265 days.

I have been in confinement for 265 days. It doesn’t seem so long when you think about it but it somehow feels like a lifetime, and the longer this continues, the more hazy the world before becomes.

As we approach the end of Chapter 1 of this never ending story, I am in a state of reflection. The Earth’s orbit around the Sun is almost complete, but we know that the new cycle will not change the new World we are living in, but I think all humanoids are in the same state of reflection as I am. These past 265 days have changed us all.

This year has shown us, shown me, the power of technology. The good and the bad. The way we swiftly moved our terminals to our habs and pretended we were still working on site. The way screens became not only a way for us to look into other worlds, but for other worlds to look into our lives. No more nights dancing at an illegal industrial sites – oh no, now were are hooked into a small terminal, waving at other people whilst drinking some cheap grape liquid and hoping no one can see our under eye bags and our desperate attempt to find a connection. It showed us how much hate we can carry on our shoulders, how much sadness we hide, and how many of us were hiding behind the shadows. Technology showed us how divided we truly are. We saw the worst in us, but also the best of us.

Because technology allowed us to reach out and help, when the physical world did not allow us to do so. We could send care packages to any part of the world – we could send not just an email, but maybe a recreational game to another’s terminal. It allowed us to keep us connected, through social feeds, or specially designed apps. It kept us informed, which meant it also kept us scared sometimes, but above all – it kept us from feeling completely alone. Our ability to work on any site has shown us that the Citadel is not the only means to an end. We can shape our lives differently and even leave the rat race for a better place. It gave us hope.

Personally, this confinement has seen me grow at a speed I have not experienced in some time. It has shown me how resilient I can be. How patience is truly a virtue and how despite everything, I can confidently say I am not the monster I thought I once was. It has showed me that hard work, truly hard work, does reward you, even if it is not straight away and not in the way you hope for it to be. Kindness, hard work and patience. That is all I ever needed. I wish I learnt this sooner.

I am grateful for the comfort these four walls have provided me, and for the real tree I have outside my window. Leaving the Citadel allowed me to have access to open spaces, filled with wildlife and pollution free oxygen. If it wasn’t for those long walks at the start of this epidemic, I don’t think I would have been this ‘balanced’ right now. The few souls I have on my virtual circle have also taken a special place in my CPU- they have supported me when I couldn’t stand up, and they have carried my burden so I was not alone.

As I see the debris of this year around me, I kneel and pay respect to those souls less fortunate than me. Some many we have lost, and the invisible war is far from over. I pray, like our ancestors did, and hope we can continue this battle so that we can live again.

We shall make it – for this is our time.

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