What a wild ride, 2020 has been… if ever, an exercise in survival and adaptation.
Darwin’s words never seemed more prescient: “In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too), those who learnt to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”
The world, for all our technological capacity, still seems impossibly divided, in terms of societies, politics, religion, economics…
The onset of Covid-19, and growing understanding of its deadly implications, forced a fundamental mind-shift, from working and striving as individuals, to realising it is imperative to co-operate on more levels.
The reality started to sink in, that it mattered little if certain areas, some demographics, managed to seal themselves off and “flatten the curve”.
Inevitably there would be cross-pollination, as movement between people can never fully come to a halt… and re-infection of sanitised areas, and ground gained would be rapidly lost.
Our capacity to share resources, work together, combine efforts, research… this has been highlighted, and I trust the lessons learnt will remain.
Isolation is what is such an affliction, a by-product of this pandemic.
We’ve been confronted with the aching loss of not being able to spend time with loved ones, in casual and close proximity, and celebrations where people ordinarily gather, weddings and birthdays and holidays, suddenly forbidden by protocols we all had to rapidly familiarise ourselves with.
Anguish, not being able to visit family and friends in hospital, or attend funerals of those who succumbed, heartbreaking.
Yet so beautiful, witnessing the incredible empathy and love flowing between individuals and communities all through the world.
The inventiveness, the initiative and creativity, that has been demonstrated in all walks of life.
Businesses have had to reinvent themselves to survive (and sadly, so many fell by the wayside, victims of what seemed like such an arbitrary occurance).
What has left me most heartsore, though, is seeing children, who are perhaps perceiving this as “normal” – the disruption to school and play dates, not being able to rely on facial cues as they navigate their way in a world where social norms have been disrupted beyond belief, so as to be practically unrecognisable.
I trust that soon there will be a restoration of a gentler, less guarded time.
Where we don’t have the shadow of uncertainty and fear preventing us from living as social beings, able to spontaneously hug and shake hands, or gather and break bread.
On Sunday, I walked with my two beloveds on the beach at Strand, above, and tears of joy and gratitude poured down my cheeks.
We were surrounded by families, laughter, little ones making sandcastles, lovers strolling with their arms around each other, dogs frolicking in shallow waves, surfers, and lifesavers keeping a watchful eye; the sun shone on our shoulders, and the breeze gently lifted our spirits.