Corona virus or COVID-19… it is not a new topic. There is so much information about it, so much is written; our attention is still so focused on it – either by following the development of the situation in the news, or the jokes in the social media. Although it is a difficult and challenging time for everyone, I do not think it is so fatal. I don’t even think it will be the last of its kind. Diseases, infections and viruses have been around since the world began.
Nevertheless, I believe that we can learn from every situation and we can always find the positive. Some friends have told me that this quarantine has given them time and opportunity to pursue long-forgotten hobbies; for others, it has brought to the fore the need for social contact and more communication with family and friends, or it has given them more time for themselves… In any case, the whole world is now facing the same restrictions and is isolated at home. This makes me ask myself – how can we take advantage of the situation in the best way for us?
To be quarantined abroad
I have decided to stay in France for the time of the quarantine. A couple of weeks already, I am staying in my wonderful room in the student dormitory. It is small yet cozy, I try to keep it neat (well, to see at least some order in these chaotic days); I have quotes, thoughts; pictures everywhere around me that help me keep my spirit up. I am very lucky to be on the 4th floor where I have an amazing view. These days the weather is rather sunny and warm, something not so typical for Brittany. I feel that the spring is here with all the trees blossoming, perfuming our life with its amazing aroma and the charming songs of the birds who romantically share their emotions throughout the whole day, with a special edition of their concert in the mornings and the evenings.
This period is very interesting for me, as the Fate has given me one more time what I wanted even though not exactly as I imagined it. For years, I have wanted to go on the Camino de Santiago road. This is the path for pilgrims and people who want to discover and understand themselves, to dive in nature and release the control by walking 400-600 km (depending on the starting point). I considered April or October to be an appropriate period, before or after the internship, I have to do. Great, but not quite. As we saw – unexpectedly we had to isolate ourselves and stay home. This is how I found myself alone in France. Well, I have friends here, but they are also confined in their homes. This is why I perceive this “quarantine” as my personal “isolating” journey, not in Spain but staying here in Rennes.
In this so-called crisis, I find opportunities and answers to the questions “how to keep the positive spirit, being all day alone; how to motivate yourself so you don’t waste your time; how to find the desire to do the things you love”. I have decided to make the best out of the situation and take advantage of this time by doing things I have postponed for so long:
- I have started to watch many videos in French and English which help me improve my language skills by learning new and fascinating information from specialists and enthusiasts in various fields;
- I have also decided to take advantage of the numerous online lessons which lots of companies offer (a big part of them is even for free) ;
- I do sports even more actively than before – I go running almost every day and practice yoga. I found that when I start my day with yoga, even only with the practice “Greeting to the Sun”, my body warms up, gets energized, and I feel a surge of motivation and optimism;
- I also found that the “isolation” is a great time to experiment in the beauty care – let’s be honest, how often are we normally going to dare to use garlic, avocado, coffee, lemon, or others, in our daily care risking to look like a salad?
- I have also set another creative goal – not only to paint but also to master the quilling technique (a beautiful art that uses multi-colored strips of paper, folds them in various shapes and creates an interesting decorative design) – a very close friend of mine gave me a whole set for Christmas, which, to my shame, I have never opened yet;
- Last, but not least, I intend to keep up with the writing – blogging is a long-held dream and now is the perfect time to do it.
The positive around us
I am fascinated to see how during the quarantine people become more and more creative and find new ways to have fun, do sports and even be socially active. For instance, in France, there is the “clapping” at 8 h – people go to the window/ terrace and everybody claps together. (Aw, how special I feel when I go for a run during this time and people are clapping – as if I am a famous athlete and the standing ovation is for me!) I am also amazed when I see so many people practicing sports outdoors – running on the street, doing exercises by the lake and it is so nice when I encounter a father with his children to train as a great sports team; there are also kids learning skateboard tricks and having fun outside, not only in front of the PC. Even here, in the student dormitory, we have formed a sports group and doing exercises in the yard every evening (keeping the distance, of course).
How do I perceive the impact of this global pandemic?
Yes, it is not an easy time. There are limitations regarding communication, activities, opportunities, and sometimes there is even a shortage of home products (the battle for the toilet paper is epic). However, things are not fatal and this will not last forever. This too shall pass! Still, while waiting for it to be over, how can we make use of the time and opportunity we are given in the best possible way?
Looking at history, I note that each generation is going through its challenge and a global crisis that comes to give us a lesson. Luckily, we are not facing the problems from 100 years ago – a time of wars, fear, and death; or the Iron Curtain era – again a period of even greater separation between people and insecurity.
Today, this virus has separated us physically, but I think it has brought us closer as humans, facing similar challenges and problems. It gives us time to re-evaluate our life and decide what we want to preserve, to keep and what to change.
I have read some jokes about how we should pre-install 2020 as it has a virus. Yes, it would be nice, still, we would not be able to learn the lesson. Now, the pre-installment would not be from the beginning of the year, but who says that the year only starts on January 1st? We can take the example of Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan and more. New Year and start it today, here and now!
Now it is time for you, I would be happy if you share your point of view as well:
- Can you add what positive things you see in this situation?
- What new habits did you develop or what new activities have you started during this time?
Moreover, if you have an interesting story or event that has happened during the quarantine, please come and share it with us!