Voices

Covid-19: It’s not about you alone; it’s about all of us

2020-03-23 17:05

It has been a surreal time as we all shift our mind-sets, our workspaces (if we are lucky enough to be able to work from home) and our children’s schedules, and as we try to be mindful of others.

But perhaps the most unexpected challenge of all has been learning to be mindful of touching our faces!

Who knew that it was going to be so mind-bending?

Things are scary, but this has also been a good time for taking a long, hard look at our political leaders – globally – to try to decide if they are best in show for this crisis and for the future, as we increasingly grapple with climate change.

Many people around the world have learnt the terrible truth, that when push comes to shove in the toilet roll queue, their leaders are not up to the task.

So far, however, as South Africans, who have long been in despair over the corruption and in-fighting of our political leaders, we can for once be pleased with the rapid and decisive actions rolling down the line.

We know that we don’t have everything we need or know everything we need to know; that is a given. However, what we do have is the power to not be selfish, to follow the guidelines and to think of others.

Mindfulness – the craze self-help gurus have been pushing – is finally here. Turns out that the philosophy is simple, so long as you aren’t trying to stop touching your face. All you have to do is stop and take a moment to be in the moment.

This sense of community needs to grow outward to embrace more people – figuratively – so that all our communities join forces for the benefit of the collective.
Gayle Edmunds

It’s about community, about taking the time to ensure that those around you are okay, about doing without and learning that without is often better.

Read: Sometimes the world needs a crisis: A case for an alternative economic system

I have called to check on family members and friends, and what is most satisfying is how many of them are thinking of how they can help others.

How they get soap to people, they ask. One friend bought soap and is handing it out to people. Another has made large donations to street vendors in the area, who will no doubt not be bailed out by economic relief packages.

Our neighbourhood children are putting up themed drawings each day on their gate or window so that other children passing by can enjoy them.

Parents are forming groups online to share activities and advice on how to keep children entertained. They are spending more time with their children, not just issuing instructions and looming over them at homework time.

This sense of community needs to grow outward to embrace more people – figuratively – so that all our communities join forces for the benefit of the collective.

Last year this would have all been dismissed as New Age mumbo jumbo, but the world has changed and it’s all about us.


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March 29 2020