Love in the time of Coronavirus

I’ve borrowed the title of the post from the famed book made movie “Love in the Time of Cholera”. Whilst our lives, no matter where you might be in the world currently, certainly do not represent the sentimentality of the novel, I feel that there is an aspect from the manuscript that we’d do well to meditate on. More about that later. For now I thought I’d add some thoughts regarding Life and Love in the Time of Coronavirus.

This time last week I was blissfully enjoying a holiday out in the bush unaware of what was to come. Even as we speak we have no idea what the future holds. See you for lunch tomorrow? Maybe? Maybe not depending on how things have changed.

My family and friends in Spain are currently on Lockdown, friends in London are waiting to return to South Africa, my brother-in-law is essentially out of work (as are a bunch of others I know) and for us South Africans life has changed dramatically in just a few days. Within just a week business projections have changed and in many instances stopped all together.

It’s easy to be bleak. Even if you have work and an income, the mere fact that human contact is all but banned, is bound to have an impact on us from a mental health perspective. This too shall pass, it will but how do we get through the now?

I, like most of us, battle with limited time. I never seem to have enough time to train, to read the books I want etc. And now there’s that opportunity. This morning I trained for a solid hour and a half and last night I managed to commit an hour to my Spanish homework as well as sitting down to some Netflix and Chill, not to mention having dinner with my family.

What do you want to do with this one and only life? And I mean right now? Do you really want to go into a negative spiral by looking at the markets? My advice although I’m no financial advisor; don’t look at your investments for at least a year from now. Rather focus on things you want to do and become post Co-Vid19.

BECAUSE there will be life post Coronavirus and whilst it may never look the same again, now’s the time to prepare for that.

We’re incredibly fortunate to have the internet as a resource and I’m not talking free PornHub. I mean that now more than ever before we have access to learning and engagement online. Here I must disclose that I’m a co-founder of WeBird; an online learning platform but there are countless others as well as a plethora of knowledge out there on your favorite subjects.

Speaking of skills and learning, or in this case únlearning, is a technique from Dr Joe Dispenza on breaking the habit of being yourself. I feel like its a whole post on its own but essentially meditation has really helped me to stay grounded, healthy and to imagine new possibilities. This leads me to…

The irony of how many of us, myself included, run around trying to get ahead only to end up in a heap of burnout, has not escaped me. Now we are being forced to stop and take perspective. Sometimes this means facing feelings and memories we’ve spent years trying to forget. Take compassion and be kind to yourself. Trust me, the healing is worth it.

I doubt whether any one of us can experience a Black Swan event such as this and come out the other side without some view on life and world unchanged. One of the interesting thoughts I’ve had recently is how my grandparents must’ve felt during the war. I sense we’re doing some of the same things; listening attentively for updates and waiting for governments to reveal their next move. YET we now have Google, Netflix, online learning, online shopping, Mr Delivery… All in all, I think we’re pretty lucky.

I want to emphasise I’m not trying to overshadow the dramatic impact that Coronavirus is having and will have economically and on businesses and people. To do that would be naive and entirely unhelpful. This is going to hit some of us incredibly hard but within the chaos, as with all things lies opportunity as per my blog on “Coronavirus, the stakeholder no-one saw coming”.

I’m going to end of on a seemingly morbid topic but it may just be the most life affirming practice that any of us could take and that is to have to look at our impending mortality. I find that the thought of death really makes one think about how one wants to live.

Just a few thoughts I had today as I was washing my hands:-)

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