Puzzle me this: Adjusting to a new world during a health pandemic

While I have a few ideas up my sleeve for blog posts, I think it’s only fitting I insert a bookmark to acknowledge the current coronavirus situation. I’m confident I’m going to have a lot more time to blog in these circumstances, though I wanted to acknowledge the elephant in the room before I get onto more uplifting topics.

Whether you are self-isolating, working from home, wondering how you’ll buy your next lot of groceries because you’ve lost your job, or currently recovering from the virus, it’s fair to say we are all in uncharted territory. Never in my short lifetime have I witnessed something which has had such widespread impact around the globe, except for maybe climate change.

This virus does not discriminate, and it’s not something that can simply be ignored and pushed to one side by mainstream media. It’s everywhere geographically, and it’s also everywhere in our conversations. Everyone has a story about how they’ve been affected, whether it be financially, physically or mentally, and everyone has had to make a range of adjustments to their ordinary way of life.

It’s astonishing to me how quickly the situation has escalated from, “Let’s see whether or not we have to cancel our holiday to Italy,” to “Okay, that’s cancelled, but it’s okay because we’ll travel around Australia instead,” and then to “Okay it looks like we are staying put.” For the record, my partner and I did have a holiday to Italy booked, and it became clear a few weeks ago we would need to cancel the whole thing. I trust we will be able to visit this country one day, and for now it’s obviously safer that we stay right where we are.

I am currently in a situation where I’m working from home indefinitely, and am living in a house that is safe, clean and has plenty of food stocked. I am grateful that I’ve been able to keep my job, unlike so many people around the world, and that home is a place where I feel secure and cared for.

My heart goes out to the people that have lost their incomes, and to people who may have been ready to flee a violent situation at home, only to realise they are now potentially stuck. I am thinking of the students in their final years of high school who were ready to embrace this milestone year, and students who had finished high school and were ready to travel the world. My thoughts are with the nurses and doctors who are working around the clock to treat people with the virus, and people who still need to be treated regardless. I say thank you to the grocery store staff that are keeping our shelves stocked, and the public servants that are ensuring welfare is distributed where needed. A lot of people are working hard, and many are wondering when they’ll be able to work again.

To circle back to my title and finish on a wholesome note, this situation has brought out some silver linings and glimmers of hope. It seems that puzzles are having their own renaissance, including in my own house where we are currently piecing together a large display of fruit with labels in French. It’s been the perfect way to practise my French, remind myself of healthy eating and train my brain. I have had more phone calls and video chats with friends than I would otherwise, and it’s been a nice experience to reconnect with friends and bond over these uncertain times.

As the old saying goes, this too shall pass. Whether it passes in six months or more remains to be seen, and all we can do is take each day as it comes. I feel certain, and almost hopeful, that life as we know it will never be the same.

See you on the other side and in the meantime, back to my usual musings.



Featured Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash

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