I want to reflect a bit on feelings and thoughts arising in me around a response to pandemic in general. Whether or not a flare-up of a community acquired virus is in your specific region like the state of emergency in my region, we all cannot escape information about coronavirus/COVID-19 everywhere over the past few months. Listening to front-line healthcare workers talk about preparing isolation rooms and protective equipment, powerful emotions arise in me. Not only have I experienced the scariness of pneumonia five times, but I have spent time in negative-pressure rooms, not allowed to leave for weeks on end, needing to ask for even a glass of water to be brought in to me while caring for my daughter during an illness.
My ability to knit inside that isolation room actually saw me through, gave me something to do, to feel a sense of focus and purpose and control over one little stitch at a time when everything was so shaky. (Reflecting now, I'm not sure why I was allowed to bring in my knitting in the first place, but I never left the room, and in our situation I was). And thus, my own trauma history arises.
Emotions over my past quickly move outwards, bringing to mind all the millions of lives impacted around the globe now. I cannot help but think of a massive shift taking place where we are all forced to consider what our personal habits' effects are on other people, and many levels of coordination are happening among different groups of community leaders that I've never seen happen in other ways. If I wash my hands and cover my cough, am I preventing another person from suffering? Many folks are understandably feeling fear of unknown, of uncertainty of how big this will get, how long it will last, how it will change our day to day in longer term. And just like any illness, a virus does not select us based on our political or spiritual belief.
Personally, I am feeling protected and profoundly grateful, when I consider I have been able to earn a living working from home for over a decade. I am also low income, so I don't have much to lose during economic shifts. But I do live in proximity to other people. And this got me thinking how we are in this moment being forced to consider other people and our interconnectedness all around the globe. In addition, one side effect of entire cities limiting human activity as usual is massively lowered dangerous climate emissions. And that brings to mind whether there may be ways we can pause some of our activities all the time without collapsing economies, needing to live as shut-ins, and still have lighter impact on the Earth.
Profound lessons can be learned from these times, acknowledging our common humanity, our vulnerability, and tremendous power we all have to shift our thoughts and behaviors and be there for one another in need, humankind's greatest basic instinct in times of crisis.
Staying close to the wealth of nature and making with my hands bring me greatest joy and comfort. You can find me on Instagram as @waterwomanknits, and on Ravelry as Waterwoman-Knits. My fledgling Etsy page is WaterwomanKnits.