Everywhere, the words COVID-19, Pandemic, Crisis and Deaths seem to bombard every aspect of our lives. Mass disruptions to our world have caused a global economic crisis, widespread fear, social isolation and a focus on ever-increasing numbers. Modern life as we know it has suffered what I termed “A Great Pause”; with very few human actions taking place, it is as if a giant pause button has been pressed. No work, no school, no transactions, its the Great Pause.
But even as it may seem that the world has stopped, in many ways it has actually started. Animals are being seen returning to their original habitats. The global ozone layer is being shown to show hopes of a slow ‘reset’ after the damage that we have consistently inflicted on it. Despite the odds, we are finding ways to communicate with loved ones. We might finally be realizing the value of human connection and touch, when it seems we cannot have it.
There are many things I take for granted in this world; I can only speak for myself, but I know that I am not the only one. It is very easy for our society to get lost in the daily headlines, recent stock prices, disorienting/never-ending politics, time-sucking jobs and materialistic wishes. Our line of sight is blurred by the seemingly urgent demands of our present. Time-sensitive ways of going about our lives became a priority, as life itself tricked us into thinking that non-mandatory items could wait. We all value our regular morning routines, but just because our situation isn’t regular, does not mean we cannot make it one.
In no way am I undermining the seriousness of the Coronavirus. Health is one of the most valuable items we have, and practising social distancing can save lives. It seems hard in the moment, but we are all in this journey together. So just because outside life has paused with our daily shopping runs or office hours, doesn’t mean that life has paused. Pull out an ancient board game, or challenge your family to a game of charades. Try cooking a new meal, or turn your living room into a workout center. Rediscover the meaning of zen, and let us all begin to value peace in our routines. If there is any good this pandemic is bringing, it is letting us rewind.
So maybe, the Coronavirus is not a pause button at all. Maybe, just a settings reboot.