70 years later.
The year is 2090, 70 years after the year 2019/20. A lot happened in 2019/20, but the main thing that anyone that lived during that period will talk about is the Covid19 pandemic. I remember that period like it was just yesterday…
During that epoch of the Covad19 pandemic I was residing with my then boyfriend who happens to be your Grandfather today my child, during the time we had heard about Covid19 we were extremely worried about his work. I was still looking for a job at the time and trying to start up two of my own businesses without any money. It was very difficult because I had no prior experience in any form of work, so my chances of securing employment were very little, to top that there were a multitude of companies that were letting go of their employees because of the tough economic landscape at the time, with the advent of technology- the fourth revolution, more and more people were being replaced by highly advance technological machinery. I started off extremely motivated and enthusiastic, but after months of applying for jobs daily and not getting a single email saying someone was interested, I started losing hope and motivation, I became lethargic and the scintilla of hope and gusto that I had begun to fade and wither little by little till I started my having mental exhaustion symptoms.
During the course of the pandemic everyone would talk about finances and how their companies were approaching their demise as a result of loss in income, subsequently that jobs would be lost, but very little was spoken of regarding mental illness during that period. For me, Covid19 was more about battling everything in my own head, the demons in my head had come to life, my thoughts were deeper and darker, solitude prevailed the latter. In isolation I began to ponder, thoughts that I was a failure crept in, thoughts that I would never amount to anything began to flood my mental compartments and left very little room for positive thoughts. The toughest part was that I couldn’t see anyone, I couldn’t talk to anyone in isolation, yes phones were available- but not in discussing the matters that plagued my heart and mind. when you are stuck in a rut the ideal conversations are face to face, where someone can hug you, and you don’t feel completely alone in your abyss. I told but a few people. I could tell my negative emotions and thoughts were taking over and winning, and this time I felt too weak to fight them to the extent that by the time I could leave the house, my head had architectured thoughts that resulted in my own mental prison and I couldn’t leave the house. The thought of walking out of the front door made my stomach drop, I felt nauseous, my hands would sweat, my body would shake and my heart would beat so fast I thought it might pop out my chest. I did not know if I could ever leave the house again, if I could ever face the world again, especially its people, could I even be part of society ever again? How would I reply to the question of ‘how are you doing’? this was a proverbial question that I was not ready to confront as the days went by and the lockdown restrictions were being loosened.
I thought, no matter how much I tried, I would never be able to socialise again. After that, I started going downhill very quickly, I started getting hallucinations, hearing voices telling me negative things about myself, constantly feeling down, constantly worrying that people were always watching me or out to get me but at the exact same time I was completely numb inside. I felt like a hallow shell that could break, fall apart or disappear at any second and I felt like it would never matter if I did disappear because there wasn’t much left of me at that state. I felt like I completely lost myself as a person and the will to even leave the bed in the mornings was fading away.
And just when I started losing the last shred of hope I had, my boyfriend held me and showed me that I was not alone through this all. He helped by giving me the strength to move forward and by being my shoulder to cry on during weak days. And I learnt that during the time where I was losing all hope, a lot of people were as well. Suicide rates were increasing, more people were struggling a lot mentally during this time and although I couldn’t, I wish I could just hug them and be there for them. I was fortunate enough to have my boyfriend when I needed someone, but many people didn’t have anyone to turn to during this struggle.
Life during the pandemic was not ideal, many people were suffering, the world was dying and humanity was forgetting how to be humane, kind and respectful to those around them. We were forgetting what it means to be human, to be passionate, to be caring, to be helpful and selfless. We were forgetting the fact that everyone is human and has emotions and feelings, we were forgetting that we shouldn’t say something to someone if we wouldn’t like it said to us. We forgot that we should never do anything to someone we wouldn’t like done to us. But now, we are still healing from the pandemic that occurred. Many lives were lost sadly. But I just hope that during this healing time we will learn to be better, treat others better and treat ourselves better.
Many people suffer internally, many people are battling their own wars in their heads and many people go to extreme limits to end those wars. So many loved ones are suffering in silence because they do not feel like they can open up about to those around them. The pandemic gave some time to seat back and reflect on their lives, some had been consumed so much by the demands of life that they forgot to take care of themselves, their health, their families. It was the first time for some in a long time that they spent time with their families.
Looking back at that period of my life, in fact looking back at that period in humanity, my take is that we all at one point or the other need some healing, during that point mother nature also needed healing, we had been so busy using up the earth’s resources, extracting its minerals, deforestrating its trees, polluting its water to a point were it could not take it anymore. As a result, nature confined us to our homes through the pandemic so it could recreate and heal itself from the damage that we had created.
Let us continually heal ourselves and our spaces.
Blog post by Simmonne Malan.