I haven't written much in recent months. I haven't taken many photographs either. Sometimes life gets in the way, and the last thing I worry about is photography or writing.
Especially now, when we are in the middle of the world crisis, and all we hear about is life tragedies, I am lost for words. I am overwhelmed by everyday bad news on how many more people got infected and even lost their battle with this terrible virus. We hear all about it over and over again. To the point that we get tired of the words. But we have to listen. The danger is clear and very close, and we need to take it seriously.
My heart goes out to those who lost their loved ones. I feel for those who are impacted by the pandemic, lost their jobs, their businesses, or are trying to get back home to their families from different parts of the world. I am thinking about my family and friends and hope they will stay well and safe while this aggressive virus continues to shatter our world.
We all feel trapped. Our freedom to go wherever we want to and do things we love doing has been taken away from us. Walking and photography are two of those things that keep me going. They are my escape from a stressful and busy working life. Never before have I felt such a desire to go out and breathe in the fresh air. To smell the spring fragrance, to watch nature wake up from the cold and grey winter. To pick up my camera and capture the beauty of it. To walk and give my sore back a relief from being tied up to my chair in front of the computer all day long in my day job as a software developer.
However this situation made me realise that there are much more important things in life. That is life itself. And the people I love. At this time of crisis photography is not on top of my list of priorities. No photograph or walk is worth risking mine or somebody else's life.
I know we are allowed to have one exercise a day, as long as we stick to the social distancing rule. But the thing is, there are still people who ignore it. No matter how hard we try to follow the rules, it is useless if other people don't. I have seen it. I have seen walkers and joggers not making any effort to stay away from others, and consequently putting people around them in danger. Therefore my partner and I made a conscious decision. We are choosing not to walk out of the door unless it is absolutely necessary.
That's what we have left now. Go out only when we need more food. Come back home, wash our hands and hope for the best. Hope that the exposure to the outside world, no matter how brief it was, didn't put us and other people in any more danger.
However, this doesn't necessarily mean doom and gloom. There are so many things you can do to keep yourself fit, healthy and happy while being at home.
I always thought that walking was the only way to keep me going, literally. My bad back needs it. But here is my opportunity to try different things. Pilates or yoga will do me a lot of good. Working out at home has never been easier. There are online fitness and dance classes. All you need is a little bit of space and motivation to start.
There are so many books I would love to read, films to watch, dishes to cook, languages to learn. French being my absolute favourite. I have always wanted to refresh my grammar school knowledge.
And as for photography, perhaps it's time to start looking at that backlog I have been building up over the years. Write more. Finally work on my website, and my ongoing projects. Make plans for the future.
So many opportunities, that in fact I will most definitely run out of time to do it all. I still have my day job, which takes up most of my work days. But I consider myself lucky that I do have a job.
Most importantly, I finally have more quality time to spend with the love of my life. And to keep in touch with our loved ones – family and friends. We are very fortunate that today's technology allows the two of us to stay connected, so we don't have to live in isolation after all.
As a matter of fact, we are not trapped at all. Our wings might have been clipped for now, but they will grow back. As long as we take responsibility for our health, physical and mental, use the time we have at hand wisely. As long as we stay positive, support each other and look forward with hope. We will get through this.
We all have a choice. We all have a chance. We might not be heroes, but we can still save lives. And it is much easier for us than for those fighting for the rest of us in the front line. All we have to do is stay at home. Think carefully every time we open our front door. Is it absolutely necessary? Do I really have to go out? Or is it just something that I want to do because I feel trapped inside? Is there another way of keeping fit, healthy and in touch with the outside world?
My hope is that if we all do the right thing, we will help each other to get through this crisis and emerge on the other side - stronger, kinder and better.
Take that chance to save a life, make the right choice. Stay at home.
Thinking about all of you, wishing you all the best – health, love, hope and courage.
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