Reimagining Our Existence
The specter of COVID has thrown up a new term.It has redefined our existence – Social Distancing. However, there’s been an uproar to rephrase it to Physical Distancing, because we need to be socially connected, even more so now,as we maintain (physical) distancing.
In the 16th century, the English Metaphysical poet, John Donne had written the immortal line “No man is an island”,powerfully expressing the idea that isolation has an adverse impact on humans. And, now this is what the Doctor recommends. I remember, even three months back, columnists wrote vigorously about reduction of “screen time”as an elixir for healthy living. Suddenly, we are thrust into a situation where we are compelled to remain digitally connected at all times.The swathe of collaborative on-line tools available is mind-boggling and defines the new-age of convenience.
Magic of Physical touch
To be sure, we aren’t going back to our old ways of working and living anytime soon. This imposition of the “new normal” may extend to many months and the extreme prophetic outlook even suggests that it “may” normalize only in 2021. The element of touch is critical to human existence, and I am saying this in a non-sexual manner. We need to shake hands, hug our friends, punch them occasionally, and all of that. All these actions we took for granted are now out of bounds. When I see my bestie the next time around, it’ll be playing on my mind if he’s a potential virus carrier. And vice-versa. Imagine having to live with suspicion, as we STAY SAFE!
In the future, I believe that non-COVID related health concerns will go up significantly. Cases of diabetes, hypertension, alcoholism, domestic violence will soon overwhelm us, as our healthcare system becomes saturated while fighting the pandemic. It’s a Catch-22-like situation where you can’t go to the gym (for instance) to stay away from COVID but general fitness is likely to go out of whack. Frankly, these online workout options work well only for a few days. There’s a reason why gyms & clubs have mushroomed like mom-and-pop stores.
Change is never easy and it frustrates us even more that there are no options. While we re-imagine our existence on this planet to adopt the path of minimalism, we also need to strike a balance between online living and maintaining offline sanity. It’s an opportunity to look inward and reset our priorities.