The first month of Turkey's battle with COVID-19 recently came to an end. Turkey is among the lucky countries that were able to delay the entry of the disease into its borders. This delay presented us with a fortunate opportunity to learn from other nations’ experiences, challenges and successes. Since its arrival, decisive measures have been taken in a timely manner and as necessitated. This weekend’s lockdown should come as a wake-up call that such measures may need to be implemented by the state at any time. We should be prepared mentally and physically to tackle this virus head-on.
The great thing about being in Turkey is that we can be sure that our personal needs will always be taken into consideration. One such decision by the government was to provide masks free of cost, while many nations, including those in Europe, are unable to take such measures. In fact, citizens are unable to even purchase masks because of shortages. There are functional delivery systems in place for water, food and now even bread, leaving no excuses to go out unnecessarily.
As we hear the news of other countries losing their grip on the situation, let us remember that the pandemic reached them much earlier and their citizens have been confined to their homes for months now. Turkey is still in the early stages of the game and so we just need to hold on to our sensibilities and be calm and cautious for the time being and in the days to come. So, let us remind ourselves of the many reasons for choosing to stay at home:
Doing it for the planet
The bottom line is: there is a worldwide pandemic that is highly contagious and can be life-threatening to certain members of our society and the way to contain it is to practice social distancing and self-isolation. Yes, we can literally save the world by staying home and watching TV, read the social messages spreading as fast as the pandemic itself. It’s true, it is a simple solution and the best measure we can take right now; it’s pretty fantastic. All we need to do is stay home and we can stop the virus from spreading any further. If you are among the lucky ones to have a home to bunker up in, then this should be something to feel grateful for. Furthermore, knowing that staying at home will prevent the pandemic from spreading should come as a sigh of relief.
Doing it for your family
Whether you share your home with your family or not, the actions we take as individuals will affect your family members. Not only do we need to stay home to ensure that we do not become carriers of the virus and infect others, but our choices can also serve as stellar examples for family members and can inspire them to do the same.
Family members that are miles apart are also reconnecting through technology in the comforts of their homes. We are realizing the importance of staying in touch with our friends and families and also how enjoyable and easy it is to build bonds despite barriers. Meanwhile, many families with children at home are embracing these times as an opportunity for timeless togetherness and connecting in ways that seemed impossible in their busy lives. The mindset is changing for the better as families are being forced to come up with creative ways to spend the day and children are now looking forward to their lessons and eventually returning back to school.
Doing it for yourself
Often, our choices are motivated by the desire to please others, rarely do we think about what makes us happy. Another lesson taught by social distancing is that whatever we do in our days, be it cleaning the house, gardening or cooking, it is a choice that is made to please ourselves, which to most of us is a distant concept. If we embrace it, self-isolation can be an opportunity for us to do exactly what we want, which is hard to come by in the modern fast-paced world. It can be an opportunity for self-inquiry and self-development and an opportunity to figure out what it is we truly want in our lives and for our future selves. Haven’t you ever just wanted to press a proverbial pause button on life? I know there have been moments where I wished I could freeze time simply to be able to catch up with all of the complications and burdens that can pile up in our lives, just like paperwork and excess stuff in our homes. So take out those to-do lists and tackle them, because there may never be a better time than now to just do it.
Doing it for your body
Unarguably, the most important thing we can do right now is work on our health and increase our immunity. As the whole point of the process of self-isolating is making sure we don’t catch or spread the virus, we need to also make sure we are as healthy as possible in case we contract the virus. Thus, this is the ultimate time to focus on our health and on giving up negative and unnecessary habits such as smoking, which will not only make you healthier, but will also eliminate one more reason to leave the safety of your home to buy a pack of cigarettes.
This is an opportunity to establish healthy living practices such as eating healthy food, drinking teas, herbal and otherwise, and exercising, as we now have that time we always wished for. Self-isolation has also forced us to calculate our needs, such as what are the basic most crucial products we require to live happily and how to most efficiently procure them. Many of us are realizing that we don’t need much and that having just what we truly want and crave can actually be more fulfilling, thus self-isolation is truly teaching us the lesson that “less is more.”
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