I have to admit that I have never thought it will reach up to this point, that the Coronavirus will get to impact our lives this way and that even if I knew some of us will get sick, it will create this epidemic of fear and hate. Perhaps this will be the biggest challenge that our generation has to face, but even in these dark days, there is hope.
The news of officially declaring the COVID-19 a pandemic caught me on the beautiful island of Zanzibar, the trip that I wanted so badly was interrupted by the horrible news of the virus infection spreading like crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I knew about it and I kept an eye out for what was going on, even before leaving at the end of February, but unfortunately, it all went south from there.
It was just two days before my departure, that I got to see the fear that took over the world. My initial route was through Belgium, and because of the news and all the fuss made by the people around us we ended up buying new plane tickets to go through Dubai. In one day, the relaxation and the good vibes were all gone. Panic mode was set, we spent quite a little money on the new tickets, and the stress level of not knowing what was going on reached new heights.
We arrived home almost 2 days earlier, but what we found here, was different from what the media was saying. Yes people were scared, yes we were advised to stay indoors, but the world went on with its normal course. Clearly, we regretted the decision to change the flights and the stress that we went through, but we agreed that it was the best decision given the pieces of information that we had.
Leaving aside the news, it’s important to understand that the virus is aggressive and it can be easily transmitted, yet it will only be a real threat to the elderly, people already suffering from a serious condition or for smokers. For the rest of the population, the virus might not even have any symptoms. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t look good, nor should be considered the ones that are vulnerable, unimportant, but we should also know the fact that our economy is now in great danger.
So, the one thing that the virus should and will never take from us is our ability to heal, understand, and keep calm in this period when it looks like all is lost. Humanity has been through worst and we are still here, so there is no real reason to panic.
We should stay indoors, but with our morals up that we will get through this, with the hope that once this is all gone, we will appreciate way more the small things, like the sunrise and the walk in the park. Also, we should continue to help each other, here including the support of the local businesses that rely on us, to continue their work.
Although I am among the lucky ones who can work remotely and will be able to pay the credit card bills at the end of the month, I know it’s important to keep my daily habits alive and don’t stock on toilet paper (what the hell is up with that??). Therefore, it’s important to still trust your favorite restaurant to deliver the food you love, your mechanic to fix your car and your favorite coffee place to send you via UberEats your daily dose of caffeine. The same goes for the other daily habits that we used to have.
For a generation like ours, that never had to face anything truly scary as World Wars, plagues or hunger, the amount of anxiety generated by the possible loss of freedom or the possibility not to be able to get the basic necessities, made it easier for other to spread panic and fear. The media is now poisoning us with terror news, with the idea that it will be the end of the world or that we will not make it to summer. People everywhere are canceling the summer holidays and demanding money back, even if there is no certainty that we will not be able to travel in the months to come. And many other examples, that are only feeding us more fear.
I am optimistic about my trip to Croatia this June, I want to believe that we are now on the edge of having a vaccine or a treatment for the virus and that spring is around the corner and will make this intruder disappear from our lives. Also, I am sure that once this is over, we will all be way more appreciative of the things we have and took for granted. Some of us will be able to open new stores with the amount of supply that was hoarded during this month. :-p
With this being said, I wish you all good health and high moral, we will all get through this together, just don’t forget about the little ones that need our support in the time to come. Stay safe, but don’t go on lockdown, be vigilant, but not paranoia, keep your hopes up and only get your information from reliable sources that don’t take advantage of the situation to create panic.