Love in the Time of Covid-19

13/03/2020

You might have all watched the film or at least heard of the novel "Love in the Time of Cholera" by the Columbian Nobel prize winning Gabriel García Márquez. The novel is not about a pandemic per se but a romance about a love triangle between Florentino, Fermina and Urbino. I won't get into the details of the novel or talk about the novel really but rather on the play on words during this global health crisis the world is facing at the moment

I have to be honest, I'm scared of what is happening, of how fast this virus is spreading and who it is effecting. The vulnerable, the aged, the chronically sick people are all at risk of losing their lives. It scares me because my parents and parents in law are in that risk group and although we live in separate countries, my parents are in Malta and my in-laws are in Italy, the distance is even more cruel now than it ever was before. To a certain extent it's positive because my boys won't be in direct contact with them hence the chances that they might transfer any nasty stuff is zilch, however the hopelessness I feel that I am not able to do anything to help out is beyond comprehension.

Before I go into the details of what I believe CoVid-19 is trying to teach us, here are 5 things I'm doing to cope with all this.

  1. I am sticking to my routines and my rituals religiously

For those who do not know me, I am a Life Coach and Personal Development educator. I help my clients rebalance their energies and clear energetic blocks and limiting beliefs. I 'preach' about the power of gratitude and the effectiveness of daily healthy habits and routines. I work from behind the monitor at home which gives me great flexibility in terms of managing my own time schedules and integrate it with the numerous activities my children have. By the end of the day I'm exhausted but happy knowing that I am constantly witnessing how their lives are unfolding and also honoured to be their main cheerleader.

My routines / rituals are important for me to keep me focused on my job and to hinder falling into the procrastination trap. I give myself a lot of breaks during the day to get my mind a break and to move my body. My prayer and meditation time is important for me to give gratitude to

2. I'm being more conscious of the food we eat

In most supermarkets all over the world, food provisions (and toilet paper) are getting low. People hoarding food to last them until the next pandemic. I must admit, my husband did get the panic shopper bug for an hour and bought 10kilos of flour, sugar, milk and tomato sauce before this craziness started. I wanted to laugh, I actually did laugh and rolled my eyes, but now I'm grateful he did... with every bread being baked, the house is filled with an incredible smell that I now translate as gratitude. "Give is this day our daily bread" and we sit down at table for lunch and dinner and talk. I have become more mindful of what I put on our plates, making sure we are getting enough vitamins and fresh fruit and vegetables, nature's own medicine.

3. Exercise

What used to be a struggle, I'm enjoying my 20-30 minute daily HIIT trainings. Rather than doing it because I'm not happy with the cushioning surrounding me, I concentrate on releasing the toxins my body has amassed over the years. I focus on smiling whilst moving and with every little change on the scales, I feel I'm getting closer to a healthier version of me

4. Drink more

For the 40 days of Lent, I gave up sweet and salty snacks, desserts, alcohol and drinking coffee (amongst other silly things!) I must be honest and day that I really do miss my morning cup of coffee. Instead, I'm drinking more herbal teas and water both are important to keep our insides happy and clean.

5. Quality time

Now that my husband is working more from home due to the virus situation we are spending more time together (sigh!). Initial fear was... "Oh dear, I am going to lose it" but now seeing the boys' faces when they come home and running to their dad, happy faces, I changed my mind. I wish for them that when they grow older the very mention of Coronavirus would conjure up happy memories (and hopefully they'll delete the images of me being at wits' end) I already have lots of activities lined up including painting flowers for the elderly who live in our block to tell them we're thinking of them.

6. Prayer, Meditation and Reiki

Never more did I feel the need to practise Reiki and meditation than now. The very fact that I take time out every day to pray / meditate, I stop to listen to my own body, to focus on my breath and to clear my mind.

Now here is what I believe Covid-19 is trying to teach us:

Slow Down

Whoever is on lockdown, is automatically 'forced' to slow down. There is no where to hide between the four walls that 'confine' us. Loneliness can be frustrating but at the same time it can also be a great opportunity to focus on ticking off stuff on our to-do list. Maybe we've been given time to connect with ourselves again and finish the book that's been collecting dust for the past couple of months or watch a film. The term "I'm too busy" has been trending for quite a while, well, now we're not. We've been given a second chance...we're in this together and together we will survive this. Just as our body automatically 'forces' us to slow down when we're sick, Covid-19 is telling us to slow down. Our climate will thank you too!

Compassion

A small-ish word but heavy in meaning. When the panic and the commotion subsides, we run into a lots of questions and then turn to compassion. Being compassionate means showing sincere concern for the wellbeing of others. We must admit that this virus has changed the global landscape and finally we are reaching out to see how we can help, who we can help. Maybe though Covid-19 we will finally come to terms on how to be concerned about climate change and be more mindful of our decisions and choices.

Respect

The panic outbreaks surely do not help in this situation. It starts with respecting your self and taking stock of your real needs and learning how to share with others. Remember our mothers telling us "you have to share" when given a packet of crisps or sweets? Same thing here... sharing is caring. It shows self-respect and in turn you're respecting others.

We are all EQUAL

The virus does not distinguish between young, old, healthy, sick, black, brown, pink, yellow, tall, short. It attacks indiscriminately so we're all called to make an effort to contain this virus until a cure is found. It's useless calling out countries for spreading the virus, it's a pure waste of time and precious energy. Let's learn how to communicate lovingly and respectfully. Blame is one of the results of being afraid and is also a tool we use when we feel attacked. But who is attacking us here? A virus or a country? Let's keep things in perspective and join forces (even if this time it will be virtually) to beat this thing together.

I've been watching news updates all day and somehow I feel as if I'm trapped in one of those Armageddon films. The Presidents giving semi-motivational speeches, news showing footage of empty cities and equally empty shelves, people look lost and forlorn and then footage from Italian cities where people are singing in their balconies.

I leave you with this ...

"Let hope be the antidote to fear.

Let solidarity be the antidote to blame.

Let our shared humanity be the antidote to our shared threat"

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus