Musings from isolation - Week 1
The truth in tragedy – it can bring some people together and will drive others apart.
After the initial fear and panic of the Covid-19 virus, noticeable confusion set in. Who do we listen to? So much conflicting advice and none of it other than perhaps reports from the World Health Organisation are particularly credible. Borders closing, the economy shrinking and people hoarding, as I pack up and exit the city to lay low for awhile.
Hours later, sitting on the lawn outside what would be my isolation pad for the next month, listening to birds chirping from the branches of the puriris, it struck me just how incredibly lucky I am. I am not holed up in a bunker or restricted to a tiny room, nor am I running to a shelter with the shrill sound of bombs blasting overhead. I am not rationing my food or trying to figure out how I will survive when water stocks run low. As a teenager during World War II, Anne Frank spent two years hiding from the Nazis in a secret annex that adjoined a warehouse. Of the eight people in hiding, only one in fact survived, the rest were murdered in concentration camps. I am not surrounded by the injured and the infirmed, nor am I haunted by the agonising cries of people I love, in pain.
None of this is a part of my world, and for this, I am blessed. Instead I am witnessing our global community brought to life at a time when we desperately needed to slow down and take stock. We have been asked to physically isolate, but people are reaching out to each other like never before, everywhere I look. A neighbour just a few doors down whom I had never met, left a note in my letterbox to let me know she was around if we needed any help. The grocery store offered to drop off deliveries for anyone in our neighbourhood too unwell to travel.
Families have isolated, to form intimate pods. This is where we may rediscover each other. People are talking again, communicating and sharing like never before. Friends have teamed up to form virtual house parties, global face-time conversations, zoom business meetings and dreaming up innovative ways to connect with each other. Creative thinking is edging business forward. We are diversifying in ways that might never have been possible. The hard edged square we once identified ourselves in, has morphed to a rapidly growing circle. We are sharing information in ways we never considered important. Complete strangers are out pounding the pavements and waving, or stopping to talk, albeit from a distance. This isn’t war. We are busy reinventing ourselves. And out of fear, we will create trust.