Resetting our priorities during the Coronavirus outbreak

Disclosure: The below post contains purely my personal thoughts and conclusions. I am not claiming to be an expert nor have any type of specialist knowledge. We are all feeling sensitive during those days yet I wanted to express my thoughts and opinions and mostly share my feelings and personal conclusions on current situations.

You thought you have seen it all? The world has gone crazy, you say. I’m just going to pack my bags, leave it all behind, set new goals or forget about the goals altogether and set on a journey. I want to travel the world and free my soul. And this year is the year. Did you think that? So we are on the same page.

And then just like this, all your plans crumble. Unthinkable happens. Did you think that telling your loved ones about your travel plans was a difficult task? Did you think that getting yourself prepared mentally and learning how to pack in a minimalist way is going to be a challenge? How small those problems seem to be now huh?

The world and life itself always set new challenges for us – often the challenge we expect the least.

Speaking of challenges. I and people of ‘developed’ countries actually have no idea what real difficulty is. And as bad I think it sounds I must say it. It is time to reset our priorities while wondering how life after the Coronavirus outbreak is going to change.

Suddenly this cushy job you had is not so cushy anymore. Or maybe you are the lucky one and you get to keep the job and work from home? I am also one of those lucky ones that get to keep the job and I have never been more grateful. I really don’t want to sound condescending now but all those small complaints don’t really matter now.

Not all are this lucky in times like this. Some already lost their jobs. Some are facing it real soon. Some cannot stay in countries of their current residence as likely they cannot afford the rent or are not eligible for government support. The stories go on. Schools are closed. Parents cant go to work since they need to stay home with their children. Suddenly everything we were taking for granted (or maybe not so much as I still hope we don’t always do) raises in value. Suddenly really simple things matter so much.

I do personally, believe it is a test. And maybe I will be controversial here – but I believe we are being tested (no pun intended – need to keep the sense of humour a bit). As humans.

It is a test for global human nation. How can we stand together and support one another? Are we going to fail? Yet once more? Is there any hope for humanity? Can we stop emptying shelves in the stores and instead make sure that our elderly neighbours and colleagues have enough food and medicine? Can we resist getting paranoid about conspiracy theories and instead see it as maybe last chance to give back to mother nature and take care of the world we live in?

Is there any hope that one human can be kind to another human? Selflessly. Only because we care? And because we can? Can we care about that most vulnerable by staying at home to make sure the virus doesn’t spread unnecessarily? We all have parents, grandparents and elderly we love. Let’s make sure they stay safe and healthy. Can we as a human collective pass the test? So many questions. The near future will give us all the answers. You are the answer actually. And so am I.

Image by analogicus from Pixabay

As you are at home, this is the time to reach out to all those friends you maybe haven’t heard from for a while, to make sure they are doing fine. I got reached by people and spoke to friends I didn’t speak to in a while.

Let’s try to stay as sane as we can in those crazy times. There will be a lot of angry folks out there soon. This doesn’t look like it’s going to end anytime soon and in times like this, both the best and the worst come out of people. We all know that. And I am sure we will witness both. People staying at home for a prolonged period of time will deal with it in many different ways.

There are also people with anxiety, depression mental health issues. Those will not take it as easy as others. Reach out to them. Loneliness is tough. Sometimes a simple massage does wonders. If you are feeling strong- be there for those that don’t. And when the whole world goes mad, let’s try and stay as calm as we can. Let’s try and be this tiny bit more understanding. This world doesn’t need any more anger. It needs kindness.

There are heroes out there. Doctors, nurses but also those that cannot stay at home, those that need to supply food and medicine. Social workers. Police. Cleaners. Delivery people. Taxi drivers. Bus drivers. Too many to mention. Everyone that just need to stay out there. Some have no choice. And many are scared. Most of them are.

And when this is all over – and it will be, I promise – we will travel even more. With the only difference that we will do it more consciously. With that strong thought at the back of your head, that nothing is ever for certain. That if there was something you have always really wanted to do – you should do it while you can. But this time with greater respect. Respect to this home of ours called Earth. And respect to those around us. Be kind to this clerk in the window – you don’t know what he battled thru to get to where is right now. Tip the waiter if you can afford it, their job is not as cushy as yours. Pick up the litter, don’t throw it in the ocean and don’t use a plastic straw – respect what is given to us for free – pay the duty by respecting it.

And once it’s over – let’s reset our priorities. Life after the Coronavirus will never be the same. Let’s think for a minute how much this earth needs us. Because quite frankly it doesn’t. Without air traffic, fume pollution, traffic congestion and extreme tourism – the air and land seem to be just a little be healthier.

Did we have to get ill to heal the earth? Did we really have to go this far?

Alanna Shaikh, a global health consultant and executive coach who specializes in individual, organizational and systemic resilience said:

‘COVID-19 most likely skipped from animals into people at a wild animal market in Wuhan, China. Now for the less basic parts. This is not the last major outbreak we’re ever going to see. There’s going to be more outbreaks, and there’s going to be more epidemics. That’s not a maybe; that’s a given. And it’s a result of the way that we, as human beings, are interacting with our planet. Human choices are driving us into a position where we’re going to see more outbreaks. Part of that is about climate change and the way a warming climate makes the world more hospitable to viruses and bacteria. But it’s also about the way we’re pushing into the last wild spaces on our planet. When we burn and plough the Amazon rain forest so that we can have cheap land for ranching, when the last of the African bush gets converted into farms, when wild animals in China are hunted to extinction, human beings come into contact with wildlife populations that they’ve never come into contact with before, and those populations have new kinds of diseases: bacteria, viruses – stuff we’re not ready for.

Please watch the whole Ted Talk if this is something you are interested in:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fqw-9yMV0sI

So I really think we need to reset our priorities – more than one actually.

Firstly – when faced with tough and scary times we suddenly think more about our loved ones, friends, people around us in general. We also long for days when we could just go out and enjoy our days with nor restrictions. Long days by the beach or in the woods. We long for travels. Maybe we also long for things we really wanted to to do but we were a bit scared or not sure if we should even start. Change the country? Change the career? Say what you feel? Now it’s time to think about what is really important. And how are we going to our lives moving forward?

Secondly and probably most importantly – maybe its time now to start really prioritize the health of our home. Earth. See into what extent we go to exploit it and decide if it is really necessary for our wellbeing. See what can you do, what daily choices do you make that can make a real difference. I am not here to preach. You make your own research.

Also – I personally would just like to hug someone. Social distancing is hard. We are naturally social creatures

Social connection is understood as a core human need, and the desire to connect is our fundamental drive. When deprived of social interaction both our mental but also physical health declines. One thing is to voluntarily stay away once in a while to get this needed headspace or a break. But another thing is to be told you cannot go out, hug your friends or stay at home alone for days.

Luckily we live in an era of social media and we can stay connected on a virtual platform no matter what. How about those elderly? Maybe we should call our parents a bit more often. Talk to them for longer. Maybe we should continue doing it even when times are better one day. I can’t wait to go home (i was planning on visiting my family in April -this is yet another journey that needs to postponed). I can’t wait to give a big hug to my mom, sister and my nieces and nephew. And you should do the same. When its all over. Give everyone a massive hug. And never stop

And then we will go travelling!! I will see you there – soon!

Feature picture: Image by David Bruyland from Pixabay

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Pati's Journey Within

Hi, I’m Pati. A traveller, photographer (aspiring), dreamer and hopeless believer in magic. I have caught the travel bug in my forties – and not planning to look back any time soon. I travel solo and on a budget and try to spend as much time and effort to truly immerse myself in the country I am visiting.

Whether you are like me and decided to change your life around a new dream or just wandering (because not all who wander are lost) – I am here to tell you that everything is possible. 

 

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