These Unearthly, Abnormal Times

May 1 2020 Jessica Stokes 5th Year

As the seventh prolonged week of quarantine here in Ireland reaches its conclusion, I have begun to reflect on what the past seven weeks have been like for me. Like most people, when I heard about COVID-19, I must admit it did not really burden me with worries, but the rapid spread of this peculiar disease is what has shocked not only me but everybody worldwide. I always think to myself, luckily our era will not have any disasters to make history, but since this devastating disease has had an impact on the entire world, I stand corrected.

I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, and since the coronavirus has had such a colossal impact on our everyday lives it appears to me that this may be a sign that we need to slow down, take it easy and be grateful for the most important things we have in our lives: our friends and our families. It is ironic how right in these very moments we are only realising the importance of life and how it revolves around one thing, US!  

The one shining benefit for me that has resulted from this entire bizarre experience is the additional but substantial time I get to spend with my dog. Today I counted that between my mom, dad, sister and brothers he went for a total of six walks. SIX WALKS! The comical thing is it was the exact same monotonous route every time!

For the most part, I begin my day with a jog, and living in the countryside makes this so much more enjoyable. I have been listening to a lot of the Beatles music recently, and this entire situation drives me to contemplate a lot about their emblematic hit song “Yesterday”. As Paul McCartney softly sings the iconic tune and reflects on how once his troubles seemed so far away and how he longs for yesterday, it makes me think of our current situation. Our troubles that were bothering us before this unearthly, abnormal pandemic now seem meaningless and irrelevant, compared to the problems we are facing right now. Right now, hundreds of thousands of people are fighting for their lives and are unable to escape this malevolent, callous disease.  

As people verbalize the term “Quarantine life”, it seems so basic, but it can have so many different meanings for each and every one of us. Personally, when examining my daily antics as a teenager in quarantine, I need to stay active and most importantly, in high spirits.  It can be very hard; trust me I know! However, I like to look at it as a challenge that the whole world is facing and, above all, winning. 

Looking at the news, day in day out, must have a negative impact on our mental health. However, for me personally, I have decided to refuse to watch it as I believe that it has been focused on the economic consequences that will impact the world. I completely and utterly disagree with this. It seems that political leaders see this pandemic as a campaign for themselves rather than a worldwide crisis. It makes me ask, Are they merely brushing two hundred and seventeen thousand deaths under a bridge and disregarding them?

On the other hand, the illustrious weather has also allowed me to watch the sunset each night. It has been absolutely incredible, and has definitely brightened and elevated my state of mind every day. I am a strong believer that a glorious sunset is the epitome of fleeting beauty. Just for a rare few minutes, the sky is a spectacle of colour, and then, just like that, it evaporates and evaporates into thin air.