COVID-19: Our Very Own “Science Fiction” Movie
When I heard about COVID-19 back in December of 2019, I thought, that is “Science Fiction.” Not anymore. These days the word pandemia is mentioned every day in the media, on your zoom meetings with families and friends. Even at the supermarket. With COVID-19 you almost feel like you are inside a “Science Fiction” movie as you carefully and cautiously parade into the grocery store wearing face masks, gloves, and other protective gear. It looks and feels pretty scary.
In reflecting about my experience in confinement at home. I must admit that during the first few days or weeks living alone, I felt very stressed out. To minimize the stress, I tried to keep busy. I start activities that I’d not had the time to do during my busy regular teaching schedule. I start to paint, playing the piano, and assembling small pieces of furniture.
During the first three weeks, I divided my daily routine into sections. Exercise and breakfast, online teaching and lunch, hobbies and afternoon tea, and dinner and Netflix. However, the idea of confinement without the freedom to walk around the city sent signals to my brain. Once in a while, making me feel like a caged wild animal hence raising my stress level high peak.
During the fourth week, however there was a small transformation in the way I was experiencing my confinement. I began to accept the new situation and I started taking interest in new ways to communicate with my students and my friends. I learned about new technology platforms I had never heard of and I found the challenge very educational and rewarding. Teaching online and communicating with small groups of students via video conferencing has been successful in terms of targeting leveled groups of students more efficiently.
We just began our 9th week of confinement and I realized how much I miss the direct contact with my students. I have not seen a person for a very long time. And if I have, it has been for no more than five minutes and at a six feet distance. The social distancing that I know is required to keep everyone safe, has proven to be the hardest and most unsettling consequence of this situation of confinement.
“The idea of confinement… sent signals to my brain… making me feel like a caged wild animal.”
Yes, I believe that I can target students directly and they seem to be engaged in our online lessons. However, the fact that I can’t give them a pat on the back or a hug when they did something right is a high price to pay.
The question is- When will this be over? Like you, I am wondering when I will be allowed to go back to work, walk in the park, or dine at a restaurant. However, I believe our lives will not ever resume as if nothing had occurred. Mostly, I believe that the legacy of this crisis is here to stay for years to come changing the way we interact with each other. I am not only talking about technology, which has proven to be a great tool in this crisis, but also human to human interactions.
“I believe that the legacy of this crisis is changing the way we interact with each other.“
In the future, I, personally, envision myself being cautious while interacting with others. To hug or kiss others and believe me, I love hugging my students, friends, and relatives as much as I need to be hugged and kissed by them. But the fear and trauma inflicted by COVID-19 has made me cautious. The consequences of this situation have proven to be very pricey. I am not sure how the “new normal” will look, but I am not very hopeful about our future. COVID-19 you are small, but you certainly have shaken our lives in a very short time. I will not forgive you!