What This Pandemic Brings Us
There will be times in each of our lives when grieving is necessary. Only through grieving the end of something can we move on to new beginnings. Everyone has to go through some period of grief or another, and sometimes it’s collective. Collective grief can come from the ending of a past era, which affects all of society. And this pairs together with the uncertainty of times ahead. This pandemic is causing us a collective period of grief and uncertainty. We are mourning what was, and we are uncertain of what will be. The world will not be the same after this, and we have to accept that. And only through the acceptance of what we lost can we move forward into the unknown of what will come. No-one knows, and that’s the point.
This pandemic is causing us a collective period of grief and uncertainty. We are mourning what was, and we are uncertain of what will be.
Things have been gradually and progressively changing over the last decade or so. We have crossed technological barriers we had only dreamed of crossing a mere few years ago. This technological increase has brought with it an increase in social isolation. Endlessly being connected to the web has brought in-person social contact down to the lowest it has ever been. And the pandemic resulting from the introduction of COVID-19 to the world has escalated this change in an extremely drastic way, forcing movement toward further social isolation as well as medical and technological advances. But people need time to grieve and to adjust to these sudden changes.
Despite all the negative health and social implications of this time, it has brought something positive to our society. It has given us time, attention, and focus toward what matters most. It has also given us something, that in literary terms, is called liminal space:
“Liminal space is the time between what was and what comes next […] a place of transition, a season of waiting and not knowing. Liminal space is where all transformation takes place, if we learn to wait and let it form us.”
This is the perfect time for us to be alone with our thoughts — and ourselves — with a limit to any external stimuli that may manipulate our perceptions and drive us away from who we are. This is the perfect time for us to think. For a long time now, and increasingly so, we have been bombarded with a ton of “pretty pictures”, so to speak, that we have been able to use to distract ourselves from ourselves. Now, with the inability to turn to these distractions to cope, we must return to the basics, to what is left behind all those facades to our attention: what we have built our home lives to be.
(And no, I am not talking about the fort you have built in your home with your growing stash of toilet paper).
This time gives us as a collective the opportunity to meditate on what we all need and want from our lives — what we all wish to be — without being manipulated by external stimuli. And it puts our health and well-being into the forefront, where it should be.
The stock markets are crashing, which gives us the opportunity to learn how to live without our obsession over money.
Theatres and concert venues are closing, which gives us the opportunity to learn how to entertain ourselves and our families in our own homes.
Bars and restaurants are shutting down, which gives us the opportunity to learn how to cook for ourselves and our families.
Flights are being cancelled, which gives us the opportunity to make the best of our local geography.
Less people are commuting to work, which gives us the opportunity to free our air of daily pollutants.
What we can spend money on is now being limited to basic supplies, which gives us the opportunity to live more minimally.
The cities are evacuating, which gives us the opportunity to get back in touch with nature.
I believe this situation does not come to us without any reason. It is showing us that everything can change in an instant. Rainbows are the most visible after a heavy rainfall. We can all use this opportunity to slow down and think about our lives. Are we living the life we want to live? Are we proud of what we find behind the mask of external stimuli? This is now the perfect time to reflect while staying at home. Because it’s not always about money. It’s about the relations you build and the impact you leave on people. And it’s not always about getting somewhere and moving forward. Sometimes we just have to be, and to feel that we exist, even if it’s just in that liminal space.
We’ll be alright. And we’ll emerge at the end of the tunnel with a stronger mind and transformed spirit using what we have learned during these tough times.
The Boathouse: A dystopian take on liminal spaces
If liminal spaces peak your interest, you might want to check out my new book, which is filled with liminal spaces, specifically regarding a certain type of liminal space: nature.
The book is a fictitious psychological thriller/horror that centres around themes of isolation, loss, and grief and the differing ideas the characters have about the state of nature.
Now available in ebook form at select digital stores! You can check it out using the link below.