Social Distancing Journal: Day 1

A Monday like no other.

Not since 9/11 has my worldview changed in such a short time. Nothing is certain, there are no timelines, the entire world is shocked, and every life has been affected. We are under threat, and each of us has a part to help fend it off.

With the Coronavirus rapidly shuttering all of the non-essential parts of our lives, I had hopes that by-in-large, my life wouldn’t be affected too harshly. But the moment I woke up on this uncertain Monday morning, my self-centred life would be turned upside down: My gym announced in an email that it would be immediately closing indefinitely. Now it’s on!

My daily routines are the glue that holds my sanity together. After many years of trial and error, each step of my day is calculated to reduce anxiety & decision fatigue, produce energy, enable me to be healthy and strong, and give me brainpower to learn more and react less. As restrictions and reactions to the Coronavirus spread, each of my routines was challenged. I was putting out the fires as they came, pivoting my habits on the fly, but now, it was a raging inferno, and I was overwhelmed. My daily workouts are sacred to me, and now, they’ve been taken away

I work in an office where everyone has their own space with a door. I love my job, and I love my office and the people I work with. I also crave the routine of driving into work and having that buffer between home life and work life. In my wishful thinking, I figured I could still go to work through this pandemic, provided I closed my door, washed my hands, and stay at home if I felt even the slightest bit sick. But we are a responsible company, and after a couple of hours, we decided it would be best if we all worked from home.

All before noon, I thought I lost two of the greatest pieces of my daily routine: My gym routine and my work routine. And while I am not unreasonable, and understand the severity of the pandemic we’re facing, the thought of losing many of the things I do to keep me healthy, gives me the anxiety of how I can remain healthy during an era of sickness.

I get it. My concerns are very first world problem. There are far more people facing far more grave concerns than the lack of a gym and a cushy office. I’m grateful that I have a job where I will continue to get paid during this crisis. Many people won’t. I’m grateful that I am under no direct threat of getting sick when some are dying or are under significant risk of getting seriously ill from this virus.

And that is what I realized as I went for my first outdoor run in 6 months: In times of challenge, when you feel as though you’re losing it all, be grateful for what you have.

As the hectic as this Monday began, it ended silky smooth as most of my days do. Laying in bed, reading a book, I realized that at the end of it all, I am grateful to be warm, fed and safe. And like every other event in life, this too shall pass.

Will life ever be the same? Will we ever get back to our normal routines? Who knows, but if life didn’t have its challenges, we could never be survivors. Survivors are those who, in the face of change and uncertainty, stand up and inspire change in themselves and others.