The new ’normal’

Sulayla Ismail, Grassy Park

Letter from a reader.

Sulayla Ismail, Grassy Park

The last few months have given all of us a wake-up call. There is no such thing as normal anymore. Normal left when Covid 19 arrived. Normal was when we only focused on Me, Me, Me. Now, on the flip-side of the coin, we found, We and Us. We found that this new normal is a whole new different ballgame. And, strangely, although it’s been extremely tough on each one of us, we have found a new way of looking at life, of looking at each other and wanting to make a difference, not only in our own lives, but those of our neighbours, family, friends and even strangers. You know the saying, “less is more”? Yes, I know it sounds very cliche, but we have all found that it’s exactly what we needed.

Remember when we said, “I wish I could spend more time with my family?” Wish granted. “I wish I didn’t have to get up to go to work?” Wish granted. “I wish I didn’t have to go to school.” Wish granted. “I wish I could spend the holy month without any distractions.” Wish granted. Be careful what you wish for, it might just come true.

The Almighty listened and answered our prayers. But, oh my, what a price we had to pay. And are still paying. And we really needed this time to enable us to appreciate this world with all its gifts and bounties. We have almost destroyed our planet, and I guess our Creator decided to test us. Test our patience, our strength and our courage. So, how have we been doing during this test? I don’t know, the test is still ongoing.

Our children need us as parents, caregivers and guardians, to be the role models who are kind, strong, loving, giving, who have empathy and sympathy, so they too can practise what we have not only preached but also lived.

Many of us have lost loved ones, family, colleagues and friends and our hearts are filled with sadness and grief. This has been the most traumatic experience we have ever had to face. The most difficult trial during this time though is not being able to be with loved ones who are left to face death alone at the hospital and we are not able to comfort them or say farewell. Even at the janaazah or funeral there is no feeling of closure. Just a vehicle with a loved one’s body inside! It’s like a scene from a very strange movie but it’s very real. This just breaks one’s heart and leaves one with a painful sadness and a strange emptiness! My thoughts and prayers are with those who are struggling to come to terms with their loss. May the Almighty place peace and contentment in your heart.

We have a haunting fear of Covid 19, and we have been extra careful, taking all kinds of precautions, sanitising, wearing our masks etc., but some of us still tested positive. How could that happen when we were so diligent? A question we should never ask is, “Why me? Why did this happen to me?”The question should rather be, “Why not me?” What makes me different from anyone else? We are all the same. We might be different races, colours and cultures, but we are all creations of one Creator.