Start over?


Where do we start?

Actually, let’s start at the end. The end is today, 20th of March, a very uncertain Friday for me personally as I sit in my new room somewhere in Hamburg, Germany. The statistics for Germany are sprinting towards a number in the 20.000 range. I mean cases. Of COVID-19, the potential culprit for the apocalypse of humanity. Unprecedented.

Let’s not go there yet. At the moment, I’m listening to piano classics and I feel like curling up into a ball and crying. For whatever reason, for all the reasons. A few hours ago, I was hemming my long curtains and baking soft gooey chocolate chip cookies. Yesterday, I was doing yoga for hours, listening to the soft beat of my heart, thinking about how we are all flesh and blood yet we get through almost everything.

Last week, I was jogging outside in the sun. Those were some sunny days after a long, rainy winter. It felt like renaissance, this time of the year. Trees were sprouting. The month before, I was moving to a new room and spent days scouring for secondhand furniture. I loved assembling stuff from IKEA and putting the ceiling lights up. It is indeed the magic of manual labour, the gratifying feeling you get to touch and feel the time and effort you spent.

End of January, beginning of February, I was home. Hanoi. I was home for Tết. I spent three weeks in the arms of family and friends. Stuffing myself up with delicious food non-stop. Feeling at ease to wake up next to my brother, Kun, and to the sound of Dad – our human alarm clock. Every single day, I woke up without knowing what is ahead, yet I was always excited to go on with the day to find that out.

The very last day of the lunar year, there was a storm. Lightning and thunder and all that. Trees were uprooted, the streets were flooded. My family was busy with end-of-year preparations: cleaning the house, cooking the last meal of the year, lighting up incense sticks for our ancestors and last but not least, taking a family photograph.

Tết Canh Tý 2020

On the spectrum from realistic to superstitious, I would always deem myself as the more realistic one. Yet, looking back to that stormy night, I can’t help but find it eerily suitable for a rough start to this decade, especially to this year.

“2020 is gonna be our year” was virtually what everyone I follow on Instagram was saying. If we were to say it now, it would be a very dark joke. Given the situation, we might as well hope that 2021 is gonna be our year. Or to be sure let’s say 2022. For now, we need a lot of hope. Do I still believe in the Law of Attraction? Yes, one hundred per cent.

Right now, let’s think about how nature is thriving, Mother Earth orchestrating the most joyous concerto ever. Last night, before going to sleep at 3 AM, I heard birds chirping outside my window. Not to mention the family of squirrels in our backyard, the crystal clear water in Venice, and amazingly clear air in Beijing. What if our existence as homo sapiens does not conflict with Earth aka the most hospitable host?

The 93-year old Italian sociologist Franco Ferrarotti predicted:

“I believe that when the crisis is over, we will see an enormous return of vitality and the desire to rebuild. Just like at the end of the war, there will be an incredible explosion of vitality throughout Europe.”
“This will be a fundamental, positive experience of life, of coming through the crisis together. For Europe, and, I would say, for all humanity.”
“From a psychological point of view, there will be a great desire to get going again. to work and celebrate. The second half of the year will be full of professional appointments, social events, concerts, the desire to go out. There will be this spring effect. We want to scream to the world that we’re back after this ugly adventure.”

Interview with ARD Studio in Rome

So here we are, Friday 20th March 2020 and the world is in shambles. Call me a pessimist, or is realistic optimist a better description? I am amazed how such a melancholic experience is making people communicate at higher frequencies. Empathy, encouragement, empowerment.

Maybe, just maybe, this is for the better. A better outcome depends solely on our actions today. Social Distancing. You have probably heard it too many times. It is not the only solution, but it is the most doable one for each individual. Please, for the sake of everyone and everything you love, stay at home and avoid unnecessary social interactions.

As closing words, my condolences to people whose loved ones were defeated or are fighting the battle.
My most sincere wish for us all. May the Force be with you.

Until we hear from each other again, try not to read the news too often.

The day will come, and we will all dance together again.

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