Coping With The Lockdown: Stay Positive Even If You Have To Fake It
That was the week that was. The strangest week of our lives. I try and stay positive wherever possible, but the first week of lockdown has, to paraphrase David Bowie, forced us to turn and face the strange.
As well as the huge health concerns, and professional and financial uncertainties, almost every group or shared activity we care about or find joy in has been shut down. Our economic and social liberty has been suspended by something that is not even visible to the human eye. The days are blurring into one long pattern of a half-life. Just like Morrissey once said, Every day is like Sunday.
I have been experiencing the solitude streets, markets, shops and roads in the face poxy virus. I have come to understand that the most luxurious building has no price without accommodating humans. I remember those lovely nights with friends of critical thinking. I long for those simple moments of coffee, dinner or the pub with friends. To watch and play sport. To attend a concert. To hug someone who lives outside of my own house. It feels like a dream world, as if we are all extras in a dystopian sci-fi film. The liveliness of the busy roads I was crossing, is contrasted with dullness of the deserted ones at the moment.
Our physical ties that bind have been unstrung. The basic human sense of touch has been marginalised. The connection with many of our loved ones has been reduced to the virtual reality of a screen or a typed word.
However, the world is still full of stories of social connection and empathy, even as we keep our distance. Italian opera singers fill the streets with song in Florence, health service workers are applauded from lockdown balconies in Spain. Above all, in Pakistan, I have seen people sharing their meal among the neighbourhood, making inquiries about one’s health and so much more. I’ve set up a social media home fitness club to reach out and get everyone keeping up their mental and physical fitness levels within the confines of their own house.
People from different backgrounds and from many countries have shared their home fitness videos and photos and created their own mini household gym through a social media screen.
In some ways, we are lucky. We have incredible technological connections that are keeping us connected and this has empowered us to engage with each other. Imagine going through this in an era before we had this. It reinforced my conviction on the active, solid, and fruitful employment of the social media. Life, indeed, moves in a mysterious way. It never occurred to the mind of 7.8 billion that the smallest invisible microorganism would arrest them. Hopefully, when we come out of it, we will look into life from a different perspective.
Our habitual access to new tech media has been debated over the years in terms of addiction, overuse and mental health. Questions have been raised about whether mobile phones and social media were actually diminishing the quality time spent engaging with real physical interaction and communication.
But, right now, it is our new technology which is keeping us connected. The anti-social network has become the social network. It is keeping my students connected to their schoolwork; it is keeping my geographically distant old family connected with me; it is keeping me connected with business and my clients.
I also have had the notion of our health system around the world. It’s absolutely so discombobulated you can get the humanity obliterated within moments, but you can’t get the smallest microorganism checked. And thus it knocked the bottom of the tall claims how concerned you are for the safety measures of humans. I will always welcome any discoveries that could be for human’s development. It is my vow to myself. I am not going to let a poxy virus grind me down. I absolutely refuse to get irked, despondent or negative. I’ll stay positive throughout this. Every single day. Even if it means faking it occasionally. Absolute self-distancing has been adopted.
I will pass the gruesome moments to coming generations that life is beautiful; man is the picture of God; humanity is the supreme gift of Nature.
We are currently participating in what is probably the most collective moment of global empathy in history and we should channel this in the right way during this crisis and continue with it afterwards. I am now gravitated towards humans more than I was. The first thing I plan to do when this half-life existence ends is to travel up that long and winding road to see my friends, students and colleagues. I will call them, I will hug them and I will say “Hello my dear……”