Pandemic Land: Here, Now and Next

Spring is usually a difficult time for people with asthma to be out and about, although this year we have no choice but to stay home. We aren’t usually told to stay in our homes by worldwide public health organizations, although it doesn’t really work against us when the air is heavy with pollen. When the world gets turned on its head, we asthmatics are more accustomed to the reclusive safety in our sterile homes.

While the nature of pandemic land is known to us, the chances of cabin fever in the next several weeks is high. Here are my thoughts on what we can do to stay active, attentive, and amused while in the thick of pandemic land.

The circumstances

It’s important to consider the context of where we are as a global society at this moment. Most of us are shut into our homes, socially distanced from the world; however, we are more connected than ever. Due to the birth of social media, we have the ability to connect with people, regardless of location, on a level that is as unprecedented as a global quarantine. It’s incredible to look at the contrast of our situation--entirely distanced, yet more connected than ever.

As we exist in this paradox, we also have the ability to access commodities in an entirely new way. With mobile shopping and delivery services, we are privileged to be relatively comfortable during such an intense time. Comfort is not the only thing we have access to, though. With the internet providing limitless information and connection to those with knowledge, we have the resources to learn new crafts, recipes, and skills.

Things to do during quarantine

Perhaps the most valuable thing we have gained from this isolation is time. Too often we use the excuse, "If I only had more time”, however, now we do have the time to get started on those procrastinated passions. Here are some recommendations for those of you looking for something new.

  • Learn a new art or craft. Take this time to break through the learning curve that deters many people from pursuing an artistic outlet.
  • Learn to play that instrument that sits in the corner of your room. It’s pretty but it sounds more beautiful than it looks!
  • Learn a new language. It’s not easy, and it takes time, which we have plenty of right now! Make your quarantine bilingual or trilingual!
  • Learn to germinate and plant seeds. Perhaps the most important thing you can know is how to grow your own food. Yet so few of us know how to use a seed. Learn to make bread; it’s easy, fun, versatile and nourishing.
  • Learn to cook new foods. Maybe something to pair with that first loaf of homemade bread!
  • Reach out to loved ones and friends, whom you may have been too busy to reach out to before. They are likely looking for something to do as well and maybe you can learn one of these things together!
  • Start a new exercise habit.Being active is actively pursuing better health.

The point being, there are many things we can spend this extra time doing. While watching movies and shows helps to pass the time, sometimes it gets boring and it’s not usually constructive. The great thing is that you can watch your favorite show for the third time over while doing other activities!

A new world, a renaissance

As the world descends into chaos, as we see stores running out of supplies and food, as stock markets and cryptocurrencies crashm we start to see the cracks in the system that dictates our world. As we scramble to be with our family and loved ones, as we calculate how to keep a food source and drinking water, we are enlightened to what is most important. As we abandon the habits that pollute our world, we see clean waters and clear skies again, sometimes in the most unlikely places.

I hope we use this time as an opportunity to learn from each other and build a more sustainable world. So, should something like this happen again, we will be less affected. A world where we depend on our backyard gardens for food and our neighbors for help and rely less on unstable international supply chains. A world where we are connected not only globally, but locally to our small businesses and food producers.

The take away

Nothing unites people like a common threat to our existence; whether that threat is a virus pandemic or asthma, we are united by what we fight against. For many of us, that fight is staying local and self-sustaining as much as possible.

Now that everyone--not just asthmatics--are quarantined with the time, connection, and resources to make changes, it’s time to make changes. Just as a matilija poppy needs to burn to be reborn, we will rise from the ashes of this pandemic land with new insight and intentions, for a more secure and connected world.

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