copyright: TETE (Tomasz Tomaszewski)
How do people who are passionate about sports and education, who believe in the need for constant growth and development, and who trust in team spirit, react to the COVID-19 pandemic? Do they now do things differently than they did before the pandemic, and will any of these new habits stay with them forever? How did COVID-19 affect their daily lives, and how are they dealing with this “experiment” we are all living? Have they learned anything new, maybe this has become an unexpected life lesson for them? What do they wish for themselves and for others in these strange times?
Michał Feter – Director of the Gortat school in Łódź
The epidemic has given us all an opportunity to slow down and relax. I suddenly found time to read some books I had never had time for, but also to put all my papers and files in order, to have some time to think in peace, also on the personal front. I hope that some of my newfound habits will stay with me once things get back to normal – for example, I would like to continue to be able to find time to be with myself.
The situation we have found ourselves in has shown that even though we believe that we are living in safe, stable times, free of wars and hunger, in fact this is not the case. At any given moment the peace and order we know can be destroyed, because things we have no control over can happen at any time. I think this has taught us how to be more humble, it has shown us how small and helpless we are in this sudden crisis we’ve found ourselves in the midst of.
I hope, for all of us, that history will not repeat itself and that pandemics will not continue to happen. This lesson has taught us that nothing is given to us forever, that long-term planning doesn’t always make sense. We should draw our own conclusions from these lessons.
Adam Lachowicz – Administration Director of the Gortat school in Kraków
The new limitations that were imposed on us have not changed my life in any major way. There are not that many things that I do differently. Frequent handwashing was always very important to me, so COVID-19 only increased my awareness of this issue. As far as wearing a face mask – well, I bought my antismog mask three years ago, only now I use it more often than I used to.
During the pandemic, I worked as I always do, the only difference was that I cancelled my extracurricular activities. There is less traffic on the roads, so my commute is much shorter now. Because all sports facilities were closed, I had more free time during the week, which I devoted mostly to reading.
During the pandemic, a lot more was said about how we are exploiting our planet, about the greenhouse effect, the droughts, the raging fires. I learned many new things, and changed some of my habits. I pay more attention to how I sort my garbage, how much water I use. I know it’s not much, but it’s more than I used to do in the past, so I see it as a small victory. I am sure these habits will stay with me when the COVID-19 epidemic is over.
I think the current situation is a sort of test for all of us, in many ways and on many different levels. It’s a test of our humanity, empathy, of our approach to those who govern us, and also an opportunity to see how hard – or easy – it is for us to respect new rules and regulations, even if they may not be fun or convenient. It’s also a test of our relationships, both with those we are with 24/7 while under lockdown, and those we have not seen in a long time for that same reason. Our close and more distant friendships are tested. We can also see how we treat and respect our own jobs, as well as the work of others. Of course I have in mind the most important people now, so the medical professionals, but also those we regarded as less crucial to our lives, so the deliverymen, couriers, salespeople. All of a sudden, we noticed that the work of many very poorly paid people is of great value, is very much needed and sometimes even irreplaceable. We realized that we can’t imagine life without grocery stores, without pharmacies, or even gas stations. This is why the test we are taking is mostly a test of our common sense.
What we need the most now, and what I wish to others and myself, is health, serenity, and the common sense I just mentioned! I wish we had more awareness of the effect of our actions on the environment and on each other. We need more common sense when taking in the media, more knowledge when it comes to verifying the diverse information we are flooded with – better skills in drawing our own conclusions.
Ania Dyszy – Education Director of the Gortat school in Kraków
What do I do differently during the pandemic? My life has been filled by “compulsions”. When I get to work, or when I return home, I disinfect my wallet, keys, eyeglasses. I think these habits will stay with me for a long time. But there are also positive changes, like the ability to appreciate small things, to enjoy them. My private life has also slowed down. I’ve started liking the time I can spend with myself, by myself. I started reading a lot more, especially about new trends. A good summary would be to say that I exercise a lot, and think a lot. I really hope these new elements of life will stay with me when this is over.
The pandemic has tested my independence and shown me how to define my priorities. It revised a lot of my beliefs, and impacted my behavior in many ways. I learned two important things: a new way of looking at the world and the people that surround me, and how to limit my shopping, which was a big weakness of mine, I admit. The urge to buy has been curbed, it has been replaced by the need to take better care of the planet. My goal is to stop myself from buying useless things for as long as I can, I wonder how long I’ll last (laughter).
I hope we can all learn how to enjoy the mundane and grow the traits that make others smile. I think rebuilding our lives around newly defined priorities can help us create a calmer, wiser, kinder, and more empathetic society.
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