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’ 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.
It’s fair to say that this global pandemic has brought about many tragedies. I say that with a broken heart as I know that Covid-19 turned many people's worlds upside down and inside out. It has brought many struggles in different aspects of people's lives and has affected every single person, in some way or another.
I could go on and on again about the struggles faced during this pandemic, and although this overwhelming experience has given myself and others a lot of hurdles to overcome, I want to use this platform to talk more about overcoming my hurdles rather than the hurdles themselves. I want to look at the bright side of this ongoing experience that continues to bring us a new challenge on a daily basis. I truly believe that looking at the positives can give myself and others some hope, something to look forward to and another perspective to hold on to when things get hard.
If you know anything about me, you know that my life has always been busy, busy, busy. Some may say I am a “workaholic” or someone who just enjoys doing as much as possible in a day. I think the lifestyle I have created for myself has its positives, but it also turned me away from other cool things that this world has to offer. I never have experienced downtime or paused my life to take a second for myself. Covid-19 has given me that opportunity to pause. I won't lie, it's the opportunity that I didn't know I needed, until I got it.
I remember my last day of school, Friday March 13. They announced that school will be closed after the March break for an additional 3 weeks. It didn't bother me much because I had many things planned for the following week. A trip to Iqaluit, another to Fredericton. I had many exciting adventures waiting for me away from my home and family. Soon after, all those plans were cancelled and borders were closed. Travel was frowned upon at the time and things slowly shut down.
The first half of the lockdown in Ontario consisted of me crying and feeling sorry for myself. Which, I must add, is something I regret doing, but it taught me a lot. The second half was an eye-opening experience because I made sure to look at the brightside. I stopped stressing about the inevitable and started focusing on what I could do. I finally relaxed and found some new things to do from the comfort of my home, or in the beautiful outdoors.
I went on my first kayaking and hiking trip. I started to workout and cook healthier foods. I worked on how I could be financially responsible at the age of 18 and did some research. I even started working with some cool organizations, such as Citizens Alliance, on a virtual platform. I participated in workshops, and focused on enhancing my resume. I used the time to get closer with my family and strengthen my relationships with them. This was the reset I needed. It was the reset I neglected to make time for or never cared enough to do for myself, until I had time to do it.
Don't get me wrong, this pandemic is one that will affect our lives for years; one that will soon be in history books and one that we all will tell our children about. As a senior graduate, this was the last thing I wanted to happen. I wanted to walk across the stage on June 26th, 2020 and go to my prom on June 30th, 2020. I wanted my last days in high school and to get closure with proper goodbyes to friends and teachers. Those days of the pandemic were the hardest; to imagine what could have been on those days isn’t easy, but I managed just like my peers.
This isn't something we can change right now; it isn't something we can go back in time and undo. My one piece of advice to everyone would be, make the best of it. To look at the bright side makes this situation a lot easier to deal with. Master the art of adapting to the situation.
Amina El Sharif | August 6th, 2020
The views expressed in this entry are solely the responsibility of the author.
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