"The introspection of life in uncertain times"
“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome” We are faced with an unprecedented situation in the face of what many are referring to as the invisible, deadly enemy. How we act now will ultimately shape the future of many, as the confirmed number of cases of COVID-19 skyrocket, will we come together in unison or splinter and shatter like a broken window, left to pick up the pieces wondering what we could have done differently. This virus isn’t prejudiced, it doesn’t discriminate; your wealth, position, social class, to name a few are inconsequential. It’s both omnipotent and omnipresent: there’s no colour, only black and white.
And underlying all of this is the ever-present question of; “When will things return to normal?”, in the light of the measures that have been put in place our world has been turned upside down, our sense of routine and structure has all but become null and void; the daily commute to work or school, family outings and even going to the shops have all but vanished. In such circumstances, time seems to come to a standstill; the days and weeks bleed into one another and it’s all too easy to retreat into one’s self. Distraction becomes a necessity to avoid becoming a captive of our own fear of the reality of what’s knocking at our door. This virus has borne its fangs and as a result it has stripped society back to it’s bones, unveiling all the nasty truths of human nature; the treatment of the impoverished, mentally ill and third world countries have suffered and will continue to suffer as a consequence of the never-ending cycle of greed which has come to fruition in the western world. I am afraid. I fear for all the suffering that is beheld before my eyes and that which I cannot see. I fear for those running out of money and food, those battling this invisible enemy; for the family members that cannot be with them, for those who on a daily basis risk their lives to support their country, for those alone and isolated and, of course, for my family and friends.
However, this abundance of time has brought with it the ability of introspection of one’s self, our actions and our culpability, and the examination of our society. “Time is a storm in which we are all lost. Only inside the convolutions of the storm itself shall we find our directions.” We are all lost at sea together, all heading in the same direction in which our actions will shape the future. On a whole, I am undeniably proud of the direction, we as a country have taken to support one another which can be seen throughout all the generations; from the children who create rainbows to spread hope and positivity, to the older generations providing the essential services that support us all, to the elders reminding us of the most important values: love, kindness and respect.
A virus that keeps us locked up in our homes is re-shaping the way we live our lives and the ways we view the world. The number of people affected by this virus globally overshadows some of the largest-scaled events in human history. The two largest global conflicts; the first and second world war are somewhat reminiscent of our current circumstances in lockdown, our plight whilst easier than back then does draw some parallels. All wars place huge demands on the countries involved, with great pain and suffering, often without yielding clear-cut results. Like pandemics, wars can come in waves, this is a modern age of sacrifice, resilience and collective endeavour to do our part by staying at home.
However, in crisis moments that can shape history, such as this, there’s the presence of opportunity: to send a message, to show that collectively as a country and a human race we can and will come together to support each other, our actions will not be forgotten but will instead remain as a testament to inspire future generations. Through all the uncertainty comes a greater appreciation for life itself, for each other and for the simple pleasures that before this we all took for granted. Time becomes meaningful again. Whilst we cannot predict the future, it’s clear that life will never be as it was before: society, healthcare, government, economy and our lifestyles will change. Times are challenging, we don’t know when we will feel safe again, reunited with loved ones but if nothing else know this: this isn’t a war to be won through brutality and weapons, it is a immense challenge that will be overcome by love, kindness, hope and supporting one another: we must become one, unified embodiment. “Just because the past didn’t turn out like you wanted it to doesn’t mean your future can’t be better than you imagined.”
Darcie-Anne Sally Jenkins; May 2020