We've all been hearing about the virus for a couple of months. At first, it seemed so distant and we never would have imagined it would affect our lives in such a way. As Spring approached, we all had events planned, holidays booked, projects and goals to work on, busy lives and busy schedules. But all of a sudden our world has turned into something we would have have only imagined seeing in some sort of apocalyptic or futuristic sci-fi film. No one saw it coming.
For me, the issue only really started to seem real in mid February, when I had travelled to Milan, and was fortunately able to leave just one day before the city went on lockdown. I was completely shook that such thing could happen. I however continued on to Monaco and Paris in all normality thinking the problem would be resolved promptly and be contained. I even mindlessly thought I was going to be able to make my travel plans to Florence in mid March.
Here is a fact, being on lockdown gives us not much to do but plenty of time to think. Everyday we are learning something new about the virus, about death tolls rising, the attempt for a new vaccine to prevent it, and hoping to find a cure. We hear about almost every country closing its borders, about hundreds of thousands of people "stuck" in foreign lands with the uncertainty of when they will be able to come home.
But let me tell you, even in the tragedy of it all, I think that if something this terrible had to happen, then it's happening at the perhaps the best time it could have. We live in an era of instant communication, live streaming, social media, and have the ability of knowing anything that is happening all across the globe in a matter of seconds. I can't help but think of those who lived during the Bubonic plague, the holocaust, the Spanish Flu, or the smallpox outbreak. People had no way of knowing what was going on, newspapers were censored and information was often hidden from the public. You would perhaps hear something about "the war" or "this new flu" from your neighbours or someone around, who would have most likely been misinformed. Racial minorities and those of "lower status" would have never had a chance to receive treatment, nor any form of aid or loan in order to sustain themselves during harsh times. Now that I actually think about it, back then, you had no way of knowing what was coming, no knowledge on how to protect yourself, and where the world was at. People at war would have absolutely no idea whether or not their families were alive, or had been able to flee, or perhaps gone to prison, or gone to a new continent. And they probably wouldn't even have found out for years, if ever.
Now, I don't want you to think I am making any less of the situation we are currently living in. Everyday I wakeup in fear of the unknown. Of what will happen with our country, our economy and our health system due to this invisible enemy we are currently at war with. I have close friends and family working in the medical field that have literally been coming home in tears and incredible frustration with what their daily lives have become. Some of their families have even wanted them to quit their jobs and stay home. Health care officials are begging for help and volunteers as medical staff is short, and many have lost their lives do to the virus. Now more than ever, have I gained incredible respect for those in the medical field, and feel slightly guilty for every time I've turned up to the doctor or ER with some silly ache or discomfort, when there are millions of people out there without access to proper health care. Now I see a bigger picture, that will now possibly completely change how I view and value everything in the future.
We can set heaps of goals , book holidays, and plan all we want for the future. But it will all mean nothing if we don't have our health.
We are always so busy and caught inside our little worlds that we have seized to stop and look around. What if we need this little awakening ? Look at it this way. Venice's water canals are clear and full of fish and dolphins, air pollution has decreased because we are using our cars far less, you can see the Tatra Mountains from Kraków as the smog has now lifted, citizens of Wuhan can finally hear birds chirping after years.
Maybe all this time at home could help us clear our minds from all the craziness that was going on. During my quarantine, I have been reading a lot more, exercising, making home cooked healthy meals, doing yoga, which I rarely do, calling and checking in with relatives, relaxing a lot more, and learning to let go of the unimportant things.
With all that being said, whatever your personal circumstance is, my best advise is to be as positive as you can. This is something that I try to do in my everyday life and in every situation. Believe that if we all stay at home and follow regulations, all will go back to normal and we will look back on this as a transition phase. As I mentioned earlier, if something this bad had to occur, then it isn't the worse time for it.
You can't calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.
Take care everyone, and, remember, if you ever need anything, I am only one DM away...