COVID Chronicles – S. L. Young (original version)

It all came to a sudden stop! All the things that I usually ran to do, achieve, accomplish were immediately put into a different perspective. I never imagined that the world would seemingly pause, be locked in place, and be forced to rethink its existence. Yet, it took me a few days to focus on the benefits of the coronavirus’ impact instead of dwelling on the surreal reality related to the challenges of these moments.

Once everyone was essentially placed under house arrest, the changes were just starting to be realized… and experienced on a deeper level, too. First, it was the decreased traffic congestion. I remember counting less than five cars traveling on a major roadway. Then, it was the reduction of the sounds of people moving around the city. These changes alone made me reflect on the significance of this new, deadly disease that was rapidly traversing the planet. This stillness made me wonder if things would ever be the same.

Even with the love for the craziness of my busy existence, I always knew that Something was missing; it was the absence of balance that was misplaced from my life. It’s sad that it took an existential threat to reshape my viewpoints. Yet, the most impactful moment came during an early morning stroll. As I walked the streets, I was alone in the darkness and breathing the crisp, clean morning air. There were barely any sounds to be heard. The city air smelled like the country winds that carried the beautiful scents of the land. This smell and feeling filled me with calm, joy, and a sense of renewal.

This unbelievable pause was a gift to be embraced, consumed, and appreciated. For these starry-eyed moments, reminded me to be thankful for all the good and challenging moments of life.

This post originally appeared on Arlington Magazine’s website as part of the COVID series.

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