The Coronavirus confinement has put into perspective our material needs. Well, maybe not exactly our needs but the attachment we place on our material lifestyle. That extra pair of jeans or the new fashion accessories displayed on social media would usually attract our attention. This mindset has shifted during the crisis.
Many have realized that their pre-Covid-19 routines were not conducive to a healthy life. The induced stress and anxiety resulting from maintaining a fast-passed schedule, were wearing us down. Everything swirling around our days, was for the most, overlooked. This forced timeout created a void that emphasized what was missing in our lives and painted a face on the hectic behaviour our society was involved with.
We were convincing ourselves that our actions and decision-making was part of a normal lifestyle. Running the rat race was the only option to succeed and be fulfilled. All this personified in a grand illusion, a farce created to tread a fail over our perceptions. With all the things we’ve got to do, we just don’t have the occasion to actually be with ourselves, to be with our difficult emotions and to use those emotions to alert us to a need for change.
We used to hang out at the local bar with our friends after work instead of spending time with our loved ones. Take-out was an easier option compared to a home-cooked meal. Isolation brought us closer. We needed to old shift our habit to a new reality.
The Coronavirus lockdown will come to and end. There will be an after COVID-19. Even if it’s difficult to imagine now. One day we will leave our masks behind and go back to the streets. The economy will start back up and we will be faced with the choices of our old routines vs. our new habits.
I ask the following questions. Do we really want to go back to our old habits? Is the old “normal” still normal? We have been facing a radical change in our lifestyles, working from home, family life and not to mention our individual adaptation to this new reality. Bringing to the forefront emotions that were kept tucked away inside.
Denial, anxiety, adjustment and re-evaluation are the 4 phases we have gone through. Like it or not, we will emerge on the other side of the pandemic as a changed person. As small the change or as transformative we want it to be, we will have changed.
“Now is the time to get serious about living your ideals. How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer. Put your principles into practice – now. Stop the excuses and the procrastination. This is your life! […] Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do – now.” — Epictetus
The education system has transitioned and tested e-learning. Why not use this opportunity and rethink the way courses are dispensed? Communication and assessment systems could be established for students that have the flu and stay home to avoid infecting other students without falling behind in their schooling. In a post-crisis world, education should revisit the existing structure.
To comply and help flatten the curve, companies have asked their employees, when possible, to work from home. Created more flexible work hours to help parents cope with the school closings. Once the emergency is over, nothing forces companies to stop, preserve the new reality and keep the teleworking systems in place. Trusting their workforce and creating a by-product of a more fulfilled and productive staff.
We see it on the news and we even notice this when we look outside. The levels of pollution have reduced. Less car on the roads, fewer planes in the sky. Nature has proven that humans are the result of the environmental degradation. Proof has been revealed in nature. Wouldn’t it be a great idea to rebuild our economies on a more environmentally friendly platform. Withdrawing sooner from harmful industrial practices and investing in cleaner technologies.
Being confronted with isolation our mindset is pushed into a re-evaluation of our lives. Once this change takes root, it finds a way to become generative. This new reality has changed our perception on different social levels.
Will all this change be for nothing?
Do we really want to go back to the “old normal” if it still exists?
We have all created a clean break from the past, so the next question that needs to be asked: why not take advantage of this new reality and move on to something better?