As the Coronavirus spreads across the globe, we find ourselves in unsettling times. But it’s teaching us that we are all connected – all part of one big family. This virus has no passport or nationality, and it doesn’t care about your skin color or your politics. Happily, nations are beginning to come together to share information and to try to save as many lives as possible.
Most of us have never seen times like these, and the situation changes daily. In the UK the prime minister gives us an update every evening, and as the scientists learn more, we are asked to adjust our habits and lifestyles.
At this time in London we are advised not to go out unless it’s necessary and, of course, to keep a “social distance.” Restaurants, pubs, cinemas, and theaters are closed, and London streets are strangely empty.
One concept we are becoming familiar with is isolation. It’s also referred to as lockdown, quarantine, or confinement. Basically, we are being told to stay home in order to keep ourselves and others from spreading the virus.
This isolation is easier for some of us than others. Being an introvert and a writer working from home, it’s not much of a change for me. My husband, on the other hand, thrives on mingling with others. I think we are in for an interesting time…
We are so lucky to be living in the age of the internet where we can all still be connected even if we can’t be together physically. Lots of people are able to work from home and we can still have virtual meetings. In fact, we may even find that some of those business meetings we attended were unnecessary.
Many people will have to work from home and take care of children who are out of school – so their time of quarantine might be quite hectic. But for others it could be a time to quiet themselves a bit and be creative.
In 1665 Cambridge University closed because of the plague and sent its students home. One of those students was Isaac Newton. While he was sitting home waiting for the plague to run its course, he came up with the beginnings of calculus and the theory of gravity.
During a later plague in London, all the theatres closed down and Will Shakespeare had time on his hands. He used his free time to write Macbeth, Anthony and Cleopatra, and possibly King Lear.
So, no pressure…
Many resources have been put online for those who need to keep their minds busy.
- Take a Course: Open Culture gives you access to 1,500 free online courses from top universities. Click here for free courses.
- Visit a Museum: Here are 12 famous museums which offer virtual tours. Click here for museum tours.
- Watch a Performance: If you’re missing going to the theatre, check out these London stage productions now put online. Click here to see London shows.
- Read: There are endless choices of reading material online. Here is a list of free eBooks and audio books. I might also humbly suggest that there are lots of interesting stories on my blog, CuriousRambler.com. And you can also have a look at my books.
- Learn French: If you or your child are learning French, you might like this. Camille from French Today is offering a free download of Classic French Tales until April 15.
While we are going thought these trying times, let’s remember to thank those who continue working to make us safe and keep society running. Thank you to all the health care workers, emergency service workers, delivery drivers, supermarket workers, and many more.
Coming Together While Staying Apart
Even though we have social media and can stay in contact, it’s still not quite like actually seeing and hearing someone. It was so moving to see videos of the Italian people in quarantine who all opened their windows and began to sing and play music at the same time. They were showing their solidarity while still keeping their distance and protecting one another. It was a wonderful idea.
If you are looking for some timely social distancing songs to sing throughout your time of quarantine, have a listen to these. They get the message across with a laugh.
Stay well and keep safe,
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The notes on how Shakespeare and Newton spend their time when in isolation due to epidemics made me laugh. Must get off my duff and get productive!!
Don’t feel too bad, Elaine. Newton and Shakespeare didn’t have Netflix or Facebook – If they had we still might not know about gravity… 😉
The leisurely studies during the plague laid the foundation for everything from gravity to calculus. That emphasizes making the best use of available time- your only free but limited personal resource.
Hopefully, we are all using our confinement time well – probably not as well as Newton did – but as best we can. I enjoyed your article about Five Lessons from Newton too: https://fivelesson.com/2020/04/25/five-professional-lessons-from-newtons-scientific-career/ Thank you.
I also hope so. Thanks for reading and liking my article 👍
Great to receive some positive news, thanks for sharing and keep safe!
Thank you, Caroline. You stay safe too.
All the Best, -Margo
What an amazing piece and explaining In simple terms of how we must step back and reach out to others. Huge change is happening in my business, you can take it and run with it or get left behind! You choose, another fantastic read, Thank you Margo
Thanks, Alan. Glad you enjoyed it. These certainly are interesting times and we all have to adapt and find new ways of doing things. It will pass and I’m sure we will learn some valuable lessons from it.
All the best to you and your family.
Thank you Margo for putting this together – the resource section looks really good. There are also a lot of Symphony Orchestra performances from all around the world on YouTube and the Australian ABC website now has Performances as well. Thank goodness for the Internet in these troubled times.Keep safe, Paula
Yes, we are so lucky to live in the age of the internet – there is an amazing amount of free resources there.
I think I’m going to need to find some exercise videos, because I’m just sitting (and eating). That can’t be good.
Stay in and stay safe, -Margo
Amazing advice to think on how to be creative at these point of time.
Yes, we are lucky to have so many online resources at this time. We can learn or be entertained while we wait for these troubling times to pass.