The news trickled in slowly, like distant drops of tap water.
Seemingly docile and casual. Harmless even.
When the outbreak of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in Wuhan in December last year, I do not recall feeling alarmed.
Living in Kenya, thousands of miles away from Wuhan, my life sailed on merrily.
In fact, the virus only grabbed my full attention a month later when my preschooler shoved in my face a letter from school.
The letter highlighted the events in China and the need to keep our eyes peeled.
But still, it felt a tad far-fetched.
Coupled with the fact that we were just nestling into a brand new year.
The ink on my diary with scribblings of my new year goals had barely dried.
My aspirations for the year were still as fresh as a bouquet of daisies.
I guess I was too busy dissecting my new year plans that I lost sight of the looming pandemic.
8 months later, it feels like the bottom has caved in.
The infamous virus finally caught up. Needless to say, it has left a trail of damage in its wake.
It has caused deaths, yanked our kids off schools, confined us to work from home, slapped us with face masks, caused loss of jobs, upset world economies, slowed down sporting events, put a ban on social gatherings, to mention but a few.
Life is not the same
Covid- 19 has stripped life of its color and flavor.
Our hearts bleed from losing our loved ones and having to conduct their final rites from a distance.
We long to lock our nieces and nephews in tender embraces.
Grandparents yearn to cup the faces of their grandkids in their creased fragile hands.
We hate that travel bans locked us out of our best friend’s wedding.
We reminisce being in rowdy surprise baby showers, reveling in group hugs and hi-fives.
8 months later, life is not the same.
Life has hurled at us crates upon crates of lemons.
Be that as it may, we can still attempt to make some lemonade or some semblance of it. Here are five ways to get you started:
1. Realize that You Are Not Alone
I get it.
You feel all alone as the effects of the pandemic close in on you.
But guess what? You are in the company of a whopping 7.8 million people scattered across the globe.
Remember when you sat for your final high school exams?
Were you alone in the exam room? I guess not.
You were in the company of other wide-eyed students who had the exact test sprawled out on their desks.
When the answers eluded you, it was comforting to know that you were in it together with your peers.
Whatever you do, do not forget that all 7.8 billion of us are writhing in the same murky waters.
2. Tap into a Higher Power
Let’s be honest, never before have we been jolted to the fact that we are mere mortals; a passing wind.
This pandemic scoops the trophy for etching that reality in our hearts.
And that is probably a good thing because it moves us to search and grope for the immortal.
It births in us a quest to answer deep-seated questions regarding the origin of life and the (touchy) aspect of life after death.
Wherever this search leads you, I suggest that you relinquish control of your life and hand it over to the immortal.
Doing this will help ease your load, toss out despair, and flood your soul with hope.
3. Tweak Your Priority List
On their death bed, many people regret wading through life with a warped priority list.
They are guilt-ridden for not spending enough time with family and friends, not loving their spouses and kids harder, not forgiving easily, not giving their dreams a shot.
When life is ebbing from your mortal frame, your priorities suddenly morph. You tend to worry more about the state of your relationships.
Thoughts about your paycheck and material possessions are among the first to get swirled on their head.
A lot of stuff that we hold in high regard suddenly appear so vain.
With this pandemic nudging us to put our houses in order, it’s time to go over your priority list with a fine-tooth comb.
It’s time to overhaul our priorities, toss out the gunk, and make room for genuine heart connections.
4. Unearth Your Passions
Ever watched a painter hunched over their canvas with just a paintbrush (and a smile) creating some spellbinding magic?
What makes them lose track of time as they do their thing? What’s that smile on their face about?
They are immersed in what they do best!
Each of us is endowed with unique abilities that set us apart from the pack. You may refer to them as hobbies, passions, or talents; whatever floats your boat.
This may be the right time to fan your passions into a blazing fire
Your passion may lie in music, public speaking, cooking, gardening, drawing, exercise, or writing.
Niche down to that which makes your heart sing and charge at it with the resilience of a hungry lion.
You will be sure to get a kick out of it.
5. Stay Connected with Friends and Family
We are social beings.
Have you seen how insects swirl around a lamp? That’s how humans gravitate towards each other.
Enter Covid 19 and the experts have asked us to keep off each other.
Nothing prepared us for such a gruesome turn of events.
The glue that holds us together is disintegrating right in front of our eyes.
This unfamiliar space of social distancing can hurl some of us into deep loneliness, depression even.
Thankfully, we have technology in our corner. We can connect with family and friends at the push of a button.
You don’t have to put off birthdays, anniversaries, and baby showers. Hold them on zoom, or any other video conferencing tools.
Get on the phone with friends and family more often. Your call may be the balm their hearts are hankering for.
Life has evolved in leaps and bounds since Covid- 19 reared its unsightly head.
Our best bet at wiggling out of this mess triumphantly is by infusing positive habits into our lives and looking out for each other.
Let’s also not forget that trouble doesn’t last forever. This too shall pass.