***

We’re entering yet another week of the so called ‘lock down’, although compared to what is hapenning in some other countries, this isn’t really a lock down at all. Yes, town and cities are emptier, but not entirely deserted. Where I live suddenly everyone seems to be heavily into cycling and jogging ­čśë I’ve given up trying to find a ‘safe window’ for my daily walks, because all the local paths and trails are very much frequented by those who are not afraid to go outside to get some fresh air. While I understand the need for isolation and social distancing, I am also convinced that staying inside almost 24/7 is absolutely devastating for both physical and mental health. I agree with a You Tuber who said that the phrase and hashtag ‘stay at home’ is somewhat unfortunate and should really be interpreted as ‘stay away from other people’. So, don’t meet with your friends in a park, go there alone, as long as you can maintain a safe distance from others. If you can’t, choose to go elsewhere.

I have temporarily left Facebook because even the friendly outdoorsy communities are now arguing over who goes where, and whether in doing so they encourage others to rebel agains the quarantine. How long should the daily exercise be ? How far from home ? Why is going for a drive in one’s own car wrong ? Both sides have valid arguments but I was just getting tired of reading about it everywhere. I don’t normally put my head in the sand and prefer to know what is going on in the world, no matter how bad it is, however after weeks of being relentlessly bombarded with corona virus updates on the BBC News app, I decided to switch these notifications off too. BBC News is the only channel I watch on TV; since last Friday I have been avoiding it and only use my telly to watch inspiring content on You Tube (This channel is really cool and after watching a couple of videos I subscribed to it straight away) and Netflix. I am basically on a Corona detox.

It’s when these extraordinary events like the pandemic happen, that people show what they’re truly made of. I watch my work colleagues and while some remain calm and composed (military experience helps!), others, otherwise happy and stable, begin to show clear signs of distress, from mood swings, to slight aggressiveness (my co-worker was verbally attacked for coughing and some employees don’t go anywhere near me because we sit it the same room…) to proper anxiety attacks resulting in a sick leave. This is a real trial for hysterics and hypochondriacs. How, I wonder, would they survive in a place like Syria when they fall to bits because of a short lived toilet paper shortage ? I fear for them, because when the lock down is over and we are allowed outside again, it’s going to be the physically and mentally weak who, after months of hibernation, will be the first ones to catch a common cold, or even the virus itself.

Stay strong people. We will come out of it alive (most likely).

IMG_2975