We feel obligated to dedicate the post below to all the victims of COVID-19, something invisible that appeared out of nowhere and changed the world once and for all.
When it started, nobody in this world could even imagine what was about to come and that included us while we were travelling through Europe. Departing from the UK, it took us 24 hours in the air and a couple more here and there, in airports, to leave the cold of Europe behind and reach Australia. Our landing point could not be any other than Rochelle’s hometown Perth, in Western Australia.
Fanatic followers of the ‘life is a beach’ theory for life, Western Australia and its 12,500 km of spectacular coastline was a definite place that we would fall in love with. Most of Western Australia’s population lives on the coast – yet we could still wander along a beach for hours without seeing another footprint. At this point COVID-19 had started spreading in many countries and finally the entire world started getting worried as more and more victims started appearing. As things got serious slowly, a lot of countries started shutting down by closing their land borders and minimizing air travel.
After our first ten days in Perth visiting family, we headed to Denmark. In reality, we could not have picked a better place to hide from the craziness that was about to follow. Here, beaches and coastline, river and forested hinterlands have attracted an environmentally aware community of farmers, fishermen and their families. Among them Rochelle’s parents, proud owners of an exceptional farm, our hideout! Day after day, the news started reaching us here as the world started going into quarantine, city by city, country by country, in an attempt to stop the spreading of the virus. We had no other option but to go into self isolation, postpone our travel plans and keep low.
With our car still in the UK and in need to minimize our moving around, out here we could still enjoy the outdoors. So we filled our daily routine with fruit picking, fence repairing and fishing either in the dam for marron (fresh water lobster) or based out off the coast.
As people that are trying to see the big picture, we remained calm through this craziness and looked into finding the good that will follow after the virus disappears and everything is back in place. We came face to face with the meaning of the word solidarity. It became clear to us that for the first time, in this case the whole world was on the same boat. Rich or poor, with or without money, health insurance or big bank accounts made no importance when the shelves of the supermarkets started getting empty and hospitals started filling up with people from all levels of society. One thing is for sure, that it took only a few days for everyone to understand that when it comes to social equality, we are all the same. Something that seemed to be a distant utopia a couple of months ago. Watching the news, we could see that fear in everyone.
More and more people were forced to put themselves in confinement at their own homes in order to stop the spreading of the COVID-19. The roads in most of the cities remained empty paralyzing the western world’s fluorescing economy till that day. The coronavirus pandemic had started showing its dark side. All around the world, people were getting ill and dying, schools were closing, entire countries’ healthcare system was at the edge of collapsing, employees started losing their jobs and companies came face to face with bankruptcy. The world’s stock markets collapsed since countries had to spend billions on bailouts and medical aid. But is all that the beginning of the end? Have the dark days of humanity started? Is the threat of COVID-19 putting our society up to its final test?
Some people reacted by showing no fear. Unfortunately though by not being afraid, you are only removing the feeling of fear out, but not the actual threat. Is it really a real threat? No matter how serious and sad all of this is, there are upsides as well.
“Always look on the bright side of life” as the song from Monty Python goes on our video, so here we are finding positives to all of this. Bear with us and let’s make the best out of what the crisis has given us, starting with our own free time. In today’s modern world, time is the most valuable and rare thing we have. We have filled up our week with gatherings, outings, meetings, entertainment and finding a couple of minutes for ourselves is scare. Suddenly, all is cancelled or forbidden, giving us significant amounts of extra time while life still goes on. Now we have the opportunity to spend time on nothing else but ourselves and enjoy our free time. Looking back at all those wasted hours in crowded parks, stores or other obligations that we have forced ourselves to believe are crucial, do we reconsider?
Was it worth it or should we rearrange how we spend our time? Grab the opportunity to reconsider what we do, how we do it and why we do it. Things we took for granted are not possible anymore. This offers a great opportunity to rethink our habits and routines and make changes. The virus forces you to make changes to your daily life that you might actually want to keep also after the crisis ends. Understand speed and innovation of modern times. Many society-based organizations (certainly in my country) suffer from complex bureaucracies and rigid hierarchies making life to all of us less than pleasant.
Now they are forced to break through these rigid systems and act instantly. Suddenly procedures can be skipped or fast forwarded, decisions can be made more autonomously and the most important as I read recently, employees are allowed to work from home without direct supervision. Covid-19 shows that, as soon as there is a strong enough reason, things can change.
The outcome of this leads to remarkable innovations that can be maintained and continue operating as normal after the crisis is long gone. Taking better initiatives and more on a personal level, in the individualized societies, we witness great examples of how far people will go to protect themselves and their families. A new opportunity has now popped up to reconnect, reconsider and demonstrate our human social side. A modesty and acceptance challenge has been given us. A chance to create awareness for the humble role we play on this planet and accept that things cannot always go as we want them to go.
The Covid-19 pandemic showed us that, no matter how well-planned and organized we seem to be, we are not in control. One simple virus has managed to bring our society to the point of dismantling everything we know till now. This offers a great opportunity to trigger our awareness and reset all factors of society to take a much more modest role by accepting that many things are simply beyond us. Finally a second chance has been given to us to live in a cleaner environment. The virus caused a decrease of industrial activities.
Factories are closed or been ordered to operate below their capacity, road traffic has now been reduced radically to the absolute minimum and air traffic simple collapsed. Finally the lack of tourism has emptied the streets in the well visited, overcrowded tourist destinations. While this may be bad news for most people including ourselves that are involved in the industry, it is also good news for our planet since Covid-19 causes a significant reduction in green house gasses and other air, water and land polluting outputs.
Once again, the Covid-19 crisis has a large dark side. But nature has the gift to heal itself and that is proven through the thousands of years that our planet has survived. We think COVID-19 is just nature’s way to be reborn and in a way “revenged” modern humans for their arrogant and selfish behavior.
It is up to us now to undertake a fundamental change in how we approach our world. Honor all those lives lost but keep on looking at the bright side of life. Grab the opportunities given by making changes to ourselves and to our destructive habits.