It feels a bit like everything has been flipped upside down. The coronavirus has taken the world by a storm, and it seems as if those who we usually look up to are equally as unsure and anxious as we are. Schools and universities are shutting down. People are being told to self-isolate, work from home, not leave the house unless it is absolutely necessary. It’s frightening and strange and unlike anything most people have ever experienced.
Something that’s been a big takeaway for me is just how insignificant some things actually are. Last week, a looming week of exams seemed like the biggest, most important thing in the world. And yet the university cancelled it just like that and sent us all home. At the end of the day, nothing is more important than the health and life preservation of people. It’s important to be reminded sometimes that our health really is the most valuable and precious thing.
This week has been odd. (How many times have I used that word now?). In the space of a few hours, I packed up my life at university and came back home for an extended recess. We have not received a date for when we can move back into university residence. I said goodbye to my friends (we all live in different parts of the country) not knowing whether we’d see each other in a week or two, or a couple of months. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. It’s crazy how quickly you feel connected to other people you’ve only known for a short time. When you live with people, they become a second family.
It feels odd. A part of me is still reeling from the stress of the prep from an exam week that never happened. My body is in limbo. I keep eating unnecessary snacks and watching too many tiktoks. I’ve refreshed my twitter feed one too many times. I read a book (that’s a good thing though).
What is happening is a scary thing. Many people are afraid, and unsure of what’s to come. But I’m doing my best to hold onto the positive. Even although her inhabitants are ill, Mother Earth is healing. People have slowed down. Fewer flight are happening. Nitrogen dioxide levels are the lowest they’ve been. The water in the canals in Venice is clear for the first time in years and years. The swans and fish are back.
If you are privileged enough to be self-isolating in the comfort of your own home, make the most of it. Give yourself some time to think. If you’re overwhelmed by the media, don’t consume too much of it. Let your body rest. Make your room cosy and read the book you’ve been wanting to get to. Do the work you need to do.
But also, spare a thought for those who don’t have cosy homes to self-isolate in. Those who can’t take time off work, the medical personnel working day and night to try and control this pandemic. Take a moment to reflect on what is actually important and valuable to you.
This is not an easy thing to deal with. Do the best you can (but please, STAY AT HOME if you’re able to). Sending love and peace.