Last Saturday the government extended the curfew and lockdown for the third time. As much as that was an anticlimax, I would understand their position. Part of me feels they are still trying to figure out how to handle this pandemic and I do not blame them. Tackling a global invisible enemy was not in the handbook of how to govern successfully. Our leaders have been thrust into the deep end with no life savers in sight. They either swim or sink and take us all with them. Ni Mungu tu.
Our default setting as humans is to get involved in stuff that has a start and stop button. We mostly are aware of the start and end of engagements that we take up in life. In this current season the end or signs of it is nowhere in sight. Then add an extension of the curfew and the end appears further than a mirage.
I liken this situation to running because I’m a runner. I usually leave my house and cover a ten-kilometer loop in my neighborhood at least twice a week. When I’m about a kilometer from home I pick up the pace all the way to my gate. It’s my version of finishing strong. Imagine if I did not know where home was, and I just kept running along the road to nowhere. I would probably collapse by the wayside and wait for a good Samaritan to rescue me. Or even worse, cops in this era of curfew might pick me up and grant me a fully paid fourteen-day vacation to quarantine island.
This extended pause of life is beginning to take its toll. We are being asked to stay at home, but our bills and other obligations are not cooperating. They are going to work every day and demanding from us what we don’t have.
I feel a bit clueless right now. I know (and agree) that I should focus on living one day at a time, but I do it longing at the back of my mind for a new normal round the corner. An extension of the curfew makes me wonder how much more positive energy I have in my tank before I run out. It’s like holding our breath under water. Every bubble you let out makes you more desperate for air. I will never take freedom of movement for granted again. If that’s the lesson corona came to teach us, then I get it loud and clear. Now please leave.
I feel the government is between a rock and a harder rock. With the lockdown there is hardly any economic activity hence extraordinarily little revenues generated to meet their expenditure. At the same time folks are getting more desperate without work because their stomach groans are getting louder with every passing day. I am sure the panic shopping to stock up was a luxury afforded by very few. In my view It was just a move to postpone inevitable hunger should things go from bad to worse.
Jack Ma has said that if we can just stay alive in 2020 then we will have made a profit. I found that to be a good prescription of living one day at a time. it seems the further out we try to look the gloomier the future looks. Folks, the best plan for now is just to stay alive. Try not to be taken out by webinars too he he. They are becoming the new addiction thanks to corona virus. Zoom calls and webinars have become like the small window in a jail cell. Our connection to the outside world. I have never used the zoom platform as much as I have in recent weeks. It has immense benefits but sometimes I get fatigued. I’m not sure of it is the information overload or my eyes tiring from staring at the screen the whole day. May we find a balance somehow.
This continuous curfew can easily overwhelm us into depression but allow me to encourage you. We have come this far, and we are still here. Last Sunday in my online church service, my pastor said that, “the storm does not differentiate the house. It’s the foundation that matters”. The storm that is corona is no respecter of age, color, social or economic status. But I choose to focus on strengthening my foundation one day (and an occasional webinar) at a time.
I overheard someone say (in a zoom call he he) that this is most likely the last extension of the lockdown. That come 6th of June we will have our freedoms back. If that is case, then I am both excited and somewhat scared too. I will be free to move around but so will the virus. We could meet and I don’t want to imagine what will happen after that.
Maybe we should spend our remaining mental energy figuring out how we will do life after the 6th of June. We may not have a game plan for the immediate future but thinking of options is plan enough for now. That plan could include trying to imagine living with this virus as we operate in our new normal. A recent report from the World Health Organization said that we should start adjusting to live with the virus in our midst. It will take some time before we are free of it completely. I am positive that spending this time of isolation in solitude may yield some good ideas that will help us thrive and not just survive in future.
This too shall pass folks. Freedom is coming.