For the past few weeks, it feels like the COVID-19 crisis has completely consumed our lives. And in a way, it has. Seemingly overnight, our daily routines, our work lives, our interactions with one another, have all been entirely uprooted as around the world people set into a new reality of life at home. Feelings of fear and loneliness, the heroic work of our medical workers and the loss of loved ones weighs heavily on our hearts. But while the severity of this crisis cannot be overstated, I cannot also help but feel there is a silver lining to our strange, new circumstances. It feels as though the whole world has come together in a way that I have never experienced in my lifetime.
This crisis has made it clear that it doesn’t matter where we live, what language we speak, how we pray, whether we are rich or poor: we are all in this together. This unique moment offers an opportunity for us all to connect through shared experiences, commiserate over daily struggles and reflect on our common humanity. With this in mind, I asked some of my friends from around the world to see how they have been coping these days. I hope that their stories—from their successes to their failures—can bring us some comfort. Although we are isolated, we are never alone.
Here’s what they had to say:
Georgia Geminder, Founder of Gem – Melbourne, Australia
I’ve been keeping myself busy, staying connected to family and friends. Making sure I am not putting pressure on myself. Taking things slow and being conscious.
Amelia Baker, Cofounder of Blonde Mamba Productions – London, UK
My biggest tip is to look at everything you’ve shelved in the past year: things you said you’d get round to, books you wanted to read, or things you wanted to watch when you had time. Go do it! Now’s the time.
Selena Strandberg, Founder/CEO Know Your Vote – Washington, D.C.
Keep it all in perspective! Due to the nature of my business, I had spent much of the winter, heads down, inside my home office. I was already feeling stir-crazy and was looking forward to spending the spring outdoors, traveling and reconnecting with friends. This is clearly not going to happen now – but… it’s okay! It is what it is! In moments when I feel stir-crazy, I remind myself that I am resilient, safe, and healthy, and so are my friends and family. For now, that’s enough.
Camila Fernandez, Singer/Musician – Guadalajara, Mexico
When you know you’re going to be seeing the same faces, in my case all four of my siblings, every day, I would recommend to avoid getting in trouble and follow your own path. Overall just stay clear of fake news, take good care of yourself and your loved ones and make sure to help spread awareness to those who are not taking this world pandemic seriously.
Shelley Hu, Program Coordinator for Berggruen Institute China Center- Beijing, China
Sometimes I’m so stressed that I escape by wrapping myself tightly with my duvet and just sleep. My friends and I stress each other out with information 24 hours a day. After a few days, I decided to mute my WeChat group (an app we use in China, similar to WhatsApp).
Ramy Majzoub, Senior Project Manager at Banking Transformation – Beirut, Lebanon
Get out of your pajamas and shower! Waking up every morning at a set hour, showering, and dressing up can boost your morale and productivity. You can even dress up and put on a shirt from time to time, but I recommend avoiding the suit and tie. And make sure to drink wine – just not for breakfast.
Victor Garcia, Writer/Director – Barcelona, Spain
I believe it’s time for us to be human beings again. With all its flaws, of course, but always keeping in mind we belong to something much bigger than ourselves, we belong to a huge community of millions of people all over the world and we need each one of them to survive. Who knows, maybe this will make us all stronger and wiser, maybe this will change the world for good… history will tell I guess.
Bradley Millstein, Stand-Up Comedian – Toronto, Canada
My biggest fail for sure is today, my 30th birthday, and literally NOTHING to do. Everything I planned cancelled. All my backup plans? Canceled. The reservations cancelled. Elton John tomorrow night. Cancelled. The trip to LA my girlfriend was going to surprise me with…canceled. Better luck next year, Bradley
Lucas Bravo, Actor – Paris, France
Well, the other day, after 10 days in isolation, I started singing and dancing in my living room to avoid losing my sanity. By the end of the song my entire building was at the windows clapping and banging pans.
I went to the window and bowed.
It was quite satisfying.
Till I found out the next day that every day at 8 pm everyone goes to the window and claps in support of our doctors and staff working hard to save thousands of coronavirus patients….
The amount of digital sharing has grown exponentially. In fact, in a lot of ways, I feel I’ve made deeper and more lasting friendships since the quarantine than ever before. It’s really inspired me to work even harder on getting Analogue out into the world and I’ve loved how my friends have been able to use it to share content virtually together and discuss articles.
Eugene Simon – Actor, London, UK
Yoga and meditation have really helped me. [I’ve] been pretty amazed by how my mental health is so much more positive after doing it. It gives me a time where I can be a human being rather than a human doing, especially when I have a head that craves accomplishment and productivity.
Take the phone of the hook, open a YouTube video on yoga (I like ‘Yoga with Kassandra’) and meditate afterwards.
Veliz Matas – Family Friends, Tucumán, Argentina (translated from Spanish)
We’re a big family (6 total) that lives in Tucumán, Argentina. Being in the house all day can be challenging, but early on we decided to make the best of the situation and do everything we couldn’t normally do because of work or a lack of time. Moving about the house, painting, fixing stuff, family games, conversations with laughter and shouts—out of nowhere, we’re more together than ever before. We’re hopeful that all of this will pass and we’ll come out of it as better people because we’re getting to know and love each other more.
Organize yourself with tasks around the house, like cooking or fixing stuff.
Work on some creative projects.
Cultivate feelings of tolerance throughout the day.
Don’t abandon fitness.
And have fun!
What not to do during quarantine:
Be totally connected on social media.