing sometimes? No, but, yeah, that helped for sure and meditating and sometimes playing very aggressive video games. You do what you can.

We're in a thing with Jeff Bridges. That's what we're saying a lot. Yeah, we're doing a thing with Jeff Bridges.

JEFF BRIDGES: You can up your antibodies before COVID comes knocking because when your antibodies are up, well, you can get back doing what you love.

EMILY V. GORDON: I've been living in a world where it's been a challenge to keep myself safe, and I'm really happy to be partnering with people who are trying to raise awareness for a community that I've been part of for a while that has been excluded for quite some time.

KUMAIL NANJIANI: We've talked about this a lot. The entire world went through this very traumatic experience, and none of us have processed it.

EMILY V. GORDON: We're not talking about it.

KUMAIL NANJIANI: And now the world is open, back to it.

EMILY V. GORDON: This stuff is hard for everybody. Nobody's got this under control. Like if you have the ability to be vulnerable with someone you care about, make that choice because it is so helpful. And we all need to be taking care of our mental health. We've been through it as a collective unit. We've been through it.