It’s been a long time now since the astronauts started getting locked up for months, far away from their families, deprived of comfortable bed, delicious food, bike rides in the park, walking beloved dog, holding romantical partner’s hand, playing with children on the playground, drinking coffee on their balcony or porch, and to top all that deprived of gravity. They do it all for science, having no issue with that. What is more, they feel honored and special since not everyone can become an astronaut. We, on the other hand, cannot sit at home for several weeks to save health and lives of our close ones. We have got food and treats stocks, Netflix on our laptops that we take to our beds, hot tea and technology that allows us to see and hear our close ones, even being alone at home. By sheer coincidence (if the coronavirus pandemic might be called a ‘coincidence’ only) we have become astronauts of our own spaceships. It is up to us how we discover the ‘new world’ and in what fashion we come back from this ‘cosmos’.
There are different types of astronauts, with different education levels, they have different tasks at hand during the mission, finally there are different planets and space object to be explored. Similarly, there are different effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the associated quarantine. Some drink and are violent, some get depressed and lonely in fear of contracting the virus, but there are some, on the other hand, who turn the home quarantine into creating and creativity – they write poetry, manufacture handmade objects, compose songs, read books, do crosswords all thanks to them working remotely, or not working at all. So what does it bring?
In some households women have never cleaned windows, arranged wardrobes, or vacuumed books on the shelves that often. They have more time to properly clean, to cook, bake, crochet. There are some who recently became parents and thanks to the remote working can care for their babies full time, which was not possible at least for one of the parents before. It turned out that school and university education is possible online and while the beginnings were difficult, 21st century offers possibilities, unseen during the Spanish flu pandemic for instance. However, not everything is so rosy…
There are households, where people live like being in a cage with tiger. The tiger being violent household members, alcohol abusing and starting fights. Until recently victims could flee the cages at least during the day, now they have to stay there for 24hours a day. Entire days, weeks and months. Suddenly, almost overnight, families of five are closed on 40 square meters, without a balcony, where children must go through the whole school curriculum and parents must work remotely. There are those, whose work effectiveness even improved in those dark circumstances no one would have predicted. Currently doctors work their asses off, sweat dripping from their foreheads. Nurses after duty worry if they have brought the deadly virus to their households, keeping them awake at nights.
People wouldn’t be people if some didn’t try to prey on others’ harm and misfortune. For example recently, in Pomorskie region, scammers would come to people’s houses pretending to be sanitary services. Dressed in hazmat suites they entered the apartments and stole valuables while the household members were not paying attention. In other European country the coronavirus pandemic revealed injustice and absurdities towards the poorest and excluded, in France fines were given to people wandering the streets, despite ban, the homeless people. On the other side of the world, in India, drug dealers are in crisis. Frequent police patrols make is hard for them to reach their clients. This is not about lamenting the faith of drug dealers and drug addicts. It is worth noting that due to the above more drug addicts enter into rehab. That is another ‘positive element’ in the surrounding sea of hopelessness. Moreover, paraphrasing the words of sociologist, Krzysztof Pacewicz, one can deduct: ‘ the rich North when exposed to the possibility of death suddenly talk with human voice: let companies die, let business die, health is the most important’.
One might say, that during the winter we went into the calm and routine hibernation in the world we knew. In winter we planned holidays, wedding receptions, met with friends and threw parties. Everything to cope with the foul weather of winter. In spring, however, we woke up in an entirely different world, different reality. Hugs and kisses became human ammunition, not visiting your friends and family and Easter spent at home alone became the acts of love. Isolation loneliness is currently the expression of care. Wildlife continues to grow, nature seems indifferent to the virus, on the contrary – world is full of spring, sunny and beautiful. Smog in cities decreased, lions lay and nap on asphalt roads, previously full of jeeps driving tourists. Only people were put in cages.
Most probably we will wake up in different world soon. In a world where we could freely leave our cages and spaceships for a walk, to meet friends, greeting them with a worm hug, party together, or simply spend time together in real world. This would be the landing of our spaceship on Earth. Our colleague, coeditor, Marta Goluch, offers good advice for this time through the lyrics of the song she wrote: “stay at home so I can caress you again”. We have to realize what is the best cure for the time being, before we are (knock on wood!) hospitalized… Here are some additional lyrics: ‘ we are our own cure (…) just stay at home. It won’t tarnish your halo (play on words in Polish, literal translation would be ‘the crown won’t fall from your head’, crown – korona, like coronavirus), so wait nicely at home and smile at me via webcam’. We encourage you to check the song by Marta Goluch – our MORS radio team member, who is currently a student (on-line of course) but joined us during her secondary school.
The author: Marta Demartin – Editor in Chief of MORS UG Radio
Translation: Adam Myzyk