Amidst the chaos and unknown, COVID-19 has brought solidarity to people from around the world to fight for a single cause. Doctors and nurses taking care of patients, business owners closing down their livelihood, students finishing their studies online, parents having to attend to their children in isolation. The world has quickly changed before our very eyes. Wherever you are, you are assuming some responsibilities for your well-being and the well-being of others.
That is why the Campaign for Human Responsibilities has put together a collection called the Confinement Diaries. Written by global contributors, our intention is to share people's perspectives from all over the world on responsibilities in line with our Declaration for Universal Human Responsibilities’s four pillars: change, choices, capabilities and community, in several different capacities. Each perspective is unique, and together, shows how all individuals, globally and close to home, are contributing to the collective good in doing their part to combat COVID-19.
We welcome you to read, share and contribute in this historic period of time.
Ever since the confinement began in France, I have been writing down a few words daily to remind me of the most special things I did each day. Whether it is something I cooked, something I watched on TV, something I read. It has become a sort of daily ritual to process and soak in everything I have experienced thus far. It might become a habit to be extended way beyond the duration of the confinement.
That being said, I felt the need to explore feelings rather than actions, because I have been flooded with them for the last few weeks. Therefore, I’ve decided to share some of the things I have been feeling during my quarantine.
I feel dazzled by the exuberance of nature reclaiming its space. It has been a humbling experience to appreciate what is so often taken for granted; the singing of the birds in the morning, the transformation of the neighbor’s garden during spring, or even the sheer pleasure of taking a moment to absorb the energy from the sun. I start wondering if this unprecedented scenario will be enough for us to build new ways of living, more harmonious with the Earth and the natural life within. It must.
I feel energized like never before by all sorts of artistic expressions. I’ve rediscovered drawing and colouring. I’ve listened to a lot of music and came across new groups or old ones that I had already forgotten. I’ve danced and moved my body to all sorts of rhythms. I’ve watched a great deal of movies, from cartoons to documentaries. The confinement has pushed me to better appreciate cultural heritage.
I feel inspired by the work of those who have to keep on working and risking themselves; from the medical staff all the way to the bus driver, the grocery store employee and so on. The sudden overflow of visibility and recognition these professionals have been receiving should serve as a reminder for all of us to appreciate their work at all times, as well as the fundamental role played by teachers, whose impact has equally been revalued during these times.
I feel reinvigorated by the love I’ve been getting from family and friends. I have the impression that the physical distance imposed by self-isolation has been counterweighted by a greater need of being closer to the ones you love. I may never have been this close to my family in Brazil, but recently, we have been spending at least a few minutes every day exchanging words and feelings. I have weekly conversations and interactions with several groups of friends, old and new. I may be isolated in my 22m² apartment, but my heart surely feels crowded.
I feel more in tune with myself. The social isolation has imposed long moments of silence and spirituality. Along with that, I feel constantly intrigued by the whole situation involving the pandemic crisis, which has led me to think deeply about several aspects of my life and daily actions. This contributes to an increased feeling of mindfulness and self-consciousness, which is something that should be seized to propel a personal and collective transformation from this moment on.
I feel more than ever like a citizen of the world. The fact that people from different countries, rich and poor, have been exposed to a common global problem has reinforced this sense of global citizenship in me. Even though we already share some really sensitive problems as a global community, this pandemic crisis has been an extreme illustration of how we are all the same, in essence. People from every continent are experiencing the same fears and anxieties in the face of so much suffering and uncertainty. We are all vulnerable in our shared condition of human beings; now and forever.
That being said, the Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities states that we have the responsibility to “live a life which is sustainable for the planet”. That might prevent us from having to experience ever-growing humanitarian and health crises.
I feel the necessity to take ownership of this immense challenge we face. What about you?
Tomás Neves | April 28, 2020
The views expressed in this entry are solely the responsibility of the author.
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