One week. That long I needed to come back to life upon returning from India. I'd figured 2-3 days of usual tiredness, sickness even. But one week!? Once landed and dropped the backpacks, body and mind take some time to get rid of emotions, to relax and get used to more stable circumstances. In this cases it's not unusual for me to get fever, lower immunological system response, fatigue. This time my body played it smart, knowing which symptoms are better avoid (no sneezing allowed!), it put everything on the stomach, I got very bad again for one week not being able to eat much more than a broth. Sometimes I feared I would never be back in shape again. But here we go - energy came back, stomach got excited about Italian mama's food, thoughts became clearer and ready to jump into work. With those, also the frustration of being locked up occurred, but well, there is not much I can do about it. We try to use this time as good as we can, following the mindfulness course on Coursea (very needed ;) ), working on our project, writing stories, applying for next grants, coming back to learning languages, trying again with videos (yes, yes, I know!) or setting up the brand new Changemaker ToolBox (coming soon!). Meanwhile, we discuss a lot as well. It's the very first time when being in Italy food is not the king of the conversation. There are not many clear facts we can say about corona. Information is inconsistent, numbers don't make sense, fake news go around freely. I wanted to write some smart post about it, but the max I can actually do is just to share some of my thoughts.
I think a lot about people who got closed at home, isolated, lonely, depressed, who don't know how to deal with the new situation and whose chances to die get much higher just because of stress, bad-news poisoning, lack of human presence and touch, lack of fresh air and physical activity. We are weakening our immunological system instead of strengthening it.
I think about those whose daily fight for survival become so much harder - about women experiencing domestic violence, about people addicted to alcohol, about those who suffer from other diseases - sudden or chronic - and who have very limited access to medical care right now.
I think about those who don't have a safe place to stay - homeless, refugees, migrants. Social distancing and the wash-your-hands-often thing are still a privilege.
I think about those who lost their jobs in the very first day of the crisis and who may not have enough money for food right now, I think about entrepreneurs whose companies are bankrupting, about people whose dreams got postponed or cancelled, about the financial breakdown which is awaiting behind the corner.
I think how it happened that the coronavirus managed to lockdown so many countries within few weeks, while climate change, air pollution, lack of clean water and other issues which kill way more are still missing any adequate response.
I think also that every crisis is an opportunity. I hope we get to re-envision the system we live in, have new thoughts about who we are and where we want to go, implement a new approach to consumption and money. I really hope for a new economical system, more inclusive, more fair, more gentile to ourselves and to our planet.
I think about the digital revolution which is speeding up a lot right now, bringing all our lives to "tele-exist", to happen in remote. It's good and convenient in many fields, but would we be still able to deeply connect for real?
I think about all limitation governments are putting on us these days. Which of them would be taken away once the emergency is over? Which will stay in the name of saving human lives? How much personal freedom are we ready to give up on the long run?
And what does it mean to save human life? Should we fight the virus (this and all others which will appear in the future) or rather put effort in improving human health in general so our body can fight firsthand viruses and other diseases? What about strengthening our immunological systems by eating healthy food instead of the time bomb we find on the display racks today, by moving instead of sitting in front of the laptops all day, by investing in relations instead of new things?
I think about death a bit. But thoughts about death are with me since long time, as you can read here.
I think about what is important in life, about appreciating the small things we just took for granted for too long, like a walk, a coffee with friends, a concert or a conference, human touch.
I think about you, dear friends. I got closer to some of you again, exchanging messages, calls, emails. It's a good time to check in with those we were too busy for in the last years. It's time to verify what really matters. Which relations, which actions, which jobs, which plans and which values.