I’m sure many of us are trying to suppress our panic but let’s face it; there is an odd stench of apocalyptic reckoning in the air right about now. A virus is sweeping the globe, wars, destruction and many other biblical prophecies of the looming “end times” are being fulfilled. Maybe I’m the only one, but I feel myself being forced into this perpetual state of reflection, loneliness and longing to reinforce all my deep connections with the people I care about. The truth is, as humans, we’ve been getting ahead of ourselves, and we’ve been poking and prodding and exploring and experimenting which somehow caused us to forget everything that made us human. When did we forget that we are governed by emotions and that we need each other, when did we forget that our lives are so delicate that we can watch as populations of human beings get wiped out in hours. What gave us the idea that we will never face any consequences?
Obviously, the virus that shall not be named has sparked this article but it’s through observing the world and our overall handling of this pandemic that sparked so many other bigger concerns and gaps in society. By any means, this article is not downplaying the severity of Covid-19, no one is exempt from practicing social distancing and following all necessary precautions that need to be taken to stop the spread of the virus. However, for the sake of highlighting human error we will need to discuss the fact that for decade’s deadly diseases, all of which have no cure, like HIV/AIDS, drug resistant TB and Ebola have been sweeping Africa, not to mention deaths caused by extreme poverty. Africa has been suffering but simply because Covid-19 began its journey in first world countries the world is quite literally coming to a standstill. This begs the question; what exactly is important to us as human beings. Let’s pretend there wasn’t a higher society controlling the media and who may or may not be responsible for introducing Covid-19 to the world in aims to curb population growth with a disease that coincidentally preys on the weak and poor. The implications of the mania caused by this virus, as well as the precautions that need to be taken, i.e, social distancing, stockpiling and working from home, is all an extreme challenge for developing countries in Africa and around the world. Is humanity all just a farce that ad agencies, government and the media just love shoving down our throats because when it comes to survival and what is right and wrong, its every man for himself. How do we know that we will be taken care of when most of us are in a category that is regarded as the weaker population?
My big move to Paris was filled with excitement, nerves and so much hope. Never did I think that when packing a medicine kit I’d be using these vitamins to protect and strengthen my immune system from a pandemic. This move is changing me in so many ways, it started off as the normal kind of growth; living away from home for the first time, putting myself out there, learning a new language and adapting to a new culture. Now, however, the change is deeply internal, spiritual and filled with mindfulness. It is day, who knows, of our quarantine, all shops, bars and restaurants are closed and Paris has never looked this deserted and hopeless. The cute ally’s and streets that’s normally filled with crowds of tourists and musicians creating music filling the air with a wanderlust sense of passion and romance, is now crowded with a foreboding stillness.
The stillness is everywhere, in the air, in the streets and especially in my mind. I have never felt this alone, just as this new country started to feel familiar, there is nothing like being hit with a pandemic to really add to my experience. Not knowing the procedure in a foreign country, should I contract the virus, and being so far away from my family all adds to my growing loneliness. Although refreshing the France24 app and social media, every 5 minute, is not conducive to prevent overthinking, it seems social media has become the most ironic thing to come from our generation and especially in times like these. Under normal circumstances (i.e. when the world wasn’t coming to an end) Instagram and twitter would be flooded with memes that made being an introvert a trend and avoiding social situations became something everyone was more than happy to do, it made us feel cool and rebellious. Social media was doing the exact opposite of making us social. Now, we have no choice but to avoid social gatherings which means many people are eating their cyber words of reveling in your own company and social media is finally being used for its rightful purpose- to keep people connected. Our eyes are being opened to what is really important to us. Covid-19 is compromising social lives as well as relationships, some relationships grow stronger, others are left with the realization that maybe they didn’t matter in the first place and family bonds are re-emerging as everyone rally’s to check on each other. By helping us reassess everything that we thought was important to us, just makes you think about how people dealt with the influenza outbreak in the early 1900’s.They didn’t have social media to look at and funny memes to hide their growing fear.
We’ve been drifting into a state of mania which forces us into this never ending spiral of paranoia from the disease and feeling claustrophobic in our own homes. Whether you’re in quarantine with your family or alone, the level of your socialization has still decreased which leaves you alone with your mind and everything you’ve been too busy to think about or deal with. Suddenly, we notice how much we’ve been bombarding our minds with. Think about it, social media is consumed with content about Covid-19 making all the stalking of your exes profile, or the girl you’re secretly jealous of, all irrelevant. Something bigger is happening and all those things are actually not important, would you look at that!
The truth is, never before have we been forced to be this human, never before have we bombarded our minds with stuff that actually matter and never have we been this afraid of being alone. All we can do is keep following all the necessary precautions that need to be taken during this time, yes, life is kind of stopping but remember and consume yourself with the good that still remains. When this is over, remember who you wanted to stay in contact with the most during this time and keep them around and remember what you enjoyed doing the most when there was no hope to be found, then, always turn to that when you’re faced with difficult times, get to know yourself again.
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