It feels like the Coronavirus situation has been around for ten years, actually the advice to social distance has only been here for around for a few weeks in the Netherlands. It has infiltrated the news, social feeds and daily conversations, so much so that it feels difficult now to find something unrelated to the current pandemic, and unsurprisingly as it is entirely changing our way of living and socialising.
We, the people, have been told to socially distance. To keep at least 1.5 metres away from strangers, to work from home if it is possible and to stay inside as much as possible. And most of us have done just that. There is a continuum of uncertainty, all feeling like we are in a visceral vacuum waiting for a miraculous cure, a decrease in new cases, an insight in what’s to come. The days stretch out and become hazy into one long period of time.
I am not sure about you, but the first few days meant I was spending a lot more time on my phone, refreshing the Guardian news page trying to keep up to date with the world’s response to the Corona virus. I have seen every COVID-19 challenge, every meme, every joke and every heart-wrenching story. Every glimmer of hope as well as the draconian measures each country is taking. I am waiting for the Netflix documentary which I am sure is currently being filmed, to be released once we have beaten this pandemic. It will probably be written by Jenji Kohan or Charlie Brooker. I hope it will star Cillian Murphy.
I have been struggling to write this post, everyone’s circumstances are very different right now and there is a strange feeling of the usual points of interest feeling a bit meaningless. I initially wanted to share some tips on working from home, but I’m pivoting the focus of this post to just simply reflect on the positive stuff. I’m the sort of person who tears up when communities come together. When people help each other. It feels a bit like through this horrendous pandemic, kindness has never been more prevalent. Fashion brands are changing their entire business models to create protective clothing gear for healthcare workers, perfume companies are creating hand-sanitizer and ventilators are being created by car and household electronic manufacturers. Celebrities like Carol Vorderman are offering digital maths tutoring, Dan Snow is offering online history lessons. On a more personal level, nation-wide applause for those on the front-line are being held in most countries, food is being delivered to hospital workers, people are trying their best to support their local businesses and neighbors are watching out for each other. We currently have no choice but to live in the moment. It is starting to feel like everyone is stepping up in their own way, even if that means just staying at home. There is an overwhelming feeling of kindness. In my lifetime, there has never been a stronger feeling of “togetherness” and it is wonderful to see we’ve got each other’s backs.