It’s been two days since New Zealand went into complete lock down in response to Covid-19. Over the last couple of weeks so much has happened that I didn’t realize until now that I needed to stop for a moment. Only a couple of weeks before Corona-virus took over dramatically in so many countries, my mum was here to visit from Germany. Life seemed “normal”. We were so happy to see each other, spending time together that our minds would never have anticipated a global pandemic we are in now.
However, it was during the last few days of my mum’s visit that things really went down. More and more cases were reported, airlines cut big chunks of routes, businesses started to shut down. I dropped mum at Auckland Airport and already then could literally see the beginning of the effects Corona-virus would have. There were only two flights departing at that time. Hardly any announcements. It was quiet. No struggles finding parking, no jammed up roads getting there. And as I said, this was only the beginning. Thousands of jobs had already been cut.
Since then many more people lost their jobs; anxiety and frustration in so many people’s faces. I forced myself to not get hung up on this; to stay calm; to look for the positive. And yes, so far this has worked most of the time, but there are also moments when I catch myself going the other way.
It is in those moments that I sit down and remind myself how lucky we are. In a global pandemic like this to still be able to have safe home, to have food in our pantry, to not be alone; to have fresh air, tools to connect with family and friends, to have support from the government to get through this. I remind myself every single time a negative thought comes in that there are millions of people who are facing the same challenge, yet, don’t even have a glimpse of the lucky circumstances we are in.
Today I was standing outside the supermarket waiting to be allowed in since right now there is a limitation on how many people can be inside the store at any given time. Rather than scrolling through my phone I talked to the old lady in front of me – of course, keeping my 2m distance. Her neighbours are twin sisters aged 84 years whom she offered to buy groceries for while she was out. She also told me that she learned to stay in touch with her children and grandchildren through some “fascinating” technology. That morning she had a chat with her granddaughter telling her that this is a special time for all of us. A time that would be worth to keep a diary throughout as – hopefully – no one ever has to go through again and there is so much we can learn from a challenge like this.
I thought about that.
Being a big fan of journaling and writing itself, I decided for myself to keep noting down this time – my thoughts, observations, feelings, learnings…all that stuff my mind is working through. Because even though it is terrifying and there is so much uncertainty in the air, there also is a lot of curiosity and excitement.
Never before have I seen people coming together, uniting so genuinely. I hear stories from families spending actual time together simply being in their safe homes. Stories from friends who finally picked up a forgotten hobby again. Elderly neighbours who started going out into the fresh air again. Children who teach their parents dancing and lots of other fun stuff. And then there is me learning new skills for my work, practicing Te Reo Māori every single day, getting creative again, reading, sharing thoughts with our community and being able to offer support through online Yoga classes. There is so, so much happening right now that I am extremely grateful for.
In my calendar I marked the end of the current lock down period big and bold. Yet, I know this is not definite. We might not even get passed this current state after these four weeks. And even if we do, there is a long, long road until we find our way back to “normal”. Let’s stay curious. We have this time now to rethink, to create new habits, and put our learnings into action.
Keep well and look after yourself & your family.
With much love,