Life has been weird for the last two months. I’m here in Toronto, and I’m staying home, staying inside, so that I don’t accidentally spread COVID-19 (or catch it). I expected that all this time at home would make me extra introspective, and I would get more writing done than ever before! What can I say? I’m an optimist. However, as you can see from the blog posts, that has not been the case.
Despite the time (business has slowed significantly) and the desire, I just haven’t been able to motivate myself to be creative and literary. I spent up much of my initial motivation making masks for friends, family, and frontline workers (I’m a seamstress/designer — bettyfelonfashions.com). I burnt out. I told myself that I would at least post something for Easter. I even went to the effort of making a little Easter feast for my husband and me (cabbage rolls, scalloped potatoes, deviled eggs — all vegan, of course). Yet, I couldn’t motivate myself to create the posts. I apologize. I think some of you may be feeling the same lack of motivation, or may understand.
I have read some articles that have identified this fog/ heaviness many of us have experienced since the pandemic hit as a kind of grief or trauma. I have been extremely fortunate that I haven’t yet lost anyone to the coronavirus. I haven’t experienced this grief like so many across the world have. Yet, I feel the heaviness. I’m a highly empathetic person. I often take on others’ emotions (without meaning), and have a strong intuition for what people are feeling. It’s the reason I had to become vegan; I cannot tolerate another’s suffering. I think many vegans will share this same trait. We are a global community. Perhaps you will understand when I say I can feel the pain from around the world. So, it has been hard to face life “as normal.”
It has also been an unusual time of contrast. Vegans everywhere are celebrating the environmental benefits effected by lockdown orders around the world. Oil companies are filing for bankruptcy. There are fewer planes in the sky, fewer cars on the road, fewer boats in the water, and fewer humans on the sidewalk. Deer, foxes, elephants, wild animals of all kinds are able to venture out without increased fear of harm or death. The meat industries are suffering, and plant-based meats and milks have been selling at unprecedented rates. This is good news. Every day we are reminded of the capacity for human kindness as millions of healthcare and frontline workers put their health at risk, their lives on the line, to care for others and make sure we can go on.
It’s a stunning display of the potential for a healed world. At the same time, over 216,000 people have died from the virus and millions are sick, and greedy politicians are making decisions for their populace to prioritize their money over lives. Others, selfishly ignorant and myopic, are protesting isolation measures and putting lives at risk while those fighting on the frontlines continue to sacrifice. It’s such a human failing that expressions of kindness always draw out expressions of carelessness.
For most of us, this is unlike anything we have experienced. It’s reasonable to need a period of adjustment. It makes sense that we might not know how to address the uncertainty, fear, and grief. My method has been to make comfort food when I can, to have as many video calls as I can stand with loved ones, and to spend a bit of time every day to dance. Oh, and apparently, to dye my hair turquoise (using vegan Arctic Fox brand). So far, it’s keeping me afloat, but I am hopeful I can return to regular blogging soon.
What has quarantine life been like for you? Are you coping? Are you thriving? Do you need support?