End of the World as We Know It

Published May 20th, 2020

I am back at my beloved Fairchild Gardens. I have missed it so. It feels strange to be walking around trying to breathe the fresh glorious air, through a mask. Having to follow a one-way concrete path and not able to go off and walk on the earth is a challenge. Nature is so nurturing, I loaded up on it a few weeks ago in Tanzania, soaking up the vibrant beauty in the Serengeti, the wildlife and landscapes, knowing I would need that energy to keep me going once in quarantine back in the States.

This is my first blog since this lockdown to stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus started. I haven't written too much at all as there is so much to say I didn't know where to start. So here goes...

If you have been reading my blogs the last year or so, you may have noticed that I was concerned about our society, both locally and globally. I was writing a lot about how we were losing the plot of humanity, we were moving too fast, like chickens with our heads cut off, making our planet and ourselves sicker in the process. When I first learned about COVID and how it was moving around the world, I was worried...knowing how unhealthy so many people had become - physically and mentally - this type of virus could have a field day with humans in the state Homo Sapiens are in.

For myself, I knew when I was still in Tanzania, I needed to strengthen my immune system even more, both physically and emotionally. I purchased a malaria test and treatment medicine to bring back with me in case I had been infected with that. And I upped my meditation practice, breathwork and yoga to keep myself sane and calm. When I returned home to Miami I worked hard to maintain my daily schedule and rhythm in terms of sleeping, eating, movement and stillness. My curious mind though has been seeking information about where this virus came from and why society has been responding the way it has, and what will happen in the future.

Everyday I think about the people who are suffering from this situation. Of course the ones who are sick and dying, but also the people who have lost their income and livelihoods, all over the world. For many this may be permanent. My team in Tanzania and all the safari guides who won't have clients for a long time, my friends in the States who worked in restaurants or retail shops that are closed and not likely to return to work when so many customers have replaced their needs with purchasing them online. I know how fortunate I am to be able to do most of my work online, I even taught yoga over Zoom for the first time this last week. But you can't grow food on the Internet. Yes, I've heard about 3D printing food, but I wouldn't want to eat it. I want Mother Nature to feed me.

I do believe this crisis is unprecedented, at least in my lifetime. And, like after 9-11 happened, I see a glimmer of hope for the future. I hope the 'new normal' is very different than the old normal. I hope we slow down, be kinder to each other, eat better, grow our food more sustainably, appreciate more, and smile more…even if we can't see each other through masks, you can see the smile in the eyes.

Ashe

Marjory Stoneman Douglas