Covid-19 Social Isolation Effects: Daring to Look Beyond the Abyss

Everything is changing. That is clear to everyone on the planet at the moment, and no one but God knows what the world will look like, what the new normal will be. But we have definitely been tested as a generation.

Many of the changes are happening at an individual level. As gradually all nations are requiring their citizens to remain indoors for the safety of the entire society, there are unforeseen side effects. People are struggling to maintain their sanity. Most people do not normally spend so much time in isolation,  and there is a reason why it is used as a disciplinary measure in prisons.

But one would think that being in your own home should not feel like prison isolation, with all your comforts. It is fascinating to see celebrities and social media personalities struggle to cope without a daily dosage of attention and validation, because everyone else has been focused on Covid-19 news.  When makeup artists and stylists have to stay home, you see images of famous faces which are almost recognisable, their masks removed, the illusion of perfection shattered.

There are the young people who insisted on going out to the beaches of Florida, ignoring the quarantine warnings in favour of "having fun". Though they have been labelled as reckless, I would look deeper than that, in the face of the tragedy of a teenage girl who committed suicide because of the social isolation.

I would guess, that perhaps we had created a world which was good at providing us with distractions. From what? Ourselves. When you have people who would rather risk their lives by going out during a global pandemic, than face themselves for a single day, you know it is a serious problem. What do they see when they look in the mirror? Is it an abyss, an empty shell which must be filled by the thoughts, opinions, fashions and ideologies of the group around them? Is it a constant reminder that they are not, have never been perfect? Not only physically, but maybe they haven't always done the right thing. Maybe they have done a few wrong things...

I think the reason the current generation suffers so much by staying home, is that we do not know, or we do not like, who we are. If that might just be you, even just a little bit - as long as you have air in your body, you can always make a change.

Try activities whose motive has nothing to do with trying to impress anyone. Write a silly story. A silly poem. A string of silly words. Draw. Read something you never thought you would read. Build something out of the things you find around you. Try stuff with your hair that you would never have the guts to show in public. Figure out who you are without the rigid structure of the media telling you who you ought to be.

If you fall into the second category, those who believe they have done more wrong than good... Reach out to the person you have hurt the most. Apologize. Expect no forgiveness, because that is their right to choose, but be grateful if you receive it. List 3 good things you can do today for someone. Write in a diary about how  you think your skills and talents were meant to add value to this world. Keep writing until you figure out what broke you so badly that you needed to cause pain. Forgive yourself. Forgive the first person who hurt you. Acknowledge that before the virus, pain spread even faster, and sunk into entire genetic lines, until the world was filled with selfish people. Realise that it can end with you. You can "social distance" your way out of the cycle of pain, until you no longer play a role of spreading it to the next person.

Pray. Connect with the part of you that is just like everyone else, and realise that you cannot hurt one without hurting the whole. Without also hurting yourself.

Regardless of the outcome of these events, it is guaranteed that you will change. The choice that is yours however, is whether that change is for the better or for the worse. And whether we come out as a kinder species, or descend into madness. It is all in our hands.

(Let us not forget there are those who had no home to stay in. As well as those who do live in a house that has never been a home.)


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