The Age of Lockdown

CC: Portswigger.net

From state-wide California lockdowns, Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots, and seeing my local cafe owner break down in tears, I experienced lockdown through the lens of a local and global scale.

It could be described as the black swan event that unpredictably changes history’s course.

This is a reflection piece synthesizing several pieces I wrote between 2020 and the present day. These experiences reflect my time across the US and Mexico.

TLDR: I hope as a collective we keep evolving, adapting, and deploying more compassion from this experience.

Understanding what others are going through

This was the largest privilege check for me.

Growing up in Australia with certain education and living standards (i.e. healthcare access), I was accustomed to my government taking care of me. When 9/11, the 2007/2008 GFC, SARS, EU Bailout, or Brexit happened I personally did not feel the consequences.

COVID-19 was the first global impact that had affected me on a personal level. I was unable to leave the house after moving to a city where I knew no one, my job was affected, and eventually had to move countries. It was a hard pill to swallow.

Being from Australia, I was oblivious to the consequences of these world events. We are quite shielded from reality. However, after experiencing the events of COVID-19 and the impact it had on a personal level I started to understand its gravity.

I was a bit frustrated after this realization but it is a natural process as I can only see the lens of the world with what you know and experience.

I also started to feel the gravity of the situation from local and nationwide news in the US. From seeing the high amount of job losses, hearing of secondary connection deaths, and seeing my local cafe owner break down due to the economic ramifications, it was a period where the world was hurting and still is.

It helped me try to put myself in the shoes of others who might have it worse than me. This was reinforced by the conversations I had with struggling families in Mexico.

We are essentially the same, but we are all going through different experiences, some worse than others.

Resistance

Life will never be the same after the events of 2020.

Who would have thought nation-states would have their citizens stay indoors and masks would become an everyday necessity. But this is from the lens of resistance.

It’s natural to fear change we are not prepared for.

We do not like to deal with drastic changes because we want to prepare and reduce the pain associated with this. But this is how we as a collective have grown.

Every piece of history has gone up against resistance. It is difficult to define what is ‘better’ or ‘worse’ but if we did not embrace change, there would have limited progress.

Life is about the sum of great highs and lows and everything else in between and we cannot assume that everything will be a constant high/positive. That is a false narrative that we want to strongly hold onto but is far from the truth.

We cannot control all the circumstances in our life.

Solace

For the most part of 2020, I stayed indoors. My social interactions were limited to talking with my housemates and the handful of Zoom calls with other friends.

During the initial weeks of lockdown, there was a lot of resistance to not being able to resume my ‘normal’ life. To go out, to socialize, and to have new experiences. It was difficult to understand that this lockdown was a new experience in itself.

I spent over eight months in US lockdown. Then seven months in Mexico without any prior Spanish. It was not easy but I learned a lot about myself and attribute it to a time of large self-growth.

It is rare to get a year or two to just think and be comfortable with yourself. Tough but rewarding.

Objective Truths

Everyone wants to be right all the damn time.

From high-level orders on what is the best protocol to roll out lockdown initiatives to social discussions on what is the best vaccine.

Things would have been easier if we had central truths founded upon science and data as opposed to political agenda and Wuhan bat conspiracies. A lot of confusion and lack of mutual understanding was created because of fractured sources of truth (i.e. media). I believe the past two years would have been less painful if there was a decentralized and unbiased media platform.

My friend imagined a world where we had three columns on a decentralized newsfeed.

  • Two columns for each political view: the left and the right.
  • The other being science.

This would allow people to be more informed of multiple perspectives before we speak our ‘truth’.

The Future

2020 will be the decade of COVID.

It is necessary to swallow the pill that Work From Home (WFH) is a reality, masks are essential and anti-vaxxers are kind of idiotic.

However, on the flip side, it is most likely a once-in-a-lifetime period where we as individuals and a collective can reflect on what really matters in our lives.

Stay well and take care of yourself and your loved ones during the age of lockdown.

Tom

You can usually find me on Twitter :)

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