Since the 27th of March 2020, we found ourselves unable to exercise habits that have been woven into our daily lives. The Corona virus forced the nation into an indefinite lockdown that left us uncertain of the future and fearful of what lies ahead. We had to acquire new habits and adjust old ones in order to cope with the “new normal”. Even with this uncertainty, we have the option of responding positively or negatively. After all, the glass can at times be half full, and not half empty.
When COVID-19 became a reality in South Africa, we were advised of a few adjustments we needed to make when interacting with those around us and surfaces that we come into contact with. The concept of social distancing was introduced in order curb the probability of transmission. Not only that, we needed to go back to basics when dealing with personal hygiene. We need to relearn the correct and efficient way to wash hands, revisit and evaluate how we cough and sneeze when we are around other people, and sanitizers and masks became part of the grocery list.
When the virus became an eminent threat, a nationwide lockdown was initiated which took away the ability and frequency of engaging face-to-face with our loved ones and even our colleagues. Human beings are by nature social creatures, but to survive we have to curb our social instinct. This was and continued to be an especially difficult task to carry out, as it comes so naturally to most, if not all of us. All of these were somewhat new habits that we all had to adjust to, or adopt, in order to curb the spread of the virus.
This new normal has also nudged us into reinventing the wheel when it comes to the mundane activities of everyday life. Cooking and baking became exciting activities in the household, and not just a requirement or need. Those who were not able or not used to cooking, were forced to learn how to cook as a result of restaurants being closed down. The time at home, may have given those who have been putting off certain activities an opportunity to finally be able to carry them out.
Personal development and self-reflection may have also been a by-product of the lockdown. The extended time at home provided an opportunity for some to overcome obstacles to personal development and take the necessary steps required for personal mastery. We are learning to deal with and experience something that is foreign to all of us and therefore learning that we need to be flexible when the situation calls for it. Whether it is at home or in the work place, flexibility will definitely be one of the concepts that we come out with.
This new lifestyle, may have been as a result of the pandemic, however, this does not mean that there aren’t some “takeaways” from this experience which we can take forward into the next phase of our lives. Re-evaluating our personal hygiene, spending time with family and loved ones, and learning to reinvent the wheel once in a while, are some concepts that we can carry on with going forward.
This pandemic has been brutal, and has taken away so much from us as a nation. As we move into this new phase of further easing of restrictions, let’s take the habits we have learnt with us. It is easy to fall into pre-COVID-19 habits once we are back at work in full force and interacting with colleagues we have not seen in almost three months. However, the easing of restrictions does not mean that the virus is gone and this is not the time to develop a casual attitude. This is the time to be increasingly careful and diligent with interactions and we need to continue placing a high value on life, our own, our families as well as that of our colleagues.