When we take the breaks off

Carmen Gomez

Whilst we were unawares, someone took the breaks off and sent us hurtling towards the unknown, with a virus hot on our heels; and no time to heed the request of the whiting to the snail to “walk a little faster,” because he had a porpoise treading on his tail. We were going too fast and we needed to slow down and get our breath back.

What is necessary in life

So here we are in the confines of ones` home; after a rude and cruel interruption of our long established habits and rhythms of life. In a positive mode, this interruption offers us a chance to do things we may not have done for a long time; like examine our own lives, and realize perhaps that things we thought of as indispensable, were really just mere distractions; and value what is genuinely necessary in life. To be in one place and simply savour being together as a family, will be something that perhaps you may not have done for a while, because of your daily working practices up to now. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised when you all sit at table together; as we once used to do; and see how fulfilling this can turn out to be. A chance to enjoy family chat, to get to know yourselves better, and to instil in your children how important it is that they talk to either of you when something is bothering them, and reassure them that you will take time from your busy schedules to listen to them in the future.

This might also be a good time to show added interest in what they do at school, or outside school, and at their extra curriculum lessons. Frustrations can fade and be replaced by forgotten family values, for you to build a strong and caring unit. One of the things which was of great importance to me as a child, was the fact that I felt protected; that I could always depend on one of both of my parents to be there for me when I needed them. Sometimes as parents, we can forget these little bits of parenthood that are so precious to our children, and which get lost along the way in our busy daily lives. A pandemic may be looked upon by some as the end; but it can also serve as a beginning. These unprecedented times and challenges can transform us into wiser and better human beings.

Our so called social distancing, which could be better called physical distancing, comes on the back of the word quarantine; which came on the back of forced isolation; taking us all the way back to the “Black death.” This was a time when it was thought advisable to hold sailors in their ships for thirty days; known in venetian law as Trentino; and as time went by, this was increased to “forced isolation” which lasted forty days. The origin of the word quarantine was the start of said practices in the western world. Unfortunately the plague mentioned above, resurfaced roughly every twenty years, with forty outbreaks in 300 years; with every epidemic killing 20% of the population in London, ending with the great plague of 1665. Then the small pox virus arrived in the 15th century with the first European explorers, which killed those who had zero natural immunity.