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Coping with a global pandemic

abroad

... See the good in everything

Credits: Christoph Kläser and Afro-diasporan

The outbreak and sporadic spread of COVID-19 has had most of us shell-shocked to this day. Or, perhaps let's just say that human arrogance in the era of the Anthropocene finally caught up with us. Let me break it down for you.

Never in my 30+ years had I ever imagined our humanist world, in an age of medical sophistication, coming close to a stand still. My parochial mind always thought that the Nobel Prize winners of science that are scattered all over Western Europe would come up with quick-fix solutions for a such pandemic such as this, especially one that is claiming European lives! That even the West had no band-aid solution, other than imposing the now famous lockdowns, got most of us in this country in a situation of Angst. The stock-piling and long queues at the supermarket reminded me of stories that my parents narrated to us about the era of civil war(s) in Uganda.

While Angst and uncertainty are still prevalent not only here in Europe but all over the world, I want to join in on the chorus of those routing for seeing the good and positive in every situation. In what will now go down in history as a deadly global pandemic that has claimed many lives, is it possible to see anything positive about these dire times? This is a rhetorical question.

Entschleunigung ... slowing down

I must confess that for me the world was moving at a fast pace, pre-Corona, especially if you are working as a full-time PhD student/lecturer/student mentor/choir-leader/ ... etc. Depending on your type of job and side-hustle, working from home can be a blessing in disguise. A win-win for me is being able to be in one place being able to attend meetings, talks, and conferences without the pressure of catching the next bus or cab to the next meeting. I conjure up the 'post-Corona' world as devoid of unnecessary face-to-face meetings

'Checking in' on loved ones more often

If there is anything that COVID-19 is making apparent, it is the need to return to one of the cores of humanity ... the need to nurture fulfilling relationships. This seems somewhat paradoxical given the social distancing regulations. But I guess these rigid regulations have only made us realise how relational we are. We cannot do without each other. We need each other - I am only referring to non-toxic relationships. I have never kept so regularly in touch with long-lost friends and family members as I have been doing since the semi-lockdown was announced in parts of Germany

Making the most of time

Those privileged enough to be working in jobs where home office is an option and being laid off is not a lingering fear have certainly realised what a luxury it can be to design your own work schedule. A dear friend of mine who is a high school teacher was ecstatic at not having to perpetually wake up at 6:00 a.m in order to be stand in front of a class of teenagers at 8:00 a.m every morning. For us working three jobs or more, it is certainly a plus to finally make time for those side-hustles such as blogging and vlogging ... (especially on the weekend) since you won't be missing out on rendezvous with friends anyway

Self-improvement

With less time spent hanging out, it is possible to not only find time for hobbies, but to also tap in on self-advancement. Join (free) online MasterClasses in photography, cooking, budgeting, name it. Google, YouTube and Spotify are certainly your friends.

Plus, take time to breathe. Make time for prayer and meditation ... quiet time to reflect on open-ended philosophical questions like; "Why am I here and what is my purpose in life?" "What makes me happy?"

Mariam (Germany)

Credits: Christoph Kläser and Afro-Diasporan
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