Existence is strange in in-between times. There is a sense that you must keep moving, that you can’t rest. They are transitions, going from one place/moment/mode to another. It is the threshold, not the place you’re going to, or the place you originated from. The liminal moment is the doorway, not the house, or the outside.
Under normal circumstances, I enjoy liminal moments; sitting in an airport at 4am drinking an iced mocha because the coffeeshop is the only thing that’s open in the airport, sitting in the car in a parking lot for a few moments before heading inside, looking at the quarter vending machines while waiting for your friend to to finish using the restroom.
Quarantine under COVID is a liminal moment.
It feels like life is simultaneously on pause and barreling forward.
The spread of the COVID19 virus changed the way we live life in a dramatic way. We were forced inside, for our own safety and to help slow the spread of the virus. Proximity to others became a danger, and for many, a new source of anxiety. This new coronavirus is deadly and the ease of containment depends on how well people follow testing, distancing and self quarantine guidelines. The general feeling was that quarantine was temporary, that would will get “back to normal” soon. However, time have proven that quarantine won’t end anytime soon.
While existing in a liminal space, there is a sense that nothing really matters because it is simply an in-between, not an actual space. It’s easy to let the time slip by. It’s easy to put all our focus on the future and what might come next, instead of focusing on the present. You might even find your mind wandering to the past, wishing we could go back to the way things were. Sometimes, we do these things so much that we forget about the here and now.
Quarantine is frustrating, people are getting restless. For many, this is the first real moment of uncertainty in their lives. It may also be the first time they needed to be so careful and restrained.
Instead of fighting against strange times, I suggest leaning into them. Do all the small random things you thought you would never have time for before. Even if it seems like life is very limited right now, it’s better to live in the moment rather than just waiting for the future to happen.
I miss going out. There’s a lot that I miss. But this is life.