There’s a meme doing the rounds: “’Once COVID-19 is over’ is starting to sound a lot like ‘When I win the lotto’”. After having a fleeting chuckle about it yesterday, sharing with a few and moving on as we always do with the memes that are as common as daylight, it unwittingly planted roots in my sub-conscious.
I woke up this morning with the insidious reality of that truth, together with the ‘thick head’ that’s now my new normal, clouding what should have been a relaxing, peaceful Saturday. This is my ‘home spa beauty day’ reserved for all things me, the sauna, hair washing, body scrubbing, foot soaking. Instead, I feel bereft.
I’ve even been excited by the potential and opportunity that comes with crises. But today feels different.
I’ve spoken and written about this since the first moments of lockdown, for clients and this blog; that Covid-19 is the biggest driver of change in our history, that we’re never going back to life as we knew it, that this is not just a pause to be continued later, it’s a totally new chapter. I’ve even been excited by the potential and opportunity that comes with crises. But today feels different.
Perhaps it’s the lack of sunshine. My experience outdoors these days is time in the car, to the mall or medical centre, the few seconds walking from the car into the building if not parked undercover and repeat. I no longer get the usual time walking from my car into the school building to collect the kids or chatting to a parent or teacher. I even exercise indoors. And it’s not for lack of space or opportunity, I just feel more comfortable inside. Warm and safe.
If you’re an A-type personality like me, you can deal with deadlines and emergencies, anything that can be solved.
Perhaps it’s the confirmation that Zindzi Mandela succumbed to Covid-19, at just 59. Or that there’s a growing body of evidence that it’s here to stay. If you’re an A-type personality like me, you can deal with deadlines and emergencies, anything that can be solved. This open-ended conundrum is like hosing paraffin on a house that’s burning. I feel the lack of oxygen in my head, the python slowly but firmly constricting. And I understand Flo’s claustrophobia.
As we drive past the park on our school trips, the kids have been asking to visit. The President has said it’s allowed, and we definitely need to. Sunlight, open spaces and vitamin D have been purported as antidotes for the virus; I now have an image of the virus as a vampire annihilated by sunlight. Wouldn’t it be incredible if that’s all it took?
My 6-year-old thinks it’s that easy but his solution is slightly more sophisticated, “The world needs a machine with a magnifying glass that can create bubbles to trap the coronavirus and kill it so that it doesn’t infect people!”. The power to dream.
Today is the day that I must make peace with our new reality. Our ‘next normal’ as the clever people at WGSN call it.
It’s also Mandela Day, the birthday of the global icon we get to call ours. Our thread of hope. This year is particularly poignant as his youngest daughter was laid to rest yesterday.
I never lose. I either win or learn. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
I choose to win and learn. Happy Saturday!