There is so much floating around the internet right now it's nearly impossible to keep your head on straight. Couple that with being told to self isolate and I can only imagine the number of people writing their own version of the end of the world. It's easy to ignore because it's ambiguous. It's easy to think you're not at risk because your're young. It's easy to ignore the numbers. It's easy, as the below image suggests, to sit on the couch for a few days. The truth of the matter is though, nothing about COVID19 is easy.
Social Distancing: a set of nonpharmaceutical infection control actions intended to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease.
Living in Daegu South Korea, the "epicenter" of the outbreak and one of two special care zones here, I've become quite familiar with this phrase. We've been encouraged to limit our social exposure, avoid public transportation and many large events have been canceled, including Sunday church services, concerts and festivals across the country. We receive frequent texts from the government reminding us of best practices and encouraging us to stay strong, but not get complacent as the number of infections here begin to decline. While I've been living this reality for weeks, it is only just beginning for friends and family back in the United States and other parts of the world.
March 8 - 14 is deemed "Americorps Week" as a time to honor both the programs and participants who have served since the inception of the program in 1994. While it has been eight months since I completed my service term with the Southwest Region, there remains a lasting impact from the time I spent serving our country. The most obvious comes in the form of friendships, individuals I did not know a year and a half ago I now eagerly watch for updates, as they continue doing amazing things. From my ATL [Assistant team leader] who has now become a Team Leader with in the North Central region, to fellow team members who are now serving with or about to embark on an adventure through service in the Peace Corps. There are others who have returned to "normal life" as we so call it, but I have no doubt that service still plays a role in their daily routines.
If I asked what the first day of spring smells like, would you know the answer or understand the feeling? I walked out of my apartment yesterday to temperatures nearing 60 degrees and the sun shinning. It wasn't necessary to hide myself under my long padding (I know that's Konglish, but for the life of me can not think of the English equivalent) and I couldn't help but feel alive. Korea, Daegu specifically, is currently dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak, and while the media has sensationalized the severity of it all, the last few weeks have been painted in gray. This could have compounded my happiness for the sudden spring day, but more than that I felt a pang of nostalgia, memories of childhood. Am I alone in this, or does everyone else rejoice in the world coming back to life at the first smell of spring?
Emptying my Head
I'm an overthinker, my brain is always on overdrive. Sometimes the thoughts are pertinant to life, and other times they're just a trove of wonder. They're usually about, related to or in memory of travel. When they're good I like to share.