Love in the Time of Corona(virus)
Stuck at home for almost four months now and I’d say that since the quarantine was introduced back in March, the time of isolation has consisted of two distinct phases. Phase 1, The Anxiety Phase: panicking over almost everything. Keeping groceries, surfaces, and doorknobs clean, disinfecting the house from floor to ceiling. Wondering about the additional global uncertainty and coping with the stress of classes. Handwashing 24-7 and making a tally of the days spent at home like a prisoner, or a castaway on a desert island impatiently waiting to be rescued.
Living on unknown and unnumbered days of quarantine marks the beginning of Phase 2, The Acceptance Phase. Accepting that change is for the best and that the return to “normal” might take longer than expected. Accepting that some things are beyond my control and doing my best in others. Appreciating individual and community efforts towards fighting this pandemic. Pursuing personal growth to fight isolation and loneliness. Avoiding needless anxiety and cultivating friendships. Showing love.
We want to be remembered and loved regardless, and even more so in distressing times. A heartfelt message from a friend, an encouraging and upbuilding conversation, and an expression of care for others are in need now more than ever. It’s a time that requires a lot of love, empathy, support, and action. Instead of idly waiting to be rescued, now is the time to act on our insecurities and fears. It is time to listen closely, to wait patiently and productively, to answer some of life’s meaningful questions, to discover more of ourselves.
I had the time to continue my German and learned basic greetings in different languages to communicate with friends. It is so encouraging to see people taking time at home to reflect on their lives and choices and trying new things. Struggle has historically been the basis for progress. One might find a universal flu vaccine. One might impress the world of particle physics with the discovery of the axion. One could surprise himself by finding he possesses a rare talent. And who knows, one might even be able to write the next Nobel prize novel in the footsteps of Gabriel García Márquez…
by Konstantina Spyropoulou