There is a lot to learn by reflecting in stillness. Unfortunately in our busy lives, we don’t often take time to be still and reflect. This time of forced stillness gives us all an opportunity to do that. Sometimes it’s painful, sometimes joyful, but in the end, we come away with a better understanding of ourselves. Hopefully, we take that information and do something constructive with it.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting. In the past few days, I’ve reflected on my last writing, My Anticipation Addiction. As I reread it, I noticed what a great place of privilege I write from. The things that I miss and even the things that I’m learning to appreciate are all gifts that come from a privileged life.
During this pandemic, the differences in race and class are being further pronounced. While we are all in this together, the differences in how we are having to maneuver through it and cope are stark. While I didn’t write about it in my last post, that doesn’t mean I’m not aware of it. I’m retired with retirement savings, so the financial impact has not bothered me. I am in the house with my husband and our house is large enough for us to have private time when we need it. We are healthy and do not know anyone as of yet who has been ill with the virus. While our families are not with us and we can’t travel to them during this time, we can talk with them regularly or see them through technology.
Many people live alone so the isolation can become unbearable. They don’t have access to technology. Here in Morocco, people live with extended families in modest homes. The lack of privacy is probably maddening at times. They can’t find the stillness. Many have lost their jobs, or worse, a loved one to the pandemic. Finding money to feed their families or time and a place to grieve for a loved one isn’t easy. Some don’t even have homes to shelter in. Health care professionals and employees of groceries, pharmacies, and other essential businesses go into work to keep our lives comfortable, at very high personal risk.
Every day, I wake up with gratitude knowing that I am safe inside my home, I have money to buy food and pay rent, my loved ones are safe and secure and I am with my husband, my best friend. In this stillness, take some time to reflect on your position in life. What are you grateful for?
This is quite right. We are definitely privileged and for most people the reality is much, much harder. Most Tangerinos are packed inside small apartments with a lot of other relatives in loud, noisy, cramped neighborhoods. If you look at Google Maps, you’ll notice that there are enormous working class residential neighborhoods in Tangier, away from the beach or downtown area. The outskirts are where the majority live and the homes are quite modest and full of people. If you ever go to Marjane you’ll drive past rows after rows of apartment buildings similar to what in America we’d call “the projects.” Not a nice place to be shut down in at all!
One thing I can definitely tell you is that there are plenty of people out and about, and many of them are not wearing a mask properly. Some have no mask at all. Quite frankly, some people are ignoring the lockdown and enforcement against that is sporadic.
You said you haven’t left your building in 2 months. If you were to go out for a walk with Ben, it is very unlikely that you’ll get stopped or questioned. Officially only one member of the household can go out, but in practice enforcement of that rule is weak. Especially in the rather upscale Iberia neighborhood, it is quite unlikely you’d have any trouble. Speaking of priviledge, the cops are often much harsher and strict with residents of working class neighborhoods as opposed to more upscale neighborhoods.