The Corona Virus and the Power of Adjustment

The Corona Virus and the Power of Adjustment

It's been 4 days since I've left my apartment, with the sole exception of taking out the trash, a chore which is inevitable. I was planning to spend some of the days celebrating my father's birthday, inviting him to dinner and pay for the both of us, but unfortunately I will not have the privilege of meeting him anytime soon due to the lockdown Israel and many countries have enforced upon their citizenry in the global attempt to combat the deadly Corona Virus. In addition, I have also some family members who are stuck on an island owned by Honduras, and they cannot leave due to this exact reason and no other solution has been found, meaning that they are trapped on an island potentially for months. My meditation teacher has also cancelled our lessons until said otherwise, and I probably will have to talk to my psychologist on the phone, because it's too dangerous to be outside for too long.

If you were to ask me a few months ago what I'd think about putting entire populations under lockdown, I'd probably say that it's a very extreme violation of human rights, and would associate the question with the horrendous North Korea who for decades has put most of its citizens in lockdown and made it illegal to get out; I would say that it will immensely ruin the world economy if too many countries were to follow that policy, and that the people will suffer from a severe reduction of their freedoms.

And yet here we are, March 2020, in a world that has been too ill-prepared for the new COVID-19 from the Far East, to the point that entire families, businesses and nations were put by governments under lockdown in the name of healthcare safety against an unsudden virus whose cure has yet to be found, and due to the short-seeing of many people who underestimated the threat from Asia, the whole world has been doomed to pay the price by immensely limiting the civil rights of countless people, in hope that a cure would eventually be found, and in the attempt to decrease as much infections as realistically possible.

And yet here we are, accepting the burden of the mistakes some of us have made, not entirely able to get in or get out of countries like we used to, not entirely able to work, to enjoy coffee and tea at cafes, nor food at restaurants. Some of us are even foolish enough to ignore the orders given by our governments, and risk themselves and us as well in the name of combating the other, older plague, known as either boredom or isolation.

However, regardless of whatever action we made thus far, it is arguably-quite clear that we have eventually adjusted to the new state of being; a state of being once condemned and related to tyrannical regimes, and now became a common policy amongst even the most democratic of countries. We have adjusted to the fact that some people may die from it, while others will have to be in an even more-extreme state of isolation, where the physical presence of others is prohibited for weeks. In short, the dystopia of the recent past has just become a normality.

This is the power of being able to adjust to new situations; the power to not let the comfort of the past threaten our survival in the present and in the future; the power to move on and keep an open-enough mind to accept whatever happens next with or without our interference.

I am unsure about how many days I will have to further isolate myself from the world, even though I've been doing it nevertheless but with a few exceptions. However, I do know that there are some things that are best be given up on, even if temporarily, in the name of my and my species' survival. Hence the freedom that comes from a more ascetic lifestyle, from the ability to give up on unnecessities and still become a happier, more fulfilled being. This is my philosophy and it seems it works especially during these hard times of uncertainty.

Even if you disagree with my philosophy when it comes to detachment from the world, at least consider the fact that the times are changing and different circumstances call for different measures. Avoid unnecessary temptations that could risk either you or those around you to be infected, and you have the opportunity to do a good service not only to yourself but to countless others around the world, against the deadly COVID-19 that is spreadable like fire in a forest.

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© 2019 Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosopher