Entering my third week of quarantine, it’s the first time I’ve been able to muster the energy and spirit to write around here. And it’s okay. We live in an unprecedented, uncertain and, frankly, very tragic moment in our history. If someone says they have the formula and the secret of how to deal with all this, you can be sure: they are a charlatan. Or a deluded one.
And look, I write from the height of my privilege as a person who was already used to working in a home office, who has her own house and a full refrigerator, who has financial stability to deal with a few months of lean cows and who, anyway, has nothing than complain. Quarantine is not the same for everyone and recognizing this is the first step to face the challenges that lie ahead with empathy and courage to contribute more.
And with that, I enter the point that made me wake up from the “trance of despondency” that hit me at the beginning of this quarantine. How to contribute more. It is no exaggeration to say that the coronavirus crisis has affected the way we interact, how we see small entrepreneurs, how we acquire a sense of what social justice is and how we can be part of building a different society – a better society.
Before they call me a communist, I am not saying here that we have found the cure for social inequality or that we have full responsibility for protecting the most vulnerable in this whole situation. Although, for the first time, I recognize that I do have some of this responsibility.
Sometimes we don’t realize that as consumers we have a lot of power. Support small businesses, order meals from family restaurants, boycott large chains that lay off en masse even with accumulated profits in the millions. These are examples of attitudes that we can adopt today and that will have an impact on building a better future.
These are attitudes that, by the way, have always been within our reach. But we never stopped to reflect. Like many other attitudes we have seen in these days of quarantine: offering help to neighbors who cannot be exposed, sharing content on the internet that helps our readers, saving employees who can work remotely from commuting, devoting time and attention to the family that normally we would delegate to someone else.
Over the past few days I found myself reflecting, optimistically, on how these few weeks of crisis have already had a big impact on my values, priorities and expectations for the future. I was cooking lunch alongside my husband, as we do every day, and as we only do on special occasions. I was using basil from the neighbor’s garden, which was offered to me by the WhatsApp group in the building that was created amidst the pandemic.
Neighbors, by the way, with whom I had never talked beyond the good morning in the elevator. And that, now, in addition to sharing tips, advice and planting a flower box, they even gave us a handicraft made for our baby to come (with the photo below for you to see that it’s not an invention, no).
I think that, despite the losses and difficult times, we can extract good things from this whole crisis. And this thought gives me much more energy to deal with the days of quarantine, the discipline needed to maintain productivity, the courage to face the inevitable bills and even, as I mentioned the subject, the serenity to receive Nina’s birth.
Good things are going to happen. We just need patience, serenity and an open heart to learn from all this. See you on the other side!