The quarantine chronicles: Week 29

Published October 2, 2020, 9:26 PM

by Alex M. Eduque


Alex Eduque
Alex Eduque

As much as a lot got put to a halt and many plans got cancelled, toned down or altered, 2020 to me will always be most memorable. Across the globe, it will be remembered as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which, to this day, remains unresolved. On many different accounts, it is a year where we may have gained some, lost a lot or vise versa. But whatever the case may be, it most definitely put a lot of importance on the essentials and framed our perception on so many different things, and in a multitude of ways. On a personal note, 2020 is no doubt a year of trial and challenges, but it is also a year of new and beautiful beginnings.

Without going into much detail as not to divulge too much personal information, I have come to accept that my 2020 planner – up until the first week of March – has turned out to be the most useless purchase of the year, and plans, no matter how firmed up they were can either push through or changed at the very last minute. It is a year that tested faith on all levels, but that allowed fate to prevail. It has so far been a year where I learned to trust in God’s greater plan, and just know in my heart that while prayer will aid me, get me through and guide me, it is ultimately His plan that will prevail. It is a year that has taught me to appreciate the smallest of blessings and put the greatest care and attention on things I would have taken for granted in the past. It has taught me the very difference between contentment and happiness, but has explicitly shown me as well how one can never be truly happy without being at peace and contented. It is a year where gratefulness is magnified, and grateful souls are most appreciated, and where friendships either ended or blossomed into the most beautiful of realizations. It is a year like no other, and as we enter a new month and the last three of this incomparable year, allow me to sum up my sentiments thus far.

In my opinion, no one can put the year that’s been into words better than Charles Dickens did in A Tale of Two Cities. In his words, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of home, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…” Truly a time of confusion, anxiety inducing and chaos, but one which gave us the leisure of taking a much needed pause and break we did not know we needed to reflect on what truly matters. Undeniably, this varies according to personal experience – it is definitely a more meaningful year to others than some, in the same way that it probably was much harsher to others. Whatever the case may be, even if the gravity of what we all have gone through varies, whatever sentiments we have about this year and whatever feelings or waves of distress came about us are valid. This year has taught me that life is fair, and in the eyes of God, we are most definitely all equal. Some may have the privilege of enjoying luxury more than others, and some may consider themselves more blessed, but in the end, why do we quantify material things? While reality is that it does help make our lives more comfortable, this year, among many other things, has most definitely taught me that what truly matters cannot be bought. It is felt, experienced and cherished.

So as the next three months will pass us by – as quick, or even quicker than the last nine given that the world is beginning to open up again – let us take with us the lessons we have learned during the months of lockdown. While the holiday season may be coming up for some, it will most definitely be a more muted one that what we are used to. That being said, it is most definitely the time to nurture the spirit Christmas brings about and take to heart the months of simple living we lived through this year.