What it feels like to deal with a sudden lockdown
I was sitting having my coffee one weekday morning just two weeks ago with my laptop and a notepad wondering what I was going to write about that day. As I was doodling, I had this flash of an intense feeling. It was a strong intuition that raced through me. I felt that I really wanted to see my son and I wanted him to come back home. He is a University student living in Amsterdam and I live in Ibiza. He has a job in Amsterdam and I knew that in an hour or so he would be leaving to go to work as normal and be out of reach for a few hours.
I reached for my phone and called him straight away. I asked him to come back home to Ibiza on the next flight. He sensed from the tone of my voice that this was a serious request. I didn’t really give him an explanation other than I thought it felt important to get here soon.
A mother´s intuition
Inside I felt that things may get difficult with the news of the virus affecting businesses, travel and this was likely to bring some big changes to everyday life. So much has changed and moved fast since that time. The whole world has shifted since then and I felt the need to get my son with me urgently. It feels like a different world now, just 2 weeks later.
He agreed and booked to come home the very next day and told his work he would be away for a little while. Within 36 hours, everything was in full lockdown here. No one could move anywhere. We were told we couldn’t leave our homes, except to get food or pharmacy items. The airports and ports went on sudden lockdown with full travel restrictions to outsiders. He arrived back home just in time, with hours to spare.
The relief I felt to have my son home is beyond words. I don’t think there are words to describe the relief and gratitude of having a loved one come home when there is a real crisis all around and a danger you may not get to be able to see them.
None of us were prepared for happened next. This movement that has swept the globe in just weeks is having an extreme effect on everyone’s lives and livelihood. We have all been through the emotions of fear, anxiety, denial, acceptance and all the feelings during this incredible process of change and uncertainty.
Fear around not being able to see your family
We are getting used to a new way of living. We all have a new day to day routine that feels so different to the one before. The situation arrived suddenly and it will probably retreat as suddenly as it arrived. In the meantime, we are faced with making some drastic changes to the way we live day to day not knowing what or when things will change again.
For now we are not allowed out of our homes and the fines here are enormous if you are caught out breaking the guidelines. Many people have been feeling frustration, a lot of fear and anxiety.
I have always lived a very fast life. A life where I have been working full time, juggling my work life and home life, trying to do enough to keep all sides balanced so that I can bring up my son well as a single mum while making a living myself to support us. Now we have some enforced home time. We are forced to slow down, take our time and find new things to fill our day as we are held captive in our homes. Everything has changed in such a short time.
The streets are empty, the shops are closed, restaurants and bars are forbidden to open. When I leave home to go and buy food, there is no one around except the odd person wearing a mask and plastic gloves. We are walking around solo and being with others in cars or on the streets is forbidden. Our shops are quite well stocked with food and the panic buying has stopped as people realise the food will continue to make it into the shops. We are being asked not to socialise with others while this virus gets contained.
The feeling of social isolation and social distancing is a strange thing. We have never had to experience anything like this ever before on such a widespread global scale. The whole of the globe has slowed down, shut down and closed their doors in a short space of time and we are reeling and dealing with the consequences at this moment. It is a shock for us all. We are wondering to what the future will be like: what will happen socially, economically, in our medical systems and how we will feel when all of this is over and we can resume a normal life. Will we ever go back to a normal life? What is normal? What will it be like in the future? Things will profoundly change for sure going forwards following this global experience. We have all changed already and see things differently than before.
We have lessons to take from this. Maybe we don’t want to go back to normal again ever. We have important questions to ask now, We had to slow down the damage to the planet and natural resources – that is happening. We had to slow down the out of control spending and consuming and throwing away mindlessly – that is happening. We had to slow down the pollution levels and start being more concerned about our oceans and mother earth and to protect it – that is happening,. We had to become more aware of the terrible conditions of animals being slaughtered for our food when we have our pets at home that we love and could never imagine eating – that is happening.
Gratitude is everything
We have a lot to be grateful for, I am beginning to feel more grateful for the simple things, enjoying some time for more creativity in my life, yoga at home online, learning a new language, having my son home with me, taking time to cook healthy fresh meals every day and share them as a family around the table, help the elderly neighbours, look out for those people around us who are at risk or lonely, come together – online at least – with others and feel the benefits of having a loving community nearby.
There is a lot of good that is coming out of this situation. We must remember that the earth is getting some time off from being used and abused by us. It is a healing time for us as individuals, for our families, friends and the planet. This thing has rocked our world beyond country lines, religious lines, cultural lines, lines of age or ethnicity. It affects us all and reminds us we are a global family when it gets down to the nitty gritty, All the other barriers and prejudices we have learnt are not real and not applicable when we have something like this threatening all of humanity and its time to suspend our negative judgement of others with different beliefs or cultural systems.
Things will never go back to normal
Things will never be the same again,. We are waking up to the important things in life from this enforced slowing-down phase. We are grateful for the simple things and realising we are social beings who need each other and benefit when we all come together and act as one.
This is a powerful time and a healing time in our history. It is a time we will never forget. The water is clearing, the pollution is clearing, animals and creatures are returning to our seas, we are acting in our communities to help each other and be in service to others who need helping. We are spending more time with our loved ones at home.
What does it feel like to go through this shift? It feels healing, powerful and precious. A step forward for more love and caring in the world. A world that will never be the same again. More grateful perhaps for what we have. For that, we can be glad and optimistic.
Love to you all. We have all learnt that we really live in one world. There is not a them and an us. We are all the same and in this together. Let’s look after it and each other. We are valuable and unique and so is this planet.