So here we are. Third week of isolation, social- distancing, teleworking, the world going upside down, high emotions, sugar induced coma’s, motivational videos, Netflix binging, COVID 19 full news coverage watching, alcohol indulging, disinfectant and toilet paper hoarding, the best memes since the invention of memes and the list can go on.
After passing the shock of the first week, reactions to the new (temporary) lifestyle vary from one social class to another (you might not acknowledge, yet social classes exists and are as unfair as always have been). I mean, sure, the rich Europeans went to their vacation houses to relief the pain of the confinement, the pharma industry skyrocketed their sales of masks and disinfectant – the more affordable coping mechanism for the middle class, and then, for the blue collars that continue working in “low skilled jobs” life goes on, as they cannot afford any time to reflect upon the effects of the deadly virus. Furthermore, by far the less than advantaged class – the war refugees – seem to have no way of avoiding the pandemic.
So, as a privileged individual, having a home to isolate, and food and all that nonsense, and has time to reflect upon life’s drama, i felt the need to go with the wave of overachievers. “Let’s use the time wisely!”, “I should enrol in all the online courses, because now(!) it’s the time i will never have!”, “I want to work on all the projects and i should stay on top of everything, i feel so grateful for this time of social distancing!” etc etc. So last week i thought i can do all. And then, some more.
I am not saying it is not doable. I am just saying maybe it is ok NOT to. Again, there is another type pf pressure that comes with the confinement. “Let’s work on this project and if i am not doing it now, i will feel so bad, as i will have lost the time”, and then “everyone else is so creative these days! i NEED to do something”, “i should also follow the yoga classes online – because there is no excuse now”. Just give yourself a break! I am not a project to manage. There is a time for grief and acknowledge that since two weeks ago, when we we’re free to travel, move, gather with friends, see open air concerts we switched to a world that is closed (not only in one sense) mostly in the literal way, and is impacting on all of us as “humans of late capitalism”. We are allowed to mourn our life from before, we are allowed to be sad, we are allowed to worry due to uncertainty of the world we are experiencing currently. It is important to acknowledge the shift from our former reality to a new one, in a span of days, and properly reflect and understand that the virus will be here, in our dystopian nightmare, for a while and we have to deal with it.
It is a collective existential transformation and we cannot deny it with self- improvement online classes, motivational speakers, meditation and yoga, sage and crystals or whatnot.While all that can be helpful, allow some time to grasp the new world.