It is a strange time. I am working from home as a precautionary measure against the Coronavirus, 36 weeks pregnant, with a hyperactive toddler who is off nursery for the same reason.

I have ordered extra supplies of frozen food, shelf food, water, and toilet paper, just to feel in control — I suppose. Not panicking, although there is a heavy cloud of uncertainty and mild fear looming above us.

How long will this last? Will we be able to contain this ‘pandemic’? In this day and age, with amazing advances in technology and science, how are we living with the threat of a pandemic!? Isn’t that just for the movies? After the Spanish Flu, Swine Flu, and Ebola, how are we not prepared for this? Or are we?

Country borders are being closed, flights are being suspended, people are being quarantined, governments are asking for self-isolation and social distancing, people are losing jobs, businesses are closing, stock markets are crashing, and hospitals are having to choose who to help and who to let die. It’s so surreal. We have read novels about this, watched movies about it, but you really never expect to be living it.

Yet we are. And all we can do is stay home, keep washing our hands, and stay positive. A harsh reminder that nothing is guaranteed in life. That the carpet can be pulled from beneath your feet at anytime, with no notice. That you could be living your best life with your family; staying healthy, having a stable income, a cosy home, savings, plan for the future, another baby on the way…and that everything can change over night.

In extremely simple terms:

Best case scenario, we will get passed this over the next few months, life will continue, and we will be prepared for other such pandemics in the future.

Worst case scenario, the world will not be able to cope and while survival of the fittest will prevail, the next pandemic could wipe everyone out.

In both cases, life as we know it will change, and this virus will be written about in history books for humanoids.

Of course, the situation is more complex than that; scenarios are plenty as are conspiracy theories, but the underlying point seems to be one: no-one really knows.

But it does make me wonder even more so now: What does the future hold for us? What kind of world will my children grow up in? What will they live to see? How long will they live? How can we prepare them? What do we need to change in our day-to-day living to be able to cope with the vagaries of this situation? What really matters today, when we have no idea what tomorrow brings? Who can we trust? Is there anything we can do to stay in control of our lives, to some extent at least? Do we live in a matrix of sorts, just waiting for someone to pull the plug on us? Will we get a red and blue pill to choose from once they find a prevention or a cure for this virus?

I suppose, pandemic or not, these questions are valid. Yet we are able to park them on the side and live with a vision of sorts, a purpose and optimism. Why then is it so hard to park this pandemic on the side?

The fact is, no-one has answers to any questions. Looking for answers is futile. The virus has slammed the breaks on life as we know it.

What we can do though is embrace the break. Stop and reflect on who we are. Be the best versions of ourselves. Appreciate what we have. Stay clam. Love those close to us. Be kind to those around us. Remember that every moment alive and healthy is a gift that we must make the most of every day, no matter what situation is thrown at us. We can’t control anything, and will never be able to. Worrying doesn’t change anything. But, hope and optimism can manifest into good things.

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