Thandizo Kawerama

Life as we know it has changed completely. Things that were once normal and part of our everyday routines have been taken away from us. Going to school, commuting to work and grocery shopping amongst other things have suddenly become activities you need to think twice about. The lockdown has changed everyone’s routine and has forced us all to slow down. This means our priorities have changed and things that were once at the top of the list have suddenly shifted or disappeared. Though it might be unfamiliar and even a bit scary, I don’t necessarily think that forced change is a bad thing.

We have all been forced to rewire our brains and do things in different ways, and as a result people are working more creatively. Communication with our bosses, teachers, friends and family has changed drastically. People are using methods we never could have imagined or previously wouldn’t even have trusted.

Problems are being solved using new angles and I think that’s amazing. Who knew that the virus that would make us scared to touch each other would revolutionise the ways in which we connect? We’re all being forced to evolve in one way or another. Looking back, maintaining the same routines might not have been the healthiest thing to do. Growth requires change and boy, did this virus and lockdown bring change. I am definitely not the first to suggest making a good thing out of a bad situation but I believe we can all use this opportunity to reevaluate our priorities and make some tweaks to our lives for the better.

For a very long time, many of us were told what to do by our immediate superiors, and sometimes the fear of not getting things done on time served as the drive to get a job done. Making sure you don’t miss your alarm, beating traffic before work – these were activities we participated in not just to complete tasks but to make sure that we didn’t mess up our pre-set systems. Now the everyday rituals that gave structure to life have suddenly disappeared. I won’t lie – it’s quite unsettling. Realizing that that the routines we’ve about can disappear in the blink of an eye puts our real values into perspective.

The lockdown has also forced us to be in spaces with the members of our households 24/7. Housemates are now jokingly being referred to as coworkers. While it’s nice to find some humor in the situation, I personally think it’s nice to see everyone performing tasks outside the usual domestic lens. I got to witness my mom deliver a lecture over Facebook live for the very first time during the lockdown. It was refreshing to see her in action. Seeing your family outside of their ordinary tasks can bring a new sense of respect for them.

The lockdown has really forced us all to see things in a new light. Some of what mattered before doesn’t have the same urgency anymore. What felt certain before isn’t concrete anymore. So as we all wait for the lockdown to come to an end, I think it would be great if we all take the chance to think about what really matters. That way, as we wait for the green light to get back into our routines, we can also prioritise the people that matter and the goals we’ve been putting off.