Despite the negative effects of covid19, social media is overflowing with posts from people using this quiet time in an enriching way. There are posts about people now being able to spend more time with family, in the garden, building furniture and reconnecting to things they enjoy doing most. These activities seem more possible now that the typical day-to-day obligations of modern living have been slowed.
Adrian Raymond, 46, from Woodbrook, a communications professional and publicist, and lover of TT culture, said being in quarantine has taught him more than he anticipated.
Newsday: How are you feeling about the spread of the covid19 pandemic? Is it scary for you?
Raymond: The pandemic is scary. This is not anything I ever imagined I would have experienced in my lifetime. The social constructs on which our daily lives were built have completely paused.
I am as much worried about the virus spreading and what impact it might have as I am about the social and economic implications.
In all of it, however, I remain hopeful that the human spirit and ingenuity will help us all to adapt and overcome what is the biggest challenge of our time.
Newsday: Have you experienced a major change in your daily routine?
Raymond: I am a social person.
My day would usually begin at 5.30am when I would head to the gym. It would then be work, then a half-hour walk for exercise.
On weekends I’d have brunch and go to the movies, which means I do like going out.
I am also affectionate. I love hugging my friends, kissing my mom, granny and aunts and chatting with my neighbours.
However, since covid19 became part of our reality my life has become like a song on replay. There is no room for spontaneity. I have become very methodical where my days now include cleaning, exercising at home, then I’d clean, shower, clean, do some work and clean again.
I now eat at set times and set aside time to check up on friends.
Like most of the population, I’d imagine, my TV viewing time revolves mostly around the daily press conferences for updates on how the pandemic is being managed here in TT.
I find myself looking forward to chatting with my friends even more via WhatsApp and even better, through a good old-fashioned phone call. It's amazing how much you miss hearing the voices of your friends and colleagues
Newsday: Is there anything you have been able to do now that you didn’t have the time to do before?
Raymond: I have always wanted to draft a strategic plan for my life by writing my goals, objectives and dreams in the short, long and medium term. Now I have the time to be still and dig deep to truly understand the type of life I want to experience.
While writing I realise true wealth is living consistent with inner truth and passion.
This is both professionally and personally – as much as possible. Things like a love life are not always logical or linear.
Do you think you will be able to maintain some of these practices if things go back to an increased pace?
My goal is to complete my strategic life plan before we go back to our “normal” lives, or rather, what is likely to be the new normal. The challenge then is to stay on the path.
The fact that it's all written down, though, is truly powerful, it helps me to focus on the yellow brick road.
Newsday: What do you hope others will take from this time of silence?
Raymond: Everybody is different. Some people just want to get through this period with their lives. For others, it is going to be a financial struggle, which can add to stress levels.
Overall, I hope people will come out with a greater understanding of themselves and the people who matter to them.
I hope parents enjoy this time with their children and couples will appreciate each other more. I hope more people will work through issues they have been putting off.
This slower pace gives us a chance to form closer bonds and even develop new friendships. I hope this will bring us all closer in some ways and inspire us to never again take for granted the things we love.
We will get past this, of that I'm sure. When we do, I'll remind myself every day to extend even more kindness and patience to everyone with whom I come in contact.