To the one that got away,
Spring 2020, you will be remembered as the one that got away. A bittersweet limbo between anxiety and relief in the backdrop of a global crisis: anxiety due to the coronavirus pandemic, relief for discovering time to slow down and experience another rhythm to live life at.
When you brought us the lockdown, you showed us the two faces of freedom: the one that was taken away and the one that we gained. While our liberty of assembly and physical movement was restricted, we instead discovered an abundance of time and the flexibility to manage it however we pleased, relatively unburdened by societal responsibilities.
As it often is the case with the moments spent with the one that got away, time is suspended. These months in an alternative spatiotemporal reality were unique, they will never be recovered, yet they leave memories and lessons that we will carry on with us into the future.
You represent our experience of living and interacting virtually, the time when our senses were disturbed. We saw, heard and spoke through computers. Technology was already central to my routine, but lockdown exacerbated my dependence on the internet. What makes humans feel alive are the five senses, though. Touch, taste and smell, are things that are impossible to recreate, things that got away, things we will rediscover instinctively.
Despite privations, you were also a relief from our ‘outside’ obligations, a pause to introspect and a collective break from our day-to-day. A time in which all those trends I won’t even name because we have heard, even tried, them all – some accelerated and others died.
I will look back on you and remember the spring that made us prioritise. Does anyone really care about fashion, celebrity gossip and influencers? The shift from caring about appearances to caring about feeling good in one’s skin is definitely positive, as is sorting through friendships and strengthening relationships.
Maybe, once the lockdown is eased and you give way to summer, the changes you brought, the alternative reality you made us aware of, will be reversed; maybe it will live on. Despite all the events that were cancelled, we did live through an eventful time in history that put everything into perspective.
The world is slowly moving on: death toll headlines are replaced by protests shaking cities and politicians’ indiscretions trening on social media. When it is all over, we will remember you as the fleeing three months that got away.