The Coronavirus outbreak in the north of Italy started to panic all across the country. I found myself in a situation where my friends were all returning home, on by one, day by day. I decided to remain so I spent days saying goodbyes to all those people who never intended to leave. I honestly did not know how to cope with the situation. At the time I didn’t understand why everyone had to be so overdramatic about things that did not affect them or maybe I did and I just didn’t want them to leave. This news created panic across the city and the evergreen streets of Florence suddenly turned into a graveyard. I barely recognized the streets anymore. People are coming out only in the morning to shop at the supermarkets waiting in the line for hours. I would think how could they wait so patiently? Were they not scared of tomorrow? What about the mental stress due to all the distress? Can we manage to be by ourselves? What about not being able to have human contact and for how long? While these questions stayed on the back of my head I came to accept that I have to live with it anyhow. I can regret and cry about it or make peace with it. I chose peace and that didn’t come so easily, I had to go through a cycle of repetitions where the previous day wasn’t much different from the present day. I had to rethink everything again and again, but when I did, when I came to understand that the things I am trying to control are forces beyond my capability, I began to accept it. There was a moment of peace within, A sense of clarity where I saw things for as they are separated from the thoughts that held me back. As though I distanced myself from my bubble. When I did so I was faced with a new challenge of asking myself the question once again,
“ Who am I? ”
I began to build myself together from the basic, trying to build a whole. This chapter of my life majorly influenced by the pandemic might have been hectic to a lot of people in a lot of ways but it helped to destroy who I was to rebuild myself a new me.
Tejas Balapalli | FUA-AUF Career Photography Student