I want to reflect on a video made by my friend, local entertainer Alistair Izobell, last week.
Usually happy-go-lucky and joyful, this video was out of character for Alistair – sad and despairing.
I don’t think I have ever seen his face without a smile on it.
In the Facebook video, he speaks of the panic and anxiety he is feeling as a musician now that we are living the Covid pandemic’s third wave.
He mentions the passing of his good friend, the iconic actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards and how that may be impacting his psyche.
Alistair isn’t the only person I know whose bubbly personality is being slowly squashed by how this pandemic is just dragging on and on.
It’s almost 16 months now since we all first wondered what we were going to do with ourselves during a 21-day lockdown.
Oh how cute those 21 days sound now!
As today marks the start of a second winter in the shadows of Covid, it feels like the life essence is being slowly drained out of all of us; like someone forgot to tighten the lid on our internal bottle of effervescence and now it’s slowly going flat.
No doubt that all our lives have fundamentally changed.
The worry now is that this virus keeps mutating and producing new, more dangerous strains.
And there are some scientists who caution that, as the world gets smaller, faster and more interactive, Covid is a foretaste of things to come.
They are almost convinced the world will be hit by another pandemic in our lifetime, probably more than one.
And while that is an awful prospect to contemplate, it would be short-sighted of us to ignore the possibility.
I think part of the problem is that we are holding on to what we know to be normal.
We are living our lives hoping that the pandemic will go away, so that we can continue with the lives we had pre-2020.
It’s like we are moving in slow motion, like someone has hit the “pause button” on our lives and we are currently living in an alternate reality, waiting for Covid to pass so that we can press the “play button” again and resume where we left off.
But I think we are making a terrible mistake, because while things may well return to normal again someday, we will forever be traumatised by having lived life alongside Covid.
In the last few months, every single human being has had to wrestle with the idea of their own mortality; and no matter how tough you claim to be, that thought inevitably moves you on a deeply spiritual level.
Consequently, I believe our Covid nightmare has caused an irreversible shift in our consciousness, in the way we live our lives and in what we prioritise in life.
I know everyone is eager to go back to the old normal.
Consider that despite the third wave and the work-from-home experiment having proven partially successful, there is still an expectation to return to work and school.
But I don’t think the old normal will satisfy us anymore, and I don’t think there’s any wisdom in hurrying it along, or waiting in limbo for the pandemic to magically disappear.
Instead we should be reflecting on our new purpose in life.
Now that you can better appreciate all that you have been taking for granted every day, how will you live a better, more productive life?
Because if nothing else, Covid was a time for serious introspection and the ability to detach from the old and find new individual purpose may well be the thing that humanity needs to survive the next big global crisis.