Have you seen this video yet? It’s a poem about the world-wide pandemic, our lives and society before that, and what good could come out of this.
And I can’t stop watching it. Seriously.
I don’t know about you guys but I have spent the past two weeks feeling pretty well adjusted to this situation. I’ve gotten some routines established, I’m planning study sessions with the housemate, and I’ve finally found flour again. It only took me 4 weeks of constantly empty shelves and my housemates telling me “but when I went to *insert any shop name here*, there was plenty!”, and when I went there the next day there sure was plenty of air on that shelf, yeah! (hint: Exotic World now sells 25kg bags of flour. I’m sure you can share it with residency-mates. the store also has crowds and no regards for keeping distance though, so beware and be prepared)
I’ve read a lot about how this forced-upon us slow-down of our lives, productivity, adhering to external schedules, and buying things at the flick of a whim, could actually work in both our and our planet’s favour very well, very soon.
I’ve spent a solid hour or two thinking about how this pandemic is possibly just what we needed to slow down climate change enough to give us an extra few years to develop a long-lasting solution.
I’ve invested some time into thinking about how I want to come out of this pandemic, and what changes to my life I’d like to keep (basically all of them, hah! I only long for one monthly visit to Action and Kruidvat).
I thought I was doing perfectly fine and normal.
And then I saw this poem put into video format. And I’ve honestly not stopped thinking about it since.
Maybe it’s an exaggeration for art’s sake, but – have we been going too hard on messing up our planet? Yes. Have we been hiding behind our screens as a way of socialising, improving, drowning out the outside world? Yes. Is this forced upon slowing of lives and tasks and everything something we can benefit from even after it’s over? Oh yeeeeees.
I feel like the author depicts very succinctly how we were all stuck in a daze of modern ease and distress – sure, it’s nice to have that favourite coffee place in the centre to go to, which you picked as your favourite out of the 12 other options around town. And yes, it’s convenient to go to one of the 10 bakeries within a 10-minute walking distance to pick up a loaf of bread instead of making one at home yourself, or to go to the shop around the corner for that one ingredient you forgot to buy but the recipe you’re cooking by added it as a nice additional flavouring. It’s also a really cool idea to travel the world by plane and car, and buying trinkets from the big companies with the huge chimneys that expel a lot of carbon-dioxide.
But do we need to? Do we need it to be happy in our lives? Is it something we desperately need to feel at peace within ourselves?
I used to go around thinking I’m a hopeless romantic, because in my head the ultimate goal was always to be happy, to find people to share love with, to be at peace with myself and my life. It’s taken me 5 years of university in three different countries to realise it’s not romanticism, it’s a commonly shared goal amongst 90% of the people I’ve talked to in my entire life. Yet people of my decade and older tend to not be anywhere close to that goal yet. And I feel like it’s partly because of how our society was built, and how life was created for us, what we were moulded into. Can this pandemical lock-down be the moment for us to have these “great realisations”, to not necessarily go back to how things were before, but to simply go forward with what we now know is best/better for us?
I hope so. I really, really want it to.