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  • Writer's pictureJoanna Pantazi

Even a Lockdown has a Silver Lining

This pandemic is transformative.

Just like any experience of loss, pain and change; it transforms us all in some way, whether we like it or not.

It may even be bringing something out for the better in all of us. Take a moment to consider this: it is a worldwide situation that touches us all.

A public health issue (really an issue of life and death, if you think about it) has the power to somehow unite everyone at the same time, just for a moment shift the division between humans- and remind us of our mortality and the value of this great gift called life.

You are probably afraid, worried about what’s going to happen, isolating yourself at home.

You are probably looking inwards, introspecting, contemplating, wondering how this plot will exactly unfold.

You may be even panic buying, stocking up, getting paranoid- and that’s ok. You’re allowed to feel fear. You’re allowed to feel you are not in control.

You are being reminded to just pause, take a break, be proactive, look around you and within you and just BE.

This pandemic is an exercise in mindfulness and gratitude.

Suddenly you come to realize the importance of your loved ones, how much they mean to you, how much you worry if they will be alright; you care so much that you may even NOT go to visit them and stay away , to protect them and yourself too.

Suddenly it appears to you that you do care about others and others care about you to, you are looking to come together and cozy up at home.

Suddenly you get insights about necessary sacrifices you are making, ones you'd never considered you would have to make before, but now they come without a second guess.

Suddenly you discover that those mundane things that you have to do at home and normally you’d procrastinate over and be bored to even try getting started, take a new meaning and can even be experienced as enjoyable.

Suddenly you are reminded that life outside of your predefined, automatic, even a bit robotic responsibilities does exist, and it can feel rich, gratifying and enlightening.

Suddenly you realize that, despite the empty shelves at the supermarkets, there is also compassion and humanity.

That despite the fear, there can be love too.

Suddenly you grasp that this surrealistic experience brought up by a strange new virus, a threat to your abundance and well-being, has actually lots of silver linings.

This morning I came across this beautiful poem / creation by someone in Ireland. It moved me so much and brought some calmness and warmth into the apprehension, fear and distress that has been the default in the last few days.

So I wanted to share it with you, with the hope and intention that it can brighten up your day too, just like it did for me.

I hope it inspires you to just take a moment and reflect about the gifts of the current epidemic for you.

Use this opportunity to contemplate about what really matters to you.

Stay healthy and take care of yourself!


Lock Down

Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.


They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise.

You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet the sky is no longer thick with fumes.

But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi

People are singing to each other

across the empty squares,

keeping their windows open

so that those who are alone

may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland

Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know

is busy spreading flyers with her number

through the neighbourhood

So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples are preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.

All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way.

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality.

To how big we really are.

To how little control we really have.

To what really matters.

To Love.

So we pray and we remember that.

Yes there is fear.

But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.

But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.

But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.

But there does not have to be disease of the soul.

Yes there is even death.

But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic

The birds are singing again

The sky is clearing,

Spring is coming,

And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul

And though you may not be able

to touch across the empty square,


- Richard Hendrick (Brother Richard) in Ireland, March 13th 2020

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