Do you remember what it was like before Corona? Just going to work, to your yoga class or working out in the evening. Do fun things at the weekend, meet up with friends or family. When you enter a place, shake hands with your friends and family with a kiss or a hug. Enjoying a holiday wherever you wanted to go! It was the most natural thing in the world. One of the best things about life in Spain is mingling with Spaniards. For Spaniards, everything revolves around contact with the people around them. With almost every greeting there is a kiss and/or a hug. When our Spanish guests left the B&B, I often received a hug and two kisses on my cheek, as a token of appreciation for the stay. A sign that they had enjoyed themselves, a (heart) warming gesture. Even when you go to the accountant, the greeting is with a kiss on the cheek.
And then there was Corona, at first no hug, no kiss, no more shaking hands. Keep two meters or one and a half meters distance and do not visit vulnerable people. Do not exercise or go to a live yoga class. Many things were no longer allowed or, like here in Spain, a complete lockdown where you were no longer allowed to leave your home at all. If we just followed all measures now, we would get the virus under control, I thought. And indeed the situation improved, we got more freedom again and eventually the borders opened up. We were allowed to receive guests in the B&B again. Of course with conditions regarding hygiene and interaction (keeping your distance!), But it felt great! In my opinion, everyone did their very best to secure the regained freedom by obeying the rules. On the beach, measures had been taken to ensure that people had more distance from each other. At the restaurants they had invested in separate packaging for oil and vinegar, pepper and salt for the guests and for the cutlery. The tables were far apart, there was gel everywhere to disinfect your hands. Also at the shops, which were all allowed to reopen. So it went well!
But unfortunately the virus flared up again and we were all in the second wave. Everywhere you saw that governments started to implement stricter measures to get the virus under control. And so we headed towards the holidays. The virus has been controlling the world for 9 months now and is disrupting everything that was part of our normal life. The vaccines have been available for a few weeks and we can be confident that we can now overcome the virus. Can’t wait for the post Corona era to begin!
Slowly but surely people’s stories are coming about what it means to them to be barely able to socialize with friends and family for so long. Or that you have been working from home for more than six months without direct contact with your colleagues. Then it turns out that all contact via social media is not real after all.
I also miss the normal contact with B&B guests and my yoga ladies, there is nothing spontaneous about it. You are always aware that you have to keep your distance and certainly not touch anyone.
Conversations with colleagues via Teams sometimes feel as if you are just talking to each other in person, especially when it is in a smaller group. I think that does help against the hidden loneliness in this Corona time.
Even more important, if it is not possible to keep in contact in real life, keep in contact by telephone (video or ordinary) because that is the maximum possible direct contact. And when it comes to greetings in the real world, if you do bump into each other at the supermarket then I am reminded of the greeting that we always do in yoga. Your palms together at the height of your chest, you look at the other, say Namasté and bow your head. By looking there is actual contact and by saying namasté you indicate “I recognize you, you are the same as me, we are one”. A gesture of greeting and respect. The latter cannot hurt in today’s society.
I hope the Corona time is over until then, Namasté!
And even if we can hug and kiss each other again, I hope that this idea may continue with a greater reach than only during the yoga class!