I think it is a fact that most of us are unsure of what life will look like once all lockdown restrictions are finally lifted. Nobody is sure about which changes to our way of life will remain and which will go back to the pre-lockdown state. In the meantime, we are left with no choice than to look for the best ways to harness the opportunities while surviving these difficult times. In my opinion, however, regardless of the uncertainties, life will gradually return to “normal”.
As much as I’m trying to focus more on the present, I can’t help but imagine what lies ahead and look forward to traveling and doing all the exciting things I’ve missed with friends and family. I have observed that being pushed apart and locked away from one another by this pandemic only emphasises how interdependent we really are. Personally, my online connections with loved ones have strengthened, something I hope to keep up when everything goes back to normal. I realise how important it is to regularly reach out to people in and out of a crisis, to share stories, and comfort people who lost loved ones.
This lockdown period has brought about some global divisions but also taught us more about solidarity and actual cooperation to achieve a common goal. In our quest for safety, people were sewing face masks, cheering medical workers, helping elderlies with shopping, maintaining social distancing, debunking fake news, and so on. Hopefully, this will also continue and we will all become more considerate to one another to create a safer space for all.
I’m especially grateful for those on the frontlines risking their lives every day to look after the rest of us. After watching some documentaries of their work on social media, I think that I appreciate the work of health workers, teachers, and salespersons much more than before. We already see societies making progressive changes and more interest going into the functioning of the educational and healthcare systems with a focus on further improvements and quality development.
Many of us have now experienced what it means to be independent and have control over details in our life. My personal view of the world has definitely been modified; I believe that I will not only view the world from a clearer perspective, I will also learn to appreciate the smaller things of life. The lockdown has deepened my awareness of life, nature, climate, gratitude, work, travel, fitness, health, family, and spirituality. I now pay more attention to little moments and I’ve realised what a privilege it is to be able to study together with friends, discuss freely with my classmates, and to have direct contact with my lecturers on campus.
We should all take some time to contemplate our role in the past, what we now know, and what we want the future to look like because we have an opportunity to create a new life, a new future, at least for ourselves after the lockdown. I’m quite excited about that. I choose to believe that we can all be better and stronger at the end of this, having learned priceless lessons and made necessary decisions to face life after the pandemic is over.
As I said, it may be too early to see what has changed forever. Perhaps the true power of this period is in enabling us to see reality more clearly; so clearly, in fact, that we are moved to affect it. Climate change, economic recession, troubled communities, insecurity, stress, vulnerability, confusion, hope, fear and imaginations - these are our present realities. The implication of this reflection is that we not only see but also do. If there was ever a time to see our world more clearly and do things more differently, this is it.
Ikenna is a Nigerian enthusiastic about harnessing technology to improve healthcare for all. He is studying Medical Informatics at Technische Hochschule Deggendorf (THD-ECRI). He enjoys classical music, most outdoor sports, and books about technology, politics, and history.