Making friends with Lockdown

With backpacks on our backs, dreams in our hearts and stars in our eyes, my husband (Jason) and I (Heena), set off on an adventure of a lifetime…travelling around the world. Sadly, only after 133 days, our adventure came to a sudden halt. Why? Well, you've probably heard of the most common and biggest enemy of 2020, it goes by several names – Covid-19 / Coronavirus / SARS-CoV-2. Of course, not just our lives, Coronavirus brought the whole world to a standstill. Cities that never sleep, all of a sudden found their roads deserted. Ever busy airports were ghost towns. Shops and restaurants were closed. Buses and trains ran empty. People were fearful and anxious…no longer just of catching the ghastly virus, but of each other! The super powers of the world were playing blame games (surprise) and capitalism was brought down to its knees! We, unfortunate nomads, got stuck in Medellin, Colombia – with our fates in the hands of the raging Coronavirus. Quarantine life Unbeknown to us, Coronavirus was travelling across the world a whole lot faster than us. Before the situation flared up, we were in Bogota, still making jokes about those odd people wearing masks and gloves. We ourselves had a mild scare when Jason complained about being out of breath. I say mild, as not long after he had complained, we realised we had flown in from sea-level to one of South America's highest cities. Well, no wonder he was out of breath! We decided to travel to Medellin, so that we could live our “lockdown sentence” in the “city of eternal spring”, in a milder climate – Bogota was a bit cold for our liking. The initial days were a pleasant blur. We moved into a self-catering flat, over indulged in fine wines and home-cooked meals. We caught up with our families and friends via video calls. However, those fun filled days soon disappeared when we learnt that a colleague back home had died of Coronavirus, and then, we found ourselves in a dark abyss. Our colleague's death hit home. Jason and I, stuck in a studio flat, 24/7, had no choice but to talk about our feelings of losing someone we admired and respected. It wasn't easy, it was painful, it hurt so bad. We both experienced sudden spurts of emotions and ended up in pools of tears. We realised though; we were lucky to have each other. We spent hours talking about our fears of losing family members or friends back home and not being able to bid adios to them. Those were complex talks and we learnt so much more about ourselves and each other. Let me add here - we've been together for 13 years, and I thought (so wrongly) that surely, we know all we need to know about each other? It goes to show we are always learning! Once we were able to rise above the dark abyss, we decided to focus on the positives, and developed routines (Jason really took to sweeping the floor!) to enable us to have a purpose. We reflected on our past journeys, reminisced about the incredible people we had met on our travels, and the life changing experiences we had gained in those 133 days. We wrote blogs about our experiences; those were beautiful times – we were reliving our memories. With lockdowns being extended every two weeks in Medellin, we were in a desperate need of a change of scenery. So, we moved to a bigger and a nicer flat to maintain our sanity. Respecting and accepting change We have accepted this life dictated by Coronavirus. It hasn't been easy – our freedom being taken away has really kicked us in our backsides. I have my highs and lows, and sometimes, several in a day! However, writing has been my unselfish comrade, that has helped me find some equilibrium in my life. It has aided me to stay positive and process my thoughts, in turn enabling me to respect and accept the “new normal” way of living. Writing about my feelings, fears and experiences, has provided me with a vital medium to create a robust bridge between anxiety and self-preservation. I received lots of positive messages from people around the world, who have read my stories and experiences. They have shared with me their own quarantine ups and downs. Knowing that other people were experiencing similar fears, really helped me to feel less of an emotional wreak! We discussed our routines and what was helping us to maintain our emotional well-being. Those beautiful intricacies of newly formed virtual friendships, have empowered me to continue to connect. I have created some meaningful bonds that have proven to be nothing less than a life-line. Hope I hope for a life free of Coronavirus. I hope that people maintain what seems to be a new found respect for Mother Earth. I hope people continue to be caring and kind towards one another. Lastly, I hope we do not take this life for granted. All we have is now, so let us live life to the fullest and write about it whenever we can!

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