Lockdown Lifted: Life on the Other Side

The truth is…I’m still a bit scared.

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There’s an air of elation on the island as the government released an update on the lifted lockdown. By the end of this week, most businesses (including restaurants, hotels, and casinos) will be up and running.

By the 1st of June, most public facilities will be open and life will be relatively normal. This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for, after two months of intense indoor life.

You’d think that I’d be out on the roads right now, marveling at how far we’ve come.

But, to be honest, I’m still struggling to adjust.

Some parts of my mind have not accepted that the lockdown is over. It could be because most of my online peers are in locations where restrictions are still in place, or maybe it’s because I’ve only left the house twice to do my weekly shopping, but I’m still in “Vigilant Mode”.

Some may applaud this attitude of mine because the pandemic is still going on and we “can’t rest yet”. But a  part of me does wonder if my mind is still processing the intensity of what we went through.

I think a lot of us will have those moments of hesitation. We’ll find that our fear will overwhelm our relief and that’s okay.

Because this global pandemic is and was a traumatic experience.

The world came to a standstill with no warning and we were (and still are) processing it all at the same time. We’re all waiting for answers and the eventual end of it. It’s hard to think that while I live in an area with 0 active cases, there are countries with cases that go into the 10,000s.

 

Sometimes, it’s hard to celebrate when you know it’s a completely different story for other communities.

It hasn’t sunk in that the lockdown is over. 

I hear the traffic outside, the sounds of people walking and laughing together, and I see the stories on my social media. Everyone has eagerly embraced post-lockdown life – from beach visits to long walks and trips to the nearest ice cream outlet. 

You can think of this lift as a gift from summer – we actually get to have one. 

My chest definitely feels lighter, knowing that the COVID-19 situation was dealt with effectively. I’m grateful for what the government put in place to protect the country and it feels good to know that I can order food again.

But I can’t ignore the occasional tightness in my chest. The anxiety that flares when I think of my loved ones in other countries.

But, I remind myself to look for the light.

In last week’s post, I said the only way I’ve been able to navigate this pandemic is by putting in boundaries and holding on to hope – even if I don’t know what that hope looks like.

So, I’ll take this situation as a reason not just to be hopeful but to be glad. Two months ago, when the first cases were announced, we had no idea what to expect. I was scared and tried not to think of the worst. The uncertainty of the situation was overwhelming.

But two months later, here we are. Most public facilities will be open by the end of this week. I can see my friends again – with a mask, I know – and I can enjoy long walks to anywhere I choose to go. Public transport will be back soon and I’ll finally get to see my best friend.

 

In a world with so much angst and uncertainty, I think it is important to hold on to the moments of hope. To actively remember them and know that better days will come.

 

Yes, there is the fear of a second wave. Yes, I still worry about my loved ones across the world. Yes, the pandemic is still raging on.

 

But, if I focus on this alone and choose to neglect the slivers of light, how will I ever get to see the sun on my face again?

 

Covid-19 Continues: Lessons from Lockdown

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to show us that we have no idea what’s going on and we’re all playing a game of guess, hope, and wait.

 

The coronavirus looks different in each location you consider. In some countries, the cases continue to grow while citizens choose to fight the systems put in place. The USA, with 1.3 million cases and a little over 80,000 deaths, is still grappling with protestors and calls for an end to lockdown. Similar calls have been heard in the United Kingdom, which recently surpassed Italy with the highest COVID-19 related deaths in Europe. Germany joined the chaos, not long after the government shared the country’s impressive progress.

People are becoming tired and they want to be let out. Other countries seem to be winding down with more ease – but just as much caution. New Zealand and South Korea are among those at the forefront for reaching the much-awaited “new normal”. But, this is not happening as seamlessly as the world wants it to.

 

From a local perspective, the little island on which I reside managed to get on top of the virus and contain the situation. Our 50+ day lockdown ended on the 4th of MAy and, slowly, life is getting back on track.

 

Lockdown, for me and my city, started on the 10th of March. This was at the time when eyes were on Italy and Iran’s alarming statistics, as well as the rapid spread of the viruses. More cases were being discovered and we’d just realized that this wasn’t a “bad flu”.

 

Months later, I don’t want to think of the future, yet. I’d like to dwell on the last 6 – 8 weeks and share the lessons I picked up along the way:

Continue reading “Covid-19 Continues: Lessons from Lockdown”