Love in the Time of Corona

By Postdoc Opal Huang

The nationwide shutdown in Denmark due to the coronavirus outbreak was not entirely unexpected, observing other European countries’ trajectory of mounting infected cases and deaths. The first few days was unbearable, with the overwhelming amount of news on the media brewing into fear and anxiety in isolation. The unflinching reality of the spread confronted me to make a decision to either live drastically different or perish with fear. After a few days of struggles, I started to build structure into my life at home, and gradually, life has grown to be more spacious. I can breathe again.

A playful collage by Opal, that imagines if Gabriel García Márquez had written about Corona, instead of Cholera.
A playful collage by Opal, that imagines if Gabriel García Márquez had written about Corona, instead of Cholera.

I believe this is the critical moment that we, as a society, have to start cultivating a love that is considerate, informed, and objective. The first is self-love, which is taking care of our mental and physical well-being while being connected to the world and our loved ones. A love for our friends and colleagues in the community where we are, by keeping social distancing, while in support of each other. Respect for our frontline medical professionals who risk their lives to keep us safe, by heeding their urgent pleads for safety practices during this outbreak.

With this in mind, I implemented a routine balanced with different elements in life for myself and with others that motivates me and keeps me focused. I hope you could find parts of it that is relevant. Here it is:

In the morning, I wake up to ‘Morgensang med Phillip Faber’, a live singalong program hosted by Phillip Faber, the chief conductor of the DR Koncerthuset Girls’ Choir. It usually starts with a warmup, followed by a singalong of 2 well-known Danish songs. Adding a meditation session, I start my day feeling fresh and positive.

Opal Huang in a yoga pose.
Opal Huang in a yoga pose.

After morning work hours, I find myself spending more time preparing nutritionally-balanced meals. I also schedule brisk walks to Fælledparken after lunch, while practicing social distancing. Having refreshed myself, I come home and play some piano before starting my afternoon work session.

After dinner, I finally turn on the news to keep myself informed of the current situation, but set a time limit. Normally it is followed by video chats with family and friends. For evening entertainment, to my delight, I found virtual tours of many world-renowned museums offered by Google Arts and Culture project, and also many concert pieces recorded and offered by DR Koncerthuset.  A slow down before heading to bed is a 20 mins yoga session to get a good night’s sleep, until the next morning, when I have to brave the world again.

I believe we can all practice the love for ourselves through such self-care routine, the love for each other by staying apart while connected, and the respect for our medical workers for their sacrifice by honoring their advice. Please continue to share your lives through social channels and platforms, and keep our community healthy and safe.

Published by

CBMR Communications

Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR)

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