Looking at my calendar I have realized two months have flew by since the lock-down first began. Two months of nothing but bliss; hours spent in the comforts of my own home reading, writing, and discovering new music. This isn't the case for everyone though. As I reached out to friends across the world, I have discovered that their view of self-isolation is vastly different. Depending on their Government and laws their experiences are varied, rightfully so, as the conditions of the corona-virus differ from country to country. For some of my friends, their shops and restaurants remain open, while others have informed me that they haven't left the house in months. As I continue to listen to their varying tales of their lock-down experiences, I start to wonder if some people's ability to cope with the lock-down are dependent on their personality trait or attitudes towards life. After all, I am currently living at home with my family and I have noticed that everyone is losing their minds except for myself. They long to go outside, to shop, to go to restaurants and walk around the city streets, all the while, I am perfectly content cuddled up in bed with a good cup of tea and a well-faded book.
I have been told a daily routine is the best way to keep up your spirits during this period of lock-down. There are some people that wake up early and carry out an intense workout. There are others that sleep in late and move from their bed to couch to turn on Netflix. I've also heard stories from some friends that it feels like normal life to them, simply because they bravely go to work everyday as if life had never changed since the outbreak of the corona-virus. In truth, I feel indebted to them, it is the bravest and noblest thing to do. We should be grateful for their bravery, for it is those people that ensure we have food in our cupboards and a mode of transportation to go to our "essential" workplaces. As I sit here, wrapped in blankets with headphones over my head to drown out the noise from the outside world, I begin to wonder if I have used my time efficiently. Indeed, I have watched television shows on Netflix, but they have been mostly historically educational drama's such as RTÉ "Rebellion," which depicts the extraordinary times that brought forth the birth of a nation, that is the Republic of Ireland. I have picked up a few books over the last two months, and although they are generally things I have read before during my undergrad or peaceful warm summer days, I reminded myself that to become a good writer you must fill your mind with new words and ideas on a daily basis. John Keats "Selected Poems" is a tiny, frail-like book I keep in my leather satchel whenever I do venture out the house to take a nice stroll along the smooth trails near my house. When I am not reading, I naturally pick up a pen and scribble a few poems of my own to pass the time away. I continue to work on my next book I intend to publish, which is a medieval fantasy novel that deals with the issue of fate, destiny, and whether we as human beings must bend to those rules, or do we have a will of our own?
This lengthy time of self-isolation has allowed me to publish my first book on Amazon Kindle, which is Cursed. I wrote this romantic horror story at the end of October, within a span of five days. Seven months later I altered it a bit more, and published it online in the hopes that it will reach a wider audience. Consequently, this time of self-isolation has been a blessing in disguise for me. I have the ability to write at anytime of the day, without being distracted by my other obligations such as school and work. In essence, these last two months feel more like a dream than anything else. I know it is a hard time for everyone, and yes, I have felt pouts of loneliness and dissatisfaction with life as well. I have experienced good days and bad days, especially when I lost a family member to the virus a few weeks ago. This period of self-isolation isn't easy for anyone, even I can admit to that. All the same, I would encourage you to find a hobby and use this time to improve upon it. Make a goal and set a daily routine to achieve it. Do something that makes you happy, so when this is all over you have something to show for it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel; we just have to take it day by day.
- Peter Gray