The End of Quarantine – What Have We Learnt?
By Azka Javeria
Life was normal, and then suddenly one day it was announced that markets, schools, cinemas and all other ‘normal’ activities would be shut down for an undetermined amount of time. We could certainly not survive that way right? Yet here we are.
Things are going back to normal, but the thing is, is normal really good? Let’s look into what this quarantine taught us.
- It identified for us our needs and wants
Reflect, what places were closed and which were open? Cinemas? Shopping Malls? Jewelry stores? Supermarkets? No. The only places open were medical stores and general stores which offered food and water – at least for a month of strict lockdown. You could find clothes and slippers as well but they were not branded. Does it not make it clear what we pursued as our need and which of our common activities are wants?
- The importance of family and healthy relationships
You know who found this quarantine most depressing? People living alone, or people living with their family but not having a healthy relationship with them. In our normal busy routines, routines in which our homes had become merely a place to crash in for the night, we never really got time to sit and talk or just cherish each other’s silence. Then quarantine came along and forced us to meet our family members. Most of us realized that the persons we lived with were actually pretty good people, they could listen and talk and share their opinions. We discovered what a reflective conversation was like, we learnt to communicate even when silent. Those of us who have people at home, imagine the people living alone, listening to death tolls alone, checking their temperatures in the initial days of panic, having nobody to talk to about their fears. Now, thank Allah for being amongst the ones blessed with family and friends.
- The potentials in me
Most of us changed for the better this quarantine. There was at least one positive change that we inculcated in ourselves. We learnt new things, we realized education wouldn’t stop even when schooling did, we established healthy routines, added in some exercise, established prayer, found enough free time to read the Quran. There was at least something that changed. And is it not a sign of what we on our own selves are capable of? There was no extrinsic motivation for us yet we did something positive because we were capable. Allah has given us the power to do good for others as well as for ourselves.
Now with everything going back to normal, when meaningless distractions are yet again becoming a part of our everyday lives, let’s not forget what we have learnt. Let’s promise ourselves to stay wary when going on a trip to the market or the mall. Let’s always remember to ask ourselves ‘need or want?’ whenever buying something from now on. Let’s take out some time every day to sit with our family, to get to know them better, to listen to them, to talk to them. A practical solution for this would be to decide a time by mutual consensus of family members when all members will come together, without their phones or other devices just to sit with each other. Lastly, let’s not wait for outsiders to give us a reason to make a good change, let’s be our own motivators, our own reasons for betterment. For what can be done once, can be done again, and usually it’s a lot easier to keep it consistent.