Two months

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Imagine you are drowning. And I’m describing the water.

This is the post you are about to read. If you are looking for something to lift-up your morale, go somewhere else.

Not here, not today.

*   *   *

I’m a positive person. Everyday I wake up with a smile, irregardless of the quality of my sleep. I enjoy life. It’s not a premeditated attitude backed-up by any profound philosophical thinking. It’s just my personality, the way I am and the way I’ve always been.

I love my family, I love my friends, I love my work, I love my cameras, I love my cars. Life for me is beautiful, it has always been.

It doesn’t mean I can’t have my occasional low-spirit speech. It doesn’t turn me into a negative person. And it doesn’t mean I’m in a bad mood. Quite the contrary, I’m in a good mood writing these lines.

Venting out my frustration from time to time is just part of the process of keeping myself happy.

This is what this post it’s all about.

*   *   *

I’m sick and tired of Covid-19. For the rest of the world it started some weeks ago, but for us in Macau it started at the end of January. It’s been over two months.

Two months wearing a face mask everyday. Washing my hands like suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. Disinfecting my hands with sanitizer over 20 times a day.

Two months getting my body temperature checked everywhere, including at the car park where the security guard’s thermometer fails to read my temperature and I have to stand still till it works.

Two months pressing the elevator buttons with my knuckles. Avoiding crowded elevators. Looking suspiciously at people when we have no choice but to share the same space. Judge their personal hygiene standards by appearance.

Two months keeping the social distance when waiting for the lights to cross the street. Kick-opening and elbowing doors at public spaces. Blood pressure going high when seeing people not wearing a mask, triggering immediate thoughts on a Facebook post with aggressive, hate-talk wording.

Two months watching the Government live updates at 5pm every single day. Trying to catch-up on new infection cases. Trying to understand the ever-changing, ever-tightening cross-border policies. Dealing with the implications on business, making appropriate arrangements.

Two months helping and motivating my son with his homework as schools are closed since mid-January, Chinese New Year break. Getting his homework done on time. Printing it. Scanning it. Sending it to his teacher every single day. Filing all the hard-copies and soft-copies accordingly because I’ve decided to do so since day 1.

(My son is doing such a terrific job, by the way).

Two months in which any conversation with anybody seems to be Covid-19 related. Getting worst now because it’s no longer limited to Macau, China or Asia, but a pandemic, a global issue. A global topic.

Two months — and more to come.

*   *   *

Every news, every WhatsApp conversation, every Facebook post is about Covid-19. I’m sick and tired of the wear a mask or not discussion, ignorant and xenophobic comments, hate-talk, netizens who all of a sudden became public health specialists.

Videos from people who are in quarantine and have not much to do. People singing at the balcony, people doing stupid experiments at home. Repeatedly shared across my several WhatsApp chat groups.

I understand people’s desperation locked-up at home, I appreciate them doing this to kill time and keep the morale up.

But everything is a cliché now.

Even my main subjects of interest succumbed to Covid-19. Formula 1 is suspended. Organizers launched a bizarre virtual championship based on a video game with races held at the same dates and circuits where the event is cancelled.

Couldn’t care less.

All football leagues are suspended. No more enjoyment watching my fellow countrymen Ronaldo scoring for Juventus, Bernardo Silva changing Manchester United’s attitude, João Felix starring at Atlético Madrid.

Authors of the photography sites I follow are now dedicating their posts to Covid-19 as well.

Even myself. Measuring Light is about photography, but I’ve been writing about Covid-19 since late January, for which I even created a special category in my blog.

*   *   *

I was having this conversation with my assistant and she told me how she is disengaging herself from this mess in order to keep some mental sanity. Not in an irresponsible way because we still need to be informed about Covid-19’s evolution, but just keeping a distance from all the unnecessary material.

In short, she told me what she’s been doing after work: go home, turn the TV on and watch some comedies.

It made sense to me.

Hence the other day I spent an interesting evening watching Police Academy with my kids. Yes, Police Academy. Because this is not the moment to watch Jean-Luc Godard and have your mind confused with the meaning of life.

We had ice cream and potato chips by the couch, it was time well spent and we had a good laugh.

I mentally made up this list of movies to watch with my kids, mostly Disney classics and other light-heart comedies like The Money Pit or Airplane!. But the key take away here is to extract myself from social media and all Covid-19 related stuff. And try to spend some quality time every evening at home.

This digital detox is a good recommendation at any moment in time, but even more now.

Just keep your phone away from your hands and focus on interesting things life has to offer. There’s no point spending hours consuming the constant trash flowing in social media, Covid-19 related or not.

Meanwhile, I was visiting Thorsten Overgaard’s blog and he has this to say from a recent entry:

“Take note of what means something to you, because in a near future we’ll return to normality, and it would be a shame if we returned to the same normality that the one we came from.

Unexpected circumstances is what we have all been faced with in the last few weeks, and while it can be dark for a moment when it threatens your future goals and hopes, it is also an invitation to rewrite the script”.

I’d be contradicting myself if I keep writing about Covid-19. So I’m closing this chapter of my blog for the time being, unless something really significant happens.

Hopefully something positive, like numbers going down or the arrival of a vaccine that will safe Humanity from this mess.

*   *   *

Measuring Light is going back to photography.

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