As I write this an unprecedented number of countries are in lockdown. Quarantine, curfews, self-isolation, panic buying toilet paper, hand sanitizer and guns have all become the new normal. A few months ago, who would have imagined the extent to which national health systems would be stretched to breaking point by Covid-19? We are living in truly extraordinary times.
I have been following the coronavirus outbreak with mild terror since it first appeared in the news and on our screens. I'm ashamed to say that previous epidemics, Sars, Ebola, swine and bird flu passed me by. No such luck with this latest deadly incarnation. Europe is now the epicentre of a global pandemic.
Here in Switzerland, where I have been living for the last 15 years, a state of emergency was declared on Friday 13th March. Schools, universities, bars, clubs, restaurants, non-essential shops, and sports centres shut down overnight. As a born-and-bred Londoner, it was surreal to see the country grind to a halt so efficiently. Typical Swiss.
As well as a wedding, an MOT, hairdresser's and dentist's appointments, the new social distancing measures have put paid to my beloved dance classes. I live alone and work from home. My local fitness centre is my sanctuary. A kind of urban mountain chalet. It's an escape from the four walls of my flat. My happy place.
When I am in the dance studio, the energy in the room lifts me up. The music pumps through my veins like blood. As a group, we move together in unison, flowing effortlessly through the choreography in perfect time to the beat. Body, mind and soul fused to perfection.
Dancing gives me superhuman powers, like the comic-book character Wonder Woman who spins around on her heels before transforming into her alter-ego. I become invincible, a fearless warrior single-handedly pursuing my dreams and saving the world!
Under house arrest, enforced isolation has sent me crashing back to earth. Old memories of sadness, and loss, regret and disappointment have resurfaced, haunting my days and my nights.
At 9pm every evening, applause rings out from balconies across the neighbourhood. It's a way of showing thanks to the medical staff working on the frontline in the battle against the spread of coronavirus.
When the (temporary) loss of my dance regimen gets me down, I think about the real-life heroes selflessly stepping up to the plate and going above and beyond the call of duty in the face of a global health crisis: the epidemiologists searching for a vaccine, the doctors and nurses risking their lives to save others; supermarket staff maintaining our food supplies; cleaners and public transport workers. They are the backbone of society. Without them, we wouldn't survive the biggest threat to humanity since Hitler and WW2.
Until we make it to the other side, why not share what we are passionate about?
What helps you to thrive, at the best of times?
A Moodscope member.