[236] Hope after Corona – The Story of Corona

History has always been written afterwards. As the stories and the perception of the Great War were written and rewritten throughout the following decades, so will the history and the perception of the Great Pandemic be shaped in the decades to come. So, what will be the story we tell of Corona?

It was 6am on a quiet morning at the East Coast of Australia. The night had been confusing and questioning. I’m not sure if I really slept, because I knew something was coming up. Two months before that morning, a concerned friend had asked me what I thought – as a journalist – about what was happening in Wuhan.

We didn’t know the name, nor the fame the virus would gain, but I understood something was about to happen.

The Story

The story of my friend was in tremendous contrast with the official stories we were told. While the Chinese government was telling us nothing too urgent was happening, and the World Health Organisation confirmed that we did not have to panic, because the new virus wasn’t more than a flu; my friend’s story was chocking.

A hospital in Wuhan would be no longer able to deal with the rapidly increasing number of patients infected by the mysterious disease. Soldiers, no doctors would go in the hospital to burn the death bodies, rather than taking care of them all. The numbers of deaths and infected ones must have been tremendously high, that such a dramatic measure had to be taken. Yet, the Chinese government and the WHO kept telling us, to remain calm, they were in control. This was by the end of January 2020.

I couldn’t tell it was right or wrong, I had to factcheck first, but I could tell her it was possible.

Mind the Gap

The measures taken in China were contradictory to the message spread by them. There was a gap between the words and the deeds, which would soon be filled by the truth: the virus wasn’t a simple flu, it was a high infectious disease that would soon spread rapidly over the entire globe.

But by the end of January few countries were really alarmed, let alone prepared. The US was one of the first countries however to lock its borders for people out of Wuhan, while the countries who had experience with SARS took protective measures as well. Europe, Australia, and eventually all other countries over the world would start going in lockdown throughout March and April.

A lot of valuable time was lost between the first alarming messages, and the eventually alarmed countries.

The story of those months will be written in the next year by research commissions, by reflection and questioning. But the truth might always remain there, in the gap between words and deeds, facts and storytelling, history and history writing.

My Story of Corona

That morning at 6am, I wasn’t running as usual, I was watching the Belgian Security Council gathering at 10pm Belgian time. They introduced the lockdown that wasn’t a lockdown. The lockdown would gradually evolve into a real lockdown nonetheless. They were part of a wave of lockdowns that would from then on shape the world for the upcoming months.

Unfortunately, that wave came after the wave of Covid-19 had flooded them all.

That day going to work was different. Nothing had changed in my immediate surroundings, but to me it was all different. As if my personal story had flipped a page and started a new chapter right away: Life in Times of Corona.

For the first time since a while I was conscious of every movement I made, of every action I took, because I knew I was going to lose it all. With every deed that day, I added a word of gratitude and goodbye. I was saluting the world as I knew it, ready to step in the world I didn’t know yet. The house, the work, the drive over the hill, watching the forest absolve into the ocean, having the sun through the window, the winding road ending in the square parking lot. Walking in, I greeted my colleagues as if it was a goodbye, I took the view on the ocean in me, and whispered a thank you for everything that I had at that moment.

My Story

From then on, it went fast. Covid came and the world as we knew it was gone. It wasn’t a loss entirely, because sometimes things have to be wiped out before we can see clearly what actually matters and what doesn’t; the masks have to fall off before we know who really is in front of us.

I used the time to reflect, to write, write this story, and the story of Hope in times of Corona, while writing a factual story about what really happened in times of Corona. I’m a writer and a journalist, no matter what the world will bring me, no matter how far I will be lift of my feet, no matter how much dust blinds me when falling I the arena. I know I’ll never fall apart, because this is who I am. The writer, the journalist, and that will always be my story, regardless the changing world, the changing décor.

When crisis hits, the decorations fall off and our really story becomes visible. When crisis hits the world, we start questioning what the world actually means to us, and what means the world to us.



This article is part of the series of Hope in Times of Corona. Read

  1. How this too shall pass
  2. how this times of self-isolation should not mean loneliness,
  3. how you can contribute to this battle,
  4. how gratitude lights up the dark,  
  5. how united we will stand strong
  6. on the most util strategy in awake of a crisis
  7. how I got blown of my feet as well, but caught by many caring hands,
  8. how being calm can get us through the storm.
  9. about Love in Times of Corona
  10. how to discover your own talents
  11. why we need stories to hold on to
  12. how you can be creative and innovative.
  13. how to spend your mot valuable assets in times of Corona.
  14. how to listen to the sound of silence.
  15. How breath taking Corona really is.
  16. discover the other freedoms Corona has shown us,
  17. about the new-born freedom Corona gave us.
  18. about another way to exceed your personal bubble.
  19. about the position of nature in this entire story
  20. about nature bouncing back
  21. about the crucial choice between resilience and resistance
  22. about the game to play
  23. about star gazing in dark times
  24. About looking for Meaning
  25. About how Music Connects
  26. about what Easter and Corona have in Common
  27. About the Shark and the Turtle
  28. About the Irony of Distance
  29. Why to Hold on
  30. Fake News
  31. about The Big Unknown we live at
  32. about Feeling Alive
  33. About turning obstacles into opportunities
  34. about what the Birthday of my nephew learned me about life 
  35. About where we should go from here?
  36. About coping with incertitude
  37. About the Great War and the Great Pandemic, and we should not forget
  38. about history’s most important message, echoed by corona
  39. How one country could rule them all
  40. About how to prevent the next Green Pandemic 
  41. about how we are experiencing a new episode of our history books
  42. about when the poppy flowers
  43. about what’s in a number
  44. masks off, how a friend in need is a friend indeed
  45. What’s Next. after we flattened the curve?
  46. how will our personal story look like in a post-corona world?
  47. why we should never let a good crisis go too waste.
  48. How Spring can happen in Autumn
  49. How to unlock the lockdown
  50. Why education matters
  51. How we can give meaning to the meaningless deaths. (rethink health care)
  52. The remarkable marketability of health, or not?
  53. the remarkable rewards of health
  54. The queeste for global health care 
  55. Health Heroes
  56. Pains and Gains 
  57. Solidarity 3.0
  58. Work-Life Balance
  59. Home sweet home
  60. Real Connections
  61. Leadership 3.0
  62. gratitude 3.0
  63. Respect 3.0
  64. Humanity 3.0
  65. Change Management
  66. Economic Catharsis
  67. To consume or not to consume?
  68. Travel the world, travel your heart
  69. Barrels of Life
  70. People, no Number Management
  71. Back to the Office?
  72. Those jobs …
  73. Economic Growth or Green Growth
  74. Global trade, global fate
  75. Act local, think global
  76. A changed climate for Climate Change
  77. Love is in the Air
  78. From Fatamorgana to Oasis
  79. From Covid-19 to Forest Fire
  80. 5 Shades of Fossil Fuels
  81. Water, divide and unite
  82. Almighty Ocean
  83. Plastic Free July
  84. Thin Line of Change

Or wait until tomorrow, when I’ll shine another light on yet another positive corner of this dark time.

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