Time for a break after 1 month in lockdown: Let’s start the countdown

Today marks almost 1 month since “lockdown” was called upon in Germany. Italy was 2 weeks before and the rest of Europe, reluctantly followed by the US, has been catching up since. 

If China is any indication, the “strict” lockdown there took 3 months before being eased, giving a respite to the millions of souls who have been “living” in a near state of “house-arrest” in Wuhan, the epicentre of the pandemic.
For all those who tirelessly ask “how long” this will still last… Here you go! That would be my best “educated-guess”.

Well, China is not a democracy, so both for the good and for the bad, while acting with a hard-to-beat “autocratic efficiency”, there is not much room for debating orders from the “top” there… 

In the rest of the democratic world, on the other hand, the ongoing lockdown is not nearly as draconian, or ironclad.

1 – Lockdown

I am telling you: If you don’t let me out, I will go amok here!

“Lockdown” is not even the most representative term to be honest – People are still free to go out for daily necessities. That by the way, in a bunch of “happy” countries, also covers getting some “movement and sport in the fresh air”.

So getting out to stretch your legs or suck some sunlight is all fine, as long as one acts “sensibly” – meaning alone or even with your co-living family (No worries there! You have plenty of occasions to amiably infect each other while sharing the same home quarters anyway).
Sorry! Meeting your pals for a football tournament – or say, for a massive “flight-club” re-play scene – might have to wait just a bit longer. Lol.

2 – Quarantine

Oho! Is the Easer bunny under quarantine too?

And “quarantine” is not… how can I put it? Well, plainly speaking: it is not a “quarantine”.

The word, which stems from Latin – and is still current in Italian (“quaranta” is = forty, thus “quarantina” = forty days) – is used to designate a minimum period of forty days, as commonly prescribed for fasting or penance. Far from it, in the current implementation of the term – where “quarantine” is the condition of self-isolation prescribed to a person suspected of having been infected with Covid-19 in an effort to contain the spreading of the disease – the measure usually does not exceed 14 days. This, if one is bad at math, is just a bit more than 1/3 of the feared 40 days!

And where this “mini-quarantine” applies for us, it relies more on self-discipline and social responsibility, than on any “hard” coercion.
Even technologies used to track the movements of “quarantined” people, within that limited 14-days period, rely in democratic countries more on social consensus and a shared collective accountability, than anything else.

3 – Social distancing

See? These are 2 meters… Clear now?

Even the term “social distancing” is misleading – “Physical distancing” would be the appropriate one. In fact, people are interacting more fervently than ever these days. And that, without even bothering with the usual petty, time consuming logistical arrangements (which invariably get shuffled back and forth before getting to a “final-final” agreement – thanks to mobile phones and micro messaging, matched with well-meaning, but “high-maintenance and low-dependable” hopeless acquaintances for that!).

Well, now without even needing to leave the comfort of your “cocoon”, it is easier than ever to catch up with old friends and contacts, via videos or even good old fashioned phone calls!

Plus, being in this together has given all of us the perfect “excuse” to check on each other more often, revitalising also long-neglected relationships.

All in all, just in time for spring, our homes are not the only places to have “re-blossomed” after some long needed “brushing up”. 

Yes, they are asked to keep a certain minimal “safe” distance. But if you ask me, it is not a bad thing anyway, if the next stranger is not breathing – or worse, sneezing! – over your shoulder, while you pensively select your perfect apple at the supermarket. 

And since we are already in the veggies’ department, let’s jump straight to the next point…

Comparing apples to apples. And oranges to oranges…

Because you CANNOT mix the two… Or can you?

If all these terms get you confused, know this: you are not alone! 

Quarantine and lockdown can “consistently” be relied upon to get entangled, even though they are two quite different things. Yet they both share the “common denominator” of getting disproportionally inflated and overly dramatised in the collective imagery.

None of them actually mean what the word itself suggests. 

Come on! Nobody is actually “locking” us anywhere – We are not under house arrest or anything like it. You don’t see prisoners going out for groceries, or strolling with their dogs, do you now?

The only one who should be seriously “locked down” is our inner drama queen!

Yes, just look at her, bashing in our collective fear. All eyes on her to see what is going to happen next.
But guess what? Nobody knows.
Yet, in the face of uncertainties, she is in her element, seizing her moment of fame. And running amok with it. 

We are the only one who can lock down the drama queen. And free our witty-self instead. There is already enough gloom around.

What we all need more now is to carry some light of hope. Because when we cannot change a situation, there is only one thing we can do: change our attitude to it. Learn to accept it. And make the best out of it…
There is plenty of “space” there! 

So, here is the takeaway for you:

When you feel like reality is letting you down, don’t be scared to use your creativity!
Do the best you can do. And be the best you can be.
Everything else is never within our control anyway.

Logic can only take from A to B.
But Imagination can take you anywhere…
– Albert Eistein