While China is finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, having come out of the coronavirus quarantine after seven weeks, the rest of the world is starting their journey of total confinement.
By now, most of us have been on lockdown for over a week or two. Most governments are asking their citizens to stay home, practice social distancing, and only leave the house unless it’s a medical emergency or to get groceries.
Some governments have even taken the radical decision to impose martial law and curfews. This is the case for El Salvador.
I’m currently in San Salvador, the country’s capital. Martial law became effective as of last Sunday (March 21st). Since then, approximately 600+ people have been taken to reclusion centers for violating this stipulation, as stated on President Nayib Bukele’s twitter.
I haven’t seen my parents or my brother for over two weeks now since they live just outside the capital, in the Santa Ana Department. And even if it’s only been two weeks, it has taken a toll on me since I usually see them every weekend.
Whenever I talk to my family, friends, colleagues, or fellow gym members, I sense a familiar feeling in all of us. A sense of lost hope and almost despair.
I’ve had much time to think and analyze this situation, though, as I’m sure most of you have. Different questions have popped in my head:
Why is all of this happening? How will this affect life as we know it? When will all of this end? What is going to change after this? Is this the beginning of a new era? How will Coronavirus affect our current systems?
After seeing how everything has already changed, reading every article and news online, observing and participating in social media challenges, watching tons of professionals from different fields turn to video creation, I’ve concluded.
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Whenever we face tragedies or catastrophes, we come out stronger because facing uncomfortable situations and enduring pain leaves us with valuable lessons from which we grow..
I know that it’s been a year full of pain, and many families are mourning the loss of their loved ones. But for the rest of us and despite all, I believe this has been a blessing in disguise.
As crazy as it sounds, the physical distance has brought us closer. Since we can’t see each other anymore, we’ve come up with ways in which we can still keep in touch and share experiences even without being able to be in the same room.
I’m a clear example of this. My two best friends live on the other side of the world; one of them lives in Canada and the other in Lebanon.
Before the Coronavirus crisis, we would keep in touch through our shared WhatsApp chat and send each other memes on Instagram once in a while, but we rarely had time to make a video chat or call each other. You see, “we were too busy living our lives.” Now that we have all this time on our hands, we have been FaceTiming each other every weekend.
Even with my close friends at home, before Coronavirus, we would make plans every weekend or so, but one of us would end up bailing and postponing because “something else came up.” Now, I’ve had virtual wine nights every week with my girls.
Humans crave human interaction, and even though we can’t see each other, we’ve come up with creative ways to stay in touch. People have begun creating social media challenges, allowing people to meet someone new.
Tech brands and apps have also changed their systems. The famous dating app Tinder has released the location barrier to allow people to connect with anyone in the world. Now is the perfect time to chat with someone from a different country since we’re all on the same boat.
Netflix has also created a Chrome extension called “Netflix Party,” where you can watch your favorite series or movies at the same time with others. You can still have a movie night with your friends and family.
Governments are also taking never before seen measures to support its citizens. We usually see how governments and politicians take advantage of their power, but now they’ve all come together, and they have freed people from taxes or debt while this crisis is over.
Professionals from different backgrounds are also making use of technology to provide services to their clients, some free of charge.
Many brands are providing free consultations or courses to help people build themselves up after the crisis.
There have been several videos that have gone viral, showing different wild animals invading the deserted cities.
Wildlife is starting to come out, now that there are no humans and no contamination in the cities.
Cities throughout the world have reduced pollution, contamination, and garbage on the streets.
China reduced its air pollution.
Venice’s waters have cleared up, and you can now see fish swimming in the ocean and swans floating around.
It’s no secret that humans have torn our planet up. Now that we’re all locked up, the earth has been able to breathe once again.
All of the above just proves how bad humans are for the planet, and we should learn from our ways.
With all this time in our hands, we have a few extra hours just to ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had at least two hours of self-reflection each day.
I take care of my own body a lot more; I’m eating healthier because everything is home-cooked, and I even have time to pamper myself with beauty masks and facial massages.
I have more than enough time to spare that I’ve gone back to some books I never finished.
I meditate each morning, and that allows me to free my mind from all the negative news we continuously hear.
I’m sure you are practicing and accomplishing similar things.
Ever since the quarantine started, I’ve reorganized my room, cleaned up every corner of the house, and painted an old drawer that now looks brand new.
I’ve wanted to do these things for a while, probably been thinking about it for over a year, but I could never find the time. And even when I did have time, I instead use that time to go out.
I’m pretty sure all of you are on the same boat. All I’m going to say is that I’ve heard my neighbor play his clarinet for two nights in a row now. That hasn’t happened in years.
I’m on LinkedIn almost 24/7, and for the past few days, I’ve seen an increase in the number of people in my network posting different online courses that they started during this lockdown period.
It’s impressive to see the number of professionals looking to expand their knowledge.
We’re usually too busy and with work and life responsibilities is hard to take on something new.
Take advantage of all this free time and invest it wisely. Learn new skills; I’m sure that this will be extra beneficial once this crisis is over.
Companies are extra careful with whom they bring on their teams because most likely, there is a lack of resources, and hiring budgets will significantly decrease.
If there is ever a time where you need to stand out from the rest, now is the time!
Approximately 275 million (4% of the world population) people suffer from anxiety disorders. Unfortunately, I’m part of that 4%.
We live in a world where appearances are valued more than intellectual capacity. Where social media is only used to “show off” and fantasize about a life we don’t live. A world filled with “social expectations” and “high standards,” one must fulfill to be accepted as a “normal” member of society. FOMO (fear of missing out) is present in everyone’s head at one point or another.
Besides that, we are continually running; we barely have time to breathe on our daily routine. We are all busy with schedules that revolve around work, doctors’ appointments, gym sessions, mall shopping, picking up the kids, doing laundry, planning our next vacation, and social gatherings, just to name a few.
On a typical workday (before Coronavirus) I wouldn’t even have time to take my lunch break, I lived in a constant state of “rushing” to do things and getting from one activity to the next.
Now, we can’t plan our next vacation, we can’t go to the gym, kids can’t go to school, social gatherings are banned, and gyms have closed down their doors.
Whether we like it or not, we are being forced to take a pause from everything and enjoy the little things.
You know the time where your wife regularly got mad at you for not spending enough time with the family because you are a workaholic?
The time where your mom was always on your back because you went out too much?
Remember when your grandma complained about you not spending enough time with her?
Or the time you always bailed on spending a night in with your roommate because you had a new date or party to go to?
Well, that’s all in the past now. We are now spending every minute of every hour of every day with the people we live with.
I live with my grandmother, and I’m ashamed to say that I never had time to bond with her. We even ate meals at different hours because of my work schedule or because I was continually going out to eat.
Now, I’m thankful I got this time with her, who knows how long I’ll have her with me, and I’m making the most out of the situation.
Take the time to appreciate the people you live with because we only live once, and life is short.
I saw a meme the other day that said: “Half of us are going to come out of this lockdown as cooks and the other half as drunks.”
It especially caught my attention because I can’t cook, or at least I didn’t know before Coronavirus.
You’ll now find me in the kitchen at least once a day and Sundays are no longer a day to chill, I think it’s now turned into one of the busiest days of my week. Sundays are meal prep days from now on.
Maybe cooking is not something new for you, but perhaps you’ll turn into a gardener, a fitness instructor, or even a social media influencer.
I hear people complaining about being bored because we can’t do anything. Really? Anything? We have all the time in the world now. This time can now be used on things that matter.
If the points above didn’t give you an idea of how to use your time while on quarantine, here are a few things you can use your time on:
Don’t let confinement paralyze you. Use this time as fuel to propel your future goals.
It’s funny how throughout this blog, I’ve written in a way as if there was a life before Coronavirus, and there will be a different life after Coronavirus.
B.C. and A.C. are not going to refer to Before Christ and After Christ anymore. Life as we know it will no longer exist.
New systems and new ways of connecting with people will emerge. We already see how the world has migrated to remote work. And just like work, everything else will change as well.
On a personal note, I think Coronavirus has changed me for the better. It has made me appreciate the little things in life, like the singing of birds, the sun on my face, or just enjoying a quiet night at home watching a movie with granny.
It has made me realize that life can change in an instant and that we can’t control the things that happen; we can only control how we react to them.
I’m a lot more thankful now, and I don’t take things for granted anymore. I used to complain a lot, whether it was about traffic, the weather, the gym being too crowded, the restaurant taking too long to bring my food. All of that nonsense doesn’t matter anymore. I used to be happy, and I didn’t know it.
And remember, this too shall pass. Stay strong, everyone!
So what do you think about the Coronavirus? How are is your experience going so far in quarantine, have you been enjoying it? Let us know what you have on your mind in the comment section below.
I hope that you’re all doing well, staying indoors, and being safe. Spend time with your loved ones and be thankful for all that you have. I know we’re living in trying times right now because of the Coronavirus, but we’ll get through this together. Remember to wash your hands! 🧼💕
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