08 December 2020 | Story Nelia Oosthuysen | Photo Charl Devenish
Nelia Oosthuysen South Campus
Nelia Oosthuysen is a digital content creator and curator on the UFS South Campus.

Every year begins chock-full of new opportunities, expectations, dreams… And so, we also approached 2020 with a perennial positivity unaware of what lay ahead. New challenges? The Coronavirus Pandemic took care of that, more than we could have ever anticipated. On 23 March 2020, our President announced a national lockdown period that would have numerous ramifications. Most of these would be negative, as we know all too well: Our personal lives, the things we read in the paper / on social media, and what we see around us. But I decided to stop and focus on the positives that could come out of this pandemic as well as some “food for thought”.

We were all dumbstruck at our planet’s ability to heal itself in such a short time and show off the astounding beauty that nature has to offer, such as the sparkling clean canals in Venice. Pollution decreased in leaps and bounds, and for once, residents of some of the major cities in the world could not see what they were breathing in! NASA observed this phenomenon with satellites in the atmosphere that travelled above Asia, America, and Europe during this time.

On a more personal note, the lockdown period was an opportunity for me — and one I hope everyone also used to some degree — to step back, do a little introspection, and reflect on the crucial aspects of everyday life. Reflecting on the significance of relationships with family and friends, our responsibility towards our planet and everything on it, as well as new awareness and sensitivity towards those in a less fortunate position than we are in. Lastly, but certainly not least: How is my spiritual life? Am I spending enough time with my Creator as my only source of energy in these trying times? I can only speak for myself, but during this time, I was able to take stock of my life again and to prioritise what is and what should be important to me. Let us then go forth with a new lease on life keeping in mind the wisdom in this anonymous aphorism: “Some people cannot be cured, but everyone can heal.”

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