The time is here: at last, we are slowly moving out of lockdown into more freedom of movement in the coming weeks. I have a home in Ibiza and we are finally moving out of full lockdown where we have been restricted to staying home, allowed out for only one scheduled hour each day to walk and exercise.
Now we are moving into Phase 1 of 4 phases, when gradually we will have more freedom to move around. Cafes and restaurants can start to open from next week, with social distancing being part of the new order. Cafes where there are outside terraces can return to business. Businesses will start to open again and slowly step by step we will enter into a new way of living post quarantine.
There is much we have learnt during this powerful few weeks. I have stopped counting how long it has been since it started. It is May now and we went under the government cosh and lockdown suddenly sometime in March. That is a long time to be remaining at home not seeing friends and family.
Lessons have been learnt. We will be more aware of social interplay with others as the threat of the virus is still real so we will still need to show restraint in groups and greetings. This is what it means for us in this next phase:
- More awareness of our need for social interaction with others. We have realised that we crave human contact with others and having it taken away from us has meant we realise just how important this is for mental health and general wellbeing. Seeing friends and family fulfils an important function in our lives and the structure of our daily routines. Most people have missed the opportunity to meet up with others and share stories and hugs.
- We have become more conscious of where our food comes from. During this time, the farmers have become heroes. We realise the importance of growing food, making the food chain short and honouring the hard-working farmers who create and grow our food. These are the modern-day heroes. On the island where I live there has been a surge in demand for homegrown produce and the farmers have never been so busy as during this time. Businesses have found new ways of operating starting home deliveries and online ways to keep operating in shut down.
- The heroes of this pandemic piece have been the front liners. Those medics, nurses and doctors who have been serving the ill and the elderly and helping people recover and get protected. These previously unsung heroes are now being recognised for the amazing work that they do. We have seen weekly public shows of affection and gratitude with clapping and cheering outside in communicates all over the world. It´s been a moving time to watch this happening – never been seen before in our lifetime.
- Appreciation of the simple things in life: being able to walk out in nature and get fresh area walking outside of our homes has become the new luxury. We appreciate the joy of being outside in nature more than ever before and realise this too is part of the things we crave as humans – to be able to get outside and experience the world around us without restrictions.
- We don’t need all the stuff we thought we needed. Shopping, other than for food, has become impossible in lockdown. This has made us realise that we don’t need so much to be happy. Most people have spent a lot of time lately clearing out clutter, getting rid of things they don’t need and cleaning their homes out and streamlining their stuff, Marie Kondo style. We realise we had become consumers of crazy levels and we just don’t need all that stuff to be happy and content. In fact, we have found out that too much stuff weighs us down.
- Shopping is overrated. Now people have got out of the habit of buying things that are not emergency items. It seems crazy now to imagine people rushing to the shopping centre and malls every weekend to make huge retail purchases as part of their leisure activities. Shopping for anything other than essentials now feels ridiculous and completely unnecessary. I haven’t bought any clothes for nearly a year and have not gone to normal shops, and nor have many other people I have spoken to. We are released from the shopping frenzy that had taken over in Western culture, we had been cleverly seduced over the years by glossy advertising and lifestyle imagery. We really don’t want to be seduced any more from advertisers, thanks anyway.
- Our community and family are more important than we ever realised. Without them, nothing is that important. It’s all about the community supporting each other, family, health and kindness now. These are the new indicators of what is important for getting through.
A lot of people have been suffering at the hands of difficult family situations and been stuck in uncomfortable or dangerous situations, many that have become more pronounced and difficult as this lockdown plays out for longer than we expected. I wish everyone in difficult scenarios the best and hope that you can find solace and protection wherever you are and whatever your situation.
As you move through whatever stage you are in during this unfolding pandemic, I wish you peace and calm through it all.
It has been a time of huge anxiety and panic for many people as we face a new reality and a new world as we slowly enter back into life again. Things will never be the same. The Earth has had a chance to breathe. The oceans are clearer, smog has cleared in cities around the world, animals have come out to play on the streets and new species have been seen for the first time in decades.
In all of these difficult times, our heroes are the extraordinary medical teams and nurses who are on call day and night, facing daily threats to their own wellbeing.
Our politicians have had to call on their services in some cases to save their own lives. We realise it´s time to properly honour these medical workers, teachers, carers and those who play a crucial role in our societies. Time to pay them properly and honour the extraordinary work that they carry out for the good of us all in difficult conditions.
Thank you to these heroes. History will show us that you are the heroes of this extraordinary time.
Thank you to everyone who has been in service to others during this challenging time.
We will come out of this different people. Hopefully, gentler to the environment, more aware of the important things in life and more generous and compassionate to each other in the new world order. None of us know what is over the horizon and what comes next. But our approach does need to be very different than before,
Let’s hope we learn some important life lessons from all of this and be gentle with one another and help those who need support right now and who are struggling or those who have lost loved ones in the process.
Love to all.