There's always a bright side (no, really).
Quarantine Day 17! Is everyone getting comfy? WFH routines somewhat established, snacks at the ready, coming to terms with the understanding that this is—at least temporarily—our new normal? I know it’s not ideal, but it’s real, and it’s getting to the point where we’re going to have to look for a silver lining to stay sane.
That there’s always something to be learned from every experience isn’t just a consoling platitude our parents smothered us in growing up — I’ve found it to be true in most situations. And this right here is one such situation. There are things that we will all be better at post-Rona, simply because we were forced into getting better at them during her mighty and relentless reign. Below are 5 such skills:
1. Grocery shopping
People who never used to write grocery lists before, who used to stroll aimlessly up and down the aisles of their supermarket of choice picking things up willy nilly only to go home and realise that none of their items make sense together — your time is up. If there’s anything the 6-hour curfew breaks, standing in line for hours for groceries, and inaccessibility of certain supplies teaches us, it should be to shop resourcefully and responsibly. I’m ready to see people show up to supermarkets with purpose, skimming through the aisles with unyielding speed and efficiency, their focus laser-sharp and impossible to penetrate.
2. Being alone
Being alone with your thoughts is a scary place to be, but thanks to Ms. Rona, we’ve all had to suck it up and bear it for weeks on end. While it’s easy to lose it just a little bit in the company of nobody besides your own inner demons, it’s a more difficult but much worthier pursuit to just make friends with them instead. Learning to be by yourself is an underrated skill, and hopefully we emerge from these weeks of isolation and social distancing a little less dependent on others and a little more in touch with ourselves.
3. Long-distance relationships
Keeping friendships and relationships alive—even those that were long-distance to start with—have been a struggle in these times. FaceTime, Houseparty and Zoom have all offered a myriad of ways for us to stay in touch with our loved ones, and I won’t be surprised if some of them stick around, post-Rona. This time of social distancing has given light to that fact that physical proximity is not essential to emotional intimacy, and that regardless of state of the world, human connections will adapt and persevere.
4. Filtering news
Show of hands if you’ve had upwards of 5 different WhatsApp messages sent into your family group chat that shared information about COVID-19 that ranged from amusingly misguided to dangerously misleading? Oh, all of you? Yeah, thought so. While most people mean well, the severity of the pandemic and the number of lives and livelihoods it has put at stake has encouraged us to look at things more closely, to dig a little deeper for accurate information, and to insist on knowing the facts before sharing or acting on them.
Every day I pray that Rona’s legacy is improved hygiene in the form of bidets in bathrooms GLOBALLY. Sri Lanka and South Asia, in general, are ahead of the game here, but if anything, the accelerated spread of the virus has the world taking a long, hard look at its hygiene habits. From washing hands more often to regularly disinfecting most things we come into physical contact with on a daily basis, I hope we come out of this a little bit more conscious of our hygiene habits and how they affect our health and the health of those around us.
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