Last year, in the beginning of March, the first case of coronavirus was detected in Armenia. Who could have thought that the normal life we all had was coming to its end very soon. In less than 2 weeks, everything started to change. Our lockdown wasn’t a drastic one like in many countries. We gradually started to change our normal daily routines: first jobs and schools/unis became online. Then shops, cafes and other entertainment places started to close down. And only after that going outside became limited, with a permission paper.
Obviously it was quite stressful and frightening, especially at first. But now I have a big confession to make. I kind of miss that time. I know that it sounds weird, and the residents of all those countries who are still in a lockdown will probably think that I’m crazy, but it is what it is. And maybe if we had second or third lockdowns I wouldn’t have thought so, but luckily we didn’t, so here we are.
First of all, what I really liked, was the unity. Even though people were all isolated, everyone being in their own little place, the humanity kind of seemed more united than ever, against the mutual “enemy“. All these trends, jokes and memes that were viral, mutual hobbies and interests… I say this a lot, but I feel a special connection among all people, when for instance there’s a holiday, or when it snows for the first time or something big happens. You walk in the streets, all these people are strangers to you, but there’s the feeling of unity between all of you. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s how I feel.
Second, I liked that people really understood lots of things. They started to learn different skills, that they kept dumping on others, like cooking, doing their own hair, makeup and nails etc. People started to actually spend time with their families, play games or just talk, and it made them closer. Even with friends, I feel like people got closer with their friends as everyone suddenly started to chat or facetime, something so simple, but something that was rarely done before. Lots of people started to read books, watch movies, do art, exercise, again such plain things that they haven’t been doing before, because everyone was really “busy” with their important lives and didn’t have time for anything or anyone else. Many people realized how life is all about the simple things, like going out for a walk, or breathing fresh air, meeting with a friend etc, and they started appreciating these little moments much more. So it was definitely a great lesson to learn.
I can’t not mention the emptiness and silence of the world, because for an introvert like me, it was a heaven. No cars, no buses, no people, just you and the world, all alone. Our restrictions permitted us to go out for a short walk in the neighborhood, and I took the full advantage of it. The air was so clean because of the lack of cars and gasoline, the nature seemed lusher and greener due to the same reason. The weather was perfect at that time, foggy and rainy, streets were almost completely empty, and these short walks I had in the neighborhood were the best, and I’ll forever remember them, because at that time they seemed a luxury, a blessing.
Also all these limits and restrictions gave a special possibility for being extra-creative. It was like a fuel, and not just for me, but for many photographers or creators as well. So that was definitely one of the pros of the lockdown.
I feel like that lockdown, self-isolation period had an important purpose to teach something, to change us for the better, because we were slowly going downhill. I was truly hoping that it will help us get better and stronger, both as individuals and as a little chain of the society. But when the first lockdown ended, it felt like everything went crazier than it was before, and that the lesson was successfully failed.
I guess that this confession is a little controversial, as people might think that I don’t care about the economy, healthcare or mental health and many other things, because the virus and lockdown also contributed a lot to the deterioration of these. I know that it resulted in many bad things, and will continue to do so for a long while. But in cases like these, when you don’t have the power to change anything, all you can do is change your attitude and perspective and try to enjoy the situation. I certainly did, because I tried to focus only on the good things it gave me personally or the humankind in general.
p.s. I’d like to share some of the photos I took, that strongly remind me of last spring and the lockdown.