Updated: Aug 23, 2022
By Shahd Mahmoud
If there is one thing that unites humans in a world filled to the brim with differences and interlaced with diversity, it is the fear of the unknown. An unknown virus that flipped our world upside down. One that caused the entire planet to put its guard up. One that made us lose trust in our closest friends and family. One that forced us to be entirely suspicious of grocery bags and anything that comes into the house, making us sanitize objects we have never thought of once before. One that coerced us into finding comfort in our own homes, and solace within ourselves. It may not have been a smooth process for all people, but this pandemic has forced us to become more comfortable in our own skin, more fond of our family’s flaws, and more accepting of the stubborn faults in our respective constellations.
Every single aspect of our, once mundane, lives readjusted to a novel equilibrium. All the things we took for granted quickly became clear to us: the hugs, the safety and warmth that accompanied close proximity, the way large friend groups would carpool together creating memories that would likely last forever, the long and “boring” days in school and university, and the facial expressions that quickly became hindered by masks. Those masks created barriers between not only our mouths, noses, and the outside world, but also our relationships, friendships, and social interactions. During lockdown, the ink that marked our wish lists was not same material that formed the words along the lines of a new pair of shoes, a car, or a trip to Italy; it was mostly sentimental notions that occupied that space. The same things that were once mere givens pre-pandemic became our greatest desires: things like visiting our grandparents, hosting a gathering for all of our closest friends, and having a graduation ceremony. The lesson that stands out most prominently amidst this entire pandemic is to appreciate all the seemingly infinitesimal aspects of our lives for even the least grandiose of events may one day become your only wish and prayer.
However, gradually and similarly to our response to all other situations in life, we managed to adapt. Online lectures replaced our traditional classroom setting. Video calls allowed us to shorten the distances between us and our families back home. Home cooked meals replaced going out to eat, all in an effort to lessen the risk of catching said invisible enemy. Fortunately, due to the constant advancement of medicine and science, scientists and doctors were able to develop a vaccine for the virus within a relatively short period. Soon enough, life began to bounce back to its original equilibrium. Learning institutions adopted hybrid modes of teaching, and face-to-face interaction gradually re-entered our lives.
This pandemic has forced the entire globe to become the most flexible version of itself. It showed us how being stagnant and staying idle is never an option no matter the circumstance. Once we are placed in a situation, we can take a bit of time to feel uneasy, to sit idle–temporarily–and to reflect on our emotions; however, a constant state of being stationary is never a viable decision for one simple reason: time will never wait for you.
"A constant state of being stationary is never a viable decision for one simple reason: time will never wait for you."
Learning to become comfortable in the uncomfortable has become an essential survival skill. Life and time are governed by unmerciful laws, ones that make no exceptions for anyone. Hence, it is your choice whether you adopt an adaptive mindset, one that is able to cope and manage under any circumstance or choose to remain sedentary as the world accelerates around you. You were once able to get through this pandemic, and so whether you dread your future, or are eager for it, you can overcome all obstacles in your life. Remember that if planet Earth as a whole, with every single human being living on it, was able to readjust and redefine its equilibrium, then so can you.