In the few moments we can go out, the view is quite distressing: people wearing masks and strange transparent face shields, long lines to enter a supermarket or a pharmacy, and of course, everyone a metre away from others: welcome to the new normal. That constant contact we used to have, even with strangers – hugging, lending a hand, touching – is nothing but a faraway a reality.
Your people are still there, but not physically. We’re not used to this kind of contact, but we will have to get used to it, because this will likely take a while. The interesting ingredient is that we don’t know exactly how long it will take. Contact now is more spiritual: they’re with you even if they’re not. Sometimes and paradoxically, you might even feel them closer than before.
Being locked in finds most of us having to face things we left unsolved at some point. For some, it’s living with others and the sense of being under test with someone else. For others, it’s the fact of finding or reconnecting with oneself. Ultimately, both situations lead us to ask ourselves questions which have to do with the search of our own well-being.
This search is one of the factors we have to work on. And I say have to – must – because we don’t have a choice, since we’re already exposed. We stopped having some way outs we used to have when we felt suffocated by our own selves. This quarantine makes us uncomfortable; so uncomfortable that it forces us to face what we have been postponing for a long time. In general, the human being doesn’t do well with discomfort, though I particularly think it’s an opportunity. Quarantine exposes some spider webs: are we happy with our lives? Or better yet, are we happy right now? These are common questions which are recurrent among those of us who are locked in.
Some wounds we thought were closed are now open. The feeling that every day is the same, but at the same time it’s very different, and actually not one day is the same as the other. Some of us won’t receive any hugs or kisses on the forehead until further notice.
Every person experiences quarantine differently, and every experience is unique; but they have a common factor: we’re facing our shadows. Of course, not everything is so bad and we have things to celebrate.