It’s difficult to know how to describe the situation we find ourselves in. A mini-apocalypse? A plague? A warning for the future?
It’s been hard accepting how dangerous the virus is, and how contagious. Most of us, if in good health, kept up normal activities for a while, thinking it was just a bad kind of flu. Some are still not taking it seriously enough, obliging governments to impose confinement, curfews and fines.
In retrospect, it was a disaster waiting to happen, given the global amount of traveling that goes on, with no health checks whatsoever. The proof has been the rapidity with which the virus has spread worldwide.
However, this too shall pass, as have all previous epidemics: the object now being to limit the devastation it will leave in its wake, both in terms of deaths and financial.
It’s interesting, and sometimes weird, to see how people are reacting. I still have friends who are on holiday, blithely ignoring the fact that they might be blocked from going home, maybe for months. Thousands of travelers, of all nationalities, are stuck abroad as we speak.
As with all extreme situations, this has brought out the best and the worst in people. Every day we witness incredible scenes—some of outrageous selfishness, some of great kindness.
Indisputably, we must come to terms with the new reality facing us for weeks, maybe for months to come.
I find myself back in confinement after the weeks when I could put no weight on my broken ankle—but this time without a cast! Bliss. I can now cook, and, as everyone knows, food is a great lifter of spirits. Improvising with what we have in the fridge, freezer and store cupboard. And I’ve been doing some foraging. There’s a little stream nearby, and its banks are full of wild garlic and nettles. Good for pesto, and soup, perhaps. There was a little yellow frog hopping about, and for a minute I thought ‘Frog legs!’, but then, Noo. No way 🙂
I feel so thankful and privileged to be able to go out in the garden. It’s such an escape from feeling like murdering the loved ones. I think of people stuck with small kids in tiny appartments. People worried about losing their jobs or going bankrupt. The refugees, piled in camps with no hygiene. People stuck in prison. The elderly who cannot see their families because they risk being contaminated. Africans who have no access to clean water with which to wash their hands. The list goes on.
I also have so much respect for the people with no choice but to continue working in very uncertain conditions. Nurses, doctors, policemen, firefighters, couriers, pharmacists, cashiers and many more.
Apart from cooking, and reading, I’ve been drawing and painting, color being another spirit booster. Amazing how many ways there are of describing one cheerful vase of daffodils.
And let’s not forget that laughter is the best medicine. People’s sense of humor is flourishing, I’m pleased to report, with a spate of jokes, memes and caricatures flooding the web and my social media.