Covid-19 – Time to Refresh, Reflect and Reconnect

What’s left to say about Covid-19 these days that have yet to be said? Well, plenty apparently. And since no one really knows when we’ll see the end of this global pandemic, I’m sure there’ll be plenty more to say in the days ahead.

While most of it would of course be the latest news on the number of new cases and deaths here, there and everywhere, that’s by no means all that there is. There are also lots of stories online dealing with fear, racism and bigotry, and how people are coping (or not) around the world.

So is there really a point for me to add yet one more drop of spit (oops) in this cesspool which is the Covid-19, when everyone must be sick (oops again) and tired of hearing and reading about it?

Well actually yes.

I think this time of mass restrictions on human movements everywhere is probably the most effective way to get people to do what I call the 3 Rs – Refresh, Reflect and Reconnect.

I would like to share them here in hopes it will encourage us to see this dire season we live in with optimism and hope, instead of all that doom and gloom.

1. Refresh
This is probably the best time for some much-welcomed and much-needed self-care, not to mention a chance to pick up that old guitar in the storeroom that you’ve neglected for so long.

With more enforced confinement time on many people’s hands, it’s no surprise these days to see lots of stories, videos and pictures on social media of people sharing their different home-based self-care methods. These can range from equipment-light exercises for the gym-starved jocks, handicrafts for those who like to keep their sanitised hands occupied, recipes for the consummate foodies, to every conceivable hobby for every enthusiastic hobbyist.

So why not pick up something new now and discover a hidden talent? Or reacquaint yourself with that old guitar?

2 Reflect
Having to stay away from the noise and the crowds out there (though admittedly many streets, bars, malls are fairly deserted now), people are forced to be spending more time indoors than ever before. By token of that, many of us should have more time and be more present with our thoughts and ideas. And so, I think we should all embrace this as some kind of divinely enforced golden opportunity to think about our lives and do a mid-point check of sorts. That might involve reviewing all we’ve achieved to date, and where we would like to see our lives in the next few years or so.

This almost feels like the Great Almighty on high had taken a look down at our messed-up world, and decided to push a cosmic pause button labelled “Virus Pandemic”. To force us all to take a protracted moment to consider how far we’ve come, where we now are and where we need to go. After all, busyness has always been the enemy of reflection. And also a killer to creativity and innovation.

So I say, let’s all take a zen yoga break, and consider how we can palpate these little moments we’ve been gifted with now in order to draw insights, inspirations and ideas to rock the world when Covid-19 subsides!

3 Reconnect
When 2020 started, I was keen to test out a social experiment of sorts. I was going to cease contact with friends and acquaintances. It was my attempt to see how long it would take before those who know me noticed my ‘absence’, and decided to reach out and find out how I am. My ‘unusual’ way of sieving out the ones who care and value me enough to keep in touch.

You can call it some perverted sense of narcissism and you’re more than welcome to. I don’t much care. Turning 50 this year, I feel I now have the legitimate right to figure out once and for all who my friends really are. And by extension, who I should be placing my diminishing levels of energy and attention on, for what must surely be less than half of the remainder of my life. This thought experiment was of course predicated on the assumption that everything in the world would stay pretty much as per normal.

Nothing about anything that’s going on now is normal however. Many worldwide are forced to limit physical exposure to one another, and suddenly we find ourselves canceling one get-together party after another. Confined to homes and silos spaces, suddenly I find that people are beginning to reach out to me, and I have no idea if these folks are genuinely doing so because they were thinking of me, or a result of this season of mandatory confinement and possibly extreme boredom?

So thank you very much Covid-19 for wrecking my experiment!

Then again, for everyone else’s sake, this really does present a wonderful opportunity to reconnect and catch up with those they’ve neglected for some time now. I sincerely hope they do, and I wish them and their friends a most joyful reunion and time of reconnecting.

In fact, despite my oddball experiment, I genuinely encourage more of such engagements. God knows this virus just goes to show that we truly need each other, now more than ever.

But of course, keep a one metre distance please if you do meet up. Better yet, pick up the phone and light up a friend’s day.

Meantime, stay strong everyone! For this too, I believe, shall pass.

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