Learnings From Social Distancing That I’ve Learned During Corona Pandemic

Life has turned upside-down for all of us since the WHO declared Corona as a pandemic and all the nations imposed ‘social distancing’ for humankind, in general.

As I’m sitting here at the cozy work-corner in my room, next to the window and looking at the deserted streets – I keep wondering how we humans have been forced to surrender to the COVID-19 Virus. I shall be honest, I was not foreseeing how big of an issue this virus really was to the world’s health and stability.

Life has turned upside-down for all of us since the WHO declared Corona as a pandemic and all the nations imposed ‘social distancing’ for humankind, in general. Everyone around the world, in every country, is advised to limit their time spent in the company of others and to remain inside their homes as much as possible.

For those who know me well, know that I’m a ‘travel-aholic’! Initially, it made me a little anxious – when I figured out that I won’t be able to move around as freely as I mostly did and have to stay indoors until further travel advisories are passed from the worldwide healthcare authorities. Today is my 17th day of being quarantined at home, but honestly, I’m quite enjoying this new normal while indulging in things that I often missed out doing, amidst the hustle & bustle of life.

Indeed, quarantine life has also been quite a learning experience! Here are some of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned from ‘Social Distancing’ during the Corona chaos:

 

[stextbox id=’alert’ bgcolor=’f7f7df’ bgcolorto=’f7f1b5′ image=’null’]Mother Nature needed this time to recover & get replenished.[/stextbox]

“Nature has the power to heal because it is where we are from, it is where we belong and it belongs to us as an essential part of our health and our survival.” – Nooshin Razani.

From the ozone layer healing to animals on the streets, Mother Nature is healing in the most beautiful manner during this phase of global lockdown. I was in awe to see the pictures of the clean Venice canals where ducks & swans are back, dolphins have been spotted close to Marine Drive in Mumbai and peacocks were seen roaming around a neighborhood in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. 

Needless to say, these are signs of nature healing itself when people are not around. While air is undoubtedly less polluted because of a drop in greenhouse gases’ emissions, the impact of social distancing on the environment is beyond our imagination.

EU shared a series of maps that illustrate the ecological integrity of European landscapes and identify corridor areas for nature restoration, such as Poland, Spain, and Scotland. The sudden drop in pollution levels across the globe has led to a positive effect on the ozone layer. With fewer vehicles on roads and people being vigilant about their activities, the ozone layer has finally got some breathing space. Everybody has been agreeing to the fact that the COVID-19 crisis might provide us with some useful lessons on how to deal with global warming.

Not just for me, but it’s a lesson for all of us that we, humans, need to be a little more conscious of our actions and be responsible for the sake of protecting nature. While destruction doesn’t need much of an effort, replenishing does. 

 

[stextbox id=’alert’ bgcolor=’f7f7df’ bgcolorto=’f7f1b5′ image=’null’]We can’t control what happens, but we can control how to react to it.[/stextbox]

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor E. Frankl.

We, humans, think of ourselves to be extremely smart. We feel we have solutions to every existing problem. But we tend to forget that we are all just living in the constant unknown – which holds a wonderful, beautiful, and even at times, a terrifying mystery covering the days ahead.

As the intensity of the virus seems to be expanding with every passing day, the news channels & social media are bursting with pieces of information – it’s quite obvious to feel apprehensive about everything. But we can do ourselves a favor by controlling our emotions and reactions. We can try to see a brighter tomorrow when today appears to be melancholy and grey. We can choose to be hopeful and have a positive outlook on life.

In the last few days, I’ve learned that the only way to keep calm is by appreciating the fact that I am in control of how I feel and react to this situation. We are all in control of our reactions.

 

[stextbox id=’alert’ bgcolor=’f7f7df’ bgcolorto=’f7f1b5′ image=’null’]This is our time to pause and reflect[/stextbox]

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”― Mark Twain.

What we’re facing today, isn’t a problem for you and me, but for everyone living on the Earth! While the thoughts of isolation and social distancing worried me, I tried to shift my focus to think of this as a time to pause & reflect.

Months back, during a conversation with a friend, he told me that we’re all running in this race – we look around and see that others are running as well – and we try to increase our speed. But amidst all this, we forget why we are running? Whether it’s for financial security or to make a better life, to achieve bigger goals and seek happiness from those – we tend to forget that the chase in endless, and in the end, will all of it be worth the run?

Our conversation lasted for a few minutes but it did make an impact on me. Ever since then, I tried to pause at times, trying to think if my chase for something would be meaningful or not. However, mostly, I failed.

Over the last few days, I’ve had enough time to reflect (and I’m grateful for that). I’ve realized that no matter how much wealth we may accumulate when a disaster would strike us, we’d all be doomed. I’ve realized that there’s nothing more important than being healthy – physically, mentally, emotionally – ‘coz these are our main sources of happiness.

The ‘social distancing’ has taught me the value of slowing down, to breathe as I pause & reflect, to look deeper into my mind & to let my soul know that it’s fine to not chase all the time.

[stextbox id=’alert’ bgcolor=’f7f7df’ bgcolorto=’f7f1b5′ image=’null’]We always complain about not having enough time, but we often forget to make time for things that are important.[/stextbox]

“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.” – Theophrastus.

“Oh, I didn’t get time to…” – this, I’m sure, is a common excuse that we all come up with, in our daily lives. The pandemic followed by the lockdown has definitely given us a chance to do the things that most people barely have time in their schedule.

I’ve been guilty on various occasions of claiming that I didn’t have time to call a friend, to read a book, to have a game with my 4-year-old nephew or to just sit & meditate. Amidst the chaos of fulfilling the errands at work & submissions, I missed out on indulging in things that I love doing – whether it’s doodling or writing letters to friends.

This phase of social distancing has taught me the fact that most of the time, we come up with excuses just to convince ourselves & cover up the guilt of not doing things! With more free time than ever on our hands, it’s time to own up to the fact that there’s a difference between not having the time, and not making the time.

I’m sure each one of us out there has been doing things that nurture us and make us feel connected to ourselves – whether it’s gardening at the backyard or watching your favorite movie again, reading a book or trying to cook some new dishes that you’ve wishlisted months back!

I hope that we all will remember this time for the rest of our lives – and appreciate how things unfolded beautifully when we rushed less. I hope that even after things get back to normal, we all will make an effort to have time for the little things that make us happy.

So here we are, making history and learning more about ourselves & each other than we ever bargained for. This pandemic won’t last forever. We won’t be stuck in our homes & live this life of social distancing forever either.

 

This too shall pass…

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