I am aware that whatever immediate physical reality we have thus far created (many may argue we don’t create it all re: ‘privilege’ and ‘colonisation’, and that for some it is inherited, I may argue this some days also), but whether we have consciously, unconsciously created it, our physical reality is what we are living with, and it is starkly different from house to house.
Is my house warm and dry, cramped or spacious, beautiful even, is it conducive to joy? Is it like being on holiday OR not?
How many children do we have, or not? How old are they?
How many pets?
What’s our garden like?
Do we have a woodland, or waterway /beach in our bubble, to be soothed by or are car lots, footpaths and roads our open spaces? Are we breaking the ‘rules’ to find that peaceful natural haven that others are ‘more fortunate to have’?
Do we have ‘stuff’? Open ended playcentre-like games which allow our kids to play, books, puzzles, board-games, places and trees to climb (in our backyard) or did we rely on the plastic taped FREE playgrounds, other people, school, libraries…
Do we live in/with a safe or loving relationship?
Are we lonely or relieved to be able to retreat?
Are we about to give birth? Are we about to die?
Can our family care for us, and be with us during this time? What of palliative care? How would we feel if the hospital or rest home said we can’t stay and be with our loved one in their last days, for their last breaths?
Can we say goodbye to someone? Can we celebrate their life as a collective? Can we collectively mourn?
Can we cook? Have we relied on takeaways, restaurants, convenience food?
Do we live in a community – ‘It takes a village to raise a child’?
Do we live alone? Are we parenting solo? Are we coping?
Are we uplifted by the people who live in our house?
Is the gap between the privileged and non enlarged at this time or in seclusion are we flattening the curve of those who have more and those who have less?
How comfortable are we to be with our children 24/7 without others? Have we ever done this for 4 weeks straight? What consequences will this ‘social experiment’ Rahui, this physical seclusion bear?
Those of us working from home, are our employers sympathetic to us also parenting our children without their usual nannies, grandparents, kindergartens, schools, after-school programmes, neighbours, friends…
Has our workload decreased OR increased?
How are our children?
How much time are they having in front of a screen?
What are they ‘downloading’ from the adult(s) around them? How are the adults coping? Are they coming together or moving apart?
Do they think Mum or Dad is going to die?
Who do they blame?
Who are we blaming?
Are we blaming the VIRUS? Covid-19. The thing many of us are frightened of.
Are we blaming the people who ‘aren’t following the rules’, the travellers, a certain culture from a certain land, the government, someone’s lax-ed rules, the people who aren’t coping the way we’re coping, or doing what we would do?
What are we learning from this? When we need to go into a similar time of physical seclusion, Rahui, will the conditions be the same OR not? Why?
Photo credit: Unsplash Cristian Newman