Reflections on Coronavirus Lockdown

It is now just over a week since the Coronavirus lockdown in South Africa. It is Autumn. When the alarm goes off at 6:00, it is still dark outside. As the sun rises and casts its rays through the tree leaves that are colouring into shades of brown and orange, you are struck by the gentle light, almost sepia in quality, of this time of year. How many times has this mindful observation escaped us in the morning rush to get where we needed to be, just a week or so ago?

For now I want to focus on the gifts that came with the outbreak of this virus and the resulting lockdown, without diminishing the catastrophic impact on the world and all levels of society. With a shock we were forced to a standstill, and had to work hard on keeping mental, emotional and physical balance as the mad treadmill we were on came to a halt. All of a sudden we find ourselves isolated from everyone around us, and yet on another level as connected as never before. During this week I realised to appreciate the gift of technology and social media. Through social media we keep connected, sharing information, keeping each other motivated and humoured through funny jokes and videos we share.

Technological tools also make it possible to continue our work in ways we haven’t contemplated before. For me it was a case of engaging technology to offer online meditation classes and consultations, or see my practice die. I am forever grateful to the technology angels, as I call the beloveds and friends around me that offered assistance and guidance in setting all of this up. I crossed that bridge and am now ready to offer my services online.

There are so many more gifts that this lockdown brought that I am grateful for: the quiet time in the beauty of our home that so many people in South Africa are not privileged to have, the unconditional love and continuous support of my beloved partner, the sharing and enjoyment of simple meals, having a glass of wine at sunset on the veranda, online yoga classes that keep body and spirit healthy and strong, friends that regularly check in on your wellbeing, the awareness that the neighbours all around are mindful and supportive of one another.

For the first time in years I also feel proud and happy to be a South African. President Cyril Ramaphosa proved himself as a strong and wise leader with the swift way he mobilised action on the spread of the Coronavirus in our country, an example to many countries all over the world. All of a sudden all the political nonsense of a few weeks ago is irrelevant. So are many other things we deemed important a few weeks ago all of a sudden irrelevant, as Mother Earth brought us to a necessary point of reflecting on our values and actions.

Once the Coronavirus threat has passed, may we all awaken with the grateful realisation that the human mind, body and spirit is adaptable in any situation. May we also realise that we are not the masters of Mother Earth, but caretakers of her beauty, her resources and every living being that she provides a home to. May we learn to tread lightly and with respect on Earth in all our actions and decisions. May we never again rush mindlessly past the beauty surrounding us, but learn to appreciate and be grateful for every moment that is given us.