Opinions

Lessons from the confinement

When you’re a child, your whole world is limited to a confined space. But, within those boundaries, exciting worlds unfold.

I remember one day I was running around a playground. I was on my own. It was windy and, for a moment, I felt like I was flying.

I spent years thinking that I had actually flown.

I kept it a secret, though.

Because it just felt like a natural ability, nothing much to brag about.

Now I’m an adult. No more superpowers.

After years thinking that the boundaries of my world might be unlimited, like most of us, I suddenly find my universe constricted again.

Without my superpowers, I’m forced to face the sad reality that there’s very little I can do to help stop this pandemic, other than staying at home.

And, as I grapple with my weaknesses, I watch thousands of families grieving and millions of us struggling. To some, it may feel like the world abruptly stopped spinning.

But to so many others it can feel like it’s spinning faster than ever — or that it simply collapsed altogether.

In this previously unimaginable reality, when strolling around the block becomes the highlight of our days, even the most basic things, like a breath of fresh air, gain a new appreciation.

The importance of our immediate vicinity grows exponentially.

Not just family and friends, but

everyone else

who keeps

life going.

This isolation, while uncomfortable, forces us to realize the existence of other people — even if it’s just to avoid getting too close.

It makes clear that the well-being of our neighbors has a direct effect on our own.

This crisis is scary. But it is also a once-in-a-generation chance to realize that, no matter how old we are, ingenuity and joy can still flourish within the boundaries of a smaller world.

Which raises a few questions: What is it, then, that we have been so urgently running after? And which lessons from this strange experience will we want to carry along?

It’s worth pondering. Because soon enough, we’ll start regaining territory, and before we know it, the whole world will be ours again. And you know how it goes.

Absurd America examines the idiosyncrasies of life in the United States. Follow on Twitter, Instagram, or join the Facebook group.

Sign up to receive Sergio Peçanha’s columns in your inbox as soon as they’re published

More from Opinions:

Sergio Peçanha: For those in need of a smile, a coronavirus love story

Sergio Peçanha: Are cows better represented in the Senate than people?

Alexandra Petri: Can we all agree to just forget this happened?

Sign up to receive Opinions columns like these in your inbox six days a week

We noticed you’re blocking ads!

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker. Or purchase a subscription for unlimited access to real news you can count on.
Unblock ads
Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us